Survey Results: Your Expectations for the 2022 Green Bay Packers

The results are in, and fans are still clinging to Super Bowl hopes.

If the results of this year's annual Packer fan expectations survey are any indication, fans have moved on from January's crushing defeat at home against the San Francisco 49ers and are feeling mostly positive about the team's prospects this season.

There is, perhaps, a sense of underlying desperation. The Packers have never had a better opportunity than the 2021 season to win a championship in the Aaron Rodgers era. They had homefield advantage, the deepest and most talented roster arguably ever assembled during Rodgers' tenure, and a relatively weak NFC field with a relatively weak AFC Champion. The loss to the 49ers that ended the season was an inexcusable embarrassment, one that had many (myself included) understandably pushing for the Packers to rip off the Band-Aid and move the franchise in a new direction.

But with Aaron Rodgers back in Green Bay for a franchise record 18th season, the Packers are once again prepared to run it back under the back-to-back MVP. 

At this point, nothing about the regular season matters. The Packers have been knocking on the door for several years. There have been too many collapses, too many failures. The time has come for this team to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years.

But the past is the past. A new year is underway, and we're looking to the future. Thanks to the 659 fans who responded to this year's survey! Here's the data.

Packer fans are generally somewhere in the 8-9 scale when it comes to how good they feel about the team. The level of confidence isn't quite as sky-high as last year, but fans generally feel like the Packers are at least a contender, if not the team to beat. Very few people (bar the usual statistical outliers) have negative feelings about this team heading into 2022. So we're off to a pretty positive start.

The sweet spot for predicting the Packers' record this coming year seems to be a 12-win season. The Packers are coming off several years of 13-win seasons, an unprecedented run of regular season success. That's going to have to come to an end sooner or later, and 12 wins certainly seems reasonable. Notably, more fans expect a 13-win season (26.9 percent) than an 11-win season (17.1 percent). So again, there are generally high expectations for the performance of this team in the 2022 season.

More than half of survey respondents believe the Buffalo Bills pose the biggest matchup problem for the Packers in 2022. This is certainly a reasonable position. The Bills are widely considered a top Super Bowl contender this year and are led by the phenomenal Josh Allen, one of the most exciting young players in the game. A good 22.6 percent of respondents believed the Buccaneers posed the toughest matchup, due in large part I'm sure to recent history against that team.

In a distant third at 12.6 percent are the Los Angeles Rams, with whom the Packers haven't had much difficulty the last couple times they've played. As our own Aaron Nagler once famously said, "the Green Bay Packers play football. The Los Angeles Rams play fantasy football." Ignore the fact that the Rams went on to win the Super Bowl and the Packers... well...

 

This was a surprise to me. More than half of respondents still believe the Packers will win the Super Bowl in 2022. Despite the way the 2021 season ended, people still see this as a championship team. Maybe fans are looking ahead at the schedule with green and and gold-tinted glasses. Personally, I don't see it -- everything about this season will be harder for the Packers. The schedule, the path to a championship, the roster limitations, etc. Of course, that's not to say the Packers are not a legitimate contender, but I certainly would not predict them to win the Super Bowl this year, which I did last year.

For those who don't see the Packers winning the Super Bowl, the most common second guess is that they'll see a relatively early exit for the second year in a row in the divisional playoffs, which would be immensely disappointing as a follow-up to last season's choke job.

Lol. This speaks for itself.

Almost not worth analyzing this. But yeah, if the Packers somehow blow it, the Vikings would seem to have the best chance. Funny that people seem to feel better about the Lions than the Bears.

Very split opinions here. Definitely the closest vote of the polls. The expectation for a top-10 offense just barely edges out the expectation of one that ranks a bit more in the middle of the pack. And honestly, I could see either scenario playing out. It really depends on how the Packers' passing game performs with the current collection of pass catchers. Does Rodgers spread the ball around? Does the offense manage to scheme receivers open? Do the young guys contribute immediately? All key questions. I could see it taking some time for the offense to gel. But I wouldn't be utterly stunned if they came out and diced teams up immediately.

