2016 Record: 10-6 – 1st in NFC North
Passing: Aaron Rodgers – 4,428 yards, 40 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Ty Montgomery – 457 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Jordy Nelson – 1,257 yards, 14 TD
Tackles: Morgan Burnett – 91
Sacks: Nick Perry – 11.0
Interceptions: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – 5
RB Jamaal Williams
TE Martellus Bennett
OG Jahri Evans
DT Ricky Jean Francois
CB Kevin King
RB Eddie Lacy
RB James Starks
TE Jared Cook
DT Datone Jones
OLB Julius Peppers
CB Micah Hyde
– Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in football. He’s coming off another phenomenal season in 2016 and should continue to put the team on his back this year.
– The passing game as a whole is at the top of the league. Whether you believe it’s Rodgers making the team better or simply a great group of guys, the result is the same, and that result is impressive.
– Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett hold down a young, improving defense. The safety duo led the team in interceptions and tackles respectively last season, and will likely do so again in 2017.
– Ty Montgomery needs to improve to become a legitimate back in the NFL. His upright run style is more suited for bigger backs than he, and he needs to become a better blocker for Rodgers for him to truly be Green Bay’s lead back.
– Outside of Nick Perry, the Packers’ pass rush is almost nonexistent. Julius Peppers is gone and Clay Matthews is a shadow of his former self. You have to be able to get to the QB in today’s NFL, and the Pack falls short.
– Cornerback is a problem position for Green Bay. They lost Micah Hyde in free agency and Demarious Randall suffered a concussion last night against Philadelphia. Kevin King should be a fine rookie, but if he is forced to be the #1 guy, things could get ugly.
Projection: 11-5, first in AFC North.
Aaron Rodgers consistently lifts the Packers above and beyond the level the rest of the team plays at. The defense is a liability and the run game is suspect, but as long as A-Rod is on the field the Packers are a threat for the Lombardi. Crazy.
I have Green Bay at 11-5, dropping two division games and falling on the road to Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Carolina. That’s a tough road schedule, but I’m being a little generous to the Panthers after what we saw from them in 2016. The Packers could improve and win one or two more, but I also gave them a wins over Dallas and Tampa, which could prove to be very difficult games.