Just three seasons ago, the Green Bay Packers were struggling. Having finished third in the NFC North, they missed out on the playoffs. But things changed, the boys from Wisconsin have turned things around in the last couple of seasons, finishing top of their conference in the 2019 and 2020 regular seasons. More than 10 years have passed since their last Super Bowl triumph, a 31-25 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011. The question once again is, can the Packers win the Super Bowl?
What are the odds?
To recap, the team have appeared in five Super Bowls and, besides their victory over the Steelers, won four of them: over Kansas City in 1966, Oakland in 1967 and New England in 1996. So they certainly have potential, although sportsbooks like DraftKings don’t display the same levels of confidence in them, offering odds of around +1100 or +1200, depending on whose service you use to place a bet on the Packers. The Kansas City Chiefs lead the Super Bowl odds on the betting lines with +500.
Many people out there believe the team could do it, however. Here are some of their reasons:
Matt Fleur’s coaching is under-rated
Matt Fleur has been ridiculed as head coach of the Packers for a decision to play it safe and opt for kicking a field goal rather than trust his MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, on fourth down in the team’s latest championship bid. The mockers, however, don’t take into account LaFleur’s overall coaching prowess, leading the team to a 28-8 record overall in his first two seasons, including the playoffs. His decision-making is balanced, he commands the respect of his players, and could one day become an elite coach.
The team has extra depth
The Packers have some major hitters on their team (more on them later), but besides their stars, they still have other players who they can count on to carry them on the road to the Super Bowl.
Guard Elgton Jenkins is highly versatile and held the team together in 2020, starting at guard, center or tackle as needed when injuries plagued the team. Newcomer Josh Myers is also highly capable at center, and Randall Cobb looks comfortable at wide receiver, with rookie Amari Rodgers also on hand to step in long term there.
The name just about covers it. Pretty much everyone who follows football knows the team’s Super Bowl aspirations begin and end with their star quarterback, who has been with the Packers since 2005. Some feel he’s just about carried the team in the past, but the Packers’ greater depth will take some of the weight of responsibility off his shoulders now.
There was plenty of speculation surrounding Rodgers’ future just a few months ago. The quarterback had previously voiced his frustrations with the team. However, he appears to be back to his best having thrown 4TDs in the win vs Detroit Lions. If the Packers are to win the Super Bowl this season, they will need Rodgers to be at his best. He’s likely to claim his third MVP award if the Packers do win the Vince Lombardi trophy in February.
Who will be the decisive players?
If the Packers are going to raise the Lombardi Trophy, they’ll have to maximize the use of all the weapons in their formidable arsenal. Which players will have a serious impact on the team’s Super Bowl hopes? Let’s start with that man Rodgers…
We’ve already covered Rodgers, but he really is vital to the Packers’ season. He undoubtedly has one of the most reliable arms in the whole of the NFL, an arm that’s transformed him into a consistent presence on the team since Lafleur took the reins. Rodgers is confident on the field, and that spreads to the rest of the team, who feel as if they can take whatever their opponents throw at them. With Rodgers on the team, that might well be the case.
The fact he’s spent most of the offseason away from team facilities should see his game become more ferocious than ever, since he’ll have rested plenty going into the season. What about the post-season? He remains just as reliable. His quarterback rating hasn’t fallen below 90 in a playoff game since 2015.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander is an outstanding defensive player and has an amazing ability to shut wide receivers out of the game. That’s truly valuable in a position in which the players can’t get quite as physical as they once did. Alexander didn’t make it into the top 10 of the NFL Network’s top 100 players, unfortunately, and some have considered this a snub.
As mentioned, Elgton Jenkins illustrated immense versatility last season, underlining him as a crucial asset to the club. His ability to play anywhere on the offensive line has solved numerous problems with injuries and created options for the team.
Key man and left tackle David Bakhiari will be out for the first six weeks of the season, recovering from a torn ACL, so Elgton Jenkins is likely to be putting that versality straight to use. The Packers just need to remember that Jenkins himself is only human as well, though, so keeping him healthy will be important if he’s to help carry the team to the Super Bowl.
Although a long, hard road lies ahead, the Packers have what it takes to win the Super Bowl. Their depth create options for them, and if stalwarts such as Rodgers stay with the team and continue to play as reliably as ever, glory could go to the Packers at the next Super Bowl.