The Green Bay Packers made some big changes on offense this offseason, most notably trading away All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams.
However, this offense should still be among the best in the league with back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers returning.
The Packers have lost some offensive coaches, including Nathaniel Hackett, but head coach Matt LaFleur is still running the show as the play-caller.
Which defenses on the Packers’ 2022 schedule will give this offense the most problems?
1. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are serious Super Bowl contenders. Not only do they have the toughest defense the Packers will face this season, but also the best offense.
Buffalo’s defense is loaded with talent, particularly in the secondary.
Two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is a key player, and the Bills added eight-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller to their pass rush this offseason.
Let’s talk about that secondary.
Cornerback Tre’Davious White is a two-time All-Pro. Safeties Jordan Poyer and former Packer Micah Hyde are also All-Pros. Cornerback Kaiir Elam was selected 23rd overall in this year’s draft. What an incredible starting lineup.
Buffalo’s defense ranked first in yards allowed and points allowed last season. We could see a repeat in 2022.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Take one look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster, and it is easy to see why Tom Brady went back on his retirement decision.
Not only is he surrounded by talent on offense, but the Bucs’ defense is also set for another strong season.
Tampa Bay has the best middle linebacker pair in football with Lavonte David and Devin White, who have four All-Pros and two Pro Bowls between them.
With this combination and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Vita Vea, it is easy to see why the Buccaneers had the league’s third-ranked run defense in 2021.
At the time of writing, the Buccaneers haven’t re-signed either Ndamukong Suh or Jason Pierre-Paul. Even if both players aren’t back, this is a top-five defense.
3. Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have an All-Pro at every level of their defense.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald is a seven-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Inside linebacker Bobby Wagner is a six-time first-team All-Pro. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey is a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler.
That is a lot of talent.
However, there are some concerns for this defense, notably at edge rusher and safety.
The Rams lost Von Miller to the Bills.
Los Angeles’ defense surprisingly ranked 17th in the NFL last year. It has top-10 potential in 2022, but there are some questions for this defense to answer.
4. Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders have an outstanding defensive line.
On the edge, the Commanders have 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowler Chase Young, along with Montez Sweat. At defensive tackle, the Commanders’ starters are Pro Bowler Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Rookie Phidarian Mathis will compete for playing time.
Washington had a top-10 run defense last season. This group can take another step forward in 2022.
5. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings’ defense ranked 30th in the NFL last year, but we should see some improvements in 2022.
Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are a great pass-rush pair. They just need to stay healthy.
The Vikings added safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. in the draft, two players who can significantly help this secondary.
Cornerback still remains a concern for the Vikings, but this is a defense set to bounce back in 2022.