The predictions that follow (alphabetically) were made prior to the start of this season.
bleacherreport.com had the Packers finishing at 11-5. “The Packers’ opponents combined to go only two games over .500 last year, but half of their road games come against teams that made the postseason. They appear primed for at least some regression in 2020.”
CBS Sports started with the “bold” prediction that no NFC North team would have double-digit wins, and they had the Pack and the Vikings finishing at 9-7. “If there’s one division where it feels like every team took at least a small step back this year, it’s the NFC North. The Packers added zero receiving weapons for Aaron Rodgers.”
ESPN Staff Writer Rob Demovsky predicted the Pack would finish the regular season at 11-5.
Football Power Index, whoever they are, published full 2020 season rankings. They ranked the Packers as #15, and figured they’d win 8.1 games.
NBC Sports went with the Pack to win the division with a 9-7 record. “Arguably the worst division in the NFL, it’s anybody’s game. But in the end, Aaron Rodgers proves to be the difference.” As to the wild card rounds, they had the Cowboys getting the bye, and the Seahawks quickly eliminating the Packers.
Tom Downey and Mitchell Renz of nfl.com predicted a “likely regression” for the Packers, but still had them winning the division at 10-6. The NFL also had several analysts render their own predictions. Adam Schein, for instance, had the Cowboys as #1 NFC seed and Mike McCarthy as Coach of the year.
That analytical behemoth, Pro Football Focus, listed the names of its team of 21 analysts who offered their pre-season predictions. Fifteen of them went with the Pack to win the division; four went with the Lions, and two picked the Vikings. Of the six who passed on the Pack, only two thought they’d be a wild card pick. Only one analyst had the Pack making it as far as the NFC championship game. Here’s how their Super Bowl winner predications went: Chiefs (10), Saints and Ravens (4), Cowboys, Bucs, and Seahawks (1).
The next time you feel like ridiculing PFF, you might bring up this tidbit: seven of their 21 brainy analysts (in the preseason) picked Mike McCarthy as Coach of the year, no one else garnered more than three votes, and none chose Matt LaFleur. Methinks PFF is better at compiling data than they are at forecasting.
profootballnetwork.com had this to say: “This division is really one that has the potential to go in any direction. The Packers marched to a 13-3 record in 2020, but the numbers behind that record are not all that impressive. Therefore, if they see turnover regression, or simply some bad luck, we could see them sink back to the pack. However, to go 13-3 while not playing great statistically demonstrates the potential this team has if they get it right in 2020.” They did, however, pick the Pack to win their division, and the Vikes to be a wild card.
sportingnews.com predicted that the Vikings would win the division with a 10-6 record, followed by the Packers at 9-7. “The Packers’ four-game regression is tied to their overachieving from last season and facing a tougher schedule this season. Matt LaFleur’s offensive identity with Aaron Rodgers won’t catch up on anyone, and the Packers didn’t improve as much as they needed to help Rodgers.
Sports Illustrated had eight guys bracket the entire playoffs prior to the start of the season. Four had the Pack failing to make it to the postseason. Three had the Pack as the #3, #4, or #7 seed in the NFC – and each had them immediately being eliminated. Then there was Andrew Brandt: he had the Packers coming in as the second seed – and proceeding to win it all. Yeah, baby!
vegasinsider.com got off to a bad start by getting the team’s 2019 record wrong: “The Green Bay Packers are coming off an NFC North division championship last season at 12-4. However, Green Bay is not favored to win the division this season as the Minnesota Vikings are the current chalk.” (Note: the Urban Dictionary defines chalk as “describing the favorite, mostly in betting and gambling – am I the only one who didn’t know this?)
WalterFootball.com has been around a long time – probably too long. They even publish the predicted score of each game of the season – prior to the season’s start. They not only had the Pack missing the playoffs, but they had the Vikes starting out the playoffs by beating the Saints (28-27). If anyone cares, they had the Bucs over the Chiefs in the finale, 41-38.
yahoo.com brought us “Peter King’s 2020 NFL Season Predictions,” which got right off to a bad start: “Three tiers for the NFC. One: New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Tampa Bay. Two: Minnesota, Philadelphia. Three: Detroit, Green Bay, Arizona, L.A. Rams.” He then adds: “As for the Packers, they did nothing to help a needy receiver corps, and they return the same core on D (minus linebacker Blake Martinez) that allowed 37 points to the Niners twice in the last eight games. King ultimately had the Pack missing the playoffs.
