Are The Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Pretenders Or Contenders?

Can Aaron Rodgers win another Super Bowl?

By: Andy Davies

Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl Pretenders or Contenders?

The Green Packers are back to winning ways after a terrible run of form, beating the Dallas Cowboys in overtime thanks to a Mason Crosby field goal.
 
Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers went into the London game against the New York Giants with a 3-1 record. Despite leading the game 10-3 after the first quarter and leading 20-10 at halftime, they ended up losing 27-22. Until Sunday, they had not won since.
 
They lost games that nobody would have predicted, including games against the New York Jets, Washington Commanders, and Detroit Lions.
 
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has struggled to recapture his form this season, after two back-to-back MVP-winning campaigns.
 
However, despite their 4-6 record at the time of writing,  they are still ninth in the NFC seeding and just one win away from the San Francisco 49ers who currently occupy the seventh seed.
 
So, are the Packers Super Bowl pretenders or contenders?

Learning From The Chiefs

If any team is to learn from another who overcame adversity and media scrutiny to make the playoffs, it is the 2021 Kansas City Chiefs.
 
Much like the Packers this year, the Chiefs went into last season as one of the Super Bowl favourites after two back-to-back appearances.
 
Despite winning their season opener, Kansas City lost three of their next four and after the conclusion of week seven, they were 3-4. They only went on to lose one more game and finished the season as the AFC West champions with a 12-5 record and would make it all the way to the AFC Conference Championship game.
 
A second-half collapse in the game prevented them from making a third straight Super Bowl and they should have been there at SoFi Stadium facing the Los Angeles Rams. They showed that you should not crown champions or announce teams to be dead to rights with only half the season game. After all, the New England Patriots often started slowly in Super Bowl-winning years.
 
This feels the same for Green Bay. Whilst the current 8-1 record of NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings means they are unlikely to make the postseason as division winners, a Wildcard Round spot does not appear out of the realms of possibility.
 
Rodgers snapped back-to-back games with an interception, cutting out ugly plays that was seen in the Lions loss. Rookie wideout Christian Watson finally showed what he could do with Rodgers and this is frightening for the rest of the league.
 
We all saw his connection with Davante Adams and it is clear Rodgers missed him. There is no better time for Watson to finally come into his own.

There is also the run game, which appeared to bring success against Dallas in Week Ten. The Packers had 39 carries as opposed to just 14 receptions. Aaron Jones led the way, with 138 rushing yards and one touchdown from 24 carries.

There appears to be a change of game plan from Head Coach Matt LaFleur, with Jones running for the most carries in any single game this season. Subsequently, this resulted in his second-highest yards total for any game in the 2022 campaign.

The flip to the run game, as a result, saw Rodgers throw for his lowest single-game completion this season, with just 20 attempted passes (14 completed) against Dallas. He has only thrown for less than 30 attempted passes this season, as seen in the Week Two 27-10 win over the Chicago Bears. Could the run game be the secret to success for any late Packers playoff run?

A Tough Schedule Still Remains

Their schedule is the one factor that could derail any late-season push in their search for a playoff appearance. The Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, and Minnesota still await.
 
The Packers have beaten both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cowboys. They will use this as inspiration for their upcoming opponents, but they need to be wary that any slip-up could burst the bubble of any hope of postseason football.

Pretenders or Contenders?

Right now, you would have to still say they are pretenders. After all, it is just one win. However, their game against Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football is the true test of whether last Sunday’s win over the Cowboys was a one-off.

Only four teams have allowed more rushing yards this season than the Packers (1,406) and they are seventh-worst in the league for rushing yards allowed per game (140.6). They will not welcome the prospect of playing Derrick Henry this week.

Henry is seen by many as the best running back in the league, and currently possesses the second-most rushing yards this season (923), and only Nick Chubb has more rushing touchdowns than Henry (9). If they can handle Henry and get the win at Lambeau Field, his could be the start of a remarkable run. If they lose, they will be sent straight back down to earth with a reality check.

You Let Russ Cook, Everyone Gets Food Poisoning

When will Russ cook?

By: Andy Davies

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

When the Denver Broncos fired head coach Vic Fangio, it was deemed that they were just a quarterback away from being contenders.

And then the Broncos made moves. Nathaniel Hackett was hired, after a spell as the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator. Not long after that appointment, the team went big in their search for a new quarterback. They traded a 2022 and 2023 first-round and second-round pick as well as a fifth round from this year and gave away Drew Lock, Noah Fant and Shelby Harris in exchange for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick.

This was supposed to be the answer. However, so far it has been far from that.

The Broncos have lost their last two games and currently sit at 2-3 after their first five games with their new head coach and quarterback duo. Neither has set the world alight.

In five starts, Wilson has thrown for 1,254 yards, just four touchdowns and three interceptions. This would have projected to finish the season with 4,264 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Whilst those projected yards would actually be a career best, it would be an all-time career low in touchdown passes, six less than his current worst in 2014. He would only have four seasons with more interceptions than nine. 

Russell Wilson is said to have requested the trade, and many felt Pete Carroll’s run-first offense was holding him back. However, all Wilson has shown us in 2022 is that perhaps Carroll was doing this for a reason.

Against the Colts, Wilson threw an awful interception and despite having 274 passing yards, he threw for zero touchdowns and two interceptions. With the exception of one great run and one great pass, Russ had no moments of excellence. He was incapable of getting it done in the red zone, seemed to force his passes to his target men, and often missed several open receivers.

Hackett came in as an offensive guy, one that worked with the current back-to-back MVP. Russ was meant to be allowed to cook, presumably one of the reasons if not the main one for Wilson agreeing to join the Broncos. With Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick, he was not short of receiving options. Patrick may have suffered a season-ending injury prior to Week One, but the team still has K.J. Hamler and Albert Okwuegbunam.

His ability to just throw it without properly looking through his reads may have been disguised in recent years due to D.K. Metcalf being the closest thing to Calvin Johnson we have seen since the Hall of Famer retired. Neither Jeudy, Sutton and Hamler have the strength and hands of Metcalf. 

