Are the Packers the Best Team in the NFC?

The Packers can easily stake a claim for having the best roster in the NFC.

The Green Bay Packers play their first game of the 2022 season a week from today, and will once again enter a new campaign with Super Bowl aspirations. While much of the focus has been around what the Packers lost this off-season, namely, Davante Adams, there is still a strong argument to be made that Green Bay has the strongest roster in the NFC.

According to Oddschecker.com, the top contenders to win the NFC, along with the Packers, are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Let’s take a look at each position group to see where the Packers stack up compared to their adversaries within the conference.

At quarterback, the Packers have the reigning back-to-back MVP at the controls, and until his play declines or someone else steps up and proves otherwise, Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in the NFC, if not the entire league.

Among the NFC favorites, only the Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard) could reasonably claim to have a running back room which rivals Green Bay. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are as good as a one-two punch gets.

Of course, the big question mark on the Packers roster is whether their collection of pass catchers is sufficient to give Rodgers the supports he needs. In this area, Green Bay is undeniably weaker on paper than the rest of the NFC front-runners, who all have at least one stud to lean on.

The Bucs have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, the Rams have Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, the 49ers have Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk, the Eagles have A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, and the Cowboys have CeeDee Lamb.

Offensive line is an interesting position group to compare. After the 2021 season, the Packers ranked 14th in PFF’s final O-line rankings, but their starting five was Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan, Lucas Patrick, Royce Newman and Billy Turner for the sake of that exercise.

With David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins looking a good bet to return from injury sooner rather than later, Josh Myers back in at center, and rookie Zach Tom impressing in pre-season, Green Bay should be significantly better up front this fall.

On the flipside, the Cowboys, Bucs, 49ers, Eagles and Rams all ranked in the top seven of PFF’s rankings following the 2021 season, but many of those clubs could have a weaker offensive line entering 2022.

The Cowboys, who ranked 1st in 2021, are set to be missing left tackle Tyron Smith for most of the season and saw right tackle La’el Collins depart for Cincinnati in free agency. The 2nd placed Bucs lost both their starting guards, with Alex Cappa also signing with the Bengals and Ali Marpet retiring, plus center Ryan Jensen is hurt.

Trent Williams alone makes the 49ers O-line a fearsome one, but it is still a unit in transition after losing right tackle Tom Compton to the Broncos and veteran center Alex Mack to retirement. The Rams also lost a crucial part of their unit after Andrew Whitworth retired.

If their key contributors stay healthy, the Packers should once again have one of the best offensive lines in the league.

Green Bay also figures to be strong on the other side of the line. There is now real strength in depth both alongside and backing up Kenny Clark following the additions of Jarran Reed and Devonte Wyatt to go along with Dean Lowry and T.J. Slaton. Perhaps only the Rams have a stronger defensive line than the Packers among the NFC hopefuls, and they have Aaron freaking Donald.

Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker give the Packers a potentially formidable linebacking corps, and while there may be concerns regarding the depth at EDGE, Green Bay’s starting ‘backers stack up with any team in the league.

The same can be said in the secondary, where the Packers boast five impressive starters in Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Eric Stokes, Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. You would be hard pressed to find a stronger set of starters on the back end.

The Packers may have become considerably worse in one area due to the loss of Adams, but the team is among the league’s best in every other area of the roster, at least in terms of their presumed starters. It means nothing until the games start, but on paper, Green Bay may just have the best roster in the NFC.

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Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW

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3 points

Comments (37)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
wildbill's picture

September 04, 2022 at 12:30 pm

Hmm, no mention of We-fense

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PatrickGB's picture

September 04, 2022 at 12:40 pm

I will believe in Special Teams when I see it. Yet appreciate the effort. I hope that the team did not overvalue some players over others just to play ST’s. I fully understand the need and effort yet hope some of those players don’t have to be inserted into a starting role for an injury to a starter. But baring that, it’s a nice plan.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 04, 2022 at 12:44 pm

It’s not going to be easy to defeat everyone in the NFC. And it’s really too early to guess. But if I had to guess, I would think that we look pretty good against most opponents in the conference. All the team has to do is make it to the playoffs. By then (baring injury’s) we can make a run.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 04, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Theoretically, pen and paper, or keyboard, can make all seem wondrously possible, or as much a reality as the Sun rising tomorrow, but tomorrow is always coming and the Sun of today isn't always as bright and true as perceived to be, regardless of the ink, paper or keyboard promising such.

