Five Bold Predictions for the 2015 Packers

What will it take for the Packers to get over the top in 2015? Here are five predictions.

After a disappointing 2014 season, where the Green Bay Packers were literally minutes away from securing a Super Bowl berth, they are poised to improve upon that for another run at a championship. In order to march towards Super Bowl 50, the Packers will have to improve several facets of their performance. Otherwise, it'll be more of the same.

I'm making five bold predictions that will improve 2015 over 2014. Feel free to agree, disagree, or write your own in the comments section. Hopefully, however, we can look back after this season and see they came true en route to a title.

1. Aaron Rodgers sets a personal single season best in touchdown passes. Last season, during his MVP campaign, Rodgers threw 38 of them, and that was only the third highest season total of his career. Some of that was due to him sitting out many fourth quarters in blow out victories, but I don't expect to see as much of that in 2015. With improving Minnesota and Detroit squads, a rematch against the Seahawks, and the high-scoring offenses of the Broncos and Cowboys on the schedule, the Packers will need Rodgers to chuck some more scores to ensure victory. With all of the offensive weapons at his disposal, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see 50 this season during some shootouts.

2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix leads the Packers in interceptions. Not too long ago, the Packers had no interceptions by safeties over the course of an entire season. That changed last season when Morgan Burnett had a bounce-back year and rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix began to come on strong late. I am a bit of an Alabama homer, but Ha Ha really impresses me and I think he has future superstar written all over him. He won't quite be a superstar this season, but he will make the next jump in his development and lead the team in interceptions. I'll set the over/under at 6.5 for the betting types out there.

3. The special teams units rank in the top 10 for return yard average. Considering the disaster the special teams have been in recent years, this is perhaps my boldest prediction. However, Shawn Slocum is gone, Ron Zook is in control, and Mike McCarthy will have his hand in coordinating the return game. Plus, whether it's Micah Hyde, Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery, or another shifty player back there, someone will find a crease within the improve units because Ted Thompson made building the roster with core special teams players a priority this off-season.

4. Richard Rodgers posts 45/500/5 receiving statistics. Even before Andrew Quarless tried hiding in a plant, the tight end position was an unknown entering the season, but many expected Richard Rodgers to seize the opportunity and become the full-time starter. I have always thought that Richard Rodgers has the speed(ish), skill set, and potential role in the offense as Mark Chmura did in the 1990s. I expect Rodgers to put up similar statistics as Chmura did during his prime, hauling in 45 passes for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns.

5. A little PAT luck (or bad luck in this case) helps the Packers with a close win. Some view kicker Mason Crosby as a liability (paging Jersey Al), and maybe he is. But, his blockers up front didn't do him any favors last season when he got too many kicks blocked. Hopefully Zook and McCarthy fix that and Crosby makes more of his kicks. Anyway, there's also an adage that teams that win championships need a little luck along the way. In this case, I predict the new PAT rule, which moves the kick further back, will help the Packers to a 1-point win this season because the opposing kicker will shank one and Crosby will make his. For those of you out there who feel the Packers are cursed, this certainly is a bold prediction to say luck helps the Packers for once.

There you have it. I look forward to your predictions and discussion in the comments section.

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Comments (26)

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jh9's picture

July 15, 2015 at 06:16 am

I'll make a bold prediction: The Packers win the Lombardi Trophy this year AND next year, allowing Aaron Rodgers, Ted Thompson, and Mike McCarthy to cement their legacy in Packers history.

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Nick Perry's picture

July 15, 2015 at 06:32 am

Bold Prediction? Maybe but I predict the Packers will have the number 1 "Red Zone" offense in the NFL. At times last year the Packers really struggled in the Red Zone. The New England game, both Seattle Games though a healthy Rodgers would have sealed the Seahawks death in the NFC Championship, and a few other games where they just didn't get it done. With Both Adams and Rodgers II in their 2nd seasons and making that jump, Lacy Cobb, Nelson, with Janis, Abby, and Montgomery there's just to many weapons out there for ANY defense to cover! Oh and obviously their 14th World Championship!!

