Survey Results: Your Expectations for the 2020 Green Bay Packers

In a season that is itself uncertain, Packers fans are also uncertain about the team's potential.

Several weeks ago, I asked CHTV readers (as I do every summer at the start of training camp) to submit their expectations and thoughts on the team heading into the season. We had a record 622 respondents; many thanks to all those of you who took the time to submit your thoughts!

Obviously, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding whether or not this entire season will actually be played. I asked respondents to submit their thoughts with the assumption that we will get a full season in 2020.

Last year's results revealed a cautiously optimistic tone heading into the season after two straight years of losing. This year, it appears as though fans are hesitant to get their hopes up. The prevailing notion seems to be that the Packers will neither advance as far nor win as many games as they did in 2019. This is a reasonable take, considering it's hard to top 13-3 and a conference championship berth. But in a year in which there was very little offseason training and no exhibition play, the Packers have a lot of holdover from last year and thus are well positioned to see continued success.

Here's an overview of the survey results for this year.

In response to this first question, Packers fans are feeling mostly optimistic about the quality of the team heading into 2020. A plurality of fans said they're at about an eight out of 10 on the confidence scale, which marks an improvement over last year's most common answer of a seven out of 10. There were a lot of questions about the quality of the team heading into 2019, so now that the Packers have proven themselves capable of winning with the roster they have, the slightly higher level of confidence makes more sense. The percentage of nines nearly doubled, while the percentage of 10s stayed mostly even.

The most popular response for how many games the Packers will win this year was 11, followed by 10. Interestingly, there were more respondents who expected the packers to win nine or even just eight games in 2020 than there were respondents who predicted the team would equal its 13-3 mark of a year ago.

While it doesn't surprise me that the most popular choice would be for the Packers to win 11 games, I would have expected a higher percentage of people to also pick 12 or 13 games, given what the team accomplished in 2019. But it would seem Packers fans have internalized some of the repeated criticism cast on the team by some of the analytics crowd, and of course, watching the team end a season with a beatdown by the San Francisco 49ers couldn't have exactly left a good taste in fans' mouths, either.

Unsurprisingly, the team that was far and away considered to be the Packers' toughest matchup this year was the team that embarrassed them twice in 2019, those very 49ers. In a very distant second was the New Orleans Saints, and after that the percentages were negligible.

Here's one that really divided the respondents. The largest percentage of fans responding to the poll expect the Packers to lose in the divisional playoffs. The second-largest contingent is the subset of fans who are diehard optimists, expecting a Super Bowl victory (of course, that's probably a more realistic expectation heading into 2020 than it was in 2019, when about 21 percent voted for that choice). A conference championship loss is the third-most popular selection.

So at the very least, the overwhelming majority of respondents expect the Packers to make it at least two rounds deep. A surprising 32 respondents (about 5 percent) believe the Packers will not make the playoffs at all.

An overhwhelming majority of respondents see the Packers repeating as NFC North champions, with the Vikings being their only real competition.

If the Packers don't win the NFC North, fans expect the Vikings will do so. But if not, the Vikings can always get a "2020 NFC North Second Place" banner to hang from the rafters.

While just over 38 percent of respondents see the Packer's offensive improving to a top-10 unit in 2020, most expect the team to generally stand pat in the 11-20 range, falling somewhere in the middle of the pack. The lack of new additions at wide receiver certainly did not help here. These results are nearly mirrored to what they were in 2019, when most respondents expected a top-10 offense out of the team.

Here again, most respondents expect the Packers' defense to fall somewhere in the middle of the pack, but a slightly higher percentage see the team having a top-10 unit in 2020. 

Interesting that the majority of respondents see the Packers having an average offense and defense. This would explain the prevailing notion that the Packers will take a couple steps back in 2020.

Short answer questions

After these multiple choice questions, I provided several short answer questions where fans had the opportunity to submit their own answers.

