August 24, 2012
15-1 the Packers looked like they were on their way to defending their Super Bowl win. However, the Packers were eliminated in the Divisional Series by the Giants. Offering a top offense the Packers defense fell off the map. Can they return to dominating both sides of the ball?
The Packers offense became one of the best in the league. With multiple weapons at receiver Aaron Rodgers let loose on his way to winning the MVP. However, defensively the Packers were a nightmare. In 2012 the Packers were a top ten defense, but then dropped suddenly for real no apparent reason to last. They allowed over 400 yards per game.
The Pack understood their flaw and they addressed it. Drafting defense after defense the Packers used their top six (eight picks overall) all of defensive players. Their first round pick was a surprise as they drafted Nick Perry from USC. Perry will play opposite of Clay Matthews at outside linebacker and the hope is he can help provide a pass rush. Perry really only had one successful year during his college days, but he impressed the Packers enough to go in the first round. The Packers also took a couple d-tackles, a corner and safety.
The Packers didn’t have many holes to fill for this upcoming season. With the best quarterback and receiving core in football the Pack will have no trouble putting up points. The running game also receiving a boost after the signing of Cedric Benson to help take the load off James Starks. The defense, despite being awful, has a lot of talent. The team lost some key players last year that might have contributed to the team looking lost at times. Those players are Nick Collins, Nick Barnett, and Cullen Jenkins. The Packers have now lost linebacker Desmond Bishop for what could be the year. A lot depends on the type of year A.J. Hawk and B.J. Raji have.
This year the Packers will once again be one of the better teams in the league. I’m thinking 12-4. At first I was thinking the defense would have a comeback year. Charles Woodson could spend time at safety this year to help improve that position, that is now weak. Morgan Burnett has talent, but is young. Now I’m starting to think the defense improves, but not by much. Bishops injury can really hurt this team. They have depth at the position, but Bishop was the leading tackler last year. With Woodson moving to safety the second corner position can become a big hole. Look for the defense to improve to about the low 20′s. The offense will be just as deadly and could be more balanced. The offensive line is getting better with a ton of talent (Jeff Saturday joins the crew) and the run game should be better. Packers should be competing for a championship once again.
By: Michael Cifarelli