The biggest event in the Packers’ tumultuous offseason was something that didn’t happen – but will Aaron Rodgers’ return to the only team he has ever played for lead to an NFC North title?
The Packers remain the team to beat in the division but are far from a harmonious group. How Rodgers responds in what will likely be his final season in Green Bay will go a long way toward determining whether the Packers can contend for a Super Bowl.
LS Joe Fortunato, WR DeAndre Thompkins, LB De’Vondre Campbell, QB Kurt Benkert, QB Jake Dolegala
Notable Draft Picks
CB Eric Stokes, C Josh Myers, WR Amari Rodgers, OL Royce Newman, DL T.J. Slaton, CB Shemar Jean-Charles, OL Cole Van Lanen, LB Isaiah McDuffie, RB Kylin Hill
Green Bay Packers Acquisitions and Moves
Oddsmakers had a field day with rumours that Rodgers was disgruntled with Packers upper management to the point of wanting a change of scenery. Yet, despite reports that the Denver Broncos were thiiiis close to trading for the future Hall of Famer, he decided to stay put and finish things out in Green Bay.
At least this year, the Packers got him a little receiving help after ignoring his pleas in the 2020 draft. They added Clemson standout Amari Rodgers with the 85th pick in the 2021 draft, giving Rodgers a capable route runner alongside one of the most dangerous receiver in the league in Davante Adams. With Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Marquez Valdes-Scantling also in the mix, Rodgers has plenty of options in the passing game.
The run game is also in good hands, with Aaron Jones looking to build off a sensational 2020 campaign (1,459 total yards, 11 TDs). Look for A.J. Dillon to step into the Williams role as the unquestioned No. 2 and change-of-pace back, with late-round pick Kylin Hill there as a capable fill-in if either Jones or Dillon go down.
On defence, coordinator Joe Barry takes over a talented unit that should make things difficult on opposing teams. This is particularly true of the secondary, with the team’s top five defensive backs united for the third season in a row. Barry’s on-the-fly defensive tactics have notably thrown Rodgers off-balance during the preseason, which can only be a good thing.
Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Schedule
For as talented as the Packers are on both sides of the football, they’re up against one of the stiffest non-divisional schedules of any team in the NFL.
Green Bay has drawn the brutal NFC West this year, with road games in San Francisco and Arizona and home games vs. Seattle and the Rams. They’ll also face the defending AFC-champion Chiefs in Kansas City, and face what should be difficult challenges at Baltimore and home to Cleveland in consecutive weeks in late December.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 12 @ New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m
Week 2: Monday, Sept. 20 vs. Detroit Lions, 8:15 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 26 @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10 @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17 @ Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24 vs. Washington Football Team, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Thursday, Oct. 28 @ Arizona Cardinals, 8:20 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7 @ Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21 @ Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.
Week 13: BYE
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 12 vs. Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19 @ Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 25 vs. Cleveland Browns, 4:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m.
Week 18: Sunday, Jan. 9 @ Detroit Lions, 1 p.m.
Green Bay Packers NFL Betting Odds
The Packers are a whopping -169 to win the NFC North title for the third straight year, and the eighth time in the past 11 seasons. They’re also the No. 3 favorite to come out of the NFC at +557, and are the co-fourth favourite to claim the championship at +1200, tied with the Rams.
Green Bay comes into the season with a win total of a whopping 10.5, with the Over at -130 and the Under at +106. They’re installed at -278 to make the playoffs, and +216 to miss out.
Green Bay Packers 2021 Season Prediction
Rodgers doesn’t do anything halfway – so while he might wish he were wearing a different uniform this season, he’ll still do everything in his power to lead Green Bay to glory. And while the Packers still have questions in the receiving corps and have a difficult schedule outside of the NFC North, they’re still far and away the most talented team in the division.
Bettors should expect the Packers to cash in on their division title odds, and tab them as a nice value play to reach the Super Bowl. If they can avoid major injury and clean up some of the mistakes they made in last year’s playoff run, they have a good chance.