After a contentious 2021 offseason in which legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers threatened to retire or leave the team on multiple occasions, the 2022 offseason has been a lot more peaceful for the Green Bay Packers. Without the possibility of departure from their quarterback, thanks to a lucrative extension, the franchise was able to conduct business without too many headaches. They still made headlines when they traded two-time All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. Adams’ worth was a little more than what Green Bay could afford to pay, given their salary cap situation.
As a result, a lot of people have written the Packers off as serious Super Bowl contenders after the loss of such an important offensive weapon. However, they should still be very much in the mix in the NFC for a few different reasons.
Dynamic Running Back Duo
Green Bay may not have the ability to push the ball down the field through the air in 2022 as much as they have in prior years. However, they may not need to play offense that way. Their backfield, led by Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, is among the most formidable one-two punches in the NFL. With the expanded regular-season schedule, and additional opportunities to carry the ball, both players have a tremendous opportunity to post at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage.
Dillon, in particular, has a chance to truly make a name for himself this year. His workload dramatically increased in 2021, as he ran the ball 187 times and caught 34 passes out of the backfield. At certain points, it seemed like he was at least on the same level as Jones. Teams will be hard-pressed to keep both players contained for four quarters.
We’ve Seen This Movie Before
There have been other seasons where the Packers have lost star wide receivers for one reason or another. When Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb left the team, there was concern that Rodgers would not have enough weapons to keep the offense moving.
However, the franchise developed Adams, who was only an ancillary player during that time, into one of the best receivers in the NFL. That’s not to say that Allen Lazard or rookie Christian Watson might ascend to that level, but it is fair to expect a jump in Lazard’s production, given his familiarity with the system. The team also signed veteran Sammy Watkins and expects talented tight end Robert Tonyan to return to full health.
It’s possible that the Packers may not hit on the over many times on live betting expected point totals this season. They may not have to, given some of the competition they are set to face.
Green Bay has the luxury of playing the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears twice each, both of which are teams that are looking to rebuild their roster. Even if the Packers play more conservatively, it is unlikely that either of these teams will be able to make Green Bay uncomfortable. The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of offensive talent, but are learning a new system under first year head coach Kevin O’Connell.