Green Bay Packers Last Season’s Performance
The regular season for the 2021 Green Bay Packers was undeniably a success. They would up tied for the best record in the NFL, 13-4, and secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers, beca, MVP in back-to-back years and now has four such honors amid anti-vaccination sentiment and the possibility of it being his final season in Green Bay.
However, with all that success, the season felt like a failure. Despite the third straight season under head coach Matt LaFleur ending with 13 wins, the team did not win a playoff game. The Packers were seen as one of the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. Same thing in the previous 13-win seasons, which made this playoff loss feel much worse for fans.
Tthe San Francisco 49ers came into Lambeau Field and turned the game into a defensive slugfest they won, 13-10. The Packers had another great regular season that ended in playoff disappointment.
Green Bay Packers Key Additions
Despite the struggles within the playoffs, the Packers have still been one of the best teams in the regular season. Much of that is a testament to the talent on both sides of the ball. The Packers spent this offseason re-signing Rodgers and key players on the defense such as De’Vondre Campbell, Preston Smith, and Jaire Alexander.
The offense did took a massive loss first when wide receiver Davante Adams was traded to Las Vegas. They signed Sammy Watkins on a one-year deal, who has been slowed by numerous injuries. They also drafted wide receiver Christian Watson, in the second round. It almost seems like a consolation prize after all the top receivers were selected before the Packers’ had a chance to draft in the first round.
The Packers spent their two first-round picks on defense, drafting linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt from the University of Georgia. Both are NFL-ready players and will immediately impact an already solid defense.
Green Bay Packers Key Subtraction
After the Packers and Adams could not come to a contract agreement, he was traded to the Raiders. Adams has been crucial to the Packers’ offense. Adams has had at least 110 receptions and over 1,300 yards in three of the previous four seasons, only falling short in 2019 due to injury. He has made the Pro Bowl in the last five seasons and the All-NFL team the previous two. Adams is widely recognized as one of the best NFL receivers and had a strong on-field connection with Rodgers. He leaves a noticeable hole in the Packers’ offense.
Adams was not the only receiver that the offense lost. Marquez Valdes-Scantling left for KC in free agency. He was third in total receiving yards. The offensive line lost starters as well in Billy Turner and Lucas Patrick.
The defense lost two depth pieces in linebacker Oren Burks and corner, who played in all 17 games but not in starting roles. The 2019 and 2020 sack leader of the Packers, Za’Darius Smith, also left in free agency after missing the whole season due to injury. He did play in the playoff game, but barely.
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Analysis
LaFleur has had one of the best starts as a head coach in the history of the NFL. The Packers have won 13 games every season under his watch, landing the top seed in the NFC twice. His first season with Rodgers was rocky, but they have formed a great bond as offensive play caller and quarterback.
The offense has been one of the best in the NFL under LaFleur, as Rodgers has won two MVPs and his combination with Adams was one of the most feared connections in the NFL. WIth Adams gone, he will need to be a little more creative to find success with other players.
With regular season success, the hope is that the Packers will make it back to the Super Bowl next season. In 2019 and 2020, they got close both years, reaching the NFC Championship but were outmatched in both games. Last season they lost in the Divisional round, a step backward.
Green Bay Packers Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
Last season the Packers did not have a lot of injuries. However, some of the most critical players on the roster did get hurt. Starting offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins missed large parts of the end of last season with torn ACLs, and both are still recovering, listed as out. Wide receivers Randall Cobb and Valdes-Scantling spent some time on the IR in the middle of last season.
On defense, two Pro Bowlers from the 2020 team, Za’Darius Smith and Alexander, essentially missed the entire season. Smith is no longer on the roster having signed with Minnesota. Alexander is not listed on the injury report before 2022.
Watson had minor offseason knee surgery and is listed as out now, but it looks optimistic. Placekicker Mason Crosby also had offseason surgery and is listed as out.
Green Bay Packers Offense
With Adams no longer on the Packers, the offense will need to be reshaped for the most part. The good thing is that Rodgers, LaFleur, and running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon are still there. The running game has improved since LaFleur took over, now with two reliable threats. The lack of talent at receiver will make the running game much more important..
With the addition of Watson and Watkins, the wide receiver group has hopefully retooled. Rodgers will already have a connection with Allen Lazard, second in receptions and yards out of the Packers wide receivers last season, and Randall Cobb will be back. However, the production dropoff between Adams and Lazard last season was around 80 receptions and 1,000 yards.