Hackett deserves some portion of the blame, with his questionable play calling and poor time management. He could well be one and done as a head coach for the Broncos. His time so far reminiscent of Adam Gase, a star quarterback glossing over coaching deficiencies. However, he is not the one out there missing open players, making bad throws, and seeming scared to get hit. So far, Wilson looks to have made no difference. With the number of draft picks given up and the long term multi-million-dollar extension given to him, this trade so far looks to be one the team may regret.

Let’s not forget that Wilson still has to play the Chargers and Chiefs each twice.

Granted, a new head coach who actually knows what they are doing may be the difference they need and not every quarterback can do what Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford did on new teams.

Despite this, should Wilson play like this for the rest of 2022 and beyond this trade could be one that potentially affects the team long-term.

Is Clay Matthews A Future Hall of Famer?

Will Matthews be cast into Canton?

By: Andy Davies

Clay Matthews, a player synonymous with the green and gold of Green Bay.

He spent nine of his 10 years in the league with the franchise and is a surety for the Packers’ Hall of Fame. But is he set for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Let’s take a look at whether Clay Matthews is a future Hall of Famer.

The Stats

In his NFL career, Matthews has recorded 519 tackles, 91.5 sacks 200 quarterback hits, 130 tackles for loss, as well as six career interceptions and 17 forced fumbles. He is also a six-time Pro Bowler, 1 time All Pro and a one-time Super Bowl champion.

The former Packers linebacker has not yet officially retired, which means that he would need to wait a little bit longer before the five-year mandatory waiting period begins.

Reasons For And Against His Inclusion

YearCombined TacklesRankTackles For LossRankQB HitsRankSacksRank
200951232nd175th21T-10th10T-11th
201060T-167th18T-3rd25T-4th13.54th
201137T-218th8T-76th2510th6T-49th
201243T-271st15T-150246th135th
201341T-305th960th11T-68th7.543rd
201461T-145th  16T-8th22T-9th11T-12th
201566T-118th14T-16th1924th6.539th
2016*24T-468th9T-50th  9T-93rd5T-58th
201743T-280th8T-76th21T-19th7.5T-36th
201843T-272nd7T-88th12T-70th3.5T-120th
201937T-341st9T-48th11T-73rd8T-33rd

* Started just 9 games

Matthews has six Pro Bowl appearances and in 2010, as can be seen in the above table, only three players recorded more than the 13.5 sacks he posted that season. This is a campaign that ultimately led to his one and only ring.

In Matthews’ career, only twice did he finish inside the top ten for tackles for loss (2010 and 2014). However, that is as good as it got with only two more seasons with double-digit sacks. Despite the 11 in 2014, there were still eleven players who recorded more than him.

Despite being a linebacker, a position that is meant to excel in tackles, he never once finished in the top 100. In fact, four of the ten leaders for career combined tackles are either inside or outside linebackers. 

Even in the 2015 campaign, where he recorded his best ever ranking for combined tackles, only three of the top 20 totals that seasons did not come from linebackers.

Matthews cannot even blame a lack of gametime for poor stats, with only one season where he started less than 10 games.

On the other hand, Matthews did lead the Packers in quarterback pressures and came third in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting as well as setting the Packers record for most sacks by a rookie in a season (10). He became the first Packers to record six sacks in their opening two games in 2010 as well as only being beaten by Troy Polamalu in the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards.

In the end, Matthews had a good career but certainly should not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

It is a different story for the Packers’ Hall of Fame. Matthews was part of the last team to win a Super Bowl, an integral cog also. He should be a no-brainer to receive such a honour.

Despite the lack of standouts from the above table, he has had an impact on the NFL in the aforementioned 2009 and 2010 seasons. It is some achievement to only have three players receive votes ahead of you across the 2009 and 2010 season for Defensive Player of the Year. However, it is questionable whether this is enough for Matthews to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Is Jordan Love the heir to Aaron Rodgers?

Who is the heir to Aaron Rodgers?

By: Jeremy Trottier

As much as we all like to believe our favorite quarterback will play forever, eventually, that time comes to an end.  All of the greatest players have to end their career someday, sooner or later, and be enshrined in Canton.  Aaron Rodgers is no exception, as great a player as he is, eventually he will step away from the game of football and retire. 

The succession of said quarterbacks is the important part, can you continue on the legacy of the team immediately after they retire?  We saw it with Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, but who will do the same for Rodgers?  The Packers recently drafted Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft at pick #26, much to the chagrin of many Packers fans at the time, and frankly to this day. 

Jordan Love was a project quarterback, most teams knew that entering the draft and knew he would take time to develop.  He had a phenomenal arm, made flashy passes, and was relatively efficient.  The downfall?  He started to have interception issues in 2017 and 2019.  He threw for 3402 passing yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019, but he also threw 17 interceptions to match that.

Is there any chance Love succeeds Aaron Rodgers? 

As of right now, things look extremely bleak for Jordan Love, only playing in 6 games and starting 1 in his career to date.  He has thrown for 411 yards on a 58.1% completion rate, with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.  This is certainly not what you would envision when drafting a QB in the first round.

With Rodgers under contract until 2026 technically, things look even worse for Jordan as he may have to wait even longer to get a shot. 

The odds of Love waiting until his age 27 season just to get his first season of full-time starting duty is enormously low, essentially none.  His hope may be in going to another team if he does not start this year for at least 5-6 games.  With Rodgers seemingly at his peak still, the likelihood of Love getting a shot is essentially none right now. 

There is a chance that a team will take a waiver on him in the coming seasons and see if he can do something over the course of a full season, but for right now, Love is likely not going to be succeeding Rodgers anytime soon. 

Green Bay Packers: 3 wide receiver options in the draft

3 draft options for the Green Bay Packers at wide receiver

By: Jeremy Trottier

With the 2022 NFL Draft just around the corner, many if not all teams still have some major holes they need to fill via their picks.  With this, the Green Bay Packers have multiple needs, but the most glaring at the moment would be wide receiver.  After trading away Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling via free agency to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers really do not have much left at the position for Aaron Rodgers to work with.  In this article, I will be covering 3 draft targets at the WR position for the Packers, who could reasonably fall to the Packers various picks through the first few rounds.