Fans are definitely more hyped about the defense than they've been in many years. A whopping 88.9 percent foresee a top 10 ranking for this defense. After the way it closed out the season, it's hard to disagree, especially with the emergence of Rashan Gary, the improved performance of Preston Smith, and the finds of De'Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas. The Packers get to see a healthy Jaire Alexander playing alongside a second-year Eric Stokes and Douglas all at the same time, plus filled some key holes and depth needs in free agency and the draft. This could be a really, really fun unit to watch. 

Bonus question for this year: do we see an Aaron Rodgers three-peat happening?

Brett Favre is the only player in NFL history to pull it off, so there would be a certain irony in Aaron Rodgers being the one to match it. The odds are certainly against Rodgers as it is an incredibly difficult feat to maintain MVP-level performance multiple years in a row. But if anyone is capable, it's Rodgers. Especially when you consider MVP is now a quarterback-only award (in essence) and there are maybe five to eight MVP-level players at the position in the NFL at the moment, Rodgers has as good a shot as any of them.

That being said, 77.1 percent of fans expect his reign at the MVP position to end this year. I see that as them smartly playing the odds.

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So those were all the multiple choice questions! Now let's move into the free responses.

Which player will be the biggest (positive) surprise in 2022?

Ranked by frequency, here are the five most-common responses to this question:

1. Romeo Doubs
2. Amari Rodgers
3. Josiah Deguara
4. Christian Watson
5. Quay Walker

Several rookies in this list, so fans seem to have positive feelings about the Packers' draft class. But, more notably, four of the five players on this list (and all the top four) are pass catchers. This would seem to indicate that despite the general national belief that the Packers have no talent at the receiving position, there is actually quite a bit of potential waiting to be unlocked.

Doubs in particular seems like a player that fans have high hopes for, and I've seen this echoed on Twitter quite a bit. Doubs will get plenty of opportunities to play his way into the rotation during preseason, with Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins opening camp on the PUP and the would-be starters Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard likely seeing limited snaps. 

The Packers could certainly use a big improvement from Deguara this season. Deguara essentially was a rookie last year after losing the majority of his first year to a torn ACL. Tight end is a notoriously difficult position to master in the NFL, with it often taking several years of development before players really "get it." This is a big year for Deguara to make a statement that he should be part of the Packers' long-term future. 

Which player not named Aaron Rodgers will be most vital to the team's success in 2022?

Here are the top responses to this question:

1. Rashan Gary
2. Aaron Jones
3. Jaire Alexander
4. David Bakhtiari
5. AJ Dillon

Very interesting list this year. Gary makes his debut on this list as being far and away the top selection. He could very well be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate if he stays healthy and continues his trajectory.

David Bakhtiari and Jaire Alexander are two players coming back from injury that could make a big difference. With Bakhtiari, it's still up in the air as to when he will actually be back; the Packers continue to be cagey regarding his status and seem to still be hedging their bets with him. Alexander should be good to go from day one, and it will be fascinating to watch how his presence adds to an already talented perimeter secondary.

Aaron Jones is a sensible player for this list, but seeing AJ Dillon here is also quite interesting. Jones and Dillon saw a pretty equal workload in 2021 and that could well continue. Tell Packer fans a couple years ago immediately after Dillon was drafted that he'd eventually be seen as one of the team's most important players and they'd probably have laughed in your face.

What is your Super Bowl matchup?

An overwhelming majority of responses saw the Packers taking on the Bills in this year's Super Bowl. But there were plenty of variations. Some of the most far-out responses included the Raiders or Cowboys making the Super Bowl. There wasn't much variance in the NFC; it was basically Packers, Rams or Bucs with a couple outliers.

What are you most looking forward to about the Packers' 2022 season?

Here's where I like to include some comments left by participants in the survey. Enjoy!

