3. Improved run game will help Packers win the close games
One of the Packers’ biggest problems throughout the 2018 season was that they often lost close games. Of Green Bay’s nine defeats, only three were by a margin of more than one touchdown. Six of the Packers’ losses were by eight or fewer points, and three games were settled by three or fewer points.
Only one of their losses — a 31-0 defeat in Week 17 to the Lions — was by more than 14 points. And Aaron Rodgers missed most of the game after suffering a concussion.
Sport is all about fine margins, and championship teams win those close games. How often do the Patriots somehow find a way to win? That’s what it takes. The Packers’ didn’t do that often enough last year.
One thing that will help will be an improved ground game. The Packers were in position to win some key games last season. They had a one-point lead over the Rams with only 1:29 remaining. But they ran the ball only once (Aaron Jones for four yards) and punted. With a four-point lead at Seattle with just over six minutes remaining, the Packers only attempted one run (Jones for seven yards), and were forced to punt after Aaron Rodgers was sacked twice.
The Packers should be able to run the ball effectively in Matt LaFleur’s offense, and the additions at guard will only help that. And with an improved ground game, the Packers will be able to close out difficult games when they lead late on, much better than they did a year ago.