Mister Obvious Says – The season without Jordy Nelson will mean fewer blowouts and scoring outbursts due to the loss of the big-play potential he brought to Mike McCarthy’s offense. Nelson was tied for a league-high of seven touchdown receptions of 40 or more yards last year, hugely contributing to the Packers leading the league in scoring. But it’s not the end of the world for Aaron Rodgers and Co. with the amount of talent available. The receiver and slot positions still go five deep. The Packers still have favorable 6-to-1 odds in Las Vegas to win the Super Bowl.
Biggest Addition – Rookie WR Ty Montgomery of Stanford figures to have a bigger role with Nelson out. Montgomery’s explosive athleticism shows in his kickoff return averages where he never averaged less than 25.2 yards per return while playing for Stanford.
Biggest Losses – Green Bay lost three linebackers to free agency, including veteran A.J. Hawk, who signed with Cincinnati. The others are Brad Jones (now with the Eagles) and Jamari Lattimore (Jets).
Rookie To Watch – With the linebacker defections, fourth-round draft pick Jake Ryan of Michigan figures to have plenty of opportunities to make his mark with the Green Bay defense.
Marquee Match-up – The Week 14 home game against Dallas figures to have plenty of playoff implications.
Game Most Likely To Win – As odd as it may sound, a road game against San Francisco in Week 4 looks to be Green Bay’s likeliest victory.
Game Most Likely to Lose – Week 8 at Denver will be a difficult challenge although the team will have a week off the previous week.
Overall Thoughts – Don’t cry for Green Bay. The Packers are still the team to beat without Nelson. They have Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. They have Eddie Lacy, a bruising running back that will take pressure off of Rodgers. The wide receiver corps is still one of the most dangerous in the NFC with Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis and Montgomery. The defense has a solid nucleus with one of the best linebacker groups in Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Mike Neal and Julius Peppers.