I believe this Defense is awesome, seeing it be so weekly is another matter, not so much because it will have bumps here and there, but when things are presented to be so good, they are usually too good to be true, not always, but often enough to be the favorite. The Defense this year will be as strong as the Offense sets it up to be. Possession time, or lack of by the Offense, can kill quickly over time, any Defense, especially contributing to injuries and exposing the lack of depth.

I believe in the Defense, I don't have similar belief in the Offense to keep the Defense healthy to prove that Defense Wins Championships. We are asking much from the young, rookie filled Offense, and I hope they can do their part, by growing quickly, as the Offensive veterans will be hard-pressed to stay healthy themselves.

GOPACKGO!!!

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PatrickGB's picture

September 04, 2022 at 01:30 pm

I agree. It’s going to take Matt’s plan and execution of the plan in order for the offense to win games.

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murf7777's picture

September 04, 2022 at 09:37 pm

Taryn….I really like your writing of late. You seem to balance your thoughts much better while expressing about their strengths as well as their weaknesses.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 04, 2022 at 01:36 pm

It doesn't matter if they're the best team in the NFC in September, but if they're the best in January then that would be good. There are too many vagaries to make many certain predictions.

I predict 7 teams from the NFC will make the playoffs. I see the four division champs as being Dallas, New Orleans, Green Bay, and the Rams. I think SF will be good. Arizona and/or the Eagles should make it.

If Rodgers is protected and given time to do his job, we'll have one of the best offenses in the NFC. If the defense is as good on grass as they are on paper, it should be a top defense.

Ask me again around Thanksgiving. Right now, I'd say the Packers are clearly stronger than the other three teams in the division, stronger than Seattle, stronger than the Commies, stronger than the Falcons. Probably stronger than the Giants, Eagles, Cardinals, Panthers. My biased eyes tell me we're going to be one of the four best teams in the division. At this point in time, I can't make any kind of a prediction beyond that.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 04, 2022 at 01:45 pm

"I predict 7 teams from the NFC will make the playoffs."

For some reason, I can't find a sportsbook in Vegas to give me odds on this prediction.

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Bure9620's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:19 pm

The North will likely be the weakest division in football or one of them. That is really all that matters. Win the North you are in the playoffs. This helps. Maybe tied with the AFC south...

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Swisch's picture

September 04, 2022 at 01:45 pm

Rosters don't win championships, teams win championships.
MVPs and other awards for the regular season don't win championships, teams do in the playoffs.
As long as we measure players by the standards of fantasy football, we will lose at real football.
***
Our quarterback is arrogant and stubborn and disagreeable and uncoachable.
In the big moments of the playoffs, he will continue to let us down, and the Packers will lose again and again in heartbreaking, gut-wrenching fashion.
We may blame the head coach for not going for it on fourth down, or the special teams, or Kevin King, or Brandon Bostick -- but the constant is a void in character at quarterback.
***
Bart Starr found ways to win, while Aaron Rodgers finds ways to lose. Starr was so self-effacing as a quarterback that even devoted Packers fans fail to realize his greatness compared to Johnny Unitas and Tom Brady. Rodgers egotistically draws a lot of attention to himself for stuff off the field, and fans don't challenge him for his repeated lapses on the field.
If fans persist in going along with the interminable dysfunction of the Packers due to Rodgers, fans deserve the heartbreak.
Meanwhile, the better the roster, the more agonizing the epic fail of the team at the end of the season.

-7 points
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Lphill's picture

September 04, 2022 at 02:52 pm

Do us real fans a favor and pick another team to root against.

3 points
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Swisch's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:30 pm

I'm the one rooting for the Packers as a team.
I'm not the one who held out the past two seasons -- totally dismissing the fans -- until I got my way with extortion. Plus, I'm not one of the fans who enables this diva by accepting his act.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 04, 2022 at 04:51 pm

Swisch, little buddy, Aaron Rodgers not only owns the Bears, he owns you. You are making yourself (and the few of us remaining who read your posts) miserable by allowing him to live in your head. You're not some courageous crusader rallying the troops to fight an arrogant enemy, you're a goof yelling at a cloud. Is it worth it?

