The Green Bay Packers are coming off a 2014 season which they won their 4th straight NFC North title with an overall record of 12-4, but a devastating 22-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship put a damper on what could have been.

The Packers went into CenturyLink Field and took a commanding 16-0 halftime lead on the defending Super Bowl champs. They later led 19-7 with less than 5-minutes to play in regulation, but things went south from there, including a botch onside kick that led to a Seattle touchdown. The Packers were able to rally for a field goal to force overtime, but would allow a 35-yard touchdown pass to seal their fate.

Needless to say, Green Bay has had plenty of motivation in the offseason, which is a scary thing for one of the better teams in the league. Sticking to their blue-print of success, the Packers focused more on retaining the players on their roster, instead of signing free agents. Almost the entire nucleus is back for what will be a Super Bowl or bust season in 2015.

Last Season
NFC North
Record
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Over/Under
1st
12-4
9-6-1
6-1-1
3-5
11-5
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
6th
15th
+14
30.4
21.8
2015 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
Damarious Randall (FS), Quinten Rollins (CB), Ty Montgomery (WR), Jake Ryan (OLB), Brett Hundley (QB), Aaron Ripkowski (FB), Christian Ringo (DE), Kennard Backman (TE)
Additions
Losses
A.J. Hawk (ILB), Tramon Williams (CB), Jarrett Boykin (WR), Davon House (CB), Matt Flynn (QB), Jarrett Bush (CB), Jamari Lattimore (ILB), DuJuan Harris (RB), Kevin Dorsey (WR)
2015 Schedule & Odds
Week Opponent Spread Win Chance
1 @ Bears -4 0.66
2 Seahawks -1 0.51
3 Chiefs -5.5 0.69
4 @ 49ers PK 0.50
5 Rams -5.5 0.69
6 Chargers -5.5 0.69
7 BYE
8 @ Broncos +1.5 0.47
9 @ Panthers PK 0.50
10 Lions -5 0.68
11 @ Vikings -3 0.59
12 Bears -7.5 0.78
13 @ Lions PK o.50
14 Cowboys -4.5 0.67
15 @ Raiders -7 0.75
16 @ Cardinals PK 0.50
17 Vikings -7 0.75
Estimated Wins: 9.93
Roster Breakdown

As long as Aaron Rodgers is under center in Green Bay, the Packers will almost assuredly have one of the best offenses in the NFL. That was the case in 2014, as Green Bay ranked 6th in total offense (386.1 ypg) and 1st in scoring offense (30.4 ppg). They did so behind a balanced offensive attack, averaging 119.8 ypg on the ground (11th) and 266.3 ypg through the air (8th).

Rodgers put up another staggering season on his way to winning his second MVP, throwing for 4,318 yards and 38 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions. Those numbers are great, but had it not been for a left calf injury that Rodgers suffered in Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we could very well be referring to the defending Super Bowl champs.

Rogers will have all of his primary weapons back for 2015, including the dynamic wide receiver duo of Jordy Nelson (98 catches, 1,519 yards, 13 TDs) and Randall Cobb (91 catches, 1,287 yards, 12 TDs). These two will remain the focal points of the passing game, but the Packers are hoping to get more of 2nd-year wide out Davante Adams and 2nd-year tight end Richard Rodgers.

Eddie Lacey returns as the feature back out of the backfield and is coming off another strong season, in which he rushed for 1,139 yards and 9 touchdowns, while also catching 42 passes for 427 yards and 4 scores. James Starks returns as a reliable backup in case Lacey were to go down.

One of the keys to last year’s big numbers offensively, is the fact that Green Bay managed to avoid any major injuries on the offensive line. The starting five of left tackle David Bakhtiari, left guard Josh Sitton, rookie center Corey Linsley, right guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Bryan Bulaga played in 17 of 18 possible games. All 5 are back which is great for continuity, but can the Packers go another season without losing at least one of their starters to injury?

Part way through last season, defense looked to be the one thing that would keep Green Bay from making a title run. The Packers poor play at inside linebacker was resulting in opposing teams running all over them. Then came the brilliant decision of head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers to move star outside linebacker Clay Matthews to the inside. It worked to perfection, as Matthews instantly improved the run defense.

The hope is that Matthews will be able to move back to outside linebacker, where his ability to put pressure on the quarterback can be taken advantage of, but I don’t think the Packers will hesitate to keep him inside if it comes down to it. Where Matthews ends up will come down to the play of 4th round rookie Jake Ryan out of Michigan, as well as unproven holdovers Sam Barrington and Carl Bradford.

The biggest losses on the entire team this past offseason came in the secondary, where Green Bay lost starting corner Tramon Williams and top backup corner Davon House. They are set at one starting corner spot with Casey Hayward, but will need either veteran Sam Shields or 2nd round rookie Quinten Rollins to emerge as the other starter. Green Bay does have a talented 1-2 punch at safety with Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but went ahead and used their 1st round pick on Arizona State safety Damarious Randall. It will be interesting to see how the Packers incorporate Randall into their defense.

Future Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the NFC
to Win Super Bowl L
10
7 to 2
7 to 1
Odds Courtesty of 5Dimes
Projections

Much like we have seen with Tom Brady in New England and Peyton Manning with both Indianapolis and Denver, the elite quarterbacks typically deliver for their teams. We are already seeing it unfold with Rodgers and the Packers, who I believe are well on their way to a 5th straight division title and 7th consecutive playoff appearance.

While the schedule isn’t easy, as the NFC North is matched up with both the NFC West and AFC West, plus Green Bay draws two more division winners in Carolina and Dallas in their two cross-conference matchups, the Packers should be well on their way to another double-digit win season.

