Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look to get back to the playoffs under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur
It feels like the dawn of a new era in Green Bay coming into this season. The front office has turned over recently, the unique ownership situation has shifted a bit and, of course, longtime head coach Mike McCarthy was jettisoned last year and Matt LaFleur was brought in.
Through it all though, there’s No. 12. And that Aaron Rodgers fella sure seems like he has something to prove in 2019.
How much his supporting cast and the new coaching staff will help make that work out between the lines remains to be seen but Green Bay’s roster is in much better shape than it has been and there’s hope that the energy from all those changes can be channeled into wins. The defense looks primed to make a big jump in particular and Rodgers can still dazzle as one of the best in the game under center. If everything clicks, it won’t be a question of making the playoffs but of going how far?
How will it all play out for the new-look cheeseheads? Athlon Sports asked several experts to share their predictions for just how the Packers' season will play out and what the team’s record will be when all is said and done.
Green Bay Packers Game-by-Game Predictions for 2019
Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer)
Sign me up for a big bounce-back in Green Bay and that’s even with such a huge unknown at head coach. Mike McCarthy lasted a few years too long with the organization and between him and some dead weight on the roster getting cleared out, there’s a sense of hunger out of these Packers for the first time in several years. The defense should be one of the better units in the NFC all things considered and I fully expect Aaron Rodgers to post one of his best seasons ever to remind everybody just how good he is. The schedule isn’t a cakewalk, which might bring down the regular season ceiling a bit but winning the division seems like the baseline for this group in 2019.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Green Bay will be an interesting team to watch this season, as the Aaron Rodgers/Matt LaFleur pairing gets its first opportunity at the rest of the NFC. The Packers certainly have question marks — depth at WR, pass protection and defense — but having a quarterback like Rodgers can make up for a lot of roster concerns. With a road trip to Chicago, followed by home dates against Minnesota, Denver and Philadelphia and a trek to Dallas on Oct. 6, Green Bay should have a good idea of where it stacks up in the NFC North after that five-game stretch to begin the 2019 season. I’ll take the Bears to win the North, but the Packers should be better than last year’s 6-9-1 record and will push for a wild card spot.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMark)
All eyes will be on the Aaron Rodgers/Matt LaFleur pairing but this Packers team has other question marks. The defense was retooled with several big free-agent signings and through the draft, but does that mean it will be significantly better? Wide receiver depth behind Davante Adams also is a bit of an unknown and the same goes for the interior of the offensive line. It's easy to say Green Bay will fare better than last year's team that went 6-9-1. But even if the Packers match my 10-6 prediction I still view Chicago and Minnesota as the top teams in the NFC North, meaning Rodgers and Co. will have to fight for a wild card berth.