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TV analysts see it as a Super year for Packers

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

    Feb 13, 2010
    Of the eighteen NFL television studio analysts we heard make Super Bowl predictions on Sunday, a full 10 of them picked the Packers to play in the game and seven picked them to win it.

    Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher of CBS Sports was one of the analysts who picked the Packers to beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLV.

    Cowher also said Aaron Rodgers will prove to be the best quarterback in the NFC.

    "For the 13th season in a row, the NFC will have a new champion. And it will be the Green Bay Packers."

    Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe of CBS also picked the Packers over the Colts. Boomer Esiason picked Baltimore over Dallas.

    Tom Jackson of ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" made a jazzy pick on the AFC side, choosing the Packers to beat the Houston Texans. Chris Mortensen picked Green Bay over Cincinnati. Mike Ditka had the Ravens beating the Packers. Adam Schefter had the Colts over the Packers.

    Keyshawn Johnson chose the New York Jets over the Cowboys. Chris Berman chose Minnesota over San Diego.

    Michael Strahan of "Fox NFL Sunday" picked Green Bay to win the Super Bowl. Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long picked New Orleans to repeat. Jimmy Johnson picked the Colts to beat the Cowboys.

    Meanwhile, on the NFL Network, Marshall Faulk picked the Packers to beat the Ravens; Warren Sapp picked the Colts over the Packers; and Michael Irvin picked San Diego over the Packers.

    Steve Mariucci went with the Colts over New Orleans.

    Scouting the Vikings

    Fox's Johnson was impressed by the Minnesota Vikings, despite their opening-game loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.

    "New Orleans won the ball game, but they should have won it," Johnson said. "They are the defending champions. Plus they are playing at home. I was impressed with Minnesota. Brett Favre - they protected him. He gets a couple of good receivers and some time, he will be fine. Their defense - they kept New Orleans in check. Now you get (cornerback Cedric) Griffin back in the corner, they will be in the mix at the end, I promise you that."

    In good company

    Fox's Strahan was asked if he thought Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez was still the best tight end in football.

    "No, he is not the best, but he still can be one of the most reliable," Strahan said. "But now you have (Minnesota's Visanthe) Shiancoe. You have (Dallas' Jason) Whitten. You have San Francisco's Vernon Davis. Then you have a young guy, Jermichael Finley, who is the go-to guy for Aaron Rodgers."

    Strahan also is another in the legion of Rodgers' admirers.

    "As good as Aaron Rodgers was last year, he's going to be even better this year," Strahan said. "This is the year you are going say, 'He's as good as Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.' Aaron Rodgers had to follow Brett Favre, so he's had to wait a little to emerge into that elite quarterback category."

    One take only

    Only once did Fox decide to show the replay of the tackle that caused the knee of Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver to buckle in sickening fashion. Wise decision. Showing the play more than once would have been excessive.

    Joe Buck found the appropriate description of the play - "gruesome." Weaver suffered a sprained knee, but it looked as if it could be much worse.

    Viewers did see a few replays of the sequence that caused the concussion of Eagles linebacker Stewart Bradley, whose head crashed into the leg of a teammate.

    Bradley tried to get to his feet and off the field after the play but staggered a few steps and fell. He eventually made it to his bench.

    "It's hard to imagine him coming back into this game," game analyst Troy Aikman said.

    But Bradley did return to the game in the second quarter.

    Neither Bradley nor Eagles starting quarterback Kevin Kolb played in the second half because both suffered concussions.

    Third-down theory

    Aikman offered an interesting opinion about why quarterbacks in the National Football League are so effective on third down. Aaron Rodgers had the best rating of any quarterback on third down last season.

    "I'm amazed when we get ready for these games how many of these quarterbacks throw the ball better on third down compared to first down and second down," Aikman said. "Back when I was playing, and that was not all that long ago, first down was the easiest down to throw the football. But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. So many of the top guys, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, these guys throw the ball better on third down. Because of the rules that are in place, in a lot of ways it's become a seven-on-seven drill to where quarterbacks are afforded a lot of time and have the ability to pick out some pretty talented guys running down the field and catching it."

    Kolb vs. Vick

    For Aikman, there is no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia just because Michael Vick played well in the second half. Kolb did not play after he was tackled from behind by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.

    Aikman firmly said Kolb is Eagles coach Andy Reid's starting quarterback.

    Even in the first half, Aikman had misgivings about playing Vick so many downs.

    "One of the things you have to guard against a little bit, or Andy Reid has to, is wanting to get Michael Vick on the field and get the ball in his hands to see what he can do," Aikman said. "But at the same time, you've got a young, nervous quarterback making his first start of the season. And there is a lot of pressure on him. There are a lot of expectations. You at least want to give him some time in there to settle in and not having to come on and off the field the way that he has in the early going."

    Aikman acknowledged Vick provided the Eagles with a spark in the second half, but reaffirmed his opinion that Reid still considers Kolb his starter.

    "Provided that (Kolb) is healthy, and having observed Andy Reid all these years, Kevin Kolb is his quarterback," Aikman said.

    Fox studio analyst Johnson didn't see it that way.

    "Even though it was a loss, (Vick) may be the starting quarterback the rest of the way," Johnson said.

    TV analysts see it as a Super year for Packers - JSOnline

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