After finishing the 2021 NFL regular season with a 13-4 record, the Green Bay Packers were expected by many to contend for a Super Bowl championship, and in the minds of some, they were even considered the favorites.
After all, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had just put up another amazing season, recording 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and a gaudy 111.9 passer rating, which got him his second straight league MVP award.
But in the Divisional Round, the San Francisco 49ers pummeled the packers into submission, holding them to just 10 points and handing them a dispiriting loss at Lambeau Field.
During the offseason, there were rumors once again that Rodgers would leave the team, but luckily he re-upped with the only team he’s ever played for in the NFL.
Unfortunately, the Packers lost Davante Adams, arguably the best wide receiver in football, as he joined the Las Vegas Raiders after a reported contract dispute.
The Packers should still make the playoffs, but their days of contending for championships may be over.
Adams Isn’t A Player Who Can Be Replaced
In 2021, Adams had 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning him his fifth straight Pro Bowl selection and second straight All-Pro First-team nod.
When he was traded to the Raiders, it was speculated that the massive amount of money Green Bay committed to Rodgers was a big reason he left, as he couldn’t come to terms with the team on a new contract.
The Packers will really have to work to replace Adams’ production, and it will be an all-hands-on-deck situation.
Running back Aaron Jones will likely get more touches, and he proved he was capable in 2021, rushing for 799 yards, four touchdowns, and a solid 4.7 yards per rush attempt.
Backing him up in the backfield is AJ Dillon, who had 803 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Three of their first four regular season games are against playoff or title contenders, and if they don’t figure out Rodgers’ new favorite targets in the passing game, they could easily find themselves with a 1-3 record in early October.
Defense Will Be The Key
The good news is that many feel the Packers’ defense will be dynamite.
They lost puss rusher Za’Darius Smith to their division rival, the Minnesota Vikings, but lots of observers are still high on Green Bay’s defensive potential.
I’m sure this will go well for me on here 😭😭😭
But I stand by it! https://t.co/d63QBUTtGJ
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) June 13, 2022
There are pretty high expectations for rookie Devonte Wyatt, a defensive tackle, and linebacker Quay Walker, both of whom were taken in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.
In addition, Jaire Alexander, a Pro Bowl cornerback in 2020 who only played in four contests last year, is healthy now.
But a strong defense and lackluster offense will only take a team so far in the modern NFL.
Oddly enough, many still have the Packers high on their power rankings right now, but they likely won’t meet such expectations without a very strong offense.
The #Packers have won 13 games and gone 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 their win total in all three seasons under Matt LaFleur 🧀
This season 👉 O/U 10.5 wins
Can the Pack do it again without Davante Adams? pic.twitter.com/72ANH40UDT
— bet365 US (@bet365_us) August 12, 2022
With Rodgers in his late-30s, time in running out for Green Bay to give him another championship-caliber roster while he’s still an elite signal-caller.