Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/20/12
There is no question the Green Bay Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL heading into the 2012 season. Will the only team to go 15-1 last year, go 16-0 this season? Let’s take a look.

Perhaps the most significant factor in a run at perfection is the strength of schedule.

Based on last years records, only New England has an easier schedule. Green Bay opponents combined for a 120-136 record (.469) in 2011. Seven of their opponents had at least nine wins last year, but one of those teams, New Orleans, will face the Packers in week 4 with some key components missing due to the bounty scandal.

If Green Bay finds themselves 14-0 going into week 16, they have two very winnable games, even if the starters do not play, against Tennessee and Minnesota. A week 10 bye before their toughest two game stretch against the New York Giants and Detroit Lions and the Green Bay schedule has 16-0 written all over it.

The Green Bay offense was the most prolific in the league last season, leading the NFL in scoring with 560 points. The possible loss of Ryan Grant will have no effect on the offense.

The bigger concern was the loss of center Scott Wells, but those concerns were alleviated with the signing of perennial pro bowler Jeff Saturday. The best quarterback in the league and reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers, and the offense will be putting up points like an NBA team. Maybe more like a junior high basketball team. It will be a lot of points nonetheless. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense, that lost no key players, will be a major factor in going 16-0.

The concern for Green Bay is the defense as evidenced on draft day when Green Bay used the first 6 of their 8 picks on defensive players.

In 2011 Green Bay went with youth over experience releasing Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar and Brady Poppinga. The team also lost Nick Collins to what may be a career ending injury and did not match the offer to Cullen Jenkins from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 2012 Defense had a new look surrounding Clay Matthews, AJ Hawk, and Charles Woodson. This led to Green Bay giving up the most yards in the NFL in 2011, 411.6 YPG. However, the team ranked 14th in PPG allowing 22.4. The bend but don’t break philosophy worked all year until the playoffs. Now the defense has a year of experience and playing together under their belt, expect a big improvement. If any of the draft picks can make an impact, the defense should be much improved.

With what appears to be a weak schedule, the most potent offense in the league, and an improved defense Green Bay is the odds on favorite to go 16-0 and win an NFL record 14th championship.

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