Having recently discussed the strengths of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Minnesota Vikings, the NFC North division is full of its weaknesses too, which includes the Green Bay Packers. With the Aaron Rodgers saga potentially making the difference between who wins the division, there certainly is a lot riding on the next month-plus.
Between the three divisional counterparts opposite Green Bay, there are many flaws that have held each team back in the previous years and can continue to do more of the same moving into the 2021 season. Even with the Packers having held control over the division title for many of the past seasons, nothing is a given moving forward.
Proven offensive leaders
While they certainly have a lot of untapped potential on the offensive side of the ball, what they are lacking is that proven leader to help steady the ship. With WR Allen Robinson the likeliest to fill this role, the front office has treated him poorly, not wanting to pay him what he deserves through a contract extension and essentially showing that they don’t want him around for the long haul.
With both HC Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace entering what could be their final seasons leading this team, there likely will be more stress put on this team than usual, not a great combination heading into a year that they welcome rookie QB Justin Fields into the fold.
Fields likely will take a backseat to veteran option Andy Dalton to begin the year, but making that expected transition will not be an easy one to make, even if everyone knows it’s happening. That lack of veteran accountability certainly can be an issue for a team looking for some leadership, and it may be what holds this team back again.
Veteran offensive weapons
With Jared Goff now being the starting QB after Matthew Stafford was shipped out and Kenny Golladay having walked in free agency to the Giants, the Lions are devoid of much offensive talent to even be relevant this year.
Heading into training camp, their best offensive weapons are running back D’Andre Swift and tight end TJ Hockenson – their top wide receiver looks to be Tyrell Williams, an injury risk that has suited up for the Raiders in the past and profiles more as a WR2/3 option.
The Lions are leaning full-on into their rebuild process, so their level of competition is going to be near zero this year – but it will be hard for them to dig themselves out of this hole if their offense continues to resemble that of ragtag bunch of street free agents and unproven youngsters.
The Mackensie Alexander and Jeff Gladney experiments have not worked out for the Vikings, and even though Cameron Dantzler has some promise and Patrick Peterson was brought in this offseason, they still desperately need to have their CB unit improve.
Needing to contend with the Davante Adams and Robinson’s of the division is going to be a very tough experiment for their secondary to handle – and with how their defense has been roasted by opposing WR units in the past, things do not look like they will be changing. Regardless of who ends up being the starting QB for Green Bay this year, they will be able to pick on this MIN secondary yet again.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