Option 1: Treylon Burks – Arkansas – First Round

The first option for the Packers is the big bodied receiver out of Arkansas, Treylon Burks.  Burks would be probably the best option for the Packers at the back end of the first round if he were to fall there, as he fits the bill for a true WR1 in this league.  His game is primarily his ability to be physical and make tough high point catches through contact and has some very solid YAC capabilities.  He has some impressive overall measurables, at 6’3” 225 pounds, with 9 7/8” hands and a 79 1/8” wingspan.  His speed, while testing somewhat at an average level, is underrated, as he has some really good play speed that just is not shown in events like the 40-yard dash. 

Option 2: Jahan Dotson – Penn State – First Round/Trade into early second

Onto the second option, who is a much different prospect than Burks in Jahan Dotson from Penn State.  Dotson is an absolutely amazing route runner, as many other writers and scouts can verify, and has some great tempo in his running.  While not the 4.2/4.3 type speed receiver, he has the ability to stop and start to get himself open against DBs, and break up routes into pieces to keep defensive backs off balance.  He also has great hands and will come down with a lot of passed, even when they are not within an immediate catch radius. 

Option 3: Alec Pierce – Cincinnati – Second Round/Third Round

The final option on our list is more of a day 2 prospect, as to give some variety and allow the Packers to fill other needs on day 1 if needed.  Alec Pierce is another physical jump ball receiver at 6’3” and 211 pounds, however his speed blew a lot of people away, as he ran a blazing 4.33.  For a receiver this large and with such a wide catch radius, as well as some great high-pointing capabilities, he really has all the traits you would want in a developmental receiver.  With some training in YAC maneuvers and some diversification in his route tree, he could be something special at the next level. 

Saints Week 1 showdown: what exactly happened?

What was behind Saints Week 1 big victory?

By: Courtney Burrows

Week 1 is in the books and what a wild one it was to start off the 2021-22 NFL season.  There have been many off-season stories that have left us scratching our heads and others that have us jumping in anticipation.  (Or wait, is it only me jumping!)  All I can say is Week 1 delivered highs and lows for me and others in the fantasy community, and I am very happy that football is back. There were crazy games and players who shined and crashed, but the best game in my opinion of the week was New Orleans Saints versus Green Bay where the Saints came marching in and roasted the Packers 38-3.

                The Packers came to Jacksonville to play the Saints who were displaced by Hurricane Ida. The Saints were led by QB Jameis Winston who won the starting job from Taysom Hill in the pre-season. This was the first game the team played without their leader Drew Brees under center. No one knew what to expect or what to feel, but this die-hard Saints fan knew Winston would be our guy and have been rooting for him. 

In Winston’s last season with the Bucs, he threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. He was released by the team, and no one wanted to give the once 1st round draft pick a starting chance. So, he became the 3rd string behind Brees and under Coach Payton’s regime and began to study quietly with his head down, determined, and focused. This is a new Winston under center, a leader in the locker room determined to prove he is the right QB to once again lead a team, and prove he did in Jacksonville Saturday afternoon.

                The Saints defensive attack led by Zack Baun who had five tackles made Rodgers scramble and throw erratically which is not the steady hand we are used to seeing.  Rodgers ended with two interceptions, 15 completions on 28 attempts, and a passer rating of 36.8%.  He could not get anything done in the red zone with his star wideout Adams and star RB Jones was unable to go anywhere on the ground.  The Saints defense came to play, and with them making stop upon the stop, the offensive had ample opportunity to carve up plays. The time of possession was almost a full 10 minutes over the Pack.  Kamara led the rushing attack with 83 out of 171 total yards. Winston only had 148 yards in the air, but they were calculated and precise with zero interceptions, five total touchdowns to four different receivers, and a passer rating of 130.8%. The most surprising was 2nd year TE Juwan Johnson he hauled in two touchdowns and will be another hot wavier wire this week. Though fellow TE Trautman led the team in targets, Johnson is only owned in 1.8% of ESPN leagues. 

The one injury of note is star pass-rusher Marcus Davenport, who ended Sunday with three tackles and one sack, underwent an MRI to see the extent of an apparent pectoral muscle injury which was deemed a strain not a tear.  This is fantastic news for the defensive as he should return sooner than later.  In the meantime, Carl Granderson and rookie Payton Turner will have to step up in a big way. 

For a guy that no one had much faith in besides the WHODAT nation, Winston did well and proved many doubters wrong.  He and the Saints decimated and embarrassed the Packers in the Sunshine State.  It won’t be a walk in the park in every contest for the Saints, but this is a confidence builder. All the parts fit together to make one cohesive, strong unified team under one of the best coaches in the game today. I am proud of Winston and his character today. I look forward to this season, and can’t wait for Sunday Funday.

#WHODAT

Find me on twitter at luvtractor3 for any questions and just for everyday football fun. 

Projecting winners of each NFC division

Who will win the NFC East?

By: Jeremy Trottier

The NFC has been an interesting conference in recent years, from the Eagles winning the Super Bowl against the dynasty that is/was the Patriots, to the Panthers making Super Bowl 50, to our current reigning champions the Buccaneers.  The conference could be looking to have new appearances both for division winners as well as Super Bowl contenders, which always makes things interesting.  In this article, I will be going over who I believe will win each NFC division, as well as why they make sense to do so.

NFC North – Green Bay Packers

To be completely fair, this division is getting closer as of late, with players like Justin Jefferson and Justin Fields being added in recent years we see improvements from the other three teams.  With that said, as long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, they have a good chance to win.  They were able to lock up Aaron Jones for a few more seasons, and we should see a true debut year from A.J. Dillion at RB2 now that Jamaal Williams is gone.

Additions such as Eric Stokes, De’Vondre Campbell, Amari Rodgers, and Randall Cobb should be definitive pieces to the puzzle for Green Bay as they make another playoff push.  They have not significantly improved their team this offseason, that much is clear, but being able to retain Rodgers for another year and keep the focal points of their offense allows them a chance.

