Aug 9, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during warmups prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field. The Cardinals won 17-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Power Rankings countdown: 9. Green Bay Packers

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2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

9.  Green Bay Packers (NFC North)

2013 Record:  8-7-1

Head coach:  Mike McCarthy – McCarthy has been one of the winningest coaches in the league since he became the Green Bay Packers head coach.  He’s won a Super Bowl, and he’s had the team in the playoffs each of his five seasons.  He has a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, but how good his team will be could be determined on how good his defense is this year.

Best offensive player:  Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback – Rodgers missed seven games last season with a broken collarbone, but still managed to return from the injury to lead the Packers to the NFC North division title.  Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league, and his presence should keep the Packers firmly in contention for another playoff berth.   NFL Power Rankings

Best defensive player:  Clay Matthews, outside linebacker – Matthews led the Packers in sacks last season with 7.  That total probably would have been higher had he not missed five games with a thumb injury.  The Packers will need a big season from Matthews again this year to help the defense rebound from a mediocre 2013.

Rising Star:  Eddie Lacy, running back – Lacy gave a tremendous boost to the Packers running game last season as a rookie.  He led the team in rushing with 1,128 yards and had 11 touchdowns rushing.  With the Packers passing game being one of the best in the league, now that they can run the ball, their offense has become even more dangerous.

Best new addition:  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, free safety – The Packers signed pass rusher Julius Peppers, but a rookie is their biggest addition.  They also needed to add some talent to their defensive backfield at safety, and they draft one of the best in the draft in Clinton-Dix.  He has good range in coverage and isn’t afraid to deliver a hard hit.  He should have an immediate impact on the Packers defense.       NFL Power Rankings

Biggest offseason loss: James Jones, wide receiver – Jones has been one of Aaron Rodgers top targets for a long time and his departure will be a blow for the Packers offense.  However, the Packers have drafted well and they have some good young receivers on the rise like Jarrett Boykin and Randall Cobb.  Plus they still have Jordy Nelson as their number one.

Biggest strength:  The Packers biggest strength is their quarterback. Having one of the best quarterbacks in the game is a huge asset for the Packers.  Rodgers will have the Packers in the hunt as long as he’s healthy, and he and Mike McCarthy form a great QB / head coach combination.          NFL Power Rankings

Biggest weakness:  The Packers biggest weakness is at tight end.  Jermichael Finley is gone and Andrew Quarless will take over as the starter.  Quarless is a sold tight end, but not as talented as Finley was.  However, they did draft rookie Richard Rogers who has potential and there is a wild card in undrafted rookie Colt Lyelra, who had the talent to be a high round pick, but his stock dropped due to off the field issues.

32. Houston Texans

31. Cleveland Browns

30.  Minnesota Vikings

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

28.  Oakland Raiders

27.  Washington Redskins

26.  Atlanta Falcons

25.  Buffalo Bills

24.  Tennessee Titans

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

22.  Detroit Lions

21.  Miami Dolphins

20.  St. Louis Rams

19.  New York Jets

18.  Dallas Cowboys

17.  New York Giants

16.  Pittsburgh Steelers

15.  Philadelphia Eagles

14.  Chicago Bears

13.  Baltimore Ravens

12.  Cincinnati Bengals

11.  Arizona Cardinals

10.  Carolina Panthers

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Tags: 2014 NFL Power Rankings Aaron Rodgers Clay Matthews Mike McCarthy NFL Power Rankings Washington Redskins

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