The Green Bay Packers need to be able to look to another weapon on offense if they want to get over their NFC Championship Game hump – and that can come in the form of tight end Jace Sternberger.
Entering into the third season of his career, the former Texas A&M standout has struggle to take advantage of his playing time up to this point. Injuries certainly have played a part in that, as has the crowded TE room, but Sternberger was selected in the third round for a reason – the team just needs to unlock that.
Having only suited up for 18 totals games across his first two seasons, Sternberger has been a relatively minor character in the GB offense, taking a backseat to 2020 breakout Robert Tonyan, who enters this season as the team’s leading TE option.
Sternberger was only targeted a single time across his six games active in his rookie campaign, failing to haul in the long chance. In his sophomore year, Sternberger suited up for 12 games, catching 12 passes (of 15 targets) for 114 yards and a score. Averaging almost 10 yards per reception is a healthy number that can hopefully be counted on more moving forward and not just in a small capacity.
The kind of TD regression that can be expected for tonyan will force options like Sternberger to step up in this offense, even with the chance that those scoring opprtounties go to options like Devin Funchess and rookie wide receiver Amari Rodgers. Sternberger has the physicality and skillset to be able to scoop up those red zone opportunities and become a valued target within the 20s.
For an offense that had no problem putting up points last year, being able to unlock another weapon like Sternberger can only help – regardless of who the starting QB is, come Week 1. A slower start could be expected if Jordan Love assumes the starting role, but feeling comfortable in check-down opportunities could help him and Sternberger develop a rapport that can extend to him becoming a valued target in this team’s offense moving forward.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23