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys had two major issues last season that prevented them from going anywhere.  The first being lackluster QB play, which they fix with the return of Dak Prescott.  The other issue was their defense, which struggled immensely, which they have fixed by taking 8 defensive players of their 11 draft picks this year, with their first six all being defensive players.  Just to list them off, they got Micah Parsons, Kelvin Joseph, Osa Odighizuwa, Chauncey Golston, Nashon Wright, Jabril Cox, Quinton Bohanna, and Israel Mukuamu.

This influx of defensive players, as well as the return of Dak, should make this team the best in the NFC East, on top of their top tier receiving core and solid offensive line which just takes them over the top.

NFC South – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The reigning Super Bowl champions were able to retain all 22 of their starters from last year, and the last time that happened it was the Pittsburgh Steelers who went on to repeat and win another SB.  Now, will that be the case?  That is yet to be seen.  But winning the division has to come first, and they have prepared to do so with solid offseason acquisitions.

So far they have brought in players like Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, KJ Britt, Chris Wilcox, and Ladarius Hamilton.  As well as the return of O.J. Howard, Kenjon Barner, Shaq Barrett, Jack Cichy, and A.Q. Shipley from late-season IR.  

NFC West – Los Angeles Rams

Finally, we have the NFC West, which is probably the strongest division all-around in the league, never mind the conference.  With that said, the Rams are probably the most complete team of them all right now, with playmakers at every level of offense and defense.  To state the obvious first, Matt Stafford is going to drastically improve the team’s offense, and the addition of Sony Michel is one that despite losing Cam Akers should be able to create some productivity.

They obviously still have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the team too, both of whom are top players at their position.  Overall the explosiveness that Stafford could bring to this offense could put this team in deep playoff contention this season.

Buying or selling Super Bowl LVI contenders

Are the LA Rams really Super Bowl contenders?

By: Chris Thomas

From the minute the Super Bowl ends speculation begins about who could make the Super Bowl the following year. The odds change throughout the offseason as hirings, signings, and the draft happens. At this point of the offseason, the Super Bowl odds seem pretty firm, barring anything crazy. 

Recently Sportsline came up with their Super Bowl odds for the 2022 NFL Season. According to CBS Sports, they simulate every NFL game 10,000 times to figure out their odds for who will win the Super Bowl. CBS Sports also reported that those who have bet $100 on their model since its inception six years ago are now up almost $7,900.

Even though there are so many talented teams around the league only two teams can make the Super Bowl and only one team can win it. There are a lot of loaded rosters across the league, but only a hand few could be considered Super Bowl contenders. Sportsline has set the odds for every team’s chance of winning the Super Bowl next season. Here is whether to buy or sell Sportsline top-10 Super Bowl contenders as teams who could win the Super Bowl. 

1. Kansas City Chiefs (+525)

Despite losing the Super Bowl last year, many believe the Kansas City Chiefs do have the best odds of winning the Super Bowl next year. It’s pretty hard to argue against it. Kansas City did not have many major losses across their roster this offseason. The Chiefs invested a lot of capital into their biggest weakness displayed during the Super Bowl which was their offensive line. They added veterans like Orlando Brown Jr. (via trade), Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, and Austin Blythe. Then drafted high upside interior offensive linemen Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. Also, veteran guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff and 2020 third-round pick tackle Lucas Niang are returning to the team after opting out last season due to Covid-19. That unit is deep enough to ensure that former MVP Patrick Mahomes plays behind a top-10 offensive line all year. 

Kansas City does not have any major holes across its roster. They have done a great job retaining veterans and filling voids on their roster with high draft picks over the last couple of seasons. The combination of having an MVP caliber quarterback, consistency in the roster, and fantastic coaching is what makes the Chiefs a potential Super Bowl contender this season.

Verdict: Buying

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+650)

It would be shocking to not have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers high on this list. The reigning Super Bowl champs did the impossible this past offseason and managed to retain every single player that started during the Super Bowl for them. Tampa Bay somehow managed to retain Shaquil Barrett, Chris Godwin, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Fournette, and Rob Gronkowski in free agency. They also retained veterans Steve McLendon, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Succop, and signed veteran running back Giovanni Bernard to join their running back committee. During the draft, Tampa Bay took the best player available and Jason Pierre-Pauls potential replacement next offseason Joe Tryon. Adding a prospect like Tryon to a defense that was capable of holding Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to nine points during the Super Bowl was a great move. 

After last season it seems that anytime Tom Brady is a team’s starting quarterback they have a chance of winning the Super Bowl. Another season of Brady in that system with the outstanding weapons he has including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, (A healthy) O.J. Howard, a plethora of great running backs, and outstanding defensive play could result in the Buccaneers winning back-to-back Super Bowls. 

Verdict: Buying

3. Buffalo Bills (+1300)

After the two teams who played in the Super Bowl last year, there is a cluster of teams that could prevent one of them from getting to the big game. Sportsline has the Buffalo Bills as the team most likely to take down the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC and win the Super Bowl. At times last season the Bills looked like the best team in football. Quarterback Josh Allen took a massive leap and asserted himself as a top-10 quarterback and finished the season as the runner-up to the MVP. Last year they also added Stefon Diggs who was arguably the best receiver in all of football. Diggs led the league in receptions and receiving yards last year. On top of that, the Bills have an extremely solid roster with a couple of former Pro Bowl defensive players including Tre’Davious White and Tremaine Edmonds. They let go of John Brown who missed most of last season and replaced him with Emmanuel Sanders. 

