Last season the Green Bay Packers were hit with a season-devastating injury before the season even got underway. Now in 2017, the offense is healthy, the defense looks solid, and the only question left is, can they ride that momentum from the end of last season into an 11-win 2017?
Right now, the Packers are set with a season win total of 10½, with the chalk leaning towards the under. You can review Bookmaker for all NFL betting lines available in this article.
Even with an improving division and a tough non-conference/divisional schedule, Green Bay looks poised to get back to the NFC Championship game.
Healthy Offense – Nitro Defense
The trio of Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb might be the best receiver trio in the entire league. If all three guys stay healthy, which is a big if; they could all have 1000 yards receiving this year. Cobb especially looks poised to a bounce back year.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off a down passing season even after posting a career-high 610 pass attempts. His yards per attempt dropped significantly from his career-average, and most of that was probably due to the lack of reliable pass catchers.
With that trio and the addition of Martellus Bennett to an already stacked tight end core, Rodgers has pass-catchers galore in 2017. While that may drop his total pass attempts to closer to 500 than 600, his yards per attempt and efficiency should return to close to his prime average of around 8.5 yards per attempt from 2009 to 2011.
If that’s the case, and Ty Montgomery is all he’s cracked up to be, the Packers have the best offense in the NFC, and maybe the NFL. The Saints have o-line problems and the Falcons don’t have a ton of depth at receiver. If they break down and the Pack stays healthy, this offense could easily get 11 or more wins. They play both those teams this season.
On defense, with Josh Jones coming in to a defense that underwhelmed last season, the Packers are trying a new scheme where they stack the box almost all the time and have a beefy defensive front against the run.
Even if the secondary is just average, or slightly below average, as long as they aren’t bad like last season, this defense should post better numbers here in 2017. If they are improved, from there it all comes down to the schedule.
Even though the Packers can almost definitely bank on two wins against the Bears, the Vikings and Lions are not pushovers in their division. However, the trouble really starts with the other teams on the schedule.
The Packers have home games against the Seahawks, Saints, Bengals, Ravens and Bucs, to go with road games against Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Carolina. This is a horrible non-division schedule. The AFC North and NFC South are tough divisions, and you can probably expect things to bounce away from the Packers in at least half of these games.
However, it really all comes back to the division. If the Packers can go 5-4 in those games listed above, they would have to sweep their divisional games in order to get to 10 wins. This is also assuming they beat the Browns in Cleveland. Even if they can get another win or two in their non-divisional schedule, it’s still a very tough road to 11 wins.
While the +140 payoff from Bookmaker is enticing for over 10 ½ wins on the Packers, it’s simply too much risk for a season-long play. The sportsbooks see the Packers coming, and right now there are just too many obstacles in their path to have a number-one overall type of season. Does that mean they won’t have a chance to get back to the NFC Title game though? Absolutely not.