With that said, I do think the schedule will keep them from topping last year’s 12-wins. I have Green Bay going 11-5, though I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them finish 12-4 or even 13-3.

NFC North Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
1st
4-2
11-5
OVER 10
Packers 10-Year Recap
Year W L Playoffs Coach Win Total
2014 12 4 Lost Conf McCarthy 10.5
2013 8 7 Lost WC McCarthy 10.5
2012 11 5 Lost Div McCarthy 12
2011 15 1 Lost Div McCarthy 11.5
2010 10 6 Won SB McCarthy 9.5
2009 11 5 Lost WC McCarthy 9
2008 6 10 McCarthy 8.5
2007 13 3 Lost Conf McCarthy 7.5
2006 8 8 McCarthy 6
2005 4 12 Sherman 8

Zach Roethlisberger

Zach Roethlisberger
LombardiAve.com

OVER 10 Wins – This will depend on whether Green Bay can get it together on the road this season. I’m taking the over with 12 wins. The fire power Green Bay was able to retain and the chemistry that has been accumulated these past couple seasons makes this one of the best teams in the Aaron Rodgers era. Expect a number 1 or close number 2 seed in the NFC this season.

Matt George

Matt George
LombardiAve.com

OVER 10 Wins – The Pack have 21 of 22 starters returning and league MVP Rodgers is still in his prime. The defense came on late last season and the team drafted key pieces that will make an immediate impact. I have them winning 12 games.

Cory Jennerjohn

Cory Jennerjohn
CheeseheadTV.com

OVER 10 Wins – When I initially saw that the over/under for Packers’ wins was 10 this year, I was pretty surprised.

Green Bay gets NFC powers Seattle and Dallas at home and the NFC North will be marginal yet again with the departure of Ndamukong Suh, volatile nature of Jay Cutler and the rust from Adrian Peterson. The toughest test for this team will come in Week 16 when the Packers visit the desert to take on the pesky Cardinals.

The Packers own one of the league’s best offensive lines, which is a plus when you have the best quarterback in the galaxy.

Aaron Rodgers won an MVP award and a playoff game despite a nagging calf injury. If he’s healthy for the entire season, which is a pretty good possibility, the Packers could easily touch 13 or 14 wins.

Josh McPeak

Josh McPeak
LombardiAve.com

OVER 10 Wins – With the Green Bay Packers returning all 11 starters on the offensive side of the ball, they should be a lock to duplicate 30+ points per game average from a season ago. Two time MVP Aaron Rodgers will put enough points on the board to overcome a young secondary on defense. The Packers should have no problem reaching north of 10 wins.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon
TotalPackers.com

OVER 10 Wins – Take the over. The only thing that is going to stop the Green Bay Packers from winning 12 games this season is an act of god or a long-term injury to Aaron Rodgers. The highest-scoring offense in the league returns everyone. They have one of the best offensive lines in football, the best quarterback, a top-shelf running back and arguably, the best receiving duo in the league. I would be surprised if the Packers don’t put up 30 a game. The defense is greatly improved with Clay Matthews in the middle, as was demonstrated in the second half of last season. They’re also pretty ticked off about that debacle of an NFC Championship game. This team is hungry and they’re going to roll people.

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson
Packers.Blogspot.com

OVER 10 Wins – I’d bet on the Green Bay Packers winning over 10 games in 2015. While the Vikings should be improved and the Packers shouldn’t win as many close games in 2015 as they did in 2014, the Bears are rebuilding under a new head coach and the Lions are beginning life without Suh, which should help them in their division.

CD Angeli

C.D. Angeli
PackersTalk.com

The Packers have too much talent to allow the few positional weaknesses (TE , LB, CB) to prevent them from winning the games they “should” win. Packers should be dominant against the division (5-1) and easily win at least 6 of their non-division games.

Do they have enough to be more than an also-ran come Super Bowl time? How those positional weaknesses develop will go a long way in determining that.

Freddie Boston

Freddie Boston
LombardiAve.com

OVER 10 Wins – To me, the Green Bay Packers are the best team in football right now. For 57 minutes the Packers dominated Seattle on their own turf, and I think the 2015 Packers will be an even better, more focused team. Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game and the Green Bay offense is stacked with talent at every position other than tight end. The defense made huge strides last year and it will be good enough this season. The Packers have a tough schedule and they will lose some games, but to me there is no team in the NFL as good as Green Bay and they should be posting 12-13 wins.

Tex Western

Tex Western
AcmePackingCompany.com

OVER 10 Wins – It seems odd that a year after making the NFC Championship Game, the Packers are projected for their lowest win total in the last few years. What makes that even stranger is the fact that the defense played very well down the stretch in 2014 and that the offense returns all 11 starters from a unit that led the NFL in points a year ago.

This Packers team, as currently constructed, has as good a chance to earn home-field advantage in the NFC and to make the Super Bowl as any in Aaron Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay. Even with a challenging travel schedule (playing both West divisions), predicting 10 wins seems to undersell this team. I see 11 wins as a reasonable prediction, and 12 or 13 as a serious possibility if the team stays mostly healthy.

Al Davis

Al Davis
Packernet.com

OVER 10 Wins – I think the Packers will win 13 games this year. Their depth at the offensive skill positions gives Aaron Rodgers a plethora of weapons. They also have arguably the best offense live in the league. Thier defense was much improved last year after Clay Matthews moved inside and that is where he will be starting this year. With a young aggressive secondary, the Packers’ defense should be good from the start.

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