The Bills are a really good team, but it is important to ask, how much better did the Bills get this offseason. Buffalo retained a lot of their starters from the year prior and brought in Sanders, but they did not bring any fresh blood who can make a major impact on this roster. During the draft, the Bills spent their first two selections on defensive linemen Gregory Rousseau and Carlos “Boogie” Basham. Both help fill the need Buffalo has for a premier pass rusher. But with all the veteran depth on this roster both in the interior and on the edge, how often are they going to be seeing the field next season? The answer is not extremely likely unless they show immediately that they are better than veterans Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, Efe Obada, and 2020 second-round pick A.J. Epenesa. The sad truth is that Buffalo didn’t add enough to their roster to potentially become the sole favorite in the AFC and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Verdict: Selling

T4. Baltimore Ravens (+1400)

Since Lamar Jackson became the starting quarterback of the Ravens during the 2018-19 NFL season the Ravens have been one of the most dominant teams in the league. The Ravens are expected to continue that this season and may go farther this year than they have in Jackson’s previous three seasons. A couple of veteran players left Baltimore in free agency this offseason including Mark Ingram, Willie Snead IV, Matt Skura, D.J. Fluker, Matthew Judon, and Yannick Ngakoue. But the Ravens did a great job reloading their roster with more veteran and young talent this offseason to replace those players. In free agency, Baltimore added Kevin Zeitler, Alejandro Villanueva, Sammy Watkins, Ja’Wuan James (expected to miss the entire 2021-22 season), and Justin Houston. In the draft, Baltimore added both wide receiver Rashod Bateman and Odafe “Jayson” Oweh in the first round after they acquired a second first-round pick in the Orlando Brown Jr. trade.

It is hard to argue against Baltimore having one of the deepest rosters in the league, even after the roster turnover. The biggest factors for how Baltimore will perform this year will be the Ravens passing game and pass rush. The Ravens have gotten below-average play from their wide receivers in recent years, Baltimore hopes the additions of Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins could boost the team’s production from that position. The pass rush may have been a concern, but after adding Odafe Owey and Justin Houston to this loaded defense the Ravens should be able to generate enough pressure from the outside to play at a high level. Since Lamar Jackson’s contract is looming over the Ravens’ future this may be Baltimore’s best opportunity to win a Super Bowl with Jackson under center on a rookie contract. 

Verdict: Buying

T4. Los Angeles Rams (+1400)

The Los Angeles Rams started the offseason making a huge trade to upgrade their quarterback position. Before the Super Bowl, the Rams agreed to trade Jared Goff, their 2022 first-round pick, and 2023 first-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford. This trade signals that the Rams believe they are a quarterback upgrade away from being a Super Bowl contender. A lot of notable players left the team in free agency including Josh Reynolds, Samson Ebukam, Gerald Everett, Malcolm Brown, Austin Blythe, John Johnson III, and Troy Hill. Not to mention they traded away Michael Brockers to free up salary space. The biggest addition the Rams made to this roster is DeSean Jackson who joins a deep receiving core including Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Van Jefferson. The Rams didn’t have a first-round pick due to the Jalen Ramsey trade. They did not add any players who are expected to have an immediate impact, instead, they could likely develop into contributors in year two or three with the team. 

The Rams have a few players on the roster that are considered elite at their position including Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Then they have a couple of players who are great including Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Leonard Floyd, Matthew Stafford, and Andrew Whitworth. But after those guys, the Rams are relying on a bunch of unproven players who at best couple be solid. This roster is extremely delicate. One injury to a Rams star and they could miss the playoffs. Already the Rams have lost 2020 second-round pick running back Cam Akers to a torn Achilles before training camp. Everything for the Rams would have to go perfectly for them to have a shot at the Super Bowl with their current roster construction.

Verdict: Selling

T4. San Fransisco 49ers (+1400)

It is easily forgotten that the San Fransisco 49ers were in the Super Bowl two years ago. After a season derailed by multiple injuries, the 49ers made the most discussed transaction of the offseason. The 49ers traded two future first-round picks to acquire the third overall pick in this past draft. They used that selection of quarterback Trey Lance. The 49ers lost Richard Sherman and few depth pieces but overall had a positive offseason adding solid pieces in Alex Mack, Samson Ebukam, Maurice Hurst, Arden Key, and Wayne Gallman. Their best signing may be the extending left tackle Trent Williams to a six-year $138 million deal. 

Looking at their roster it is clear that the 49ers can be one of the league’s best if they stay healthy. On offense, they have an elite running game and three outstanding pass catchers in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and second-year receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Behind their offensive line, it may not matter if Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance is under center. Then the 49ers’ defense still can be as elite as it was two years ago with all their premier talent. If the 49ers could stay healthy and make it out of the NFC West they are as dangerous as any team in the NFL. 

Verdict: Buying

7. Green Bay Packers(+1600)

Since the NFL Draft, the most talked about team in the league has been the Green Bay Packers. The reasoning is that it became public knowledge that league MVP Aaron Rodgers wants to be traded from the team. He felt he has been mistreated by management and would rather go to a situation where he feels he will be treated as he should. Besides that, the Packers have had an okay offseason. Green Bay lost All-Pro center Corey Linsley and running back Jamaal Williams in free agency. They brought in free agents De’Vondre Campbell and Dennis Kelly to fill voids on their roster. Green Bay also retained cornerback Kevin King on a one-year deal and Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones to a four-year $48 million deal. During the first round of the draft, they added Eric Stokes to upgrade their CB2 spot that was exposed during the NFC Championship.

In all honesty, the Packers have an extremely loaded roster. But their biggest problem this season may be what happens in the locker room. After negotiating with Packers brass Aaron Rodgers agreed to come to training camp under the condition that the Packers trade him following this season. Since he has returned he has been extremely passive-aggressive about all that has happened and seems to have the Packers organization doing his bidding. That bidding included traded for veteran receiver and former Packer Randall Cobb who will now likely start over third-round pick rookie Amari Rodgers in the slot. On top of that All-Pro receiver Davante Adams has now expressed that he may leave the Packers this offseason, especially if Aaron Rodgers isn’t there. Both Rodgers and Adams are under the impression that this is the “last dance” and this is their last shot to win it all before they both split from Green Bay this offseason. It is hard to recall a time where a team with this much dysfunction in the locker room won a Super Bowl. 

Verdict: Selling

8. Cleveland Browns (+1800)

After their outstanding performance, last season the Cleveland Browns are being recognized as a potential Super Bowl contender last season. Cleveland had a fantastic offseason as well. The Browns signed John Johnson III, Troy Hill, Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley, Malik Jackson, Anthony Walker Jr., and resigned Rashad Higgins. They also had a great draft taking two first-round talents in cornerback Greg Newsome II and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the first two rounds. 

