Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have made the playoffs in five straight seasons — including a Super Bowl title in the 2010 season — and look to continue that streak in 2014 under head coach Mike McCarthy. With QB Aaron Rodgers leading the offense, a sixth consecutive playoff appearance is a distinct possibility.
Even with Rodgers missing seven games with an injury last year, the team scored the eighth-most points in the league at 417. That was likely helped by a balanced offense that included rookie RB Eddie Lacy finish the season with over 1100 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns — in 15 games — the team’s first 1000-yard rusher since Ryan Grant surpassed 1200 yards in 2009. The potent offense helped make up for a lackluster performance by the 25th-ranked defense.
Coming up this season you should expect the offense to have another good year with the core intact, especially if Rodgers plays more than the nine games he played last year. The team also lost WRs Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin for significant chunks of 2013 so if everyone stays healthy the Packers’ offense should be among the league’s best this year. The team is trying to help shore up the defense with the signing of veteran DE Julius Peppers from the division rival Bears.
The Packers have a tough game to start the season, visiting the defending champion Seahawks in the regular-season opener. Other parts of the schedule that could pose problems include three straight divisional games, two on the road, in weeks three through five, a visit to the Superdome to play the Saints in week eight and a home tilt against the Patriots in week 13.