1. WHICH PLAYER WILL BE THE BIGGEST (POSITIVE) SURPRISE IN 2020?

While there were a lot of different answers submitted here, by far the most common had to be Allen Lazard, AJ Dillon and Jace Sternberger. Packer fans are desperate for some new offensive weapons to come out and prove themselves this year, and these three seem to be as good of candidates as any.

There were a surprising number of votes for Aaron Rodgers this year, showing that many Packer fans were down on Rodgers' performance in 2020, which was statistically solid but generally underwhelming compared to his own lofty standards. On the defensive side of the ball, the most common responses were Josh Jackson and Rashan Gary.

2. WHICH PLAYER NOT NAMED AARON RODGERS WILL BE MOST VITAL TO THE TEAM'S SUCCESS IN 2020?

In 2019, the leading vote-getter here was Davante Adams. Adams was still a very popular choice this year, but he was eclipsed by Za'Darius Smith (by far the most common answer) and had similar results with Aaron Jones. A distant fourth and fifth were David Bakhtiari and Kenny Clark.

3. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT THE PACKERS IN 2020?

Here's where I'll start including the names of some respondents. Here are some other responses that stuck out.

"Just enjoying what the front office has clearly indicated are the last few years of a magical run with 12." - @tweeetDiSpencer

"Seeing the creative ways fans incorrectly wear their masks" - @AugieSalick feeling very optimistic about fans being in the stands at all this year!

"Teamwork and positive energy throughout this organization. Keep pushing forward" - @block_n_my_rari

"Let's just have a season and enjoy it" - @jrehor, who also sees the Packers beating the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

"The pervasive positive effects of offensive time of possession" - Hornungfan

"Just watching football and this team proving doubters wrong" - @thatonedaveguy

"Rodgers shutting people up" - Reyo22

"Spending time with friends, watching the game(s), talking football, life, the universe and everything, sharing beers, laughs and food, in short, just having a good time with mates. And occasionally treating myself and taking monday off from work (due to time difference, I'm living in The Netherlands)" - Sicktus. Cheers to all international fans!

"Winning." - @tylerherrick

"Empty stadiums" - Since '61

"Just getting the opportunity to watch $12 before the #12 show is over. I'm crying now, are ya happy?" - Smokin'JayNobody

"I'm honestly kind of dreading the season. Pandemic and all." - Bearmeat. Hey, at this point Bearmeat, I'll take any football over no football!

"Seeing AJ Dillion truck a DB about 10 yards downfield, many, many times." - TX Cheese

"Improvement in the run defense" - Thegreatreynoldo

"Just football, man." - @chris_wanless

"Sweeping the NFC North" - pkrdug

"New offense in its second year" - @AaronNagler

"Seeing how we measure up to the 49ers" - JerseyAl

"How well they run the ball" - acmepackers12

"Distraction" - beerandkringle

"Football." - @coreybehnke

"Aaron Rodgers winning his second super bowl." - @knudtson_mark

"Seeing the D Train back in action!!" - GreenBayToday

 

Thanks once again to everyone who participated. Go Pack Go, and let's get on with this season already!!

 

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Comments (11)

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

August 24, 2020 at 04:05 pm

I am pretty excited what the team will do this season. I thought the season might be in jeopardy, but it’s looking like they might pull it off, albeit without fans in the stands. There are two players added to their offense that could provide lot of juice; Sternberger and Dillon. If Sternberger stays healthy he could really provide an added boost. I also see Dillon as being a load and fans will quickly see why this guy got drafted so high. On defense it’s looking like Gary will be bringing it. The Kirksey addition should help and wouldn’t surprise me if Martin gets that other ILB spot. I could see them definitely in the mix to represent the NFC in the SB.

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Bure9620's picture

August 24, 2020 at 04:25 pm

I think 11-5 is realistic, possibly 10-6 or 12-4 are possible depending on breaks and bounces. I do expect the Packers to win the division this year. I don't think the North will be as strong as other divisions. The Bears have great personnel on defense, but even if Foles wins the job and stabilizes the QB position do they really scare people offensively? The Vikings have a ton to replace and have to do it with rookies at many positions with a truncated offseason. I think they struggle early. The Lions I feel will be better than most predict and will win some games they are not expected to win. However, they will not be good enough to win the division. If Gary, Sternberger, Burks, Keke, Tonyan Jackson, Sullivan MVS, EQ all make 2nd and 3rd year jumps and some rookies contribute (Dillon, Deguara and Martin) they will be SB contenders...

