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Lead the Pack?

Earlier today I found myself reading the latest “Scout’s Notebook” written by former NFL’er Bucky Brooks, giving his insights on multiple topics. The one that caught my attention, for obvious reasons, was Bucky breaking down why he believes the Packers’ offense might be unstoppable this upcoming season. Now if you have followed my writing, then you already know the main reason why I felt the same way just about a month ago when my post: The best is yet to come for #12 went live. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend checking it out when you’re finished here. To sum it up, the simple answer is: Aaron Rodgers. A multi-time MVP and perennial All-Pro, even in the face of extreme odds as Packer fans, we always feel like we have a shot.

Last season, Green Bay finished with the 8th ranked offensive unit with 5,900 yards of Total Offense, despite only mustering 1,701 of those on the ground. Defenses simply didn’t need to worry about the Packers inconsistent running game. As injuries at the RB position mounted, a former WR (Ty Montgomery) was thrust into the starting spot. Now don’t get me wrong, at times Montgomery flourished. However, there is a big difference between a few good games and a good season. I see a big season on the horizon for the multi-talented hybrid back. I mean have you seen the guy in Packers’ camp? He now looks the part. Ty spent the off-season bulking up and preparing his body for the grind that a RB takes over the course of an NFL season while still maintaining his speed and agility. Couple this with the fact that reports out of camp suggest that the Packers’ fourth-round pick, RB Jamaal Williams, has made quite the impact early in camp a d has “started pushing Ty Montgomery” for the starting spot. This is due to his Williams’ ability to not only run and catch, but his ability to protect Rodgers in the passing game. With what looks to be a two-headed monster in the backfield, Williams has the potential to give Coach McCarthy immense flexibility at the position. In previous seasons we have even seen WR Randall Cobb line up in the backfield and that flexibility simply put: causes mismatches for the Defense. Expect D Coordinators to have some late nights preparing for these guys!

Now for the Passing game. As we all know, this hasn’t really been an issue for the Packers. I don’t expect that will change this season. Green Bay has an improved running game, a healthy receiving corps, and adding players who will contribute in multiple aspects of the offense lead by Aaron Rodgers (who finished last season 4th in the NFL with 4,428 yards). It would not shock me at all to see Rodgers surpass the 5,000 yard mark this season and lead the NFL in Passing. Coach McCarthy “loves the tight end position” and he now has in my estimation, the best tight end the Packers have had in the McCarthy era in Martellus Bennett. He is another difference maker in the pass protection game, as he demonstrated last season in New England, as well as a pass catching machine. In fact, in 2014 while playing for his new rival, the Chicago Bears, Bennett racked up 90 Catches for just under 1,000 yards. With a quarterback who has the ability to seemingly put the ball where he wants at will, Bennett could match those number. He may even set new career highs on the frozen tundra.

I know I didn’t really touch on the receivers, but I will now. Jordy Nelson will be Jordy Nelson. I expect he will catch 80-90 passes and be one of the best big play targets in the league. Randall Cobb is one of the most dangerous slot weapons in the game when healthy. The addition of a running game and a TE will benefit Cobb tremendously by opening up those short routes and allowing him to work in space. In 13 games last season he caught 60 passes. I expect to see that number rise into the 70-75 catch range for Cobb. Now for Davante Adams, this guy blew up last season and really became a factor after struggling with drops in his first two seasons. Rodgers had the trust and confidence in him to continue trying to get the ball in his hands, and it paid off! While it would be tough to see him surpass Jordy as Rodgers’ “Go-to-guy”, I can see him cementing himself as the top #2 in the league. It would justify the top WR duo honor bestowed on the Packers this year.

With the first preseason game just around the corner, I’m giddy for the potential that a new season holds like most NFL fans. For the Pack, this season just has a different feel. I don’t see them coming out slow and working their way into form, which in the past has been their MO. After falling to the Atlanta Falcons in last years NFC Championship, Rodgers spoke up about the importance of home-field advantage and the role that it can play. The Packers are coming for the Lombardi and I can’t wait to have it back in it’s rightful home: Title Town.

 

Photo Credits: Lombardi Ave
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