Why the Packers can win the NFC North without Rodgers

So you are telling me there is a chance

By: Corey Hietpas

The Packers have enjoyed major success in the NFC North for quite some time now. Green Bay has been the division champion for 7 of the last 10 years, which includes two straight in 2019 and 2020. Clearly, their division champion streak is now in jeopardy with MVP QB Aaron Rodgers threatening to hold out of this season though. As a Packer fan, I am a bit worried about the state of the team without Aaron Rodgers, but after further investigation, I believe the Packers can still be NFC North champions by season end for the following reasons.

The Packers have a top-10 defense.

Green Bay has studs at all the right positions on defense. They have, at worst, a top-3 CB in Jaire Alexander. They have a great pass rusher with Za’Darius Smith. They have arguably the best safety duo in the league with Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. Lastly, they have one of the top NTs in the league in Kenny Clark. The only position group to worry about is the LBs as they have Kamal Martin at the top and Krys Barnes as the 2nd string. Martin was a 5th round draft pick in 2019 and Barnes was a UDFA also from the 2019 class. Looking at the DC, the Packers have finally decided to move on from Mike Pettine and hire Joe Barry. Barry is known as a sort of LB guru and has been a big part of the successful Rams’ defense of recent years. If the Packers had a top 10 defense under extremely conservative Mike Pettine, it’s more than likely it’ll be at least as good under Joe Barry. 

Green Bay has a great supporting cast on offense.

Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, Robert Tonayan, and now Amari Rodgers are going to be the focal points on this Green Bay offense. It’s fair to say that Adams is in the argument for the best receiver in the league, and Aaron Jones is in the top-10 RB conversation. Those two alone make the Green Bay offense as dangerous as it is. Robert Tonyan has only had one good year, so far, but he looked very good as a red zone threat and a chain-mover throughout all of the 2020 season. Amari Rodgers should fill the slot receiver void that has seemed to plague the Packers since the departure of Randall Cobb. Now, pair all these weapons with a top-tier OL, and you have the recipe of a high-scoring offense. We already saw the extreme success this offense had last year, and now they are another year in Lafleur’s scheme, and they have added playmakers. I would not be surprised if this was the number one scoring offense again, assuming Rodgers is back. If Rodgers is not back, it still has the makings of a top-10 offense, which is a huge step back but still very good. 

Jordan Love has shown improvement in year two

As reported by Rob Demovsky, Jordan Love has shown signs of progress and looks improved and more comfortable in year two. Specifically, Aaron Jones is the one who was quoted to have said that Love looks more comfortable. Of course, it’s very early in the 2021 season, but it’s very promising that players are already noticing a difference with Love. If he can be a serviceable starter this year, it’s not out of the question to see the Packers have a top-5 offense yet again.

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