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Archie's picture

August 24, 2020 at 04:45 pm

There are more "pleasant surprises" in camp this year than I recall in many a year.

(1) ILB - Martin & Kirksey with Summers and Burks right there.

(2) TEs - 3 good blockers and Tonyan

(3) RBs - D-Train plus Dexter no to mention the other 3....

(4) QBs - When was the last time we were this deep in QBs

(5) WRs - I'm expecting 5 solid contributors....

(6) OL - other than depth, we are looking good

(7) Secondary - may be best since our SB group...

(8) OLB - 3 studs and a couple of prospects

(9) DL - Kenny Clark and his band of renowns, as in unknowns.....let's hope Keke comes through and one more.

(10) ST - big improvement last year should continue

Really, we got a pretty nice team this year. If Josh Jackson and some other young guys play to expectations, we have an exciting secondary. Nice blend of youth, still young veterans and a few old grislies. We will run it, we will pass it, we will stop the run (at least slow it down some) and we will rush the QB and get lots of TOs. What more can we ask for?

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stockholder's picture

August 24, 2020 at 05:31 pm

- Eating up the clock. 2. Everybody runs the ball against us. The 2 minute drill will decide 10 games.

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TheVOR's picture

August 24, 2020 at 06:40 pm

considering that 1 in 12 men are color blind, and then considering that nearly 52% of the fans of the NFL are over the age of 50 and need reading glasses at a minimum? In Layman's terms, those charts Blow...

Sorry, as soon as I saw the charts, I checked out, but look at the bright side, you reached an abysmal 48% of your possible audience..

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Bearmeat's picture

August 24, 2020 at 06:39 pm

Packer fans are optimistic, but reasonable (for the most part). I am actually shocked. I personally had 9-7, winning the division, and losing in the divisional round. So according to Bearmeat, my team is slightly above mediocre. Which means fans of the other three NFCN teams should be ashamed of themselves. Again. ;P

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nostradanus's picture

August 24, 2020 at 07:57 pm

SUPER BOWL!!

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murf7777's picture

August 25, 2020 at 08:28 am

7-3 and another North Title. Unfortunately, the season is shortened due to COVID-19. A season without cancellations and delays is overly optimistic. I don’t see a full season happening unless the SB, combine and draft are moved to later in the year so teams that have to quarantine have time to play canceled games. It is going to be an interesting, weird and somewhat frustrating year.

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Smokin'JayNöbody's picture

August 25, 2020 at 08:37 am

Man, not gonna lie, gonna be bummed when #12 is but a memory. But what a treasure trove of "WOW" moments he gave us. Groovy.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 25, 2020 at 11:25 am

Josh Jackson would be a big surprise for me given he hasn't flashed in games at all and mostly plays zone coverage which makes him a bit of a miscast. I hope he does great. But, I'll just be surprised if it's in Pettine's D.

Gary on the other hand has flashed and is an excellent fit. I'm optimistic he makes a big impact.

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hobowilly's picture

August 26, 2020 at 03:14 pm

excited for 2020; the article was confusing when it asked what opponent would be the most challenging since the chart was not the correct one, but we still get the message. IMHO, GB fans should be grateful for GB mgmt and its coaches as it appears the D secondary will likely improve under coach Gray. Many seem to be anointing Sternberger and also Dillon & Deguara in advance, i hope you are right; Dillon may be a hammer, especially later in the season and late in games. Let's hope 3rd and short is no longer an issue, but it's also about offensive play calling and MM was way too predictable.
So very happy with the overall new O scheme as i have much faith in MLF and Co to utilize their players much better than McMuffin did. And, that is also why Deguara will be fit into schemes (MM had no clue on how to use Lewis for example) as he may just become a versatile puzzle for opponents defenses.

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