The Green Bay Packers enter this season as one of the premier teams in the NFL, and they believe they have what it takes to go all the way. However, there are still some things that could go wrong for them, as it is a very long season.
The worst-case scenario for the Packers is obviously an injury to Aaron Rodgers. In my opinion, Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL, and he is undoubtedly the most important player on the Packers. However, predicting injuries is not the purpose of this exercise, so let’s assume health as we evaluate the worst-case scenario.
The truth is, the Packers are flat out too good to have a losing record. They open their season with a playoff rematch against the San Francisco 49ers, and that game could prove telling. The Packers do not have an absurdly difficult schedule following that, but the NFC North may be the best division in football, which makes a big difference.
When studying their schedule, it is difficult to see a scenario in which the Packers are worse than a 10-6 team. They are simply that good. The depth of the NFC, however, means that record is not necessarily playoff-worthy, as the Chicago Bears discovered last season.
So, the worst-case scenario for the Packers is a 10-6 record and missing the playoffs on a tiebreaker. It is actually something that isn’t that ridiculous to think about, but it would still be a stretch to see that happen. Still, if 10-6 is your worst-case scenario, then you know you have a pretty good football team.
The best-case scenario for the Packers is their goal for the season: win the Super Bowl. They are on the shortlist of teams that are favorites to accomplish that, and they believe they have the pieces in place to go all the way.
In order for this to happen, the defense needs to improve significantly from last season. Improved play against the run is crucial, as is stepping up the pass rush. The Packers must also figure out how to stop the read-option, and we will find out in Week 1 how much progress they’ve made in that area.
If Rodgers continues his excellence and the defense matches the offense’s performance, this team will be very difficult to beat. If everything breaks right, they could be as good as 14-2 with a divisional title, the no. 1 seed and a playoff run that returns the Lombardi trophy to Green Bay.