ESPN ranks Packers as 15th best team in NFL for 2020

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Have the Packers taken a step back?

If you don’t take a step forward, you’re often taking a step backwards.

For much of the offseason, it feels like the Green Bay Packers haven’t improved at key positions of need and at best have stayed about the same. But with the improvements of other NFC teams around them, this could mean they regress in 2020.

After reaching the NFC title game just four months ago, will Green Bay be one of the top contenders again this season?

ESPN expecting step backwards for Packers

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), Green Bay is the 15th best team in the NFL ahead of the 2020 season. For a team that finished as runners-up in the NFC last season, that’s quite a way to fall.

The article, written by ESPN’s Seth Walder, gives Green Bay just a 43 percent chance of reaching the playoffs with only 8.1 projected wins. An 8-8 season? That wouldn’t be near good enough for Matt LaFleur’s team.

The Packers are behind the Minnesota Vikings in the rankings, who have been given a 54 percent chance of reaching the postseason. Perhaps the biggest surprise is to see the New England Patriots, now sans Tom Brady, at ninth in the rankings with a 60 percent chance.

After a bounce-back year in 2019, will the Packers slip back to where they were a couple of seasons ago? A lack of investment in the run defense and at wide receiver could prove problematic this season, but the Packers are still a talented team. They won a number of close games last season, which perhaps helped them reach a flattering record, but winning the division and making the playoffs wasn’t a fluke.

How do you view Green Bay’s playoff chances compared to other NFC contenders? Could the Packers fall from 13-3 to 8-8 this season?