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lou's picture

July 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Excellent point about red zone production, they struggled most of the season, not just at times which is so hard to believe when they have so much talent on offense. Although McCarthy now will spend less time game planning I would think it has to be his #1 to do in regards to the offense this season. As good as the offensive line was it seems like inside the five yard line they are a half count slow coming off the ball. Most teams would love to have that as their only to do on either side of the ball.

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packfriend's picture

July 16, 2015 at 09:37 am

Packers ranked 11th in the league last year for TD percentage in the Red Zone. https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct

There is definitely room for improvement. Still, they led the league in scoring at the same time. Oakland was the most efficient in the RZ, and Seattle ranked 20th.

Here is a different stat that perhaps better reflects offensive efficiency - Yards per Point. https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/yards-per-point Looking pretty good there.

I guess I'm saying that we all remember the failures and wish they were successes, but when you look at the overall stats we had a pretty darn good year. It's hard though not impossible for our offense to be significantly better than last year and I certainly hope they are. The easiest path for improvement for this team, however, is in the other two phases of the game.

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Bearmeat's picture

July 15, 2015 at 06:51 am

I hope ARod doesn't have to throw 50 TDs. That would mean the defense is a complete mess - because we all know that MM calls off the dogs if GB is up by 3 scores.

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Jay Hodgson's picture

July 15, 2015 at 07:35 am

Good point. I was thinking more along the lines of the 2007 Patriots, though.

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Salvatore Ioppolo's picture

July 15, 2015 at 07:56 am

Exactly. I hope it won't be necessary to rewrite the record books. The 2011 offense had to put up those great numbers because of that awful defense.
I think on paper this year's offense can be even better than the 2011 unit (O-line is better, the running game is better, receivers can be as good as those receivers) but I also think it won't be necessary.

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croatpackfan's picture

July 15, 2015 at 06:57 am

I'm signing your bold predictions ;)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 15, 2015 at 09:13 am

Rodgers' high is 45 TDs. 35% chance. Need a #3 WR.

Clinton-Dix INTs: 60%, but by default. Not too many DBs who are ball hawks and play full time. My bet is Hayward, if he can play outside at an average level & stays healthy.

GB being in the top 10 for return yard average (not gross) seems highly likely to me. 80% chance. I note that you carefully do not suggest that special teams will be top 10 as a whole.

Richard Rodgers might get to 5 TDs since he will play a lot of snaps, either by earning it or by default. The 45 receptions depends on the QB being willing to dump off the ball to his TE. 25% chance.

PAT thing. <1% chance. More likely to hurt than help.

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Jay Hodgson's picture

July 15, 2015 at 09:32 am

Excellent.

I sometimes think back to that 2011 season and wonder if Rodgers played against the Lions during the season finale. Would he have had the same numbers as Flynn? If so, would he have thrown 51 TDs that season?

These are the things that occupy my off-season mind.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

July 15, 2015 at 08:08 pm

I might think about getting that snow blower ready before I'd reflect back on a Lion game from 2011. But that's just me.

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the_clinic's picture

July 15, 2015 at 10:30 am

Reynoldo- agree with your numbers, but differ on the reasons:

1) Would rather see our rushing touchdowns increase from 14 to 20 and keep Rodger in the high 30's for TD passes. Like to see more balance in the red zone attack.
2) Shields- steps out of the shadows to become a true#1 corner.
3) Addition of Montgomery will impact KO returns. BTW-We kick off more (104 times-Oakland kicked off 61 times by comparison) and punt less (49 vs Oak 109) than any other team in football. Would suggest the biggest area of improvement should be in punt coverage with either the return to form of Mastay or his replacement.
4) See RR as more of a red zone target. Too many other weapons that can stretch the field.
5) Stupid rule

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Spud Rapids's picture

July 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Need a #3 WR??? Have you forgot about Davante Adams?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 15, 2015 at 03:15 pm

I do have some trouble remembering Adams, probably because he puts on a cloak of invisibility for games at a time. We don't need him to be a world beater, just more consistent against the #3 CB. But you're right: I should never bet against a WR drafted by TT in the 2nd round, and I should give rookies a year to develop at least (chant - chant).

