The Green Bay Packers have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. With that said, the offense needs improvements if they want to reach the Super Bowl in 2018.
Since 2014, the Green Bay Packers have selected 12 defensive players in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, compared to three offensive players. In the past two years, the Packers have drafted three cornerbacks in the first two rounds of the draft. All this in an effort to help Green Bay’s 21st-ranked defense.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers played in seven games in 2017 and missed the rest due to injury. Without Rodgers, the team’s chance of winning drops dramatically, mostly due to a lack of depth behind Rodgers. The natural struggle of the Packers’ offense without Rodgers meant significant pressure put on the defense. Even the best defenses can’t constantly stop opponents if they are always on the field with no time to rest.
First-round pick, cornerback Jaire Alexander, will most likely play opposite Kevin King and try to continue the improvement of the Green Bay defense. But with the loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson and Jeff Janis, one would think the team’s shift would be toward getting a playmaker for Rodgers.
While the pickup of Jimmy Graham is a big addition over the middle and in the red zone, there is a need for an outside receiver besides Davante Adams. After two stellar years by Randall Cobb, his production dropped significantly the past two seasons, with 60 catches in 2016 and 66 in 2017.
The Rodgers injury explains the decline in the receiving corps; however, that can’t be the only excuse. DeAndre Hopkins had 111 receptions in 2015 while having quarterbacks like Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden throwing to him. Granted, Cobb isn’t the same caliber player as Hopkins, but there can still be better production coming from him.
As for the running game, there is still no clear answer as to who the lead back will be this season. Aaron Jones‘ suspension for the first two games leaves Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams to battle for the starting role. We have seen all three of these running backs and know what they are capable of in this offense. This is a mid-pack rushing attacking with an offensive line that struggles with run blocking.
The front office relies too much on Rodgers carrying the offense. It’s hard for one player to carry a team to a championship. During the Super Bowl run in 2010, Rodgers had players like Nelson, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley.
As always, the Packers are one of the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl this season. Tony Romo predicts the Packers to make it out of the NFC to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. Also, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says the Packers are the best team in the NFC.
As of now, there’s no reason to say the Packers are the best team in the NFC North, let alone the NFC. This is the Rodgers effect. Experts tend to believe the best quarterbacks in the league can carry a team to a Super Bowl.
If 2017 was any indication, that’s not always the case. The four quarterbacks in the Conference Championship games were Tom Brady, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum and Nick Foles. Outside of Brady, these quarterbacks aren’t considered top players at their position.
Green Bay needs to realize offenses need more pieces than the quarterback if they want a Super Bowl-caliber unit. The 2018 offense won’t look different from the 2017 roster when it comes to skill positions, and that’s a problem.