Five Things to Expect from the Strangest Season of Packers Football

After an unusual and controversial offseason, here are five things that we can expect from the Packers during the 2020 season.

The 2020 NFL season is finally here and the Green Bay Packers open it Sunday against the Vikings in Minnesota.

The Packers are entering their second season under head coach Matt LaFleur and are coming off a 13-3 regular season that saw them reach the NFC Championship Game.

After an unusual and controversial offseason, it’s time to examine what happens on the field in 2020. Here is a look at five things that we can expect from the Packers during the 2020 season:

1. Expect Sloppy Play Early

The Packers will probably be a little less affected than many other teams because they have so many returning players, but make no mistake, the early season will likely feature some sloppy football. With no OTAs, minicamps or preseason games and a truncated training camp, teams will not be where they usually are early in the season.

Look for more offsides penalties, receivers running the wrong route, blockers missing assignments etc. from all 32 NFL teams.

This will truly be a challenge for coaches and we will see how LaFleur handles the situation and how quickly he can get his team playing efficiently and smoothly.

2. Games Will Feel Strange

We already know there will be no fans at the Packers first four games this season. The Packers have announced there will be no fans at their first two home games. The Vikings will not have fans in attendance on Sunday and now the Saints have confirmed they won’t have fans on September 27 when they host Green Bay.

The idea of an empty Lambeau Field for Packers games is a strange one. No tailgating, no Lambeau Leaps, no cheers of “Go Pack Go!” While all of this is not going to feel normal, we all need to remember that the alternative is no football at all. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that.

3. Aaron Rodgers Will Thrive

If there’s one thing we know about Aaron Rodgers, it’s that the man loves a challenge. The drafting of Jordan Love will provide Rodgers with just that. Rodgers knows he needs to play well to keep his job next season and to stir up maximum interest in his services if the time comes when he needs to move on from Green Bay.

Rodgers will also feel more comfortable in LaFleur’s offense in year two and his recent film study from 2010 is another sign that the Packers quarterback is preparing mentally and physically for a big season.

Rodgers will also look forward to games against Tom Brady, Drew Brees, DeShaun Watson and other top quarterbacks this season.

Most of all, Rodgers relishes the chance to prove all the critics wrong when they say he’s no longer an elite quarterback.

4. The NFC North Will Be a Tight Division

 The NFC North will be an interesting division to watch in 2020. The Packers and Vikings remain the class of the division according to most experts although many predict both teams will take a step back compared to where they were a year ago. The division faces a tougher schedule overall as they face the NFC South and AFC South this year which are tougher divisions on paper than the NFC East and AFC West were a year ago.

The Bears still have issues at quarterback that need to be settled, but their defense should keep them in most games. The Lions are the great unknown with a healthy Matthew Stafford. They are the darling sleeper pick of a lot of teams, but I don’t feel Matt Patricia’s club is ready to be a contender just yet with a defense that is still not likely to play at a high enough level to make them playoff material.

5. The Packers Receiving Corps Will Be Fine

I’m not saying they will be elite or outstanding, but by the end of the season, the Packers will be comfortable with their receiving corps.

Davante Adams will continue to play at a Pro Bowl level and will be Rodgers’ favorite target. If he stays healthy this year, he will put up career numbers in catches, yards and touchdowns.

Allen Lazard will prove he’s capable of being a starter on the other side and will produce steadily throughout the season, especially on third down.

Look for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to take a big step forward as well and to become more than just a deep threat by the end of the season. The trust level between Rodgers and MVS is growing and that is a good sign for the Green Bay offense.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

NFL Categories: 
7 points

Comments (31)

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

September 12, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Yeah, we'll see about #5. Everything else you mentioned is probable.

+ REPLY
0 points
4
4
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 12:41 pm

5 is important for the season, Bearmeat and I hope I got this one right. I didn't say spectacular or even good, just fine. We'll see. Thanks as always for commenting.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Stroh's picture

September 12, 2020 at 09:31 pm

#5 is dependent on #12. If Rodgers gets or has gotten his mechanics and footwork in order and he's bought into LaFleur's offense the recievers will be good enough. The recievers need Rodgers to make them look like quality WR. On talent they are very ordinary besides Adams, but he can make them look alot better than they really are.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Archie's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:30 pm

I find #5 your most interesting prognostication of all.

If true, then the Packer O will most likely be operating on all cylinders. That kind of offense with a defense that is even better than what we had last year would suggest the Pack should be the division favorite.

