The 2022 NFL season is fast approaching and after an eventful offseason, the Green Bay Packers are geared up to contend for a title this year. The Packers feature talent on both sides of the football and may have their best defense in years. Getting Aaron Rodgers back will also help the team contend again this season.
Here are 10 bold predictions for the Packers in what promises to be an exciting 2022 season:
- The Packers Will Have a Top Five Defense
The Green Bay Packers have not had this much talent on defense in a long time. They have Pro Bowl caliber players along the line, at edge, at inside linebacker and in the secondary.
Throughout training camp, the first string defense was fast and well ahead of the offense and that will continue into the regular season. The Packers are thin at edge, safety and cornerback but they have enough talent to be a top five defense by the end of the season with the run defense no longer being a liability.
- Both Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon Will Catch 50 Passes
With Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling both playing elsewhere and the wide receiver position being in flux, the team’s top two running backs will both get more targets this season.
The Packers have never had two running backs catch 50 or more passes in a season despite having some very good pass-catching backs, but that will change this year. Both Jones and Dillon will surpass 50 catches and be a bigger part of the passing offense.
- Neither Sammy Watkins Nor Randall Cobb Play More Than 12 Games
These two veteran receivers have historically had difficulty staying healthy for an entire season. The Packers will be relying on both, especially early in the season. While the Packers will get key contributions from both Cobb and Watkins, they will not play in all 17 games. Expect them to each play between nine and 12 games this season. The Packers are hopeful they can be available come playoff time.
- The Rookie Receivers Are Big Contributors By the End of the Season
The Packers drafted three wide receivers this year and all three made the 53-man roster. Romeo Doubs was the surprise star of training camp, Samori Toure finished strong and Christian Watson has drawn praise from Aaron Rodgers since returning to practice after missing time in camp with an injury.
Doubs will likely be the biggest contributor in the early part of the season but Watson will see his role increase over the course of the season especially if some of the veterans struggle with injury issues.
The key for the Packers is to get consistent contributions from at least one of these rookies by the second half of the season. They should get that and more.
- Rashan Gary Makes the Pro Bowl and Has More than 12 Sacks
Rashan Gary was one of the best edge rushers in the league when it came to pressuring quarterbacks and he finished with a career-high 9.5 sacks. Gary’s work ethic and athletic ability make him a great bet to take yet another step forward in this his fourth NFL season.
Gary will make his first Pro Bowl and will register at least 12 sacks this season. He will finally get the recognition he deserves as one of the top edge rushers in the league.
- Special Teams Improve By the End of the Season But Ranking Rises Just a Bit
Special teams have been a problem in Green Bay for far too long now. This offseason, the Packers hired Rich Bisaccia who brings more than two decades of experience coaching special teams. They also emphasized special teams more in the draft and in some free agent signings.
In the preseason, it didn’t look much better but hopefully, the emphasis pays off by the end of the season.
Pat O’Donnell will give the Packers steady punting but better holding and that will help Mason Crosby bounce back to form. Punt and kick return coverage will get a little better and the Packers will find themselves in the low 20s in the league in overall special teams. It’s not great but it’s progress.
- Robert Tonyan Catches 50 Passes Again
Tonyan signed a one-year prove-it deal after missing the second half of 2021 due to a knee injury. Tonyan will benefit from the changes at wide receiver and will likely get more targets as a result. He will also be eager to have a productive season as he can be a free agent at the end of the season.
Tonyan won’t approach the outstanding catch percentage he had in 2020, but he’ll make 50 catches have a bounce-back season this year.
- Mason Crosby Bounces Back In What is Likely His Last Season
Crosby struggled last season missing nine field goals. He had issues with his holder, inconsistent long snapping and mediocre blocking. Crosby also spent all of training camp and the preseason on the PUP list so we don’t know how ready he is for Week 1.
The veteran will be fine in what will probably be his final season kicking for the Packers. Crosby will make some clutch, game-winning kicks for the Packers this season.
- Aaron Rodgers Comes Close to a Third Straight MVP
Aaron Rodgers is looking to become the first player to win three straight NFL MVPs since Brett Favre did it from 1995-1997. Rodgers will face some challenges without Adams but he will still exceed 35 touchdown passes and 4,000 yards and have a quarterback rating of more than 100.
Rodgers won’t win a third straight MVP, but he’ll be in the discussion and finish in the top three.
- The Packers Get Back to the Super Bowl
The Packers will be one of the league’s top contenders again this season. They will finally overcome their playoff struggles this year because the defense will be one of the best in the league, Rodgers will still be playing at a high level and the offensive line will do a good job of protecting him. The Packers have two excellent running backs and the special teams will be good enough not to harm the team the way they did in recent years.
Rodgers and the Packers will be back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2010 season.
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