Through three games this season, the 3-0 Green Bay Packers have scored more points than all but five other teams in the league. The difference, though, is that those teams who have scored more points than the Packers have all needed four games to do it.
Not surprisingly, that hot offensive start begins with future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has thrown for 887 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions so far this season. He’s completing 67 percent of his passes and has been as impressive as any quarterback in the league so far with the possible exception of Seattle’s Russell Wilson.
The timing of his start is interesting. At 36-years-old, the clock is clearly ticking on his career. So much so that the Packers used a first-round pick seemingly on a quarterback of the future in Jordan Love this year, setting up an awkward scenario not unlike what Rodgers experienced early in his career when he was picked in the first round as the eventual replacement to Brett Favre.
Rodgers doesn’t appear to be repeating the chilly welcome he received from Favre. Rodgers called Love and congratulated him after the NFL Draft, and Packers coach Matt LaFleur says Rodgers has been an “incredible mentor” to Love so far.
But the play of a quarterback alone – albeit a great one – isn't enough to be leading an offense on a historically good pace. Rodgers has had plenty of help, starting with an offensive line that has kept him relatively clean. Rodgers has been sacked just twice so far this season, a huge improvement for a line that has allowed him to be sacked 35 or more times in four of the last five years.
The running game has also provided great balance. Aaron Jones has rushed for 303 yards and four touchdowns, and Green Bay rushers as a unit are averaging 5.5 yards per carry for the season.
As he always does, Rodgers is spreading the ball around in the passing game. Davante Adams has 17 catches, Allen Lazard has 13, and Jones has 10 out of the backfield. Ten different receivers have caught passes from Rodgers this season, and six different players have touchdown receptions.
The Packers are among the best offensively in the NFL, their defense has been solid, and they play in a division with two teams struggling (the Vikings and Lions) and a third, the Bears, playing great defense but trying to find stability at the quarterback position. Green Bay should be the favorite to win the division and possibly get a first round bye in the NFC Playoffs.