Unfinished Business for Packers After Another Postseason Exit
Everything seemed to be in place for the Green Bay Packers to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in more than a decade, but unfortunately for Packers fans -after winning its opening game in the postseason – in its last five playoff appearances; those Super Bowl dreams ended with a three-point loss to San Francisco. It was the third straight year that Green Bay was eliminated from the playoffs as a favorite at home. Once again, the Green Bay Packers betting odds favor the team to be a factor in the Super Bowl chase.
The biggest news came when Green Bay traded arguably the NFL’s top receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders for first and second-round NFL draft picks. Even without Adams, only the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have higher expected regular-season win totals than Green Bay’s mark of 11. Among NFC teams, only Tampa Bay (-600) is favored more than Green Bay (-450) to make it to the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers is still among the elite quarterbacks in the NFL even without Adams. Rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs will look to help fill the void left by the departure of Adams. There is plenty of talent for Green Bay to take care of some unfinished business by returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since Rodgers’ third season as the starting quarterback of the Packers.
The Defense Could Hold the Key for Packers
Green Bay is coming off a season when they finished third in the NFL with a +13 turnover differential. Green Bay also ranked in the top 10 in total defense and passing defense. The Packers added linebacker Quay Walker and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt, a pair of first-round picks off Georgia’s incredible 2021 defense. All of this was accomplished despite star cornerback Jaire Alexander being limited to four games.
If the defense is as good as advertised, that will only help improve the Green Bay Packers betting odds.
Green Bay brings back its top nine tacklers led by De’Vondre Campbell, who had a team-high 146 tackles in 2021. Seven of Green Bay’s last eight first-round picks were used on defensive players. Walker and Wyatt join a young nucleus that includes Alexander, fellow cornerback Eric Stokes, safety Darnell Savage, and linebacker Rashan Gary.
The defense was not the issue behind another playoff disappointment as the Packers only gave up 212 yards of offense and the only touchdown scored by San Francisco came on defense.
Changing of the Guard on Offense
Not only will things look different when Rodgers goes back to throw the ball. Adams was targeted a staggering 9.8 times per game over the last six seasons. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers’ third-leading receiver last season, is also gone. Those departures have had only a minor impact on the Green Bay Packers betting odds.
The good news is that star tight end Robert Tonyan will be back after being limited to eight games. Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard also return while veteran Sammy Watkins was brought in to give Rodgers another receiving option. Amari Rodgers could also play a larger role after a quiet rookie season.
It will be interesting to see how the rushing attempts are split up with A.J. Dillon pushing Aaron Jones for the role of the lead back. One note from looking at the Green Bay Packers team stats, Dillon outgained Jones 803-799 last season although Jones did miss two games.
There are some injury concerns on the offensive line, but when all the pieces are in place, this can be a top-notch blocking unit once Pro Bowl tackle David Bakhtiari returns to the field. Rookies Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom could factor into the offensive line rotation.
After a stunning 35-point loss to New Orleans in the 2021 season opener, Green Bay lost only two more times in the regular season. With Rodgers back and hungry for another Super Bowl title, another memorable year seems more than likely.
Packers Primed for a Super Bowl Run
There will be some adjusting to be done, however, with five of the first seven games against teams with losing records last season, there will be the opportunity for the Packers to build up some wins and confidence early in the 2022 season.
The NFC North was the only division in 2021 with only one team posting a winning record. Division rivals Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit should be better in 2022; however, will they improve enough to challenge the Packers for division bragging rights?Follow us on Twitter