It is hard to find a major hole across this roster. The biggest factor for the Browns this season is the play of Baker Mayfield. So far throughout his career, he has played well but is considered an average NFL quarterback. In year two playing for Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield hopes to make that leap. A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. should help Mayfield realize his potential as long as he doesn’t feel pressure to force plays to Beckham as he has in the past. What may hold this team back at the end of the day is the team’s inexperience in huge games. Last year the Browns managed to pick up a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and came close to beating the Kansas City Chiefs. But it is hard to call the Browns a contender without evidence that they can defeat the teams at the top of the AFC let alone the entire league. 

Verdict: Selling

9. Denver Broncos (+2000)

The most shocking team to appear on this list is the Denver Broncos. According to Sportsline, the team that went 5-11 a season ago has the ninth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl. That sounds crazy but after acknowledging all of the Broncos offseason moves it doesn’t seem entirely impossible. They let go of a few veterans including Phillip Lindsay, Jurrell Casey, A.J. Bouye, and Ja’Wuan James. But Denver added to Pro Bowl-caliber cornerbacks in Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby to go with their star-studded secondary that features Bryce Callahan, Justin Simmons, and Kareem Jackson. Simmons and Jackson received extensions from the Broncos this offseason as well as Garrett Bolles and Shelby Harris. During the draft, Denver elected not to draft a quarterback and took cornerback Patrick Surtain II in the first round. 

The most impactful move the Broncos made this offseason can be the acquisition of former Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He is engaged in a quarterback competition with Drew Lock. That uncertainty at quarterback is what holds Denver out of conversations as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Denver has a very exciting young offense and premier defensive talent. But their below-average quarterback play likely caps their ceiling at around .500. If Drew Lock wins the quarterback job and breaks out then the Broncos may have a chance of making the playoffs. The only way Denver becomes Super Bowl contenders is if Lock plays at least at a Pro Bowl level or possibly an MVP level.

Verdict: Selling

T10. Indianapolis Colts (+3000)

So far the Indianapolis Colts have not had an outstanding training camp. Freak foot injuries to their new franchise quarterback Carson Wentz and All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson have tempered the expectations for the team. However, both may be able to return from their injuries around Week 1. Earlier the Colts made the trade to acquire Wentz from the Eagles to replace the recently retired Philip Rivers. They gave up a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick for Wentz. That conditional second-round pick would become a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75% of the snaps or if he plays 70% of the snaps and the Colts made the playoffs. This offseason Colts lost both of their starting edge rushers Denico Autry and Justin Houston, veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett, linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., and former first-round pick Malik Hooker. But they managed to retain Xavier Rhodes, T.Y. Hilton, and Marlon Mack. The Colts also signed former Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher. During the draft, the Colts took pass rusher Kwity Paye towards the end of the first round. 

The Indianapolis Colts have a nice blend of younger players and veterans throughout their roster. But they feel like they’re missing another x-factor player to make them legitimate contenders. That player could be Carson Wentz if he returns to his form during the 2017-18 season. Besides Jonathan Taylor behind the Colts’ elite offensive line, there are a lot of questions about their offense. What Carson Wentz will the Colts get, Is T.Y. Hilton still a threat on offense, and can Michael Pittman Jr. emerge as the Colts’ number one receiver. Defensively the Colts have enough to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. It all comes down to the offense that would need to take a big leap forward for this team to become a Super Bowl contender. 

Verdict: Selling

T10. New Orleans Saints (+3000)

As it stands right now it appears the New Orleans Saints missed their Super Bowl window over the last four seasons. But they still have an extremely talented roster. The Saints lost some of their major contributors from a season ago including Emmanuel Sanders, Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins, Janoris Jenkins, and Jared Cook. They also brought in a couple of solid veterans in Nick Vannett, Tanoh Kpassagnon, J.R. Sweezy, Jeff Heath, and Brian Poole. Their first-round pick this past year was a puzzling one. They reached on edge rusher Payton Turner who many had a Day 2 grade on. 

The biggest storyline in New Orleans has been what the Saints do at quarterback in the post-Drew Brees era. New Orleans retained both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill who are both expected to compete for the starting quarterback job. It doesn’t help that their number one receiver Michael Thomas is expected to miss a huge amount of time due to a lingering ankle injury. The Saints are not very deep at receiver after Thomas. New Orleans still has a lot of talent across this roster but will need trustworthy play at quarterback to make the playoffs next season let alone win the Super Bowl. 

Verdict: Selling

Expect the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the worst records in 2021

The worst NFL teams in 2021 will be…

By: Andy Davies

Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and Houston Texans going into the 2021 season. Their quarterback situations are far from clear and their overall rosters are mediocre at best.

The same goes for their head coaches, with all three going into their first seasons at the franchise. Neither of Dan Campbell, Nick Sirianni, or David Culley has been a full-time head coach in the NFL. Campbell is the only one to have some experience, with his spell as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015.

Here is why you should be expecting the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the three worst records in the league in 2021.

Saying Goodbye To A Franchise Legend In Detroit. Struggles For The Replacement

Matthew Stafford was the number one overall pick in 2009, with the entire city of Detroit hoping he would be the man to turn around the fortunes of the franchise. Despite three seasons of making the playoffs, the Lions and Stafford never won a single postseason game as the wait continues. The Lions remain the team with the second-longest period without a playoff win, their last taking place on January 5th, 1992.

Stafford had some great individual moments as a Lion, most notably his Mic’d up moment during his 2009 rookie season. In a week eleven game against the Cleveland Browns, he overcame injury to produce a moment of pure heroism. He played with a separated shoulder despite the efforts of the medical staff to keep him off the field, leading the Lions to a touchdown-winning drive.

