Currently, the Green Bay Packers are ranked third in Super Bowl odds on DraftKings, but prognosticating a record isn’t a one-to-one exercise in ranking a team’s talent. No doubt, the fact that the Packers are playing the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears six times this season helps them in their pursuit of a Super Bowl, compared to if they played an AFC West schedule, for example.
To get a measure of what people think of Green Bay nationally going into the regular season, Acme Packing Company is going to track where five national writers (or group of writers) rank the Packers in their power rankings this year. Let’s take a look at where Green Bay stands and what the writers have to say about them before Week 1 action starts.
Packers’ rank: Sixth
Teams ahead: BUF, LAR, SF, TB and CIN
Can Aaron Rodgers make it all work? When the Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders, then opted not to use either of their two first-round picks on a wide receiver, it served as a reminder of the team’s unwavering trust in its MVP quarterback. We buy into this logic to a certain extent — Rodgers has mastered the game’s most vital position, after all — but it still feels like a massive gamble for a Super Bowl-or-bust team like Green Bay to enter a season with Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb ticketed for prominent roles. Keep an eye on the kids: Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs should get ample opportunity to make a Year 1 impact. Who knows? Maybe the next Davante Adams is already inside the building.
Packers’ rank: Second
Teams ahead: BUF
For once, the talk entering the season is all about their defense. If that unit stays healthy, it can be dominant, which has been rare in the Aaron Rodgers era.
Packers’ rank: Fourth
Teams ahead: BUF, TB and KC
You know what Aaron Rodgers would say: R-E-L-A-X. Let’s not overreact to Rodgers’s offseason, which may have included a breakup but definitely included a 12-day panchakarma cleanse, his first tattoo, and aggressively long Instagram captions. The problem is that no detox process or astrological ink is going to help him replace Davante Adams, who accounted for 34 percent of the team’s receiving yards last season and now plays for the Raiders. Still, I trust that Rodgers, who has won back-to-back league MVP awards, will make the best of an Adams-less receiving corps led by Sammy Watkins and Allen Lazard. The Packers are a lock for a top-five spot on any 2022 preseason power ranking as long as Rodgers is in a Packers uniform.
Packers’ rank: Seventh
Teams ahead: BUF, LAR, TB, CIN, KC and LAC
Over the past three seasons, the Green Bay Packers have had all kinds of success in the regular season, owning a ridiculous record of 39-10. They have won the NFC North all three seasons, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has won the last two NFL MVP awards.
However, the Packers are just 2-3 in the playoffs since 2019, including a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round a year ago. Now, there are questions facing the team at wide receiver after Davante Adams was traded to Las Vegas, and Rodgers admitted to reporters in training camp that Green Bay’s young wideouts have work to do.
“The young guys, especially the young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent,” Rodgers said. “A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. So we’ve got to get better in that area.”
However, as Moton wrote, it may not be those young receivers who help key Green Bay’s offense at all in 2022.
“While many people will look for a young wide receiver to replace Davante Adams (Allen Lazard, Christian Watson or Romeo Doubs), they should keep their eyes on the Green Bay Packers backfield,” he said.
“No, Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to post MVP numbers with a run-heavy offense, but Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon could possibly rush for 1,000 yards apiece, which hasn’t happened for a running back duo since Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams accomplished the feat in 2009.
“By the way,” Moton continued, “rookie defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt and first-year linebacker Quay Walker could help Green Bay field a top-10 scoring defense. The Packers’ winning formula won’t appeal to some fans, but they should remain a playoff contender with a power ground attack and a stifling defense.”
Packers’ rank: Fifth
Teams ahead: BUF, LAR, KC and TB
Rookie receiver Romeo Doubs is one of the more interesting players to watch this September. He had a good camp and flashed in the preseason. Will a fourth-round rookie really be one of Aaron Rodgers’ most important targets this season? That’s a lot of pressure, but if Doubs hits big it could transform the Packers.
Unsurprisingly, the two teams that were ranked about the Packers the most were the Buffalo Bills (five times) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (four times.) Those are also the only two teams that Green Bay is an underdog to 2022, based on the betting lines.
The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs were also ranked above the Packers more times than not, three times a piece, while the Cincinnati Bengals were ranked about them twice. Each of the San Francisco 49ers (Hanzus) and Los Angeles Chargers (Bleacher Report NFL Staff) each got one nod.