In 2022 Rodgers will need to make it work with a young and less talented wide receiver group, but the hope is as the back-to-back MVP, he can make it work. The running game has steadily grown into a strength for the team, and maybe that can help the Packers be less reliant on Rodgers throughout the season.
Green Bay Packers Defense
The Packers’ defense took a step up last season under new defensive coordinator Joe Barry. It helped that last year’s team was stacked with talent, including rookie cornerback Eric Stokes. The secondary will be essentially the same, with the return of a healthy Alexander, one of the league’s top corners. Last season the Packers were already a solid secondary, allowing the 10th fewest passing yards.
Similary to the secondary, the Packers’ front stayed the same, which needs some improvement against the run, allowing 4.7 yards per carry, third-highest in the NFL. However, that should change after drafting Wyatt and Walker in the first round. With Preston Smith and Rashan Gary combining for 18.5 sacks, the Packers will have the ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Kenny Clark made his second Pro-Bowl in three years as a defensive tackle, as Campbell made All-NFL as a linebacker, being in the top 10 in total tackles.
In 2022 the Packers’ defense should only improve on an already impressive season, making it one of the most formidable in the NFC.
Green Bay Packers Special Teams
For the entire 2021 season, the Packers only had one kicker and one punter. Crosby handled field goals, extra points, and kickoff, while Corey Bojorquez was the punter.
Crosby, who has been with the Packers kicker for 15 years, struggled last season. He had the second-worst field goal percentage of his career, 73.5%. In Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals Crosby nearly lost the game, missing three field goals and an extra point.
Bojorquez was solid as a punter, but the Packers were one of the best offenses in the NFL that sometimes went for it on fourth down. He never really got many opportunities. However, he left in free agency, and the Packers signed Pat O’Donnell for 2022.
Amari Rodgers led the team in punt and kick returns but did not have much success. He did not have any return over 30 yards and is still on the roster, likely keeping his role next season.
Green Bay Packers Prediction for the 2022 Season
The Packers maintain having one of the most talented rosters in the NFL with an excellent coaching staff. The team has relied heavily on Rodgers and his passing game for most of his career, but that may not be the case this year.
With the drop in talent at wide receiver and Rodgers not having the same mind-melding connection he has had before, the passing game is bound to suffer. However, with a lightning and thunder running back combo of Jones and Dillon, with an impressive defense, the team may not need Rodgers to be at his MVP self this season.
Reaching 13 wins for the fourth straight season might be a hard task due to the loss of Adams. However, the Packers are still talented enough for more than 10 wins to sit atop an NFC North that they have been dominant over.
Green Bay Packers Final Thoughts
Rodgers will be in a completely new position this season, having at least one go-to receiver throughout his career but in 2015. In that season, Rodgers had the lowest quarterback rating of his career, which may be alarming going into this season.
The Packers have expanded the running game and developed a talented defense. Sure the front office has let him down by not drafting a talented receiver, but this season the defense may be able to support him like it never has. They also did Watson in the second round who has a lot of upside.
Statistically, it may not be a great season for Rodgers, but he might not need to carry the team to wins most weeks. The defense and running game will give him time to build a connection with his new receivers, and if he can, the Packers may be scary at the end of the season.
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Green Bay Packers FAQs
Why are the Green Bay Packers popular outside of Wisconsin?
A big part of why the Packers have so many fans outside of Wisconsin is because they ares one of the oldest teams in football history. They also have one of the most famous stadiums, which only draws in more fans. The team has also had a lot of success, winning the first two Super Bowls under the coach in which the trophy is named, Vince Lombardi.
Will the Packers leave Green Bay?
Unlike most NFL teams, the Packers do not have a single extremely wealthy owner. They are “owned” by the public and their fans, who have little power but wont allow them to leave.
How did Green Bay get an NFL team?
Early on, when football teams were just starting, they often started in smaller cities because the sport did not have as many fans as it does today. Many teams moved to bigger cities with more fans as the league found success, but the Packers stayed where they were founded.
Who actually owns the Green Bay Packers?
No one individual owns the Packers like all the other NFL teams. The team is owned by a firm called Green Bay Packers, Inc., making it publicly owned. Fans can buy shares in the Packers, but no power to make any decisions.