Should be a fun game and a fun season. Strap up and enjoy.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 12:43 pm

I am hopeful about #5. It is important that the receivers are at least adequate. I think the Pack will repeat as NFC North Champs. Looking forward to a great season. Thanks for commenting, Archie.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Demon's picture

September 12, 2020 at 02:01 pm

Im just not as optimistic about our receivers as you are Gil. Ive never been in the mindset that if you ignore a problem it will go away. I too am hopeful as we all are, but ignoring the receiver and defensive line positions was at best irresponsible. GPG

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:09 pm

Demon, they are taking a chance. I am pleased with what I've seen from MVS and I like Lazard but again, these receivers behind Adams will be OK, but I don't see them setting the league on fire. I am hopeful they will be better than our worst critics fear. I agree, management could have done more to upgrade the DL and WR positions during the offseason. We shall see. Thanks for commenting.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Archie's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:38 pm

Lazard, MVS, EQ & Malik are all substantial upgrades over who they were last year. And Tae is Tae. WR group will do their share of damage this year, far better than last year's group.

RB and TE will be better groups as well.

Rodgers looks primed for a big "comeback" season.

Only real Q on offense is RT.

Interesting to hear that CMIII has been turning down offers to play. He has either lost the desire to play or wants to wait till teams are more desperate and will pay more. Similar story on Snacks.

Wish we had Martin ready to go but I'm excited over Kirksey, Gary and Keke.

GPG

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:52 pm

I hope so Archie. I think the potential is definitely there. TEs are more of a question mark to be as if RT especially after the injuries there. Ready for a new season to start. Thanks for the comments.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

September 12, 2020 at 02:36 pm

MVS will be replaced by Robert Foster by game three. Foster was a really good pick-up.

+ REPLY
-3 points
1
4
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:10 pm

I like the pickup of Foster, but not so sure when he'll be ready or if he'll be able to replace MVS. I hope MVS can raise his game in year 3. We shall see. Thanks for the comment, JohnyLogan.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
splitpea1's picture

September 12, 2020 at 04:32 pm

#2: The weirdness factor is not to be underestimated. I hope we don't see any more of those hat/shield combinations that Andy Reid was using the other night; if you feel the need to go that far, it seems like a ski mask, or even pantyhose, might be a little easier--and it won't fog up.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
egbertsouse's picture

September 12, 2020 at 04:47 pm

Cut him some slack, Jack. Andy Reid is a fat old fart, like myself, and Covid really clobbers us old guys.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:12 pm

I hope Reid can avoid the virus. And he does seem like he'd be vulnerable to it because of his age and weight. Crazy times. Thanks for commenting, egbertsouse.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

September 12, 2020 at 05:01 pm

Pantyhose, that would be hilarious! When it gets cold out he can wear one of those leather masks. You know very well which ones I'm speaking of Splitpea.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
splitpea1's picture

September 12, 2020 at 05:07 pm

???

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

September 13, 2020 at 10:30 am

Just kidding with you in reference to your profile picture.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:12 pm

That would be um...different! Thanks for commenting, PeteK.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:11 pm

Well, in 2020, the well dressed coach will be wearing...lol. No, I don't know what we will see from the other coaches. It is a weird and strange year but at least the NFL is trying to make the season possible. We shall see. Thanks for commenting, splitpea1.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Dragon5's picture

September 12, 2020 at 04:06 pm

My view on 2020 season...

First, addressing the injury bug as it's nearly impossible to expect success without health. Injury prone 7 energy is associated with these players for 2020.
Most at risk: Crosby, Bahktiari
Others: Sullivan, EQ, Kirksey, Foster, MVS, King, Njiman, Bolton, Ramsey, Ervin, Dillon

If healthy, players likely to exceed expectations...OX & RAT year born players
OX: Alexander, Gary, Stepaniak, Runyun Jr, Savage Jr, Deguara, Hansen, V. Scott
RAT: Kingsley, Jackson, Sullivan, Crosby, Lewis, EQ

Earlier this year I warned our OL is in trouble due to numerous GOAT year starters (Turner, Linsley, Bahktiari). Their enemy sign, the OX, approaches and officially begins Feb 12, 2021. We're already seeing issues with Turner. I explained that a patchwork OL is likely by season's end. If the 2020 class OL steps up, we could see Gute win GM of the year if these rookies become starters, and, in conjunction, we see the likes of the 2019 & 2018 class, highlighted by the OX & RAT year players mentioned above, blossom. The worst thing Gute can do to mess this up is to re-up Bahktiari in Bahk's enemy year. While Gute stands to shine, Murphy and LaFleur are also born in GOAT years, so heat is coming their way. For Murphy, that may be repurcussions of forcing the LaFleur hire. For LaFleur, that may be retaining Pettine, a HORSE. We are in a RAT year and HORSE and RAT are enemy signs. Despite numerous younger defensive players expected to shine, I'm looking for Pettine to fail to "bring it all together" with his brand of defense and be released after this year.

9-7 missing the playoffs

+ REPLY
-5 points
0
5
egbertsouse's picture

September 12, 2020 at 04:50 pm

Probably the most credible analysis I’ve seen so far.