So, who is this Andrew Brandt, about the only national forecaster who did not underestimate Matt LaFleur’s team? He’s associated with several sports media, including ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He has a degree from Stanford and a law degree from Georgetown.
His twitter says: “With over 25 years of experience in professional football, Andrew Brandt is considered one of the top sports media insiders in the industry, bringing credibility, intelligence and experienced insight. As ESPN’s Business and Legal Analyst, Brandt appears regularly on all platforms of ESPN, including “Outside the Lines”, “SportsCenter”, “NFL Insiders” and “NFL Live” and as well as multiple ESPN radio programs.” He also has a degree from Stanford and a law degree from Georgetown.
If the Packers win the trophy, Brandt might be the only person to have made such a preseason prediction – so I’m rooting that he indeed has incredible NFL insights. In fact, I now subscribe to his website.
Thanks Rob. Predictions are nothing more than a fun way to kill time until the season begins. They are good for lunch time conversation starters, both as fodder to trash our favorite opponent or to bash the predictor. Unfortunately, most of the predictions are worth as much as a bottle of snake oil. They do give us one special opportunity to chuckle at the failed self proclaimed expertise when your team proves them wrong. Just as they get to take credit when they are right.
McRib coach of the year? More like mistake of the decade. Every Green Bay fan’s reaction to Jerrah hiring him was…Wow what a mistake that is. He lied to get the job and lied about him being the reason Rodgers is great. If only Green Bay Management moved on from him sooner. Although if they had LaFleur likely would not be here.
Remember when i had a debate with a little minion in here?
The debate was whether Rodgers made McCarthy, or McCarthy made Rodgers.
This McCarthy apologist said McCarthy made Rodgers, and as proof kept bringing up HOF (cough) QB Aaron Brooks.
I lost the argument, but only in the aspect it killed some of my brain cells and my IQ went down 8 points.
But i believe the conversation ended with me saying something like…”We’ll see how McCarthy does without Rodgers.”
Well, I mean Dak Prescott was on pace for several passing records before getting hurt, and then having the forever mediocre Andy Dalton at age 35 stepping in (among other QBs). But, I will say on the other hand Elliott had his worst season ever. Some of it on him, some of it on McCarthy’s allergy to the run game. I still think McCarthy is a good coach, although I don’t know that him as a head coach is good, he is better off as just being offensive coordinator.
Dak Prescott was 1-3 in his 1st four full games before being injured.
He was on pace for a 4-12 record
The bottom line was he was 6-10 in a weak ass division, and he owes those wins to Dalton more than Prescott.
That’s a shit season with all that offensive talent no matter the narrative you use to spin it.
Thanks for this really good article Rob. Predictions usually have the value of snake oil. They are lunchtime conversation starters and it can be fun to use to bash your favorite opponent or chuckle at any predictor when your team proves them wrong. Good for Gil Brandt! 🤞
Rob you have never heard someone say “Chalk” when picking their NCAA bracket? When people just pick the higher seeds it’s a “Chalk” bracket.
Andrew Brandt is the guy who negotiated Rodgers’ first contract with the Packers as VP of Player Finance az that time. He is pretty knowledgeable and I think also a fan. Hope he gets it right with his prediction!
That, sir, is a nugget of information. I was wondering if he perhaps had a bias in GB’s favor, but maybe he just has a better knowledge of our team than others. He seems to have lots of expertise in financial matters, and some of his bio suggests that he at times has been a player’s or a team’s agent. I intend to learn more about him.
I think the difference between 9-7 and 13-3 is the offense, is fairly plain and simple. I mean that isn’t hard to figure out.
2019 points scored = 376
2020 points scored = 509
Who could have predicted Rodgers would throw more TD’s this season than any season in his career at age 37 with no new receiver help?
That’s a prediction no one made, or thought of. No one.
Although…it pains me, but as per PF4L policy, credit given when due.
Kato did mention something awhile back how the offense was on pace to be as good or better than the 2011 offense. That was sometime back in weeks 6-7?
I argued it couldn’t be sustained, mainly because i didn’t have faith in the O line over the length of a season, and the lack of receiver help.
Hell….i mean…who predicted Tonyan would catch 11 TD’s besides…..No one.
But damn if Kato didn’t nail that one.
Rob, check out this article: https://www.si.com/nfl/2016/12/08/nfl-andrew-brandt-green-bay-packers Nice hommage to Green Bay and the Packers, including some more nuggets for you and your readers.
Ok….so, except for Brandt (who didn’t predict a record), everyone else felt like the Packers weren’t a 13-3 team this season? Hmmmm…does that seem illogical somehow? Should they have all known better?
