The Green Bay Packers finished 13-3 last season in Matt LaFleur’s first season, and two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers reached the NFC championship for the fourth time in his career.
Despite all that, the perception is the Packers should feel a sense of panic in 2020.
Is that because they were outmatched by San Francisco in the NFC championship game? Is that why Green Bay selected Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the draft. Why didn’t Green Bay make any big-time free-agent pickups to help out Rodgers — who turns 37 in December?
Those are questions Green Bay needs to answer to give the veteran quarterback another Super Bowl shot. It’s going to be difficult to replicate a 13-win season, and Green Cay already lost Devin Funchess, who opted out because of COVID-19 concerns.
With that in mind, Sporting News looks at Green Bay’s outlook for 2020.
MORE NFL PREDICTIONS:
SN’s complete 2020 standings projections & playoff picks
Packers record prediction for 2020
- Record: 9-7
- Division: No. 2 in NFC North
- Playoffs: None
“The Packers’ four-game regression is natural based on a more difficult schedule with the offense and defense more holding steady vs. improving from last season. Green Bay overachieved win-wise in 2019 and the statistics suggest this is a more reasonable follow-up finish, just missing the playoffs in a loaded NFC.”
“Green Bay won’t win 13 games again, but they are still a playoff-caliber team. There is way too much focus on the Rodgers-Love dynamic. That won’t play out this season unless Rodgers is injured. The Packers also drafted A.J. Dillon, who is the perfect compliment for Aaron Jones, who had 1,084 yards and 16 TDs last season. Yes, receivers need to step up and the defense needs to answer the bell in big games on the road. SN believes the Vikings and Cowboys are better teams. We’re not there yet.”
Packers 2020 win total, Super Bowl odds
Breaking down that win total isn’t all that difficult. Green Bay is 17-7-1 at home (including postseason) the last three years, and that comes with two seasons where it didn’t make the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how much that dynamic changes without fans the stands, but Rodgers has always been comfortable at home.
Conversely, Green Bay is a bad road team. The Packers are 10-15 on the road the last three seasons, and there are several potholes on this year’s slate.
Nine games is reasonable, and if you want to push it to 10 that comes down to what you believe happens in the two games with division rival Minnesota.
Packers schedule 2020
First-place schedules come with big-boy challenges, and the early-season road trips to Minnesota and New Orleans won’t be easy. Green Bay could easily start 2-2, and they also travel to Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady before another visit to the Bay Area against the 49ers.
Still, Green Bay was 6-0 in the division last year, and that is being lost. LaFleur did build the offense around the running game, and the defense impressed with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. Those edge rushers combined for 25.5 sacks in 2019. If they can match that total, then the Packers should be in position to make a playoff run when the schedule softens in December.
|1||Sept. 13||at Vikings||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|2||Sept. 20||vs. Lions||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|3||Sept. 27||at Saints||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|4||Oct. 5||vs. Falcons||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|6||Oct. 18||at Buccaneers||4:25 p.m. ET||FOX|
|7||Oct. 25||at Texans||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|8||Nov. 1||vs. Vikings||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|9||Nov. 5||at 49ers||8:20 p.m. ET||FOX/NFLN/Amazon|
|10||Nov. 16||vs. Jaguars||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|11||Nov. 22||at Colts||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|12||Nov. 29||vs. Bears||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|13||Dec. 6||vs. Eagles||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|14||Dec. 13||at Lions||1 p.m. ET||FOX|
|15||Dec. 19-20||vs. Panthers||TBD||TD|
|16||Dec. 27||vs. Titans||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|17||Jan. 3||at Bears||1 p.m. ET||FOX|