To me, this analysis is as uninspired as it is unoriginal. It permeates these NFL boards, but I don't buy it. Why? First, as many have mentioned, one player does not make a team. Brett Favre was a legend, but when the talent wasn't there, and Farve forced throws to backup receivers, the team struggled. The result? A 4-12 season and more interceptions than touchdowns. Two seasons later, and suddenly Favre is the savior of the Packers once again. But how many people the season before considered Brett Favre washed up and on his last leg?
It was the team that made him better. I know many people will scoff at this claim but look at the evidence: Favre played best when he threw short, slant routes to his talented receivers, and many of the yards were picked up after the catch. When Brett strayed from this scheme and tried to force the ball (often deep, which seems to be the cause of many of his interceptions), this is when he made mistakes. In other words, Favre succeeded when he followed the guidance of Mike McCarthy, a talented quarterback coach. That same coach worked with Aaron Rodgers from year two on and the results have already been seen.
But Favre is the only cause of our success, right? Favre caught those short passes and ran for another 10 to 15 yards. Favre ran the ball well after the media was convinced our offense would be one dimensional the entire season. Favre made the defensive plays to hold the opponent after throwing an interception (while the Packers defense gave up a lot of yards, they were top in the league when it came to preventing opponents from scoring). It must have been Favre who made some important plays on special teams in key situations.
All that is clearly sarcasm. It is to make a point. The Packers offense will still have an improving line, a group of talented wide receivers, and a backfield that has the potential to grow, especially with players returning from injuries and Ryan Grant getting a starting opportunity at the beginning of the season. Also, we have a quarterback who has the guidance of a gifted coach. A quarterback who was considered a 1st overal pick prospect in 2005. In other words, he is no slacker. Then lets not forget about the defense. It seems people remember the bad times (Al Harris against Plexico Burress) and forget the good.
All of this brings me to the hypocrisy of Vikings fans and anyone else who praises the Vikings while disregarding the NFC North Champion Packers. The reason that the Packers won't win is because our quarterback will be a failure. First of all, there is nothing to indicate any truth to this statement. People are just so hung up on the past that they don't see a future in Rodgers. However, the Vikings somehow are in better shape. I don't get it. So, a team that has had two years without success in the quarterback position is better off than a team with a QB who has not even had the opportunity to show his potential. I would rather have a quarterback who has potential than one who played long enough to be a disappointment. I would also take Mike McCarthy over Brad Childress any day.
So what do the Vikings have that the Packers don't? They don't have the receiving core to help the quarterback like we do. They have a good running game, but Ryan Grant has potential to improve this year and Adrian Peterson might struggle if their is no passing threat. The defenses are both even, though the corners seem to be slightly to greatly better on the Packers. As far as I am concerned, the teams are very similar, assuming Rodgers is a disappointment or gets injured (through Brian Brohm could still be better than Tarvaris Jackson; even Matt Flynn could be less of a failure). So why do the Packers have less of a chance.
Favre is the reason? Seriously, he was great, but, as I already mentioned, he played best last year when he acted as a team player. When he didn't try to carry the team and let the playmakers perform their roles, the Packers excelled. A 14-3 record proved that. The Vikings were sub-.500, 6 games behind. Do people really think losing one player will be that big of a problem. I know that people will disagree with me, but Brett Favre was a name. Having his name on our roster somehow made us better. Without it, we're subpar. I don't buy it. If any other quarterback was replaced, people wouldn't be saying this. Rodgers doesn't need to replace Brett. He simply needs to execute and run a talented offense. He needs to listen to his coach and not make mistakes. The rest of the team can pick up any slack.
Yet he is not good enough. Apparently Jackson is. To me, this is the hypocrisy. The Vikings claim they can win the division with a strong defense, excellent running game, yet no quarterback. They added nothing to improve on their record (sorry, but Bernard Berrian was only a backup and Jared Allen, while good, still only builds in a position of strength, but adds nothing to the passing defense concerns). However, a team with an unproven quarterback, talented running game, and a strong defense (notice the parallels) will drop below their previous record by 8 or more games and lose the division. That is contradicting logic.
No, wait, that is hypocrisy.