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MarkinMadison's picture

July 15, 2015 at 11:26 am

Not much on that list about the defense (1/5), and for good reason. TT is operating on the "play to your strengths" philosophy. The line is not good enough to go up against quality running offenses, and the secondary has no one who has proven they can contain the large, prototypical Calvin Johnson types, so thank God there are not too many of them around. And if CM3 isn't playing ILB, then I don't know who will be.

I'm not saying the Packers can't, or even won't, win the Super Bowl, I'm just saying that the Red Zone Offense will have to be better to do it, and the Special Teams Units will have to be better to do it. Here's my list of "bold hopes."

#1 Worried about his next contract, Perry steps up enough to allow CM3 to play ILB, "full-time," meaning he is at ILB whenever there are two ILBs on the field. CM3 makes the Pro Bowl again as an ILB, notching 12 sacks along the way.

#2 Worried about his next contract, Raji steps up and has the second-best year of his career, helping to clear the way for CM3.

#3 Richard Rodgers and Eddy Lacy both take a step, making the Packers into the #1 Red Zone Offense in the NFL.

#4 The entire O-Line has a second year of great health, with the preferred starters only missing two games.

#5 #12 has his healthiest year in the last three, missing no games and no snaps due to injury.

Oh wait, I forgot to comment on Special Teams: exactly.

Oh wait, no answer for Calvin Johnson: yeah, I don't see one. Guess we'll see more shoot-outs.

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EdsLaces's picture

July 15, 2015 at 11:56 am

My bold prediction is simple.... Carl Bradford secures a spot on defense. Sorry Jake..

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DrealynWilliams's picture

July 15, 2015 at 02:33 pm

C'mon,man. That's too easy. Starting spot? Rotational?

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EdsLaces's picture

July 15, 2015 at 02:51 pm

Well yeah obviously starting. Getting Clay back outside by the end of the year hopefully.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

July 15, 2015 at 02:32 pm

My Bold Predictions:

DaVante Adams will have more receiving yard than Jordy Nelson.

Packers will have a Top 15 Run Defense.

BJ Raji returns to 2010 BJ Raji

The Packers vs Seahawks game will be a young player's coming out party (3 years of experience or less)

The Packers will sweep the division

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Nick Perry's picture

July 16, 2015 at 05:54 am

Nice! You know I was thinking if Nelsons hip was giving him problems at the end of the season last year. Playing in the Pro Bowl suggests no, but his production trailed off a bit. Haven't looked at the stats myself so maybe it just FEELS like it.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 15, 2015 at 02:53 pm

I've got only one...

19-0

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omega's picture

July 15, 2015 at 03:23 pm

If he plays a full 16 games, Hayward will be in among the NFL leaders in INTs.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 15, 2015 at 04:33 pm

Bold predictions:

1. Raji plays really well and gets a nice contract. After cashing the signing bonus, scientists use him as a test subject in experiments measuring inertia.
2. Hayward flops. Shields gets nicked up. GB starts Rollins and Gunter at CB for a game or two.
3. Abby catches 50 passes/575 yds. Janis catches 35. Montgomery drops 9.
4. Hyde leads the league in PR average. Montgomery averages over 30 on KR and justifies his draft status.
5. Richardson gets 120 def. snaps all vs. running QBs.
5a. A few Packers players have extraordinarily high electric bills for their apartments; Green Bay area hardware stores run out of grow-lights.
5b. Guion visits Greece, and single-handedly fixes their currency shortage. [5b added as an edit.]

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DrealynWilliams's picture

July 15, 2015 at 04:14 pm

Niiiiice. And funny.

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AgrippaLII's picture

July 17, 2015 at 01:31 am

If you rate every season the Packers don't win the Super Bowl as a disappointment...football must be very agonizing for you.

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Idiot Fan's picture

July 17, 2015 at 02:41 pm

I'm going for uber-bold: The Packers will be healthy this season.

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