Now …just to keep things real, Brandt’s main prediction isn’t true, is it? Not even close yet. I mean….You can crown him and call him your hero. But his prediction has a ways to go.
Thanks for giving us his scholastic achievement’s….twice :)
Hell..if i recall correctly, i was predicting like 8 0r 9 wins. But then again, i don’t have two college degree’s.
So while i was reading this article, i couldn’t help but wonder….what did Robster predict of the Packers this season? Maybe i’ll try to take a peek and see what i can find.
It’s doesn’t take much to look down at and point out how wrong people were, and critique other people’s predictions in 20/20 hindsight. I mean….at least they made one.
I don’t think you’ll find a prediction. I do know I was extremely optimistic about the team’s chances to go far in the playoffs, and I did predict that LaFleur’s offense would be much better when fully installed in Year 2. On the other hand, I was scared to death about the failure to address the run game defense crisis – that Krys guy might have saved the day there.
I gave up after 10 minutes, found some other nuggets. But my memory has you reacting like a lot of us did. Then, after like 2 days or so, i believe you put it back together and put your Packer hat back on.
Yea, i thought the offense would be a little better, but i NEVER imagined this much better. That’s why i give so much praise to LaFleur, Rodgers and Hackett. Those 3 made it happen, but i don’t want to discount the play of the role players on the field. Everything had to work together as drawn up, then executed..
My biggest fear in the playoffs is facing a strong front 7, like in the Bucs and Panther game. The Packers allowed what?…only 20 sacks? But 9 of those sacks came in those two games, and that was with Bakhtiari. Other than that, lets hope the defense can keep improving against better rated offenses in the playoffs than we’ve seen in the regular season.
Keep up the good work Rob. Your articles are always entertaining in some fashion, .
Lol…I did find this nugget after Love was drafted from a McCarthy apologist and someone who thought Aaron Rodgers was every problem in Green Bay, not McCarthy..
“They did create a potentially dangerous locker room situation as a result. Anyone that knows Rodgers knows he will probably respond poorly to this. He is probably justified in some ways. But he is a petulant child, and is a difficult person to work with, that is well documented. I remember last year when it was a big worry how well he would work with a new head coach. You hear about trust issues with receivers. You literally don’t hear about that with any other quarterback. You don’t hear about it with Stafford. Not with Matt Ryan. Not with Eli Manning. Ditto for Roethlisberger. Maybe Green Bay has gotten tired of the drama.” -FIB
YOU NAILED IT JUNIOR!!
Anyone that knows Rodgers?………….and you know him?
I thought this was kinda funny….
PF4L April 28, 2020
Some people can’t deal with that amount of truth.
MMSUCKS April 28, 2020
Exactly . . .
PF4L April 28, 2020
I’m starting to catch on :)
John Jacobson April 28, 2020
You want answers? I want the truth! You can’t handle the truth!
PF4L April 29, 2020
We live in a world with sports websites son, websites that need comments to survive. who is going to make those comments, you John?
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom!
Big news out of sports radio in WI. Bill Michaels stepping away from his show. Man, he had a hell of a run.
Yea…that’s interesting news.
I didn’t always like Bill Micheals, I thought he winged it too much, to the point where he would give out wrong information under the guise of his expertise. He could be hostile and arrogant to guest if he didn’t like their viewpoint.
But….even during those times, i always said he had a great sports talk show because….he did. It was almost always entertaining, Even if his loyalty to Thompson, McCarthy would drive you nuts. Sometimes he’d get me so pissed i’d shut him down and switch to the Hog.
Something traumatic must have happened, because he left abruptly. I don’t think that’s his style or how he would have wanted to end it. I hope it wasn’t anything mental or physical. Hope he’s ok.
The other thing you can say about him is his work ethic…this guy was non stop. His daily show was one thing, but he did so much more work outside of that. He had his hands into everything.
The Big Show is moving into his 10:00am – 2:00 pm slot. Not sure what they are doing with the 2-6pm slot. Maybe putting a syndicated National show in it’s place.
The bottom line is this…..there are no winners here. Milwaukee and the States sports radio scene is dealt a blow .It’s a loss, not only because he was a great talent, but lets face it, they are the only sports talk show in town.
Yeah, that old pre and post game Packer show he did with Brian Noble back in the late 90s early 2000s was great radio. He hasn’t been the same since he got electrocuted in Eau Claire a couple years ago. Heard hes been dealing with alot of shit the last couple years personally. But surprised he left suddenly and had his producer read a statement instead of coming on live to say goodbye. Sounds like everybody at the company is shocked he left like that.
