Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers franchise in one of the oldest franchises in all of football as they started in 1919. The Packers were founded by Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun after Lambeau received funds from the Indian Packing Company on the condition that Curly would name the team after the company, which is where the Packers get their name.
Early on in their history, the Packers would play their home games in Green Bay at City Stadium, as well a few games in Milwaukee at Milwaukee County Stadium. In 1957, the Packers would build New City Stadium, the first stadium specifically designed for an NFL team. The Packers would later change the name of the stadium to Lambeau field to honor one of their founders.
One of the Green Bay Packers nicknames is “Titletown” which they have certainly earned. The Green Bay Packers have won the most championships in NFL history. Post-NFL-AFL merger, the Packers have won 4 Super Bowls, most recently in 2010. Before the NFL-AFL merger, the Packers won 11 NFL Titles.
Outside of the Super Bowls, the Packers have won the NFC North/NFC Central 14 times, and have won the conference 9 times.
The ownership in Green Bay is one of the most interesting in all of professional sports. Instead of having an owner or an ownership group, the Packers sell stocks and are a publicly funded company. The reason the Packers are a fan-owned team is because early on in the Packer’s existence they became bankrupt and sold shares of the team to help fund the team, which is one of the main reasons they are still in Green Bay.
The current Packers GM is Brian Gutekunst. Gutekunst took over the GM from 12 year Packers GM Ted Thompson in 2018. Before Gutekunst took over as GM, he spent some time in the Packers organization working in various roles such as Director of college scouting and Director of player personnel. Under Gutekunst, the Packers are 19-12-1
Currently, the Packers head coach is Matt LaFleur. LaFleur took over the head coaching job after the Packers fired long time head coach Mike McCarthy. Before LaFleur arrived in Green Bay, LaFleur spent many years in the college coaching business, and was an offensive coordinator for a few NFL teams. Lafleur’s first season in Green Bay resulted in them making the NFC Conference championship game where they would go on to lose to the 49ers.
Equanimous St Brown
Most Well Known Players
Arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in Packers history, as well as NFL history, is Brett Favre. Favre was originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2nd round, but after one year with the Falcons, he would be traded to the Green Bay Packers, where he would help the team reach heights they haven’t reached since Bart Starr.
With the Packers, Brett Favre would be one of the best players of his generation. Favre would win the MVP award not once, not twice, but 3 times consecutively. Favre would also help the Packers win the Super Bowl in 1997 in which he and the Packers would beat the New England Patriots 35-21.
While Favre would spend most of his career in Green Bay, after a few tumultuous seasons, Favre would eventually leave Green Bay and would land with the New York Jets. Favre would only spend a year with the Jets until he would move on to the Minnesota Vikings.
After Favre’s retirement, he would quickly be recognized for his greatness. Favre would be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2015 and would be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2016. Favre would also go on to have his number 4 retired by the Packers
Before there was Brett Favre and before there was Aaron Rodgers, there was Bart Starr. Bart Starr played from 1956-1971 and was one of the original great QB’s in the NFL. Stars accolades and accomplishments really show off how good he and the old Packers were.
During his NFL career, Bart won the MVP award once, was a first-team all-pro once, a second-team all-pro three times. In regards to championships, Bart Starr won 5 NFL Championships and he won the first two Super Bowls ever and won the Super Bowl MVP in both games.
After Starr retired, he would be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and would have his number 15 retired by the Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers Betting Preview
The Packers were by far one of the biggest surprises of the 2019-2020 NFL season. After a 6-9-1 performance in the previous season, former head coach (HC) Mike McCarthy was let go and replaced with current HC Matt LaFleur. With veteran QB Aaron Rodgers and a vitalized defense, the Packers surged to a surprising 13-3 record – ending with a NFC Championship game loss to the 49ers.
The Packers went 6-0 in the NFC North, something they hadn’t done since 2011. And that is one of just many reasons why NFL fans and experts think Green Bay lucked into their 13 wins last season. The Packers were out-gained in yardage by their opponents, had a point differential of only plus-63 and experienced a season with little to no significant injuries. Finally, they finished 9-1 in games that were decided by 8 points or less.
The rest of the division will definitely be gunning for the Packers in 2020.
Key Offseason Moves
Top Draft Picks– (Rd. 1, #26 – QB Jordan Love – Utah St.), (Rd. 2, #62 – RB A.J. Dillon – Boston College), (Rd. 3, #94 – TE Josiah Deguara – Cincinnati), (Rd. 5, #175 – LB Kamal Martin – Minnesota), (Rd. 6, #192 – G Jon Runyan – Michigan)
The Packers went into the draft with core needs of wide receiver, tight end and defensive end. Due to this, NFL social media was in a frenzy after the Packers’ first round pick of QB Jordan Love. Most have questioned this decision by the franchise, as they still retain future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers for at least the next two years. To add to the confusion, they followed up with the selection of RB A.J. Dillon in Round 2 – even after a career year from RB Aaron Jones.
