Earlier this week, we rolled out the concept of 90-50-10 predictions by looking at the Green Bay Packers' defense. Today, I switch over to the offense and examine three things that I think have a 90%, 50%, and 10% chance of happening on that side of the ball for the Packers this season.
Remember that I'm assuming that all key players stay healthy for the duration of the season when making these predictions.
Let us know if you agree, and tell us what your predictions would be in the comments.
90% - Eddie Lacy eclipses 1,600 yards from scrimmage
Last year, Lacy's workload was a little lighter early in the season, as he averaged around 13 carries per game in the first half of the year. That number jumped to 18 in the second half, but his yards-per-carry average jumped by about a full yard in the second half as well.
All of that, plus Lacy's improved hands and receiving ability got him to 1,500 yards last season, as he finished the season with 1,566 combined rushing and receiving. This season we should continue to see more of the same - a 1,200 yard season on the ground and 400 yards through the air seems a virtual lock if he stays healthy.
50% - No Packers receiver finishes the season with more than 90 receptions
Last year, both Jordy Nelson (98) and Randall Cobb (91) hit that mark. In 2015, with Davante Adams and Richard Rodgers continuing to emerge and new (or "new") weapons like Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery in play, Aaron Rodgers will have plenty of opportunities to spread the ball around.
Think back to the 2011 season, when Rodgers won his first MVP award. His receiving corps of Nelson, Cobb, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jermichael Finley, and Donald Driver missed a combined four games (three by Jennings, one by Cobb). No single receiver caught more than 68 passes, and only three got more than 60 targets.
While Nelson and Cobb are clearly the top two options, it would be a surprise if both of them keep up the torrid pace that they set in 2014, as long as the young players develop as expected. It seems reasonable to think that Adams could steal 10 catches from each of the two veterans, which would drop them both under 90.
10% - Packers lead NFL in points scored a second straight year
This isn't meant to be a dig at the offense - in fact I'd guess that the odds of the Packers finishing in the top five is around 90%. It's more a statement about how rare it is for one team to lead the league in points in back-to-back years. The last team to do it was the Saints in 2008-09, and before that it was the Priest Holmes-led Chiefs of 2002-03. I guess in theory that means that we're right on track for it happening again, but too much craziness can happen.
No, I foresee a team like the Colts or the Steelers putting up an impressive number of points on offense this year and edging out the Packers, who finish something like 4th or 5th instead. Again, that's still an excellent accomplishment, but I don't expect a repeat there.