The Green Bay Packers won the NFC North in 2012, but for the second straight year a disappointing playoff loss ended their season short of their preseason goal. But they remain the favorites to win the division this year, despite some notable changes the other three teams have made, and any road to the Super Bowl in the NFC may have to include a win over the Packers once again.
The Packers have plenty of talent on their roster, but there are few players I would call irreplaceable for the 2013 season. An obvious choice is linebacker Clay Matthews, who had 13 sacks (fifth in the league) last season while no one else on the team had more than 4.5, and he will again be asked to spearhead Green Bay’s pass rush. But to me the Packers’ most irreplaceable player for this season is clear.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had another excellent season in 2012, finishing in the top 10 in passing yards (4,295-eighth) and passing touchdowns (39-second) along with completing over 67 percent of his passes and throwing just eight interceptions. But he was also sacked a league-high 51 times last season, which caused the Packers to reshuffle their offensive line during the offseason.
Behind Rodgers on the depth chart is Graham Harrell, who has attempted just four passes in his career, and 2012 seventh-round pick B.J. Coleman, who spent all of last season on the practice squad. Rodgers is obviously one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and he has only missed one game due to injury since becoming Green Bay’s starter in 2008, so keeping him upright and healthy is vital to any chances the Packers have to reach and win a Super Bowl.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.