The comparisons to Bart Starr are silly at best. Starr would be the first to tell you he was a deeply flawed human being, like me, like you, like Rodgers. He failed as a coach and as a father. Rodgers has a long life ahead and none of us can know for certain how it will play out. I would say that with his generous financial donations to worthy causes, he has positively influenced more people than you and I have.

There's still time for you to hold out this season.

7 points
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Swisch's picture

September 04, 2022 at 05:40 pm

Leotis, you can easily skip over my few comments here and there, but there's no avoiding arrogant Rodgers the grabber of attention.
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Yes, we're all flawed, but Starr didn't hold out on the Packers, didn't undermine Lombardi as his head coach, didn't call Lombardi cold and heartless to players as the GM.
Starr didn't make Chuck Mercein earn his trust. He just got him the ball in the Ice Bowl for half of the 68 yards on the winning drive.
Starr didn't make excuses. He won 9 out of 10 playoff games, including five championships in seven years, with three in a row.
***
If you as a fan want to sell out your dignity to Rodgers after he held out on us for two offseasons in a row, go for it. You (and others) can be nasty to me, but can't abide sincere criticism of Rodgers. Hmm.
For those of us who see clearly, there's a frustration in the futility of depending on an egotist to get us another championship.
We saw it with Brett Favre, and now we're seeing it with Aaron Rodgers.
Statistics don't win championships; character matched with talent wins championships.
***
If Rodgers was to get his attitude together for this season, maybe we could win a title, and feel good about how it's being done in the process.
However, that's much less likely to happen if fans continue to sycophantically pander to the worst of Rodgers, rather than calling him to the best of himself.

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Nate-1980's picture

September 07, 2022 at 08:02 pm

Exactly leotis Rodgers living rent free in this dudes head, pretty sad you compare him to a dead guy that played and won the first two Super Bowls..I saw Bart’s twitter back then I couldn’t believe his crazy posts ha..I tell ya one thing Rodgers has one more Super Bowls than you buddy, and he’s our best chance this year win or not..

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barutanseijin's picture

September 04, 2022 at 09:50 pm

It’s hard to believe Rodgers still has so many fans after letting the team down so often in big games. It’s like Charlie Brown kicking the football.

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dobber's picture

September 04, 2022 at 02:54 pm

"Our quarterback is arrogant and stubborn and disagreeable and uncoachable.
In the big moments of the playoffs, he will continue to let us down, and the Packers will lose again and again in heartbreaking, gut-wrenching fashion.
We may blame the head coach for not going for it on fourth down, or the special teams, or Kevin King, or Brandon Bostick -- but the constant is a void in character at quarterback."

So the real question is: can they get enough big plays in other phases of the game to make his "idiosyncracies" less fatal?

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Swisch's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:26 pm

It seems to me the real question is whether the Packers can win with a quarterback who puts himself ahead of the head coach and general manager?

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Savage57's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:32 pm

"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?"

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dobber's picture

September 04, 2022 at 02:52 pm

Until we see how the OTs shake out and whether they can get enough production from the WR position to make opposing safeties play honest, I will say no.

5 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

September 04, 2022 at 04:07 pm

Toss in the TE room...

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Bearmeat's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:40 pm

Are the Packers the best roster in the NFC right now? Sure they could be. The NFL? Again, you can make the argument. Does it matter? No. They have to finish the deal in January and they have not proven they can do that. They've proven the opposite repeatedly over the past decade, despite the opportunity.

8 points
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Savage57's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:46 pm

I lean toward yes due to the key players returning from injuries and how Gute has massaged the roster, supplanting the holes from departures while bolstering the remaining position groups.

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Oppy's picture

September 04, 2022 at 03:57 pm

Stop capitalizing the term 'edge'. It's not an acronym. I don't know what putz at ESPN or The Sporting News originally started using the term in all caps, but it's super freaking annoying.

Pointless rant over.

5 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

September 04, 2022 at 04:30 pm

::fist bump::

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Minniman's picture

September 04, 2022 at 04:14 pm

Injuries, weather, coaching, desire and plain chaos theory account for possibly anything from 1/3-1/2 of a teams "strength" on any given week.