Jim Caldwell guided the Lions to these playoff appearances but was not seen as good enough to take them to the next step. New England Patriots assistant head coach Matt Patricia was brought in but never took to life as head coach. The Lions had three consecutive losing seasons under the coaching of Patricia. They will hope that they have found their guy in Dan Campbell. His press conference was certainly not dull, with Campbell referring to “biting kneecaps”. As a former Lions player, he knows what it takes to play in the league. He also knows about the city of Detroit and his intentions are both positive and clear. If he is given time, he has the desire to bring the good times back to Detroit. However, he is inexperienced as a head coach and the roster is below average.

New quarterback Jared Goff has the potential to struggle. This is despite the drafting of offensive lineman Penei Sewell at seventh overall, a selection that had Campbell and new General Manager Brad Holmes very excited.

Despite his brilliant 2018 season that saw the Rams reach Super Bowl 53, Goff had a poor game and struggled in 2020 as he and head coach Sean McVay’s relationship deteriorated.

Goff struggled despite a plethora of offensive talent around him. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp form one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. He is going to a franchise that let go of their two best wide receivers and failed to replace them.

The Lions have a schedule that features the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns. There are also two games against their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago Bears. The Lions do not have it easy.

Prediction: 3-14

Trouble In Philadelphia; Reason For Hope?

The Eagles have seen three years of gradual decline after winning Super Bowl 52. The 2017 season saw the Eagles lift the Lombardi Trophy for the first time after two previous attempts.

Doug Pederson was the head coach to guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl but was fired after the conclusion of the 2020 season. His decision to bench rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts in order to lose and gain a higher draft pick appeared to be the final nail in the coffin.

Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season before an injury derailed hopes of winning the award. Backup Nick Foles stepped in and guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl 52 win. He also stepped in a year later and guided the Eagles to a shock Wildcard Round win against the Chicago Bears, with thanks also going to a Cody Parkey missed field goal.

Both Foles and Wentz are no longer Eagles players. Out of the starters in that Super Bowl 52 win, only seven remain with the franchise. Their decision to draft Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson continues to be mocked by rival fans and nobody knows how new head coach Nick Sirianni will do in the role.

The schedule is mixed for Philadelphia. Whilst they face the New York Jets, Lions, and twice play the New York Giants, they also have to face the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.. This is as well as facing a rising Washington Football Team twice as well as playing the Dallas Cowboys both home and away.

Reports have surfaced in recent days of the Philadelphia Eagles being the favourites for Deshaun, with talks said to be “heating up”.

This could be a move that transforms the franchise. However, Deshaun Watson had his best statistical season yet the Texans only managed four wins all year. This proves that whilst it is very important to have a good quarterback, you need more around to be successful.

Unless the Eagles do something in what remains of the offseason, they will continue to be mediocre if their roster continues to be this poor. If they get offensive or defensive talent in the next one or two offseasons, then they are a team that will compete for years to come. Otherwise, the Eagles will fail to be a threat to both the NFC and NFC East.

This is why Deshaun should avoid the Eagles at this present time. He will be going into a situation no different to what he experienced in Houston.

Prediction: 4-13

What A Difference A Year Makes

Where do we start with the Houston Texans? The 2019 season saw them take a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. However, they allowed 41 unanswered points as they lost 51-31. What has unfolded since in the following nineteen months has been reminiscent of a Greek tragedy.

Head coach Bill O’Brien, who also was general manager, made the unusual decision to trade star wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins. In exchange, the Texans received a running back past his sell-by date in David Johnson, one second-rounder and one fourth-round pick. O’Brien only lasted four games in the 2020 season as they finished the campaign with just four wins.

Since the conclusion of the 2020 season, franchise legend J.J Watt has left and there continues to be an uncertain future surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston’s quarterback requested a trade in January before allegations of sexual assault arose. These have lingered throughout the remainder of the offseason. It is unclear if Watson will play in the NFL at all in 2021 but even if he does, it is unlikely that he will be wearing a Texans jersey.

Houston has said they would listen to trade offers for Watson, with the franchise said to be wanting three first-round picks. They have also acquired Tyrod Taylor via Free Agency and used their first pick in the draft on Davis Mills in the third round. Even if the Eagles stick with Hurts, there will be plenty of other suitors.

Even with Watson, the Texans are light on the ground when it comes to elite talent. Linebacker Zach Cunningham and Laremy Tunsil are talents and despite adding Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram to the running back room, the roster is one of the league’s worst.

David Culley has developed somewhat of a worrying reputation after his time with the Eagles, Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens. During his fourteen-season spell with the Eagles, his four seasons with the Chiefs, and two years with the Ravens, he had 0 wide receivers earn a PFF grade of 80 or above.

The Chiefs wideouts went an entire season without a touchdown under Culley. With a wide receiver room featuring Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins and Anthony Miller, this is not exactly a position of strength for the Texans. Culley is unlikely to see any of these receivers score high PFF grades.

Whilst the Texans might be playing the Jacksonville Jaguars twice and the Jets, they have a tough schedule. They will face the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. Houston will also play the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans twice.

They are unlikely to win many of these games. Fans should be expecting a difficult season.

Prediction: 2-15

Green Bay Packers 2021 Season Preview: Rodgers Last Dance in the Green and Gold

Previewing the Green Bay Packers 2021 season

By: Kyle McKee

What a few years it’s been for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. From making back to back NFC championship games, to seeing your organization select your replacement in the first round. From winning an MVP award at 37 years old, to an Adam Schefter report coming out hours before the 2020 draft that Rodgers has played his last snap in Green Bay. Fast forward to the present day and all signs are pointing towards the 2021 NFL season being Aaron Rodgers last in Green Bay. 

After the Packers NFC championship loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rodgers had this to say in the postgame press conference: “A lot of guys’ futures, they’re uncertain, myself included… Just going to have to take some time away and clear my head and kind of see what’s going on with everything.“ That was the first real sign that Rodgers’ time in Green Bay may be coming to an end., which sent the NFL world in a frenzy. Then a few days later on the Pat McAfee show, Rodgers doubled down by saying that he’s simply not sure of his future with Green Bay, even saying “It was a realization that ultimately my future is not necessarily in my control.”

