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LeRoy identifies what he thinks are the strengths and weaknesses of the 2018 Packers team and talks about the impact Chicago Bears acquisition Khalil Mack will make with his new team. Bill Schulz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.

The Packers continued preparations Thursday for their regular-season opener Sunday night against the Chicago Bears (7:20 p.m., NBC).

We'll start with Pete Dougherty's look at how the balance of power in the NFC North is shifting with all three of the Packers' rivals making significant upgrades.

Pete writes:

This isn’t the NFC North the Green Bay Packers have been dominating for nearly a decade.

In the nine seasons from 2009 through last year, the Packers won five division titles and finished second three other times. They only time they missed the playoffs was when Aaron Rodgers missed 9 ¾ games last year.

The Packers achieved those results by pounding their division rivals. They won more than two out of every three division games over that time (37-12-1, .694), while the other three were under .500 (Minnesota .472, Detroit .463 and Chicago .370).

But 2018 is looking like not just a new season for the Packers but a new world. No other division in the NFL has seen as much offseason change as the NFC North.

Be sure to read Pete's entire column right here:

Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski discussed the Packers' injury outlook and what to expect from Mike Pettine's defense in the regular-season opener:

Other than the uncertain status of Oren Burks, the Packers' injury list is remarkably light:

Who will win Sunday night? Silverstein and Owczarski analyze the matchup:

Banners celebrating the Packers' 100th season went up Thursday all around Lambeau Field:

And the NBC television crews are gearing up for their Sunday night broadcast:

Packers coach Mike McCarthy has methods for managing the team's energy and anxiety levels when opening the season with a night game:

Little-known facts about some lesser-known Packers' players, via our JR Radcliffe:

Danica Patrick's relationship with Aaron Rodgers has shifted Packers-Bears allegiances in her hometown of Roscoe, Illinois:

Brett Favre is preaching the joys of being outdoors:

Packers second-year safety Josh Jones has a new side gig:

Elsewhere, The MMQB has an inside look at what cutdown day was like for Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow:

ESPN's Rob Demovsky writes about how Rodgers embraces the challenge of still being able to play at 40 or beyond:

Pro Football Focus keeps coming up with impressive stats on Packers rookie cornerback Josh Jackson:

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ranks the 32 NFL quarterbacks (guess who's No. 1):

Also from The MMQB, a look ahead (far, far ahead) to Week 17 and which game is most likely to be flexed to prime time (Packers-Lions ranks surprisingly high):

 

 

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