As they have for the past decade, the Green Bay Packers will live and die by whatever happens with Aaron Rodgers. The 2020-21 NFL MVP started the offseason disgruntled with the organization, due in part to questionable coaching decisions late last season. He reportedly turned down a two-year contract extension which would have made him the highest-paid player in the league. Since training camp has started, Rodgers has returned and one of his favorite targets – Randall Cobb – has come with him.
As many projected, Rodgers and the Packers came to some sort of an agreement just before camp started and now the prediction is that the 37-year-old will lead Green Bay deep into the postseason once again.
Green Bay Packers 2021 Schedule
After finishing at the top of the NFC North and taking the top spot overall in the NFC, the Packers are looking at the fourth-toughest schedule in the league this season. The division rival Chicago Bears have the third-most challenging schedule, while the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions rank fifth and sixth, respectively.
|Week 1||Sept. 12||@ New Orleans Saints|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||Detroit Lions|
|Week 3||Sept. 26||@ San Francisco 49ers|
|Week 4||Oct. 3||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Week 5||Oct. 10||@ Cincinnati Bengals|
|Week 6||Oct. 17||Chicago Bears|
|Week 7||Oct. 24||Washington Football Team|
|Week 8||Oct. 28||Arizona Cardinals|
|Week 9||Nov. 7||@ Kansas City Chiefs|
|Week 10||Nov. 14||Seattle Seahawks|
|Week 11||Nov. 21||@ Minnesota Vikings|
|Week 12||Nov. 28||Los Angeles Rams|
|Week 14||Dec. 12||Chicago Bears|
|Week 15||Dec. 19||@ Baltimore Ravens|
|Week 16||Dec. 25||Cleveland Browns|
|Week 17||Jan. 2||Minnesota Vikings|
|Week 18||Jan. 9||@ Detroit Lions|
Beyond those divisional games, Packers fans will note several thrilling matchups, including the season opener at New Orleans for a showdown with the Saints, a Week 4 home matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a trip to Kansas City in Week 9 where they’ll take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Green Bay Packers News & Picks
Last Year’s History
After a disappointing 2018 regular season, the Green Bay Packers were back with a vengeance in 2019. The Packers finished the regular season with a 13-3 record to cruise to an NFC North Division championship.
Green Bay earned a divisional-round playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 28-23, earning them a spot in the NFC Championship Game. The Packers were overmatched in that game, losing by a score of 37-20 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Five members of the Packers earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2019, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers. LT David Bakhtiari was named an All-Pro by the Associated Press.
The Packers finished a perfect 6-0 in divisional play a season ago, and they went an impressive 7-1 at Lambeau Field. Green Bay did struggle a bit on both sides of the ball in 2019, but they had enough talent to overcome their deficiencies.
Green Bay Packers Key Players
Aaron Rodgers took over the starting quarterback job in Green Bay in 2008, and he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since that time. Rodgers is nearing the end of his career but is still one of the most talented players in the NFL.
Rodgers has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in each of the last two seasons but has struggled to stay healthy in the past. Over the last two seasons, Rodgers has thrown 51 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
The playmakers around Rodgers always seem to change, but Rodgers continues to find ways to lead his team.
Davante Adams has emerged as the top wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and is a three-time Pro Bowler. After racking up at least 10 touchdown catches in three straight seasons, Adams had a bit of a down year in 2019.
The six-year NFL veteran had 83 catches for 997 yards a season ago, but he is set to go over the 1,000-yard mark again this season. 2018 was a career year for the Fresno State product as Adams had 111 receptions for 1,386 yards.
Linebacker Za’Darius Smith came to the Packers before the 2019 season, and he had a career year. Smith racked up 13.5 sacks in his first season in Green Bay and emerged as a leader on the defense.
Smith is entering his sixth season in the league and has accumulated 32 career sacks. He was originally drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and was a focal point of their defense as well.
The Packers need to be better on the defensive side of the ball, and it all starts with Smith.
Packers New Additions
The Green Bay Packers were relatively quiet during free agency, signing only two big-name players. LB Christian Kirksey was signed to a two-year deal after previously playing with the Cleveland Browns.
RT Ricky Wagner also joins the team after spending the last few seasons with the Detroit Lions. Wagner could provide some extra protection to quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The biggest splash that the Packers made in the 2020 NFL Draft was selecting quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State. Love is not expected to see the field in 2020 unless Rodgers suffers an injury.
Green Bay Packers Key Subtractions
The Green Bay Packers also saw some key players leave the team at the end of the 2019 regular season, which could hurt their chances in 2020. Green Bay tried to replace a number of these players, but a few holes still need filled.
TE Jimmy Graham signed a free-agent deal with the rival Chicago Bears, taking one playmaker away from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. RT Bryan Bulaga got a three-year deal from the Los Angeles Chargers, which creates a massive hole on the offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball, LB Blake Martinez left the Packers to sign a deal with the New York Giants. Martinez was a solid performer for the Green Bay Packers during his time with the team.
The Green Bay Packers dominated the NFC North a season ago, and they are considered one of the two favorites in our sportsbook to win the division again this season. The Minnesota Vikings were also a playoff team a season ago, and it could be a tight race to win the division this season.
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are considered to be the bottom half of the division, but they could also make a run at the division crown this season. Both teams are expected to be much improved this season, and the NFC North should be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers Defense
After a dismal 2018 season on the defensive side of the ball, the Green Bay Packers made huge strides in 2019. The Packers gave up just 19.6 points per game, making them the ninth-best scoring defense in the NFL.
The addition of Za’Darius Smith was a huge key to the defensive success, but Preston Smith stepped up his well. These two linebackers combined for 25.5 sacks a season ago.
Green Bay did allow 4.7 yards per carry to their opponents, and their rushing defense let them down in the NFC Championship Game. The Packers’ defense needs to give Aaron Rodgers and company some more help this season.
Green Bay Packers Offense
Any offensive squad led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers should be able to get to a Super Bowl. That seems to be the message the front office is sending to the team and to its fans after refusing to pick up any significant help for Rodgers this offseason. That is the thanks he received after taking the team to the NFC title game with on offense that ranked mid-pack in most offensive categories.
The front office is right. Rodgers is this offense, and he makes every player on the field around him play better; and he is going to have something to prove this season. If history shows any indication, the chip he will now have on his shoulder is something that propels a talent like his to stratospheric heights.
This is the first time the QB has faced competition (if you can call a rookie competition) since he was the competition. Expect the Packers offense to be rolling over defenses this season.
Check out some of BetUS Sportsbook’s Super Bowl prop bets ahead of the Big Game and place your bets!
Green Bay Packers FAQs
Where do the Packers play their home games?
The Packers play their home games at Lambeau Field. Nicknamed the “Frozen Tundra,” Lambeau has been the home of the Packers since 1957, making the stadium older than the NFL itself!
Who are the Packers’ biggest rivals?
Because of their shared state borders, the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are the Packers’ biggest rivals. Outside of the NFC North, the Dallas Cowboys have historically been a fierce competitor and another rival for Green Bay.
How many Packers are in the Hall of Fame?
A total of 26 players with Green Bay Packers ties have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Among those are quarterback Brett Favre, wide receiver Don Hutson, head coach Vince Lombardi (for whom the Lombardi Trophy is named) and founder Curly Lambeau.