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:14 pm

Wow, Dragon 5. I hope this analysis doesn't come true, but we shall see. It's going to be a long, crazy season so strap in for the ride. Thanks for commenting.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
BrettFavor's picture

September 12, 2020 at 08:34 pm

With the changes to the playoff format 9-7 is almost guaranteed to be enough to make it in. I don't know what the heck you are talking with the rats and oxen, but good luck with all that.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Archie's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:41 pm

Best of luck to our 48 in their maiden voyage. I expect we fans will be rather excited over what they show us on Sunday in the land of purple.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
GilMartin's picture

September 12, 2020 at 06:49 pm

I sure hope so. Thanks for the comment, Archie.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
BrettFavor's picture

September 12, 2020 at 08:29 pm

I'm with you on all accounts. I don't think WR will be as big of an issue as fans think and I've been saying MVS is a jump candidate. People seem to forget that Jordy Nelson didn't break out until the playoffs of his third season. Davante Adams had almost the same numbers as MVS through two seasons and some people were calling for him to be cut when he struggled with injuries in his second season just like MVS.

If Turner is healthy I'll think we'll be fine at O-Line as the season progresses. My biggest concern is the D-Line behind Kenny Clark. I'm a little higher on Lowry than a lot of fans and I think Rashan Gary emerging will allow Z to play inside a lot more like he did towards the end of last season. Kirksey is an upgrade over Martinez, that Martin kid looks like a stud (unfortunately he has to miss at least 4 games) and we might finally get to see what Oren Burks can do when healthy. I haven't given up on him either, he's smart and has the athletic ability to play well at this level, but missing so much time especially in the off-season with injuries hurts development.

Don't underestimate Raven Greene, him going down last year hurt our run defense way more than I expected until I went back and watched his tape of the first couple of games last year. He was all over the field, our LB pass coverage should be much improved. We'll see if we can improve against the run. That's the difference between us fighting for a playoff spot and being real contenders... Improving against the run.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
PackfanNY's picture

September 12, 2020 at 09:12 pm

Gute clearly thinks #5 is not a problem. This was a draft loaded with WRs. I don’t want to hear about receivers not getting separation or guys being inexperienced. Comfortable by the end of the season? His actions (not drafting a WR) say he believes in these guys. Comfortable is a hedge word. Gute went all in. I hope he’s right.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

September 12, 2020 at 09:47 pm

When the Packers were picking at #30 or 26 for that matter, there weren't WR worthy of being selected in rd1. They would have taken Jefferson or Aiyuk if they had the chance. Same was true in rd 2. By #62 the board was picked clean at 62.

Any WR in rd 3 would have been a long shot to contribute, so it wasn't worth it at that point.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
AZ's picture

September 12, 2020 at 10:01 pm

I guess I’m in the minority where I agree with point #5. If you look at Lazard’s total starts in ‘19 (3 starts), the fact that his first playing time in the offense came in week 6, and the growing rapport with Rodgers (not to mention how WRs tend to make a jump in year 3). I’m expecting at least 60 receptions and 800 yards from Lazard. MVS will not be as good as he was in weeks 1-4 (16 receptions for over 200 yards), but he won’t be as horrific as the rest of the season (10 total receptions). He’ll make a jump and likely fall somewhere in between. I’m banking on 40-50 catches for 600+ yards. If wrong, EQ will provide insurance. An improved run game (which was already really good), more 2-TE sets, and improved TE play (it’s addition by subtraction with Jimmy Graham, and Deguara will provide more versatility for this offense) that will help take pressure off the receiver group - again, I agree that the WR group will be just fine and take critics by surprise.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Since'61's picture

September 12, 2020 at 10:29 pm

Our defense will be more effective if Kirksey and Gary can make significant contributions. Together they will add some much needed speed to our front 7.

On offense, I remain concerned about RT and the fact that we did not add speed to our skill positions, especially WR. MVS could bring speed to the WR group if he can stay healthy, run good routes and actually catch the ball when thrown to him. Those 3 leaps may be one leap too far in terms of our expectations for MVS.

The flip side is that an effective ground game can assist the WR corps in becoming more explosive via play action. Suddenly players who could not get separation last season will have a step or two on defenders who need to respect the run game.

Preferably the Packers will be less sloppy than their opponents for the first 2-3 games. Although even with complete off seasons and preseason games we have seen plenty of sloppy football early in previous seasons since the starters only play about one quarter of snaps throughout 4 preseason games.

Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
blacke00's picture

September 13, 2020 at 08:18 am

I suspect that Right tackle will be an issue. One position the Packers may have to keep "tweeking" all year long. Second, D line will be an issue and constant reworking of personal. I worries that the defense will look a lot like last year and be "terminally" mediocre!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.