Then the off-season came and things got really weird. Before trading for Matthew Stafford, the Rams tried to kick the tires on acquiring Rodgers, but the Packers refused to deal him. Then Rodgers was a guest host on Jeopardy and seriously thought about retirement. Oh, and who could forget when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on draft day that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, and has played his last snap with the team. Last, but certainly not least, seemingly out of nowhere engagement to actress Shailene Woodley and their vacation photos with Miles Teller. 

Despite all of that Rodgers drama in the off-season and many more stories that I didn’t mention, Rodgers reported to training camp and is still the starting QB for Green Bay for one last season. 

So what does all this drama mean for the Packers 2021 season? Well, before we discuss that, let’s first talk about Rodgers first press conference of the 2021 season. 

In that press conference, Rodgers laid out all of his frustrations with the organization. When asked by a reporter, “what was this all about,” referring to Rodger’s displeasure with the direction of the organization, Rodgers said he wished to be more involved in organizational decisions. He also talked about “how some of the out-going veterans were treated and just the fact that we (Packers) didn’t retain a number of players that I felt were core players to our foundation, our locker room, high character guys. I’m talking about Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, James Jones, John Kuhn, Brett Goode, TJ Lang, Brian Bulaga, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde… Many of whom weren’t offered a contract at all, or were extremely lowballed, or were not given the respect on their way out of their status and stature of high character deserved.” 

The most damning line from the interview is when Rodgers says in his answer the  question of what this was all about that he wanted to be in organizational conversations about free agents, “which has never happened in my career.” That’s crazy! How was Aaron Rodgers never been involved in organizational decisions? He’s a surefire hall of fame Quarterback. He’s one of the best to ever play the quarterback position, most important football. For goodness sakes, he just won an MVP award at the age of 37! 

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. The fact that organizations like the Packers think they’re the main reason for the team’s success and not the players that PLAY and the coaches that coach the games is ridiculous to me. Of course, a good front office is needed, but the players are the ones who do the heavy lifting. With that being said, I’d like to take a second to thank Rodgers for expressing what he feels in that press conference, and actually giving the media and fans real answers to the questions that we’ve all had. Whether you love him or hate him, you’ve got to respect him for speaking his mind and being so open. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program. 

Despite all the drama with Rodgers and the Packers this off-season, I expect Green Bay to be just as good as they’ve been the last two seasons. They’re pretty much bringing back the same roster from that made back-to-back NFC championship games, so why can’t the Packers make it three in a row and maybe even get back to the Super Bowl? I mean, a healthy Aaron Rodgers is guaranteed 10 wins, and now with the extra game, probably at least 11 wins for Green Bay. 

In all honesty, I could see the Packers 2021 season going one of two ways, that is assuming Rodgers is healthy all year. Either the Pack loses in the first round of the playoffs and the entire season is just a media frenzy with each week consisting of a news story related to Rodgers. Or everyone on the Packers buys into the one the last dance mentality, finishes the regular season with one of the best records in the league, and goes on to win the Super Bowl. I’m of the belief that the latter is more likely than the former. Here’s why:

According to Pro Football Focus, the Packers have the sixth-best roster heading into the 2021 season. On offense, they’ve Aaron Rodgers. What more needs to be said. They still have one of, if not the best receiver in the game in Davante Adams. Other than Adams, Rodgers still has Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard to work with, as well as newly required Randall Cobb, Devin Funchess, and Amari Rodgers. Rodgers has a solid backfield at his disposal in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion, and the Packers offensive line finished the 2020 season as the second-ranked unit in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Not too shabby. 

On the other side of the ball is a different story. The Packers defense in 2020 was about an average unit. The one area where they excelled though is with Jaire Alexander and Adrian Amons who form one of the league’s best defensive back duos. However, one area where the Pack needs improvement is their defensive line. 

Kenny Clark is the Packers best defensive lineman. Selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019, Clark has been the most consistent D-lineman for Green Bay. According to J.E. Barnett of SB Nation, “When healthy, Clark eats up blockers, demanding the attention of blocking schemes and making the edge rush more effective.” Other than Clark though, Green Bay needs someone to step up. 

There’s Dean Lowry who’s been a solid, consistent D-lineman throughout his career, but has never really blossomed into a every down guy. There’s Kingsley Keke, who like Lowry, is another solid D-lineman who has yet to blossom into something more. Then there are guys like Tyler Lancaster, TJ Slaton, and Delonte Scott who are all just rotation lineman. Having said that, Green Bay’s hoping the consistency of returning players like Clark, Lowry, and Keke will contribute to an improved D-Line. 

Looking at Green Bay’s linebackers, they bring back two-time Pro Bowl Edge rusher Za’Darius Smith also returns and will try to make it a third straight Pro Bowl. Preston Smith, Krys Barnes, and Rashan Gary also return. Plus, newly acquired De’Vondre Campbell will move right into the starting inside linebacker position. 

Last season the Packers defense was an average unit, with some nice pieces in the secondary, a decent pass-rush and talented linebackers, but didn’t have any serious stars. However, Green Bay’s hoping that the consistency of returning players, the chemistry they built last season, will carry over into 2021, and morph into a top ten defense. 

With all that being said, the Packers Super Bowl hopes all hinge on Aaron Rodgers. If he can duplicate the success he had last season, or even improve, if that’s even possible, then Green Bay will be sitting pretty atop the standings, looking to add another Lombardi trophy. But if the Packers get off to a rough start to the season, and reports start coming out early on in the season about Rodgers’ frustrations with the organization, then things could turn sour fast. However, I’m of the belief that Rodgers is more motivated than ever. In his last year in Green Bay, Rodgers has to be more motivated than ever to prove to the organization he’s been a part of for the past 17 seasons that they are making a huge mistake in moving on from him in a year’s time. It’s not going to be easy though. 

According to CBSsports, the Packers have the fourth hardest strength of schedule for 2021, with their 2021 opponents combined 202 win percentage at .542. They’ll face difficult matchups such as going to Kansas City, Baltimore, Arizona, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Despite all of that though, and even with all the drama that happened this off-season between Rodgers and the Packers, don’t be surprised if Aaron is holding up the Lombardi trophy in February, laughing his way out of Green Bay. 

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