After a bad breakup with ex-head coach Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers is hoping the honeymoon inspires a rebirth in the Green Bay Packers offense with Matt LeFleur at the helm. According to William Hill, the Green Bay Packers are 16/1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
New head coach Matt LeFLeur turned heads with helping Sean McVay revamp the LA Rams offense two seasons ago. Last season, he struggled when injuries decimated the Tennessee Titans including banged-up QB Marcus Mariota. Now, he’s tasked with getting the most out of the mercurial Aaron Rodgers.
“It’s so much fun to coach Aaron Rodgers,” said LeFleur despite rumors that they were not on the same page.
The Packers seek to drastically improve upon a 5-9-1 record, but they still have a tough division. The Bears are the favorite to win NFC North again.
The Packers fate comes down to the Minnesota Vikings. Will they bounce back to the division contender? Or struggle in Kirk Cousins’ second year at QB? If the Vikings finally get their offense flowing again, the Packers could finish up in third place in the division.
NFC NORTH SUPER BOWL ODDS:
Chicago Bears 16/1
Green Bay Packers 16/1
Minnesota Vikings 20/1
Detroit Lions 80/1
The Packers are one of those teams that has fans all over the country and not just in the Midwest. The Packers are one of those public teams that influence betting lines and futures. In this instance, the Green Bay Packers are 16/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. They do not have the same quality of stifling defense like the Chicago Bears, yet have the same Super Bowl odds at 16/1.
Kicker Mason Crosby returns after having one of the toughest and weirdest seasons in his career. He’s one year older, but still ticking.
The NFC North is always tough. Even when the Detroit Lions are bad, it’s still a difficult game to play them in the Big D.
The Packers face a situation where they have 4 difficult road games in the first eight games of the season. Green Bay opens on the road against the Chicago Bears. They also face the KC Chiefs, LA Chargers, and Dallas Cowboys on the road. Week 11 is the scheduled bye week. Will they Packers be a break-even team at 5-5? Be in trouble at 4-6? Or looking like a playoff squad at 7-3?
The Packers have an easier schedule after the bye with three games against the Washington Redskins, NY Giants, and San Francisco Niners. They end the season with three difficult division games.
Help Wanted: WR and O-Line
Green Bay aggressively drafted defensive players to fill obvious holes. However, they’re still thin on the WR ranks. With someone as awesome as Rodgers, you would think the team would be on the lookout for a top wideout. Green Bay was never in the running for Odell Beckham or Antonio Brown. Both players would have clashed with Green Bay’s culture of only acquiring good guys.
However, they should have been in the running for the best of the best. Even by missing out on ODB and AB, the Packers still didn’t shore up their thin ranks to help out Davante Adams. For now, Davante is the man and Geronimo Allison is #2.
Rodgers will have to establish connections with young WR like Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He’s also hoping that TE Jimmy Graham still has gas left in his tank.
The offensive line is still thin. They allowed the third-most sacks last season and Rodgers was often running for his life. Despite dinged-up WRs and a shaky line, Rodgers still passed 25 touchdowns with only two interceptions.
Rogers has the best LT in the game protecting him with David Bakhtiari, but the rest of the line lacks experience.
New Coach, Improved D
Linebacker Za’Darius Smith spent the last few seasons as a part of the Baltimore Raves fierce linebacking corps. Smith impressed everyone the most thus far in training camp.
“I feel really good about the defense,” said GM Brian Gutekunst. “These guys have to come together as a team, but that takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I’m excited about Mike Pettine and the second-year guys we have in his system, but with the additions we’ve made, I think we’re very optimistic about what these guys can do.”
It seemed a little unusual that a run-happy offensive coordinator like Nathaniel Hackett would take over in Green Bay.
Before the Jaguars fell apart last season, Hackett engineered the top running game in the AFC behind Leonard Fournette. Even with a hapless Blake Bortles, Hackett’s offense went all the way to the AFC Championship.
If you’re Aaron Jones, you have to be happy about the design of the new playbook. So long as Jones stays healthy, he’s expected to have a strong year. Over the last two seasons, Jones rushed a highly-efficient 5.5 yards per carry.