What to Expect
The Green Bay Packers were hot going into the playoffs last year, and it really looked like we were going to get to see a Brady vs. Rodgers Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they came up short in the NFC Championship Game and could not keep up with the Atlanta Falcons in a shootout, which was in part due to a momentum-draining turnover early in the game. The Packers may have a bit of a different look this season. It appears that they want to take a chance with Montgomery this season as the lead back, especially now that Lacy is with the Seattle Seahawks. T.J. Lang left in free agency to join the Detroit Lions, but the Packers did a little bit of their own shopping in free agency too by adding Martellus Bennett. Expect a team that seems like a lock for the playoffs.
T.J. Lang is now on the Lions, so unfortunately, Rodgers won’t be able to have him as protection up front anymore. Martellus Bennett might not have great chemistry early in the season with Rodgers, but later on, he could turn into a safety blanket for Rodgers on key downs where they need to convert, such as in 3rd down, short yardage situations. Ty Montgomery as the lead back is intriguing, but the consistency and durability is an issue there. Moreover, Jordy Nelson looks to continue his connection with Rodgers in the red zone. That seems to be a given. Now, the big question with this offense remains: How big of an impact will the loss of T.J. Lang be on Aaron Rodgers?
The addition of Kevin King may end up being huge later on. Don’t expect too much of him as a rookie as he will still be adapting to facing high-powered NFL offenses. They addressed the need at cornerback. The departures of Peppers and Jones were a bit of a hit. This is likely to mean more blitzing. The Packers may now have to work a bit more at being able to manufacture a legitimate pass rush. Let’s see what Dom Capers dials up this season.
Best Case Scenario: 12-4
Rodgers has another MVP candidate type of year. Ty Montgomery as the lead back turns out to be great. Jordy Nelson becomes an even larger threat in the red zone. Kevin King comes in and plays pretty well as a rookie.
Worst Case Scenario: 8-8
The Ty Montgomery experiment doesn’t turn out well. Jordy Nelson takes a step back this season. The Packers’ lack of a pass rush turns out to be costly. Rodgers takes a few more big hits than expected this year, due to the loss of T.J. Lang in the offseason.
Schedule walk through
Week 1: vs. Seahawks
This team just seems to be bad luck for the Packers. The lack of defensive pressure allows for Rawls to rush for over 100 yards. The Seahawks block a key field goal attempt for the Packers late in the game.
L 23-20 Seahawks (0-1)
Week 2: @ Falcons
This is the team that blew out the Packers in the playoffs last season. On the road, the offense struggles to get going early, and it costs them .
L 27-21 Falcons (0-2)
Week 3: vs. Bengals
The packers return home and get back on track, getting their first win. Jordy Nelson has a field day.
W 31-21 Packers (1-2)
Week 4: vs. Bears
Rodgers gets it done at home with a late dagger touchdown pass in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.
W 31-23 Packers (2-2)
Week 5: @ Cowboys
Zeke goes off for over 100 yards on the ground, and Dez Bryant has his way against the Packers’ secondary.
L 24-17 Cowboys (2-3)
Week 6: @ Vikings
Kevin King gets his first interception of the season. The Vikings struggle to limit Jordy Nelson all game long.
W 34-24 Packers (3-3)
Week 7: vs. Saints
This one turns into a shootout, but Rodgers barely outduels Brees.
W 37-31 Packers (4-3)
Week 8: Bye Week
Week 9: vs. Lions
Fresh after the Bye Week, Rodgers does just enough late in the game to edge past the Lions.
W 27-23 Packers (5-3)
Week 10: @ Bears
This game is on the road, but the Packers appear to have some momentum building.
W 21-17 Packers (6-3)
Week 11: vs. Ravens
The Packers blow by the Ravens, as the Ravens’ run game is limited.
W 21-14 Packers (7-3)
Week 12: @ Steelers
The win streak finally ends, as Antonio Brown burns the Packers’ secondary and has himself a field day.
L 31-17 Steelers (7-4)
Week 13: vs. Buccaneers
The Bucs come into Lambeau and stun the crowd. Mike Evans turns out to be too much for the Packers’ secondary.
L 28-20 Buccaneers (7-5)
Week 14: @ Browns
After being stunned at home, the Packers take care of business against the Browns, as Rodgers has no trouble all game long.
W 31-14 Packers (8-5)
Week 15: @ Panthers
Cam Newton is limited, Rodgers wins the QB duel.
W 28-17 Packers (9-5)
Week 16: vs. Vikings
Martellus Bennett burns the Vikings, racks up 100+ receiving yards and 2 touchdown receptions.
W 27-17 Packers (10-5)
Week 17: @ Detroit
The Packers struggle early, and it ends up costing them. Stafford pulls through in the 4th quarter and the Lions shock the Packers.
L 27-23 Lions (10-6)
Martellus Bennett has the best season of his career, developing great chemistry with Rodgers.
Surprise Star: Kevin King
King is efficient as a rookie and shows the potential he has to become a top cornerback in all of football.
Final Record Prediction: 10-6
Expect the Packers to pretty much be a lock for the playoffs. Whether they win the division this year or not, look out for Green Bay, as they look to make another deep postseason run.