While everyone continues to hold their breath about Aaron Rodgers, there is concern about just how bad the Green Bay Packers could be without the three-time MVP.
Obviously losing him would be a big blow and would cause the team to take a step back. You don’t lose a generational player and at least not feel some kind of aftershock (provided Jordan Love doesn’t somehow immediately start torching opponents).
That said, some prognosticators of doom seem to act like the Packers are devoid of talent on the roster and a season like 2017 with Brett Hundley under center is inevitable. The feeling is Green Bat would suddenly turn into one of the worst teams in football.
That is simply not the case and here are two reasons why: Davante Adams and Aaron Jones.
Yes, both players were on the roster in 2017. For his part, this was the season Adams ascended to being the Packers’ top receiver over Jordy Nelson as Adams led the team in receptions (74) and yards (885). The fact he did this with subpar quarterback play bodes well for how he’d do with Love who has more talent than Hundley did.
As for Jones, he was rookie and in an offense that was not suited to his skills and only saw half the carries that fellow rookie Jamaal Williams saw. Jones’ talent was evident but we all remember how fans were practically begging then-coach Mike McCarthy to play him more often.
Fast forward to 2021 and both players are better than their 2017. Adams has emerged as arguably the best wide receiver in the league and Jones has become one the top running backs. They’re also both in an offense that sets them up for success with Matt LaFleur’s system scheming Adams open and Jones getting fed the ball in multiple ways.
In fact, the Packers are the only team to feature a top-five receiver and running back per The Touchdown Wire.
It would be foolish to think the Packers wouldn’t be negatively impacted by losing Rodgers. They will feel it. Yet we also can’t forget there is enough talent there that if Jordan Love can at least be within finger’s reach of competence in year one, the Packers won’t face a lost season and still contend for a playoff spot.
The “Aaron Rodgers has never had good weapons” crowd really needs to sit down. Between Jones and Adams, especially in LaFleur’s offense, the Packers have enough firepower to score points. It’s just up to Love to not be awful.
There are a lot of players on the roster bubble as training camp approaches. With preseason football returning, who will be the big story that emerges and gets a roster spot? Conversely, will any disappointments finally capture some of their potential and save their jobs?
Robert “Big Bob” Tonyan could be in for big things after a stellar 2020 season. A Pro Bowl could definitely be in the cards.
The most interesting nugget from this piece? A Bart Starr for Don Meredith trade was at the very least discussed once upon a time!
It’s exactly what it sounds like and I’m nauseated just thinking about it.