Green Bay Packers: Why they will come up short in 2018

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23: Jamaal Williams
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23: Jamaal Williams /

Coming off the season of Aaron Rodgers’ second collarbone injury, his championship window has started to close.

Green Bay Packers hopefuls go into every season with high expectations. Rightly so, one of the best quarterbacks of all-time is under center and healthy.

However, the team simply doesn’t have the right pieces to come out of a historically-tough NFC this season.

Sure, Rodgers has terrific pass protection in front of him. He got a veteran red zone guy in Jimmy Graham. Davante Adams is ready to go off as Rodgers’ number one target.

If all of the key pieces stay healthy, they are in the conversation. But as soon as the injury bug bites this offense, we will see that it lacks the necessary depth to get through a season and Super Bowl run.

On defense, it looks like the unit is coming together better than it has in a while.

A solid defensive line featuring Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark is backed by a serviceable linebacking corps. The young secondary already shows promise.

It looks like Josh Jones will line up alongside Pro Bowl safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander should start opposite Kevin King, who due to injury, does not have a full season worth of NFL starts under his belt.

Work Josh Jackson, Tramon Williams, Quinten Rollins and a few others into the mix, and it doesn’t look terrible.

Still, this is simply a secondary with little NFL experience. They are working under a brand new defensive coordinator in Mike Pettine. Growing pains will occur, and they’ll get beat too many times when it matters.

This defense is on the right track to be a force, but probably not before the turn of the decade.

Overall, this team will be competitive. Aaron Rodgers will always keep his team in games, and the defense won’t get completely run over.

The problems are the defending Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles, the new-look Los Angeles Rams, and of course, the division-rival Minnesota Vikings. These teams had solid foundations and have adopted the ‘win now’ mindset, spending big money over the last few years.

Each team possesses dominant players at each level on defense. Each has a quarterback good enough to ride those defenses and win ball games. The Eagles proved they have the depth to win without their MVP-worthy QB in Carson Wentz. The Packers definitely cannot say the same.

If Case Keenum can use Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen to torch defences all the way to the NFC Championship Game, Kirk Cousins definitely can.

The Packers will get to see just how tough Aaron Donald and his new-look secondary are at the midpoint of the season in LA.

The Packers are good, not great. Good doesn’t win Super Bowls.

They’ll be back in the playoffs, likely in the wildcard spot behind the division-champ Vikings. They’ll beat a mediocre NFC South team in the first round, then one of the NFC’s elites will say enough is enough.

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Unless just about everything goes the Green Bay Packers’ way, the story of 12’s career will stay the same. So close, yet so far.