"An elite defense" - @packerstribe

"How Aaron Rodgers handles the offense without Devonte" - Steve Grover. *NOTE* Davante Adams may be gone, but the misspellings remain!

"For them to surprise everyone who counted them out." - Hail Mary Joe

"Watching the defense take that next step." - Sean-Luc Shanahan

"Rodgers retiring on a championship." - @thomaslandrson

"Always love to see guys with a chance to come into their own. Things I'm looking at on this front: Second year from Stokes, Rashan with the chance for a "Household name" kinda season, can Quay make waves in year one, can Tonyan/Deguara make something of the TE position, will Aaron Jones' usage shift even more towards pass catching, what kind of juice does Watson have as a rookie?" - @Southpaw

"Butterflies in my stomach and new helmets?" - @DawnDacquisto

"Aaron Rodgers going OFF!" - @matttrombone

"Seeing Rashan Gary toss offensive linemen around like rag dolls." - @theotherrobin19

"The defense" - @bigpackers4x

"If the defense lives up to the preseason hype." - @Michael_Klinck

"The Breakout stars, Aaron Rodgers Going off as usual, and the return of the greatest franchise in sports" - @BraydenTeeter

"

Aaron Rodgers ending his career with another Super Bowl MVP."  - @BruceIronsNFL

"Development of the rookie WRs" - @tjgenz

"Just seeing the packers play again on a Sunday night in the fall" - beeftenderloin_

"

Beating the Rams and Vikings to lead two segments of "Where Colin was WRONG!"" - BigALfromCal

"

Seeing a defense first Packers team in the Rodgers era." - ppnaps

"

Dbak back at practice" - @fallonspalgary

"

Running the damn ball!" - GBWest

"

Kenny Clark finally gets some quality help." - Electric Packerland

"

Me getting my hopes up again" - @Derpager

"

Defensive progression in year 2 with Barry and 12 having to spread the ball around and play within lafleur’s system." - benjammin

"

Sweeping the NFC North" - mrtundra

"

The cold bus ride the team will have to endure when riding in Green Bay for the victory celebration after winning the Super Bowl." - Coach T

"

If the defense lives up to their potential on paper." - @JerseyalGBP

"

Just getting back to football" - @gmeinholz

"

Advancing further into the playoffs." - @mattmamba24

"

Honestly, I despise Aaron Rodgers so much that it's hard to get excited about this team. They'll choke when favored in the NFC playoffs again and 12 will blame anyone else but the guy in the mirror." - Bearmeat

"

Trip to London with my wife!" - markgfohey

"

Watching Aaron Rodgers light it up against Chicago." - @palmtrees0rbust

"

Watching the young Wide Receivers develop and seeing who will emerge as the most productive." - GreenBaySmacker

"

Hopefully going to a few games and soaking in the experience knowing how great of a privilege it is to not only go to a game, but go to a game in potentially AR12’s penultimate season" - @skisingh_

"

Beating the bears - never gets old" - @erikphelps

"

Lots of Pony Personnel." - HE Soder

"

Locker room interviews and teammates roasting each other" - @kevinklein1217

"

I want to finally see a defense that is one of the most feared in the NFL. May not approach 85 Bears. But the comparisons will ring out all season. I hope." - @Multiversical

 

______________________

Big thank you to EVERYONE who contributed in this year's survey! On we go to the new season. Go pack go!

__________________________

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 (15)

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GregC's picture

July 28, 2022 at 06:41 am

The consensus sounds about right to me: better defense, offense not quite as good, around 12 wins, and losing in the playoffs. I love the potential if the offense gels, though.

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NickPerry's picture

July 28, 2022 at 07:25 am

I see many of us view the 2022 Green Bay Packers much in the same way I do. I see a 12-win team who will once again win the NFC North and probably will have it wrapped up by Christmas when they play in Miami (In your face Cowherd).

