Reading Time: 4 minutes read
Green Bay Packers were once again one of the top teams in the NFL during the 2020 season. By winning 13 games for the second consecutive season, the team clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
Led by their star Aaron Rodgers, the 37-year-old quarterback that won his third league MVP award. Completing more than 70 percent of his passes, he threw for 4,299 yards while leading the NFL with 48 touchdown passes. With a bye during the wild-card round, the Packers would eventually face the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field in the divisional round. However, the Packers lost to Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC title game.
Aiming to transcend into the new season, the Packers were very active in re-stocking with their own pending unrestricted free agents early in the offseason. They signed Aaron Jones to a four-year, $48 million contract extension. Then they reached an agreement with cornerback Kevin King on a one-year, $5 million contract. Forced to part with two veterans because of salary cap restrictions, the Packers waived Corey Linsley after he accepted an offer from the Los Angeles Chargers. Finally, running back Jamaal Williams packed his bags and left for Detroit with the Lions.
Green Bay Packers spent their first-round pick on the defensive side for the ninth time in 10 seasons. Then they added corner Eric Stokes, who allowed just a 43.6 passer rating in 2020, finishing eighth among corners in the Football Bowl Division (FBS). In addition, Green Bay also provided a boost to its wide receiver room selecting Clemson University senior Amari Rodgers.
Making multiple changes to their coaching staff before heading into next season, the franchise parted ways with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Then they named former Los Angeles Rams assistant head coach Joe Barry as his replacement. Along with this, head coach Matt Lafleur also promoted Maurice Drayton to special teams coordinator.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR NFL PREDICTIONS
Finishing eighth in ground yards per game in 2020, the ground game is expected to continue this trend into the new season. Moving up the depth chart after Williams departed for their NFC rivals, AJ Dillon will have to take on more responsibility for one of the offensive lines that always draws attention for its effectiveness but often suffers with the injuries.
As for the air game, the group will continue to channel its star receiver, Davante Adams. Leading the league in receiving touchdowns since 2016 with 58, he is expected to continue to rack up record numbers with the MVP in the middle of the field. After bringing Randall Cobb back to Green Bay to build an alliance with Adams, Rodgers will finally have the weapons he requested for so long to improve the offense of the NFL‘s third-oldest team.
For the first time since 2018, the defensive unit will be under a new mind. Hiring Barry after Pettine missed big moments down the stretch should bring new hope to the Packers. Joe Barry previously served as assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Rams from 2017-2020. He was defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins from 2015-2016 and the Detroit Lions from 2007-2008. He also served as an assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and San Francisco 49ers.
Prospects and odds for 2021
The Packers have one of the most talented squads in the NFL heading into next season. This is headlined by Rodgers’ return for at least the 2021 campaign. The team will seek to remain one of the elite offensive groups in the league with Adams and Jones. Along with this, with core pieces intact on defense, the team will try to take another step forward under Barry’s watch and return to the playoffs.
With a challenging schedule in the middle of the season and down the stretch, it is unlikely that Green Bay Packers will finish as the top seed in their conference for a second consecutive season.
Bet on the best games of the 2021-22 NFL season. Visit lbsbet.com and place your bets!