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What Will Make 2022 Season A Success For Packers?

  • Ryan Fowler
  • June 21, 2022
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On the heels of three consecutive division titles, expectations in Green Bay remain the same as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center: win the division and make the playoffs (at minimum). While faces have changed in the front office, on the sideline, and within Rodgers’ offensive core over the years, the onus on No. 12 to produce remains the same. Now without Davante Adams on the outside, a new-look Packers unit will ask even more of Rodgers this fall if they look to recapture the NFC North crown and punch their ticket to the postseason. 

With 39 wins (excluding playoffs) over the last three seasons, the Packers have proven to be one of the NFC’s elite—that isn’t the question. With Rodgers under center, it doesn’t matter if you roll out your local high school standouts, he’ll seemingly get the job done as arguably the most talented signal-caller in the game’s history. 

But where questions have arisen toward this season is the impact left by the departure of Adams, who now calls Las Vegas home. A reunion with college quarterback Derek Carr swayed him to make the move to the AFC, leaving Rodgers with an extremely unproven group of pass-catchers—a situation he’s become all too familiar with during his nearly 15 seasons spearheading the Packers offense. With the two-time All-Pro now absent after spending the first eight seasons of his career forming one of the most dynamic quarterback-wideout duos we’ve seen in NFL history, the onus on rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, newly signed Sammy Watkins, and old relationships in Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard to provide the pop needed on the outside will hold the key to the overall outlook of Green Bay this fall. 

However, even with the loss of their do-it-all, All-World pass-catcher, the Packers maintain one of the top rosters in the conference and should remain competitive with the elites in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams when it comes down to who will represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl. With Aaron Jones back in year two of his sparkling four-year, $48M deal, the Packers return one of the league’s most dynamic talents in a backfield that’s expected to include an even larger workload for third-year man A.J. Dillon, who led Green Bay in rushing (803 yards) after garnering just 46 rushing attempts during the 2020 regular season. While Adams’ vacancy has holstered headlines, the team also lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving a heavy amount of targets open for second-year talent Amari Rodgers, who totaled just eight last fall after General Manager Brian Gutekunst used a third-round pick on the former Clemson standout. If all comes to fruition, and spring workouts are a sign of what’s to come, he could develop into one of the league’s highest targeted pass-catchers working out of the slot and within the intermediate areas of the offense where Adams seamlessly dominated for nearly a decade.

However, defense is where Green Bay will hang its hat early in the season. As the aforementioned new receivers get their feet wet on the outside working in tandem with Rodgers, a healthy Jaire Alexander will quickly make his presence felt after appearing in just four games last season. One of the league’s elite cover corners, he was snubbed for a first-team All-Pro selection in 2020, but his continued production will become awfully difficult to ignore as time goes on. Up front, the Packers are led by Kenny Clark and first-rounder Devonte Wyatt. Preston Smith and Rashan Gary are one of the more underrated pass-rush duos in football. 

That doesn’t even include another first-rounder in Quay Walker, a late riser in the 2022 draft process. Walker’s ability that he showcased so often in the SEC should immediately translate to the NFL game. A fast processor whose athletic profile will allow him to read, react, and work downhill consistently, he and De’Vondre Campbell should mesh right away, forming one of the top linebacking tandems in the league. Within a division touting some of the league’s toughest ball carriers to bring down in Dalvin Cook, D’Andre Swift, and David Montgomery, Walker has no concerns about sticking his face in the mud and Green Bay should immediately reap the reward of his evolving game as a true sideline-to-sideline defender to counter the modern-day offense. 

A roster with a chip on its shoulder this fall, you can bet the Packers’ Canton-bound gunslinger will look to prove doubters—and Adams—wrong with “limited” options on the boundary this fall. Coming off two consecutive MVP campaigns, it’s been an exhaustive 11 seasons since the Packers made the big dance, but you’d be tricking yourself if you assume Rodgers has his sights set on anything but a Lombardi Trophy in 2022.

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Ryan Fowler