Based on the type of team I THINK the Packers will have in 2022, I'd still like to have home field in the Playoffs but it's not a must. I just don't want to play in Florida. I believe this team will be more run-oriented than any Packers team has in several years and the Defense will be special. That playoff performance by the Defense in last year's loss in the playoffs will become more of the norm this season.

I AM concerned about the offense a bit considering the O-Line will be without two of the best O-Linemen in the NFL to start the season. Now that we know Bakhtiari has had the third surgery I think mid-season is when he'll start making his way back on the field. That sucks but hopefully it's all positive moving forward. Getting Jenkins back ASAP is now even more important.

The Packers schedule just isn't that tough. My hope is they have "Their Guys" back a few weeks before the bye week and will be rolling by the playoffs.

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Guam's picture

July 28, 2022 at 08:01 am

My local Wisconsin (Madison) newspaper did an interview with Bahktiari yesterday and Bahk disclosed that he had a third procedure done on his injured knee in January of this year. He said that he is feeling much better; that the ACL is long in the rear view mirror; and that the third procedure is not related to any structural issues from the original ACL injury. He also would not set a timetable for his return, but certainly expected to play this year.

Not sure quite how I feel about all of that information. The ACL apparently is healed but something else was amiss and required a third procedure. The timing of the third procedure does explain the lack of participation in OTAs and currently being on the PUP list. I guess there is more hope than I had before, but it is not clear when he will be ready to play.

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murf7777's picture

July 28, 2022 at 09:15 am

Guam, his and Arod’s remarks make me feel better than the day before.

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PatrickGB's picture

July 28, 2022 at 11:28 am

I just knew that there was more to Bakh’s knee issue. I am glad that the third procedure was done. I was sure that there were more problems with the knee than an ACL repair. Yet, it’s good news that the problem was identified and probably fixed. I also was a tad concerned about all the players on PUP at the start of the season. But I would rather the problems were identified now so they can be fixed. Too often a problem lingers throughout a season and shuts down a player when he is most needed. Better now than later.

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ricky's picture

July 28, 2022 at 08:58 am

The key to the SB is if the Packers get hot entering the playoffs. This would mean that LaFleur would be able to adjust the offense as the opponent's defense takes away some part of the game. If they shut down the run, can they get yards by doing play action or short passes to "move the chains". Or would Rodgers, who simply loves his "big chunk plays" get antsy and go for broke at crucial times? Is this team good enough to be SB champs? Yes. They have been the last few seasons. But they need to adjust their level of play to reflect the stakes, rather than depend on the other team allowing them to do what they want.

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RCPackerFan's picture

July 28, 2022 at 09:44 am

Which player will be the biggest (positive) surprise in 2022?
The players listed are all really good choices. Those would be my top choices as well.

I think Doubs being the top choice is definitely on point. I think he is going to really do well. Numbers wise I don't know what he will put up, but I think he is going to perform really well. He could be a key factor as a return man also.
Amari Rodgers i also believe will have a very good year. I think he becomes a big part of the offense. Also he will be in the mix for a returner. It sounds like he had a heck of an offseason slimming down.

One name not on the list that I have seen mentioned a lot I would say is Tyler Davis. He is a guy that could emerge with no Tonyan at least early in camp, Davis could emerge as the top TE.

Which player not named Aaron Rodgers will be most vital to the team's success in 2022?
Again, this is a good list of players. I think Jones/Dillon both being on the list shows that many think the key to the offense will be ran through the run game. Which I agree with especially early in the season. I think the OL as a whole needs to be on here. Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Myers are the top 3 guys they need and need to stay healthy, all 3 were injured last year. Alexander being healthy and playing at his level his huge for the defense. I think Alexander maybe the most vital.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 28, 2022 at 09:52 pm

Tyler Davis - Yup, he should be on the list.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 28, 2022 at 11:56 am

I'm kind of laughing. Three years in a row, our offense is pretty ineffective in playoff losses, but people are saying their concern is the defense. 56 points in 3 games is less than 19 ppg. Add in that two of them were at home, and one of those times we had the league's leading offense in the regular season.

