The Green Bay Packers finished their regular season with 13 wins for the third season in a row. However, after a strong 2021 campaign, the Packers were unable to get it done in the postseason once more, falling 13-10 to the 49ers in the Divisional Round. Following another disappointing postseason run, Green Bay headed into the offseason wondering what gives.
Improvements: Overall defense
Although the Green bay Packers had an early exit in the playoffs, it wasn’t due to the defense, as Green Bay held the 49ers to 10 points and no offensive touchdowns. Green Bay finished the season ranked ninth in total defense and 13th in scoring defense, and it should continue to rise in 2022.
Although the Packers lost linebacker Za’Darius Smith and cornerback Chandon Sullivan to the Vikings, Green Bay retained some key players and signed a few others. Smith also missed the 2021 season due to a back injury, making it easier for the Packers to move on from him.
With Smith gone, the Packers found replacements in the draft, taking Georgia linebackers Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt. Green Bay also re-signed linebacker De’Vondre Campbell after a successful 2021 season with the team, bolstering the front seven.
The Packers also made moves in the secondary. After claiming cornerback Rasul Douglas off of Arizona’s practice squad midseason, Douglas went on to record a career-high five interceptions, including two pick-sixes and a game-sealing grab against his former team. Green Bay made sure to keep that talent on the team, re-signing Douglas to a three-year deal. Green Bay also gets All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander back after he missed much of the season with a shoulder injury. The Packers guaranteed Alexander will remain as well, signing him to a four-year contract extension.
With major players in every corner of the Packers defense, this unit should continue to climb in 2022.
Stayed the Same: Tight ends
The Packers tight end group will look virtually the same.
Former undrafted free agent Robert Tonyan had a career season in 2020, however, just when he was nearing that form again in 2021, he went down with a torn ACL midseason. Tonyan re-signed a one-year deal with the Packers in the offseason, and with his recovery ahead of schedule, he could be ready to go by Week 1.
Green Bay also returns its three other tight ends. Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney and 16-year veteran Marcedes Lewis all remain on the Packers’ squad.
Since the wide receiver corps is missing some key pieces from a season ago, the tight end group will likely see its pass-catching numbers go up, with Tonyan hoping to get back to where he was in 2020.
Got Worse: Wide Receivers
The Packers had a solid group of receivers in 2021, headlined by Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Both have moved on to different teams, with Adams joining former college teammate Derek Carr in Vegas and MVS signing a three-year deal with the Chiefs, meaning a loss in production may be on the way. Adams put up 1,553 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 2021 while the Packers used Valdes-Scantling’s speed for 430 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Green Bay also elected not to re-sign Equanimeous St. Brown, who signed with NFC North foe Chicago on a one-year deal.
While Green Bay loses two deep threats and an All-Pro, the Packers will look to replace some of that production with a free-agent signing and a couple of rookies. Green Bay signed Sammy Watkins to a one-year deal and chose Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Although Watkins is an eight-year veteran, he’s had a couple of down years recently, finishing with 421 yards and two touchdowns in 2020 and 394 yards and a touchdown in 2021. He’ll be looking to bounce back this season with quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball. Furthermore, while the Packers picked up a few receivers in the draft who had solid college careers, they remain unproven in the NFL and developing a connection with Rodgers is an important piece for success in the Packers receiving corps.
A few receivers remain from last season, including Allen Lazard and nine-year Packer veteran Randall Cobb, however the loss of top production from Adams is a hit to the receiving group.
The Packers had a fairly decent offseason, re-signing some vital pieces on defense and looking to fill the need at wide receiver as well. Though the Packers offense may drop off this season, Green Bay will be able to count on an improved defense to win games. With Rodgers still slinging the ball, Green Bay should remain competitive this season.
- Week 1: 9/11 at Vikings, 4:25 PM, Fox
- Week 2: 9/18 vs. Bears, 8:20 PM, NBC
- Week 3: 9/25 at Buccaneers, 4:25 PM, Fox
- Week 4: 10/2 vs. Patriots, 4:25 PM, CBS
- Week 5: 10/9 vs. Giants (London), 9:30 AM, NFL Network
- Week 6: 10/16 vs. Jets, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 7: 10/23 at Commanders, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 8: 10/30 at Bills, 8:20 PM, NBC
- Week 9: 11/6 at Lions, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 10: 11/13 vs. Cowboys, 4:25, Fox
- Week 11: 11/17 vs. Titans, 8:15 PM, Amazon Prime Video
- Week 12: 11/27 at Eagles, 8:20 PM, NBC
- Week 13: 12/4 at Bears, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 14: BYE
- Week 15: 12/19 vs. Rams, 8:15 PM ESPN/ABC
- Week 16: 12/25 at Dolphins, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 17: 1/1 vs. Vikings, 4:25 PM, CBS
- Week 18: 1/7 or 1/8 vs. Lions, TBD, TBD