Despite losing Davante Adams, the Green Bay Packers have a better shot at the Super Bowl than most think
The Green Bay Packers are one of the most decorated sports teams. They have won 13 NFL championships, have had three of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and have been constantly successful, especially in the last three decades. Since the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011, the team has failed to make it back.
Despite two NFC championship game appearances in three years, the team has fallen short each time which led to some changes this offseason. The league’s best receiver, Davante Adams, was traded to Las Vegas which left a gaping hole filled by three rookie receivers, and the signing of Sammy Watkins. But do not count out the green and gold just because losing Adams does not hide the moves on the defensive side of the ball plus the talent the team has.
The typical narrative that Green Bay will fall short once again is “they lost Davante Adams and Za’Darius Smith.” Well, that is true, but as mentioned before the team has invested draft capital into improving the room. Although the team already has a couple of veteran wide receivers, the room is still young and developing. Second-round rookie Christian Watson has a lot of potential, and fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs is already drawing comparisons to the great Jordy Nelson, who famously wore Doubs’s #87.
Although it may take some time, the connection will be worth it. Alongside that, veteran Sammy Watkins has provided solid numbers when healthy, Randall Cobb is a fan favorite, and the team will be getting back 2020 breakout tight end Robert Tonyan. Allen Lazard, who already is an established blocker, has been highly praised even by Rodgers himself this training camp.
Without Davante Adams, Rodgers does not need to force the ball anymore and can spread out the offense. We cannot forget the Packers’ run offense, which features a scary run-duo of speedy Aaron Jones and strong AJ Dillion. They will once again feed off of a good offensive line that although will be lacking superstar lineman Elgton Jenkins but is hopeful to see the return of tackle David Bakhtiari. So, although their receiver room is a little bit thin, Aaron Rodgers will keep this offense elite.
Now on the other hand is a weaker argument. Although Za’Darius Smith was a fan favorite, there was a reason he was released. Losing him was not a big loss for the Packers as the team had its best defense in years while he was on the bench recovering from injury. With resigning all-pro linebacker Devondre Campbell and drafting Quay Walker, Green Bay will have a surplus of talent in the linebacker room.
A benefit for the Packers this season is an easier schedule and weaker NFC. After playing the NFC West, which had three very good teams in the playoffs, along with the AFC North, which if healthy all four teams could have made the playoffs, Green Bay gets to play the lackluster NFC East, although the division may be a little bit better this year. The only really elite teams the green and gold will face will be the Super Bowl Champion LA Rams, who they beat last season, the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and possibly the Dallas Cowboys, which some consider elite and most consider are overrated.
With a lot of talent moving this year into the AFC, the NFC isn’t as stacked as it used to be. Long gone is the toughness of the Seattle Seahawks after losing franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. Alongside that, playoff roadblocks in recent years have gotten worse this offseason. The 49ers are transitioning into a new era under Trey Lance as well as their offensive line has gotten worse. Tampa Bay is also experiencing a new front-five after losing guard Alex Cappa in free agency and starting center Ryan Jenson already suffered a potentially season-ending injury.
With as much talent and experience as the Green Bay Packers roster, they must learn to correct their mistakes. A crucial factor in their playoff loss to the 49ers was special teams. With Rich Bisaccia under center, this group will be much improved. Matt Lafleur has had a little bit to blame as well, especially with the questionable decision to start now-released Billy Turner instead of Yosh Nijman, who had a stellar regular season.
To make a deep playoff run, Rodgers needs to be on point. Most of his playoff losses have been elite play, but his defense lets him down. Now that he has the best defense he has ever had, if we can get even half of Aaron Rodgers at his elite level, this team will be dangerous in the playoffs. Despite losing Davante Adams, the Packers have a lot going for them and with time running out on Aaron Rodgers’s career, the clock is ticking on Green Bay to bring another championship back to Titletown.
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