With the NFL Draft fully behind us and the 2017 schedule now ahead, columnists writing about the NFL are firing up their prediction machines and trying to guess at how the various teams across the league will fare in the upcoming season.
To nobody’s surprise, teams like the Patriots, Steelers, and Falcons are seeing favorable reviews, and the Green Bay Packers are in the mix as well for the teams projected near the top of the league. Here’s a quick look at some predictions from a handful of writers.
Jones did a game-by-game prediction for the whole league’s schedule, and he has the Packers earning home-field advantage in the NFC. In addition, he sees the Packers starting at a blistering pace and only losing one game (at Dallas) before a pair of divisional losses in the final two weeks of the season. Here’s some of Jones’ rationale:
Aaron Rodgers will be throwing to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Martellus Bennett this season, so let’s go ahead and give the Packers the NFC North crown. This offense won’t have trouble outscoring opponents.
Rob Demovsky (ESPN): 11-5
ESPN’s Packers reporter picked only Green Bay’s games independently from his colleagues, but he’s also on board for an improvement over 2016, when the Packers went 10-6. Demo’s take? If the passing defense is better at all than it was last year, that should help the team win more games and have a better seeding in the playoffs.
For The Win: more than 10 wins
Instead of a specific prediction, three writers for USA Today’s sports section played around with the over/under win totals set by Las Vegas for each team. The Packers’ number is 10 — the same number that they had a year ago — and every one of the three expects the Packers to improve on that number.
The common theme here is that the Packers found a way to get to 10 last year despite being flat-out “bad” (their words) for much of 2016, and that they won’t be bad again this year.
Looking at the Packers’ 2017 schedule, how many wins do you see the team finishing with this year?