So this is how the 2019 season ends for the Green Bay Packers. The players at home watching the Super Bowl just like the rest of us. Well not everyone will watch the Super Bowl. The commercials have definitely disappointed in recent years and the entertainment, well not very entertaining. The match up though is intriguing, one quarterback who attempts less than 10 passes versus another who will probably attempt 50! San Francisco 49ers pitted against the Kansas City Chiefs, who haven’t been to a Super Bowl in 50 years. We shall see how this one turns out.
Back to our Green Bay Packers. The equipment has been turned in, lockers cleaned out, exit interviews have been conducted by the coaches, and media interviews are through for now. If you paid attention there is great optimism coming out of Green Bay, unless you listened to the National pundits who hate everything Middle America has to offer. According to Head Coach Matt LaFleur and GM Brian Gutekunst as long as you have #12 playing at this level they’ll be competing for titles. The Leadership also realizes there are pieces still missing, which played a role in two of the Packers 4 losses. San Francisco had more team speed/size, a better game plan and the ability to execute that plan. The Packers had an offensive game plan that they executed poorly for most of the game. Defensively per the Smith’s, Mike Pettine made no adjustments on the sideline or at half time. This makes me wonder, was Pettine’s bag of tricks empty, or did the defense realize they had no way of stopping the 49ers, so they just put in their time. Evidently Gutekunst has the impression that the defensive collapse wasn’t all on Pettine (Pettine is staying) and plans on continuing the defensive rebuild.
Speaking of rebuild, the offense needs additional pieces as well, both RT and LT need addressing. Bakhtiari was briefly injured in game 8 versus Kansas City and played less like #69 since. I believe his injury played more of a role than the Packers would admit and limited his mobility. Bulaga, who is a warrior for sure, may be nearing the end of his run with Green Bay. Other notable players who are Free Agents or possibly at risk would be LB’s Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell and BJ Goodson, TE’s Graham and Lewis, K Mason Crosby, CB Tramon Williams, WR Geronimo Allison, along with a few other contributors. Gutekunst, LaFleur and Pettine will look into the Packer’s crystal ball and determine a) who they want back and b) who can they afford.
The 2020 Free Agent period will be interesting again because I feel Gutekunst will look there for MLB, WR and Dline. The rest of the talent will come from the 2020 NFL draft and undrafted FA’s. The Packers continually find talent in UDFA pool, this appears to be a characteristic of the team. Look for the Packers to draft a WR, OL , DL, RB and if it fell into their lap (Gutekunst) a quality QB.
At 14-4, North Division Champs, Playoff home victory and an appearance in the NFCCG for the 3rd time in 6 yrs, these Packers out performed all expectations. They found ways to win games in 2019 which built character for this upcoming season. The 2020 season will bring another visit to San Francisco along with a “First Place” schedule. The challenge of 2020 has to be met with energy, confidence, optimism and change. That is the one Constant in the NFL, Change. The Packers who experienced the thrilling victories of 2019 and the 4 tough losses hopefully will return with a fire in their bellies that can only be quenched with a Super Bowl appearance. Happy Ending to 2019, sure I’m comfortable with that.
Sit back, enjoy the off season and watch what unfolds for the Green Bay Packers. The Pack will be Back!
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter