NFL Team Preview: Green Bay Packers

The purpose of these previews is to provide a quick and dirty look at what the outlook is for each NFL team in 2019 according to my own philosophies and hot takes when it comes to pro football. That said, let’s take a quick report card look at where we came from, what’s expected, and the logic that drives my principles when evaluating NFL teams.

CategoryGreen Bay
Division:NFC North
SB Odds:19/1
Division Odds (Moneyline):+185
2018 Rank Rushing Yds/Gm:22
2018 Rank Against the Run:22
2018 Rank Against the Pass:12
Returning Starters Offense:9
Returning Starters Defense:6

You may notice passing rankings are not included in my cute little NFL team report card. The reason for that is without at least one of, a top-10 ranked running game or top-10 defense, it generally does not matter how good your quarterback is. If you don’t believe me, read this genius’s irrefutable thorough analysis of elite quarterbacks, and how these two attributes correlate to their ability to win anything of note.

Now that you’re fully indoctrinated into my non-quarterback driven league cult, let’s do a quick run down of Green Bay’s significant roster takeaways for this season.

Impact Additions – Acquisitions that are projected to start or have major rotational roles in 2019

3: S Adrian Amos, LB Preston Smith, S Darnell Savage

Impact Losses – Departures that had started or had major rotational roles last season

2: LB Clay Matthews, WR Randall Cobb

Difference Makers – Players who are widely considered among the best at their position heading into 2019

4: QB Aaron Rodgers, LT David Bakhtiari, WR Davante Adams, DT Kenny Clark

Potential Breakout Candidates – Second or third year players that are logical selections to make “the leap” in the upcoming season based on past performance

2: DE Montravius Adams, CB Jaire Alexander

How it could work

AR12 staying healthy for the first time in two years would be the obvious first requirement for any Packer success. Same goes for Aaron Jones at running back. After that, this will all be about how effective the gospel according to the Sean McVay is executed when paired with an elite quarterback.

Disciple and rookie head coach, Matt LaFleur has successfully parlayed getting a whiff of McVay’s ass into having the top job at one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, with one of the greatest signal callers of all-time. If he is able to spread the word of McVay through the land in Green Bay, this may be the most impactful connection since L. Ron Hubbard hooked up with Tom Cruise. Just ask all of the Ram’s five fans how quickly the holy water can take effect…

Packer faithful are hopeful McVay’s methods make Mike McCarthy the next Jeff Fischer (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) 

Why it wouldn’t work

The transformation that McVay pulled off in his first year as head coach of the Rams, was, and still is incredible. It isn’t illogical to think that his schemes in the hands of Rodgers could lift the Packers enough offensively, that they become a serious threat to win a Super Bowl this year.

Here’s the thing though. Aaron Jones ain’t no Todd Gurley circa 2017. And, although he’s toting the same scriptures, how do we know LaFleur can implement the strategy as effectively and quickly as McVay did? Nothing that happened in Tennessee as offensive coordinator last season would suggest that’s a sure bet.

The fun news is that Packers fan gets to find out pretty quickly whether or not this will result in a new found competitive advantage on offense. They are featured in the NFL’s Thursday night season opener on the road, against last year’s top defense in the league, the Chicago Bears.

Three of the next four opponents after that all project to have top-10 defenses on paper. So, by the immediacy standard that McVay set, we should all know by Octoberish if his followers possess the same powers. And/or, how much of a factor a healthy Todd Gurley plays into to all of this as well.

Favorite GIF to Represent Fan Base

Final Prediction

Which is probably going to be one of the major narratives for the NFL this year. Because, outside of 2017 Gurley being a major upgrade over Aaron Jones, this Packer offense does have more talent than the 2017 Rams that McVay took over.

There was no Davante Adams on that team. Even an older Jimmy Graham at tight end is a bigger threat than anything that Rams squad was rolling with. Offensive lines are comparable from an experience and pedigree standpoint. Oh yea, then there’s this Aaron Effing Rodgers guy at quarterback!

Nothing against Jared Goff, but I’m confident that’s a slight upgrade. So, then. Where does all this leave me on 2019?

Honestly, I have no idea. I am more fascinated to watch this play out as much as anything this season. Because I believe Rodgers is that good, he may not need a Gurley with a true schematic upgrade.

Maybe an archaic system has been limiting him? I mean, coaching does matter. A lot. Look at what working with Kyle Shanahan did for Matt Ryan.

I do know this. In the opener at Chicago, if the Pack all of the sudden are able to run the ball effectively (ranked 22nd in 2018) on the best run defense from last year, then look the fuck out NFL. In the name of the Father, Son, and Sean McVay, Amen.

We’ll look take a look at what’s on the docket for that Bears team next.

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