The NFL season officially got underway on Thursday night, but for most Wisconsinites, it’s the Packers’ Sunday kickoff that really marks the start to the season.
Sports contributor Howie Magner says there are high expectations for this season's team, and there's one big factor that will determine that.
"If the defense can perform at a level almost as high as the packer's offense, then they're going to be a really scary team," he says.
But Magner also says there are questions about the Packs' offense, given that starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga is out all year with a knee injury. That means the team's been relying on younger and back-up players to fill the void.
"The biggest question mark for my money with the offense going in to the season is the offensive line," Magner says. "Will they be able to protect the Packers' franchise quarterback in Aaron Rodgers?"
Perhaps the expectations are most high for the team's new players.
"You would assume that the packers will be every bit as good if not as better than last year and one of the reasons for that is that people like the upgrade they made to their running game in drafting Eddie Lacy, the rookie running back, who folks expect he's going to provide a dimension to this team that they haven't seen in a few years," Magner says.
Magner writes the Sports Nut column for Milwaukee Magazine’s website, and is senior editor for the magazine.