Now for the prospects of this season, these draft picks don’t make much sense. However for the long-term future of the franchise, they may have some merit. Green Bay has experience in drafting young raw quarterbacks to learn from a veteran QB for a few years before they take over the reign – look at Aaron Rodgers with Brett Favre still present. Rookie QB Jordan Love will look to watch and learn behind Rodgers for the next 2 years.
And the RB situation? Aaron Jones and backup Jamaal Williams both become unrestricted free agents (UFA) after this season – I would guess Williams gets the boot for Dillon to take his spot. While these picks are great for the future, we are looking at this season and in terms of this season, this is a weak draft for their 2020-21 chances.
Additions –(WR Devin Funchess (opted out due COVID-19)), (LB Christian Kirksey), (OT Rick Wagner), (DT Treyvon Hester), (DT Gerald Willis)
GM Brian Gutekunst didn’t make many additions to the team during the offense, but he was very excited to add Devin Funchess and Christian Kirksey. In 2017, Devin Funchess showed success with the Panthers with 63 receptions 840 yards and 8 touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Packers attempt to fill their WR need through free agency was ruined when Funchess opted out of the season for concerns of the COVID-19 virus. LB Christian Kirksey is the biggest add for the team since it was looking to be a big hole for the depth chart on defense. In the last two seasons in which Kirksey played all 16 games, he finished with 135+ tackles. If he can stay healthy, his open-field tackling ability should prove to be dangerous for the Pack defense. The other significant note is that OT Rick Wagner is in battle for the starting RT position.
Subtractions –(LB Blake Martinez), (OT Bryan Bulaga), (OLB Kyler Fackrell), (ILB B.J. Goodson), (CB Tramon Williams), (TE Jimmy Graham)
You will understand the add of Kirksey at LB after looking at Blake Martinez’s last three fantastic years with the team. During his three seasons, he finished with 144, 144 and 155 tackles respectively – leading the NFL in tackles during his first full season. Green Bay is hoping that they can replace a consistent tackler by getting that production out of Kirksey. 10-year starting OT Bryan Bulaga is also a huge loss for the team as there is no one that can play the position at his level on the roster. The loss of Fackrell and Goodson makes the drafting of Kamal Martin make sense. TE Jimmy Graham had less than 500 yards for Green Bay last season, which isn’t a huge loss – but it leaves them with many question marks at the position
Top Player Profiles
QB Aaron Rodgers –(2019-2020 Stats – 62% Cmp. Perc., 4002 passing yards, 26 passing TDs, 4 Ints., 250.1 passing yards per game, QB Rating of 95.4)
2020-2021 Odds (based on Draftkings Sportsbook) – MVP (+3000), OPOY (+5000), Passing TD Leader (+2000), Passing Yards Leader (+2800), Passing Yards O/U (3850.5 yards), Passing TDs O/U (26.5 TDs), INTs O/U (7.5 INTs)
Rodgers will be entering his 13th year as the starting QB of the Packers. He has had a phenomenal Hall of Famer career thus far, with a Super Bowl win, Super Bowl MVP, 2 MVPs, 8 Pro Bowls, 2 1st-team All Pro nods, and is Top 15 in both Career Passing Yards and Passing TDs in NFL history.
Going into this season, Rodgers will be 37 years old and age regression hits everyone – but will be see that regression this year? Some people seem to think he will be motivated by his successor being brought in earlier than he would’ve liked. Now while I think Rodgers will have a solid season (barring any health issues), I think a return to his heyday isn’t coming. I would avoid his betting lines for him to win MVP, OPOY, passing TD leader, passing yards leader and his passing TD O/U. His passing TD totals the past two seasons have been the two lowest in his career (not including injury years) since 2008, with only 25 and 26 respectively. With such low TD numbers, he certainly won’t lead the league in Passing TDs – which will likely rule him out for MVP and OPOY. I think his line for Passing TDs O/U is too spot on for me to want to touch it. Rodgers will probably be in the top 15 for passing yards this upcoming season – but a few guys will be above 4,700 yards and he isn’t touching that.
So what do I feel the most confident about? I would feel most comfortable taking Over 3850.5 Passing Yards and Under 7.5 INTs for Rodgers. In seasons that he has played 15+ games, he has only had one season under 3850.5 yards – when he had an outlandishly poor year in completion percentage in 2015. I’ll talk about rushing regression soon, so the Packers will need Rodgers to chuck it – he is hitting that over. As for interceptions, Rodgers has had 19 interceptions in the past 4 seasons – that’s it. He is coming off his two lowest INT seasons of his career – that screams to me that the Packers are having him throw safer throws (which is backed up by his passing attempts). I feel comfortable backing him for Under 7.5 INTs.
