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Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

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1 minute ago, ArthurPensky said:

Oh come on. Keenum was definitely not even close to comparable to how Huntley played. Keenum's play was good and nearly on par with Cousin's career level of play.

Did you watch those Steelers, Ravens, and Saints games in particular? A  offense led by QB12 would surely have made those winnable.

Did you watch the Vikings? Keenum had a couple of good games in November but his success otherwise required some good luck and great work by his WRs. He wasn't a quality starting QB. The point was that there was a drop-off from a healthy Bradford to Keenum, which there was. 

I'm not saying Hundley was anywhere near as good as Rodgers. I'm saying the Packers in 2017 weren't noticeably better than the 2015 or 2016 teams, who couldn't win more than 10 games despite Rodgers staying healthy. They would've had to win 12 games to tie the Vikings for the division lead, and 13 to win it outright.

Playing more "winnable" games is nice, but sometimes teams lose close games. Not Green Bay in 2017, mind you -- they only had 2 close losses all year (in Pittsburgh and Carolina) and won 3 OT games plus 3 other games by 8 points or less, meaning only one of their wins was by more than one score (home to the Bears with Glennon). 

Projecting the Packers to have won 12 or more games in 2017 requires not only Rodgers staying healthy but every other bit of good luck to go their way as well. While it's possible that might have happened, it's nowhere near likely, let alone certain. The team had major flaws, especially in the secondary, that would realistically have made it very difficult for them to have the best or 2nd best record in the entire NFL given that they were roughly the 10th best team in the league (by DVOA) even when Rodgers was healthy. 

The constant refrain from Packers fans that GB would've won the division if only Rodgers hadn't gotten hurt is wishful thinking, and may be whistling past the graveyard. 

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You know what's fun about this? Rodgers is going to be healthy this year, and the Packers haven't appreciably improved from where they were last year. So we'll get to see this play out in real life, and the results will be quite similar, Barr-ing another catastrophic injury. 

Outside of Rodgers, the Packers have a C-level roster.  In fact, if you took out each team's starting QB, the Packers may have a lower half roster in the NFL. 

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45 minutes ago, wcblack34 said:

Outside of Rodgers, the Packers have a C-level roster.  In fact, if you took out each team's starting QB, the Packers may have a lower half roster in the NFL. 

They're better than that. Their OL is good if Bulaga comes back healthy -- Bakhtiari in particular is excellent. Adams is very good, and Cobb is OK even if he hasn't lived up to expectations in recent years. Graham seems to be slowing down but he could still be good this year. The young RBs aren't bad. The DL will be one of the best in the league if Wilkerson rebounds. Top 2 edge rushers are solid if not spectacular. Martinez is pretty good. Clinton-Dix was good until last year. The young CBs have a lot of talent even if they're unproven. 

I'm not trying to say they're bad. In fact I think most Vikings fans have consistently underrated how good the Packers have been over the years, and that in fact plays into the myth around Rodgers making his team invincible -- it obscures the degree to which the Packers' success was based on other high quality players (a long string of very good to great receivers, a tradition of superior OL play, stars on defense like Woodson, Matthews, Daniels and Peppers and a long string of very good DBs). They have had superior coaching for their WRs and OL and Capers' pass coverage scheme was only figured out recently -- until then it consistently produced turnovers and swung games in their favor.  They have great facilities and a big home field advantage and their management has done well managing contracts and the draft. On top of all of that, they've had perhaps the most talented QB of all time starting through his prime for the last decade. No wonder they've been good. But it's not all because of the QB. 

As great as Rodgers is (very), it's no coincidence that his biggest success coincided with the Packers defense being one of the best in the league (late 2010), and that his offensive production has fallen off dramatically when his supporting cast struggles or gets hurt (late 2015). So it's worth noticing how good or bad the team around him actually is, and what factors (age, development, injuries, schemes) could make them perform better or worse.

I don't think the Packers are likely much better right now than they were in early 2017, but they could be, if their roster comes together as their fans hope it will. 

They're probably roughly as good as they were last year, with new additions balanced more or less by departures, aging and injuries. That would make them a top 8-10 team in the league with Rodgers healthy, and they should contend for the division and at least make the playoffs. 

It's also possible that they'll be worse, if some of the changes they've made with rookies, older free agents and coaching schemes don't pan out, or if they end up having to deal with a rash of injuries or other unexpected problems. Even so, I doubt there are many Vikings fans who'd bet much against GB making the playoffs if Rodgers starts all or most of the year.  

Edited by Krauser

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