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Sizing up Green Bay

  • September 12, 2012 - 11:30 AM

SIZING UP GREEN BAY

2011 record: 15-2, lost to Giants 37-20 in the NFC Divisional playoff round.

Key addition: Outside linebacker Nick Perry.

The rookie first-round draft pick is making the adjustment from end at Southern Cal to outside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4 defense. It will take some time, but Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said he believes Perry is perfect for what has been an integral missing part on the opposite side of Clay Matthews.

Key loss: Safety Nick Collins.

A neck injury ended the career of the Packers' third-best defender.

Key number: 6. Consecutive picks the Packers used on defensive players at the top of this year's draft.

Outlook: Not many 15-win teams have something to prove, but the Packers do. Of the five teams that have gone 15-1 in NFL history, only the 2011 Packers failed to at least make it to the conference title game. The offense will be outstanding again, but it simply can't be counted on to carry the entire team during the playoffs. Reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers had an NFL-record 122.5 passer rating and was putting up a league-best 35 points a game when the offense had an off-day against the Giants. That, coupled with a defense that set NFL records for most yards allowed (6,585) and passing yards allowed (4,796) ended Green Bay's season. Packers General Manager Ted Thompson responded by adding young speed and athleticism on defense. Thompson typically avoids trading up to get players, but after that Giants debacle, he traded four picks to move up three times for defensive players. The Packers should win the division.

© 2014 Star Tribune