RB Aaron Jones –(2019-2020 Stats – 4.6 yards per attempt, 1084 rushing yards, 16 rushing TDs, 49 receptions, 474 receiving yards, 3 receiving TDs, 97.4 total yards per game)
2020-2021 Odds (Based on Draftkings Sportsbook) – MVP (+15000), OPOY (+5000), Rushing Yards Leader (+2000), Rushing TDs Leader (+700), Rushing Yards O/U (950.5 yards), Rushing TDs O/U (10.5 TDs)
I’m going to be pretty short and sweet about this – I mentioned in the Rodgers’ profile that I think the Packers’ run game is due for regression. I think Aaron Jones is a phenomenal player and he certainly passes the eye test – but 16 rushing TDs was such an outlier. Losing OT Bulaga with no strong replacement and their intention to draft RB A.J. Dillon in the 2nd Round are both signals blaring in my head to see this as a regression situation. My prediction comes in around 930 yards & 9 TDs for Jones, which doesn’t get my eyes perked up for any of these odds. I would lean on the Under 10.5 TDs for Jones as the bet I like the most – but his projections are very in line with the sportsbook. I’m avoiding bets on Jones, but if you must – regression is the key word.
WR Davante Adams –(2019-2020 Stats (12 games) – 127 targets, 83 receptions, 997 yards, 5 TDs, 83.1 yards per game, 12.0 yards per touch)
2020-2021 Odds (Based on Draftkings Sportsbook) – MVP (+15000), OPOY (+3000), Receiving Yards Leader (+1400), Receiving TDs Leader (+1400), Receptions Leader (+1400), Receiving Yards O/U (1150.5 yards), Receiving TDs O/U (7.5 TDs)
The 3-time Pro Bowl WR has went through so many injury issues the past 3 seasons – as he only played 12 games last year. Adams had a phenomenal year despite his absence. If he played all 16 games last season, he would’ve had around 1,300 yards. I think that Adams will have another great year – especially since he will be force fed with little competition from other WRs and TEs for targets.
Unfortunately, there is this guy you may have heard of – Michael Thomas. Thomas, if healthy, will most likely lead the league in yards and receptions. For Adams, MVP isn’t happening, OPOY is way too much a long-shot and as I mentioned, Thomas is probably taking the receiving yards and receptions leader props. With the amount of targets that Adams receives, it isn’t crazy to think he will struggle health-wise again with so much attention and so many hits. I’ll project him for 14 games, which makes me want to avoid his receiving yards O/U – I would lean under, but I feel the most confident about receiving TDs O/U. Last year, he regressed to 5 TDs – that brought down his prop bet. But before that, 13 TDs in 15 games, 10 TDs in 14 games and 12 TDs in 16 games. He was targeted in 45.1% of team red-zone targets last season (highest in the NFL) – Rodgers will be looking for him – so I would add his over 7.5 receiving TDs and sprinkle some money on his receiving TDs leader prop at +1400. I think it is solid value for both. Just stay healthy Davante, please!
Team Odds & Predictions
Odds to Win Super Bowl (+2800) – Let’s get this one out of the way – the Packers have the 14th best odds to win the Super Bowl this season and I tend to agree with these odds. I’m not willing to take a long-shot on a Super Bowl winner future if I think they are slotted in the right place. I’ll get into why I don’t think they can below – but I wouldn’t take this unless you are a Packers fan and you need hope.
Odds to Win Division (+180) – Oh man, this is where it gets interesting. The Packers won the NFC North last year as they went 6-0 against their division rivals, while the Vikings finished 2nd at 10-6. The Vikings really went through a retooling of the defense and just like the Packers, they have some holes on both sides. Cornerback looks scary with Xavier Rhodes & Trae Waynes leaving. Minnesota’s depth also scares me, as I am a big fan of HC Mike Zimmer and I think OC Gary Kubiak really brings them to the next level with his balanced attack. I think +160 for the Vikings to win the division is more likely, since the Packers are fairly similar but are due for regression.
Team Win Total (O/U 8.5) – The reason for pessimism is obvious. The Packers lucked their way into 13 wins and their insane record in the NFC North and close games. I’ve said regression many times already, and that isn’t changing for this section. Even Vegas is doubting them, putting their O/U at 8.5 wins.
By not filling the voids at WR and DE, the glaring losses of Bulaga and Martinez and my take on the run game struggling – I don’t see them touching 11 or more wins. The Packers’ strength of schedule ranks at 15th in the league and they will see the Bears and Lions twice. As down as I am on the Packers, I think they end with a 9-7 record – so I lean on the over 8.5 wins.