Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches in NFL history, and Sean McVay has brought the Rams from 4-12 to the Super Bowl in just two years. LaFleur is obviously more in the McVay mold of a young, offensive mind brought in largely to revitalize the career of a quarterback that the organization has invested significant resources into.
As with the front office, it’s too early to judge LaFleur. But the Packers are betting the final years of Aaron Rodgers‘ prime on him being a coach and a leader of a similar caliber as Belichick and McVay.
Tom Brady isn’t the physical quarterback he once was, but he’s still extremely smart, experienced, and prepared. Importantly, he knows his limits and works within the confines of Josh McDaniels’ offense to take advantage of favorable matchups.
Jared Goff, meanwhile, has emerged into an outright stud under McVay’s guidance. The offense helps him, but he’s delivered several outstanding throws this year and has thrived at times under pressure.
Neither of these passers have Aaron Rodgers’ physical talents. Of course, that doesn’t matter if he plays like he did in 2018. It will be on Matt LaFleur to see if he can bring Rodgers back to the top of the league as a passer.
Todd Gurley is one of the best running backs in the entire NFL—explosive, powerful, and a more than capable receiver. C.J. Anderson has been very good as well while Gurley’s battled injuries at the end of the season.
With Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, the Packers are probably equal to or slightly worse than the Patriots at running back and a solid amount behind the Rams. Jones and Williams haven’t done much in the passing game so far in their careers, but that’s due more to the design of the offense and Aaron Rodgers’ hatred of checkdowns than a lack of ability.
The Rams have one of the best receiving corps in football, led by former Patriot Brandin Cooks. Robert Woods is very good opposite him, and Cooper Kupp was an exceptional big slot weapon before going down to an ACL tear this year.
Davante Adams is probably the best receiver on any of these teams. But the Packers haven’t had a deep weapon like Cooks or a dynamic slot option like Edelman since 2014. There’s plenty to like about the future, but currently, the Packers are a notch below the Rams and perhaps a half-step ahead of the Patriots.
Other than a brief stretch with Jared Cook, the Packers have floundered at this position since Jermichael Finley bruised his spinal cord in 2013. Jimmy Graham was a major disappointment in 2018, and the Packers should look to draft a tight end this year even if they do bring Graham back. The Packers are several steps below both teams at this position.
The Patriots have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Shaq Mason is a stud at right guard, Trent Brown is a good left tackle, and there are no major holes. Tom Brady’s and Josh McDaniels’ love of getting rid of the football early certainly helps.
The Rams offensive line is good, if not great. Andrew Whitworth is one of the only left tackles in the league who may be as good as David Bakhtiari, and former tackle Rodger Saffold is also a top pass protector at left guard.
The Packers gave up 53 sacks this year, though much of that was more a product of Rodgers and Mike McCarthy than faulty pass protection. Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga are outstanding, and Corey Linsley is very good. The right guard spot was a catastrophe this year.
Overall, this unit is a touch below what the Rams and Patriots have, but they’re one right guard away from once again being among the best in the league.