The maxim 'you are only as strong as your weakest link' is the inalienable truth of football - how often do we see a replacement rookie DB get picked on for game-changing yardage, or a replacement guard get stunted and turned into a turnstile (resulting in a damaged QB or RB).

2 seasons ago the Packers famously snuffed out Tennessee's Hunter Henry with a low ranked DL, in a snowy game, that 'on paper' he was going to run riot over them on....... that Mark, is why I\we keep supporting Football!

4 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

September 05, 2022 at 01:56 am

Derrick?

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Minniman's picture

September 05, 2022 at 02:52 am

Ha ha - 2 name corrections in 2 posts LL - yes you are correct, Derrick, not Hunter, thanks.

……. Do you know who my favourite all time Packers player is…….. Bart Simpson!!! Cheers Friend!

2 points
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Minniman's picture

September 05, 2022 at 02:52 am

Ha ha - 2 name corrections in 2 posts LL - yes you are correct, Derrick, not Hunter, thanks.

……. Do you know who my favourite all time Packers player is…….. Bart Simpson!!! Cheers Friend!

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 04, 2022 at 04:32 pm

The only team that may be better than the Packers are the Bucs. Other then that, the Rams lost Andrew Whitworth and there’s a huge hole at EDGE opposite Leonard Floyd. The Cowboys lost Randy Gregory, Cedrick Wilson, Amari Cooper Lael Collins, and now Tyron Smith (to injury). I’d be suprised if they get past the WC. The Eagles are largely unproven with an unproven QB, the 49ers lost the right side of their Oline in FA, their C retired, Deebo wont be carrying the ball anymore, and Lance is unproven. The Packers, I think, have a real chance of getting back to the big game this year.

0 points
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Oppy's picture

September 05, 2022 at 12:05 am

Extra Dimensional Gregarious Entertainers?

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Since'61's picture

September 04, 2022 at 06:33 pm

It's difficult for me to agree that the Packers have the best roster in the NFC at this point. The Packers OL and receiver corp are big question marks and the quality of our STs is completely unknown. It really isn't a question of which team has the best roster it is a question of which roster plays the best. Every team has their weaknesses and injury concerns. To me there is no clear best team in the NFC, at least not at this time.

I would not say that the Packers or any other team are the best team in the NFC. I would say that there are several very good NFC teams that have a legit shot at representing the NFC in the SB.

For the Packers or any of the contending NFC teams things are going to need break right for them throughout the seasons. Injuries could derail the Packers or any of the other teams. Poor officiating could hurt any team's chances especially during the playoffs. We know that the best team doesn't always win.

The Packers may have the best roster on paper but that only lasts until the opening kickoff or until our STs take the field. At least for the Packers, they have a chance as long as Rodgers is standing. If our defense plays to their level of talent and our STs are at least competent we should have a special season. But until I see it on the field I'm hesitant to anoint the Packers as the best NFC team. Thanks, Since '61

6 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

September 04, 2022 at 09:45 pm

Rams and Bucs are the other top teams in the NFC, in my opinion. Dallas and SF have too many question marks, and Philly is unproven.

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murf7777's picture

September 04, 2022 at 09:43 pm

We will start to find out next Sunday….can’t wait!

1 points
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PhantomII's picture

September 04, 2022 at 10:33 pm

We will be okay against anyone IF: "AR SPREADS THE BALL AROUND".....We're in trouble.

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Wrenley's picture

September 06, 2022 at 11:19 pm

Rodgers has this team at the number one seed and you see the comments on here. Not a damn one of you a Packers fans. You are a total embarrassment with your woke childish behavior.

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Nate-1980's picture

September 07, 2022 at 08:13 pm

I believe in this team but so did I last year, so my expectations are a coin flip come the playoffs.. We should have the ability to beat anyone if injuries don’t stack up and we can get our offense moving.. Excited about the defense helping our offense because we may need it, I think this year it’s going to show what kind coach Matt L is.. We already know he is good, but can he elevate them to the promise land ? No one knows, but I really don’t want to lose a playoff game kicking our own asses, we’ve been the best in the league doing that, it’s always one phase stinks or unthinkable blunders..Randy Marsh” Gawlll “ ha

1 points
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