We’ve been down this road before. Seeing the dejected walk to the sidelines after another unsuccessful trip to the NFCCG. But, this season was supposed to be different, these Packers had built a perfect Cinderella story. A new first year head coach, a revamped defense with three big FA signings, a surging Special Teams, with an under talented but resilient offense. An offense directed by first ballot HOF, 36 year old QB Aaron Rodgers. For so many seasons Aaron has carried this team, he’s put them on his shoulders. In 2018 with a broken leg, 2014 with only one functioning calf muscle and 2016 with no defense, he’s led this team, with the same result, no Super Bowl. Aaron is a step slower now than he was in 2011, but he can still make some unbelievable throws. This season, 2019, was going to be the difference maker, a running game, a defense, a new innovative scheme, yet the result was the same, no Super Bowl. Yes, that’s the glass half empty story, for the fire/trade/cut everyone Packer fans. For the remaining Packer fans, please read on.
The 2019 Cinderella story didn’t have the fairy tale ending fans were hoping for. Although the glass is definitely more than half full. I’m hoping some or most of you listened to the post game interviews. There was disappointment in the end result of the 49ers game, but plenty of optimism for the future. The window has not shut, but was jarred open by Matt LaFleur. This off season will once again be a season of change. Even with new weapons, the defense could not stop the opponents run game all year. Look for some changes by addition or subtraction along the defensive line. The line backing core needs solid help in the middle. On the offensive side of the ball, Oline, Tight End, Wide Receiver all need help. All Pro David Bakhtiari either played the last half of the season hurt or has lost a step, because he was regularly beaten on the left side. What we do know is the final 53 for 2020 will be quite different, familiar faces will be gone, but these Green Bay Packers are on the rise.
Just think how many people even thought the 2019 Packers had a chance at the NFCCG? Not very many. This season was a huge success, 14-4, NFC North Champs, First Round Bye and a Home playoff victory, it just didn’t end with the ultimate goal, the Super Bowl. Yet, the Packers may be another year away from a Super Bowl appearance. Gutekunst better hurry and assemble a championship team because Aaron Rodgers window is closing. Rodgers will be 37 next season and the offense has largely been ignored in FA and the Draft for several years. Thirty plus years with Favre/Rodgers and only two Lombardi trophies is hard to believe. The Packers must make a push now.
Matt LaFleur’s offensive scheme will fit perfectly for an aging QB, a strong run game with effective passing and a few explosive plays mixed in. (Garoppolo only threw 8 times in the 49ers victory) Aaron wants another ring, his teammates all want a ring, it’s pretty simple, go out and get the talent. The Packers should have over $40M (plus whatever the new Cap allows) to spend this season. I’m counting on a few veteran’s leaving to arrive at the $40M. If fans and the team are counting on another Favre/Rodgers to fall into their lap, I wouldn’t hold my breath. It took the 49ers four drafts and Free Agency to assemble this team. The Packers don’t have four more years with Aaron. Also, Packers DC Mike Pettine (who is probably under the microscope as we speak) must figure out why, after facing the 49ers once this season, he couldn’t game plan to stop the run. The Packers will face the 49ers again in 2020, as part of their regular season first place schedule. He’d better start game planning now, another embarrassing loss to the 49ers might get him fired mid-season.
Let’s sit back, enjoy the off-season, watch the OTA’s, the FA signing period, the Draft, Mini Camps, Training Camp, Pre-Season games and wait to see what our 2020 Packers will look like. This team has seen the Pinnacle of the NFL and they want to reach the top and be the last team standing. PS, I might watch some XFL. LOL.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter