The Green Bay Packers are 12th in the latest NFL Spin Zone power rankings ahead of training camp.
The Packers‘ impressive offseason work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Despite falling embarrassingly short of expectations in 2018, many analysts are predicted a bounce-back season led by new head coach Matt LaFleur.
And that is highlighted in the latest NFL Spin Zone power rankings for training camp by Randy Gurzi. In the power rankings, the Packers have moved up to 12th, four positions higher than earlier in the offseason.
Gurzi notes the decision to keep defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, as well as the upgrades made on defense this offseason, as reasons for optimism ahead of the 2019 season.
It’s also understandable why he hasn’t ranked the Packers slightly higher. Good offseason or not, this team is still taking a risk by going with an unproven head coach. Of course, it can pay off. Sean McVay and Matt Nagy have proved that. But success is anything but guaranteed.
The Packers also need to prove they are a much better team than they were over the past two seasons, and “winning the offseason” isn’t enough for that to happen. Now they need to also win the regular season.
But entering a new year as underdogs isn’t common for the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers. It’s perhaps the first time in a decade they go in with something to prove, not beginning the season as the number one team.
That title belongs to the Chicago Bears, who cruised to the NFC North title in Nagy’s first season as head coach.
But the Packers are nicely positioned to get back to form in 2019. And they get to start the regular season against the Bears, who now enter the season with the pressure and expectation, something the franchise hasn’t had to deal with for quite some time.
It sets up for an excellent Week 1 matchup in less than seven weeks time. And maybe, just maybe, the Packers will move up these power rankings after a win in that game.