2015 NFL Preview: Green Bay Packers

2015 NFL Preview: Green Bay Packers

Fun facts about the Green Bay Packers: They have advanced to the playoffs in six straight seasons; Aaron Rodgers has been under center for all six of those seasons; they have won at least ten games in all but one of those seasons; they have finished with a losing record exactly twice since 1992. That’s right, TWICE since 1992. To put that in perspective, the Raiders have racked up 13 losing seasons during the same time span. So it should come as no surprise that the Pack are once again a favorite to reach and/or win the Super Bowl. Being completely real, as long as Rodgers remains a Top 5 quarterback, Green Bay will continue to be lumped into the leading contenders category, which is why every team without a franchise signal-caller is desperate to find one. Here’s a preview of the 2015 Green Bay Packers.

Outlook: A potent offense and an above average defense will get you places in the NFL. The Packers are blessed with both and by all accounts are the outright favorites to win the NFC North, and potentially a championship. Like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers makes playing quarterback at the professional level look easy. Toss in Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Eddie Lacy, and Rodgers has a terrifying trio of talented pieces to maneuver across his chessboard. The defense returns all of its most important contributors and hopes to squeeze one more quality year out of pass rusher Julius Peppers. The only way the Pack don’t win the division is if Rodgers suffers a long-term injury.

Later, dude: Former first-round pick A.J. Hawk started all but six games during his nine-year tenure at inside linebacker, but age and a lack of splash plays led to his departure to Cincinnati. Cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted 28 passes in his Packers career, but a three-year, $21 million offer from Cleveland was too rich for Green Bay to match. Also, the emergence of Casey Hayward made Williams expendable. Defensive back Davon House was nothing more than a solid backup for four years, although Jacksonville liked him so much they handed him a four-year, $25 million contract. Wideout Jarrett Boykin left a crowded corps of studs to join receiver-needy Carolina where he should see an increased role.

Welcome aboard: Coming off the grueling NFC title game defeat at the hands of the Seahawks, the Packers elected to eschew the free agent market and instead ink of a few of their own to extensions. Cobb, tackle Bryan Bulaga, defensive tackle B.J. Raji, and backup quarterback Scott Tolzien were all re-signed. They also added intriguing rookie prospects like safety Damarious Randall, corner Quinten Rollins, receiver Ty Montgomery, and quarterback Brett Hundley. None of the four are expected to make an impact in 2015, but each could reap rewards in the coming years.

Over/Under wins – 11: Green Bay travels to Denver, Carolina, and Arizona, and hosts Seattle in Week 2. It’s a challenging slate, but barring a slew of injuries, this teams wins at least 12.

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