Green Bay Packers 2011 Season Preview: Courtesy of SI

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This week’s Sports Illustrated is the annual NFL preview issue, which hits newsstands tomorrow. They have six regional covers and Clay Matthews is on one of them.

 Excerpted is their Green Bay Packers preview article which highlights TE Jermichael Finley as a player who is poised to have a huge season coming off an injury in 2010. Finley tells SI’s Peter King, “All I’ve shown in my career is an appetizer. It’s time for the main course.”
SI has predicted that the Packers will win the NFC North with a record of 11-5 before losing in the NFC divisional playoffs.
An excerpt from the Packers preview column:

It’s a vital downfield weapon when the corners are smothering Green Bay’s wideouts—and even when they’re not. But the tight end was barely a footnote in McCarthy’s playbook during last season’s Super Bowl run because he was without emerging star Jermichael Finley, who suffered a season-ending torn meniscus in his right knee on the second play of a Week 5 loss at Washington.

In four postseason victories, during which Green Bay averaged 30.3 points, Aaron Rodgers threw for 1,094 yards. Only 54 of those were to a tight end.

Now we’ll find out how good the Pack attack can really be. Green Bay placed 15 players on injured reserve in 2010, but it
was the loss of Finley, a 6′ 5″ bundle of energy, that was most prominent for the offense.

Focusing primarily on wideouts Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, Rodgers went 11–4 with Finley sidelined, completing 65.6% of his throws for 4,076 yards, 29 touchdowns and just eight interceptions to rise to the top of the football world. So it’s safe to say the QB compensated—not that he was happy about it.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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