You get to swing all the way to the right when you win, and you want me to swing all the way to the left when we lose. I'm not going to do that.
Nor should fans or the media, and yet, after one big win, everywhere you turn you see proclamations of the Packers inevitable rise to the top of the NFC North standings.
You see it in local newspaper opinion pieces:
There weren't many reasons to anticipate that the division title would change hands, and outside of the kind of injury or injuries that would redirect the course, it's more than reasonable to expect the Packers to repeat.
You see it in the Packer Blogosphere:
For those of you who thoroughly enjoy hearing athletes and coaches say “we’re taking it one game at a time and right now all we’re focused on is the _________ game”, you may not want to read this post. I prefer it when athletes, coaches, fans openly project and look past weak opponents.
You hear it from ex-player pundits:
Of the three 5-5 teams in the NFC North, the Packers are best, according to NBC-TV studio analyst Jerome Bettis.
"I think Green Bay wins the division," Bettis said. "Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in that group, Ryan Grant makes that team two dimensional, they're able to run the ball, and the last part is their defense is playing as well as Minnesota's right now. They're the complete team in that division."
Well, this is all well and good, and very heartwarming for Packer fans to read day after day in the week following a beat down of a hated rival, but a bit more caution is called for. We find our heroes returning to a domed stadium this Monday night, possibly negating the o-line advantage the team seemed to enjoy on the slow, messy tundra of Lambeau Field. They face a team not only with the best quarterback in the NFL right now (that's right) but also feature a big, physical number one wide receiver, the kind that has given our boys in the secondary in general and Al Harris in particular, nightmares. Oh, and they might just be getting their dynamic halfback back on the field, a back that could make our new, big middle linebacker look silly in coverage on the speedy turf of the Superdome. Oh, what's that? The Packers will use Chillar and a safety to cover Bush if he plays? Well then, I guess we'll just leave Hawk or Bigby on Shockey....um...well...pass catching tight ends against Hawk and/or Bigby hasn't worked too well in the past, has it? Oh, and did I mention this is the number one passing attack in the NFL?
You get the point. There's more than enough to worry about week to week. Let's not all get hysterical and start making hotel reservations for the playoff game at Lambeau quite yet...