From the loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round to Jakeem Grant having massive punt returns in the game against the Chicago Bears, it was clear to all Packers fans that a change was needed.
In the 2022 offseason, the Packers seemingly have gone all-in on improving special teams following the complete blunder in the playoffs.
They fired Maurice Drayton and signed former Las Vegas Raiders head coach and legendary special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
They moved on from Corey Bojorquez, who struggled to be a good holder for Mason Crosby, and recently signed a new long snapper in Jack Coco, who shined at his tryout during rookie minicamp.
The Packers’ front office is strengthening the special teams unit which is something they have lacked for years.
When looking at past Packers teams, it always felt like they were incomplete.
During the 2021 season, many fans realized that the special teams unit left a lot to be desired. Due to bad snaps and bad holds, Mason Crosby missed a lot of field goals on the season (Packers ranked 31st overall on field goal percentage).
The Maurice Drayton-led special teams unit also allowed the most yards from returns (1,283), ranking 32nd overall. But this wasn’t the first time the Packers have had a terrible special teams unit.
Multiple times in the past, the Packers have lost because of issues on special teams, such as the 2014 conference championship where they had lost an onside kick and allowed a fake-punt touchdown versus the Seattle Seahawks.
Or when offensive lineman Dan Connolly returned a squib kick 71 yards to set up Tom Brady for an easy two-yard touchdown pass.
When it comes to the offense for the 2022-2023 season, the lack of WR1 is concerning, but overall is not an issue in my eyes. Aaron Rodgers has worked with less than stellar receivers in the past and has been successful.
With AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones in the backfield, they are both backs who can catch the ball if needed. With Amari Rodgers heating up for this season and Allen Lazard at full health, it seems as if the Packers could make do with receiving corps missing Davante Adams.
Even when Rodgers was missing Adams (while coached by Matt LaFleur), the Packers went 7-0, throwing for 16 touchdowns to one interception with an overall passer rating of 112.7.
What ultimately led to the downfall of the Packers in the playoffs last season was the blocked punt. It completely changed the momentum of the game and gave a free touchdown to the 49ers.
While Rodgers didn’t play great, they had a touchdown lead. If that punt was never blocked, the Packers could have gotten the ball back and chewed clock until they kicked the game-winning field goal.