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Cheese Curds, 2/12: Packers, NFL now fully shift focus into offseason mode

With the Chiefs’ victory in the Super Bowl, the offseason is officially underway.

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Super Bowl LVIII has come and gone and once again the Kansas City Chiefs are on top of the football world. The Chiefs had a chance to repeat as champs three years ago, failing to do so in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they did the job last night in a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

As the NFL world now fully shifts its focus into offseason mode, the Green Bay Packers can look forward to 2024 knowing that they did something that no other team did against this year’s champs:

That’s an impressive run by the Chiefs’ defense all season long, and it’s a testament to the development of the Packers’ young offense that they put up the best performance of the year against the champs. In addition, the Packers’ 382 yards in that game tied for the most that Kansas City gave up as well, as the 49ers matched that on Sunday night, and they forced the Chiefs into a -19.2 EPA, their worst mark of the season.

Those numbers, as well as the Packers hanging with the 49ers in the Divisional playoffs, show why Packers fans have every reason to be bullish on the team’s chances in 2024. But first, this team must figure out some personnel answers, particularly on defense with Jeff Hafley taking over as coordinator.

For the Packers’ front office, that work is already underway, with plenty of college scouting already performed and visits to the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl complete. In two weeks, the NFL Combine begins to get that work started anew. And if the Packers have a draft class in 2024 like the one they put together in 2023, they’ll have a solid chance at sitting here a year from now with a fifth Lombardi trophy.

Early NFL power rankings 2024: Where do Chiefs, 49ers land? - ESPN
The Packers come in at 10th in this early power ranking for next season, with the offseason's focus being about building the right personnel for their new defensive coordinator.

Lack of extension candidates for Packers may lead to free agent spending | Packers Wire
Because the 2020 and 2021 draft classes don't have a lot of players who will deserve big new deals -- Jordan Love excluded, of course -- that may mean that Brian Gutekunst takes some bigger swings on free agents instead.

2024 NFL Draft order for Round 1; top five needs for all 32 teams entering offseason |
With the Chiefs' win, the first 32 is set, with the Packers picking 25th overall. That's a familiar range for this team to be in, though the last time they actually selected 25th was in 2004 (Ahmad Carroll).

New Packers defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley draws raves from former players - The Athletic ($)
Speaking of Hafley, he has certainly received his fair share of praise from the players he coached in the NFL, including the likes of future Hall of Famer Richard Sherman, current Rams safety Jordan Fuller, and current Packer Isaiah McDuffie.

Packers' 2023 season-ending Dope Sheet |
The Packers officially put a bow on 2023 over the weekend with their final stats breakdown.

Gang steals '145 tons of chicken' in bizarre heist of up to '55,000 birds' - Daily Express US
I hope they had one hell of a Super Bowl party.