2017 Green Bay Packers Offseason Preview
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2016 Season Recap
The 2016 season will be remembered by Green Bay fans as the year Aaron Rodgers had to assume the role of a messiah for the team to make the playoffs and get to wins there before succumbing to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game. The Packers were wobbly until Week 11. At that point, they were just 4-6 and were on a four-game skid.
That’s when Rodgers decided to morph into a mythic creature, leading the Packers to a six-game win streak to close out the regular season. Over the last nine games of the Packers—including the playoffs—Rodgers passed for 296.8 yards per game and threw 24 touchdowns against two interceptions on 67.9 completion percentage.
The Packers relied too much on Rodgers in 2016. They have a strong argument that they could’ve reached and won the Super Bowl if it weren’t for a mediocre running game (20th in the league) and an inconsistent defense (21st in scoring defense and 22nd in total defense).
Top Free Agency Needs
Does Aaron Rodgers really have to say a prayer literally for the front office get him more help on offense, particularly in the backfield? Eddie Lacy is free agency bound but even if he decided to stay, the Packers aren’t sure if the running back’s weight would abide to what’s acceptable. Plus he’s become injury prone. The Packers have already cut James Starks this offseason, leaving Ty Montgomery and Lacy in the backfield picture.
A bigger issue for the Packers is the cornerback position that took a big hit back in September when Sam Shields went down with a season-ending injury. With more than $35 million in cap space, the Packers should take a long and hard look at some of the key names that are about to hit free agency like Trumaine Johnson and Prince Amukamara.
Top Draft Needs
Edge Rusher. Clay Matthews moved back to his role as an outside linebacker in 2016 but he underperformed, making just 5.0 sacks in 12 games. Add that to the expiring contracts of Julius Peppers and Nick Perry and you have a Packers’ front office that’s hoping to address the issue via draft.
Cornerback. Green Bay’s cornerbacks are receiving collective failing grades this offseason, which the group totally deserves after the Packers finished second worst against the pass.
Wide Receiver. While Rodgers appear to make so much out of scraps, the Packers’ receiving crew still needs depth, considering how prone to injuries Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have been of late.
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