We will win just about every game that the offense doesn't turn it over more than once. If you go back over the last three years, playoffs included, and look at our 41-13 record, this is what you see.

9/26/19.....Our first loss, a narrow 34-31 loss at home to the Eagles. We had two turnovers and a fourth and goal failure, which is essentially a turnover.

11/3/2019. We mail it in on a road loss to the Chargers and manage only 184 yards and 11 points.

11/24/2019. A bad beating in SF. 8 points, 198 total yards, one turnover.

01/19/2020. 20 points, 3 turnovers in the Champioship game loss.

10/18/2020. After jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead, we disintegrate. 2 turnovers, 10 points, and 201 yards of offense in a loss in Tampa Bay.

11/1/2020. The Vikings kept our offense off the field by just controlling the ball and dominating the clock. It is the only loss in the LaFleur record where our inability to stop the run and get off the field was a primary cause of the loss. 22 points, 1 turnover.

11/22/2020 An overtime loss in Indianpolis. We had four turnovers on the day, the last one in overtime.

01/24/2021 NFCC loss at home to Tampa Bay. Two huge turnovers converted into 14 points, but we only managed 3 points off the three takeaways and were 0-6 in goal-to-go situations.

9/12/2021 We mail it in against the Saints in the opener.
9/7/2021 We score 7 points with our backup QB .

11/21/2021 A very unique game. We lost a high scoring 34-31 game to Minnesota where we had a very good offensive game and did not turn the ball over. This is the only time this has happened in the LaFleur era.

1/9/2022. A loss in a meaningless game in Detroit. 3 turnovers.

1/22/22 A HISTORICALLY BAD home playoff performance by an offense that scored 10 points and had 263 yards of offense, quite a bit of it on the first two possessions.

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PatrickGB's picture

July 28, 2022 at 11:32 am

I watched too many games when the opponent roared back from a deficit to make it a close game. It’s nice to think that our defense can have to potential to help our offense when we don’t have #17 on the field. Yes, I expect that our offense might struggle a bit without Adams but with a better defense we might not need hero ball so much.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 28, 2022 at 12:09 pm

18 games last year.

In 11 of those games, we held the opponent to 22 points or less. We were 9-2 in those two games. One of the losses was the Chief's game, without Rodgers, and one of those was the playoff loss.

I'd like it if you could tell me when the opponent roared back. And remember, a close win is still a win.

We had three games last year with multiple turnovers, all losses. The opener, the Chief's loss, the meaningless game in Detroit. In the games where we had 1 or 0 turnovers, we were 13-2.

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dobber's picture

July 28, 2022 at 04:29 pm

I usually agree that a win is a win, but I'd tap the Arizona and Baltimore games as darn fortunate wins where they played with a solid lead for big chunks of the games.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 28, 2022 at 07:12 pm

Darn fortunate wins……on the road against quality opponents. Like SF and the Bengals. That’s a lot of good fortune, and some teams never seem to get that fortunate.

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Jaqu’eau's picture

July 28, 2022 at 05:58 pm

Cool poll. Thanks for organizing and compiling. You started off so well with the graphs. However, recommend not using pie charts, the absolute worst type of graph to use to visualize this type of data or most data. The eyes get so tired scanning back and forth trying to figure out which segment references which response. (Having said that, the pie chart related to whether GB will win the nfc north is visually if not emotionally appealing.) Second, limit the use of color in graphs; recommend the use of gray scale with one color only for the segments you want to highlight. The reader will delight in its simplicity. The data pops out and is more easily accessible. Less is more in this case.

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Bearmeat's picture

July 29, 2022 at 09:10 am

Thanks for putting this together, guys. It'd be interesting to see what the reasons are from those who don't believe in the team to win it all. Not just when they'll lose but why.

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