Yea…i thought the producer announcement thing was weird. The truth is, i didn’t listen, idk if he was even in the studio last Friday. If he wasn’t i could see why he’d have the announcer give a statement.
Micheals got married a couple years ago, he talked about his life fairly often…seemed happy as a lark but i haven’t listen to it much in the last 10 months, been busy.
But…..something happened….all of a sudden and ain’t nobody sayin nothing. It’s his business. Sure i’m curious…but i’m probably not on the need to know list…lol
Rogers is a bad seed…a locker room cancer, First he ruined Janis’s career. Then i guess he turned into a coach killer. He can’t get along with anyone!!
All of the accolades about how great of a QB, teammate, and leader he is from players, coaches, LeFleur, Favre, the media…They are all fake..PHONY!
They were all paid for by Rodgers PR firm that he had to hire when Packer fans turned on him some years back.
All that talk from LaFleur saying Rodgers is the perfect teammate and leader….YES, bullshit….all paid for.
The following is his first reported “paid” “image rebuilder” campaign. Courtesy of future, up and coming starter to replace Rodgers.
He quizzes Rodgers about the beginning of his career, and asks him to explain on-field decisions. He says he prayed he’d meet a teammate like Rodgers, and then he did. – Andrew Brandt
“He’s turned into a brother,” Hundley says of Rodgers. “I say I love him because I really do. He’s the big brother and teacher I never really had. I ask 10 million questions and get 10 million answers. He’s somebody who’s open-minded enough to understand that I’m just learning. I can ask anything about football, life, and get a real answer.”
Accolades people….ALL PAID FOR…..
I have it from a very good, solid, and reliable source directly after the draft that the Green Bay Packers are tired of Aaron Rodgers drama.
That same source said that’s probably why they drafted Jordan Love.
Who could argue? Sounds well thought out, and makes sense to me. Especially after what he did with Janis. Then getting McCarthy fired. It was Rodgers, not Russ Ball.
I wouldn’t be shocked if he had something to do with Lang, Sitton, Jordy, and Alex Van Pelt leaving.
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Word out of Cowboys country ——– they have fired DC Mike Nolan. (a personal friend of McCarthy) Who didn’t see that one coming? After all, the way the season started, the team was one step away from mutiny! We all know who makes the decisions down there, and it isn’t M.M. (so much for the predictions of NFL.com, saying the Cowboys being the #1 seed; and MM coach of the year!) LOL
Looks like McCarthy’s scapegoats are falling quick down there in Texas. Should be interesting to see how long Jerry keeps him around given that hefty contract. Who knows, maybe getting rid of the incompetent DC in a timely fashion (something TT never did with Capers) will actually help the Cowboys? Probably not, but at least they still have McCarthy lol.
Wasnt Nolan one of those washed up old coaches sitting at McFlurry’s house pretending to study analytics for that ESPN special? lol. I think he was. I think Jim Hasslet was in that room too. I remember thinking, no. All these guys are just old guys who dont want to do this anymore but are looking for one last paycheck.
Seattle Gum chewer coach out of the playoffs. Wooooooooo!!!!
Still dont get the Wilson love from the national media. The talking heads pump him up so much every year going into the season. They crown his ass MVP every Oct 1 and then he gets very average for the rest of the season. Hes not even close to being in Rodgers league. Same with Brees. Im not scared of either one of those guys in a playoff game.
ESPN Staff Writer
DT Snacks Harrison, who has played in one career playoff game, called joining the Packers last week “a chance of a lifetime.”
That is interesting…in the off season the Packers tried to sign him and he declined.
Then he had scheduled visits with Seattle and Green Bay last Oct. After he landed in Seattle. he canceled his visit with the Packers and signed with the Hawks, saying he didn’t want to play for Green Bay.
But now…it’s a chance of a lifetime?
Whatever you say tiger, it’s your world.
I thought that Harrison preferred the 4-3, which Seattle runs more often than the Packers, probably because he had a chance to get some sacks and a higher payday. The Packers want him as a pure NT to free up Kenny Clark from getting doubled which would greatly help this defense.
I think some credit should be acknowledged to the 7-9 Redskins and Taylor Heinicke.
They played the Bucs tough, and have every reason to hold their heads high
So true. If that “awesome” defense could have got just a couple stops they had a real chance. But 3rd and 9…Brady to whoever…1st down!! 3rd and 6 Brady to whoever…1st down!!! Then blown coverage…Brady sees it instantly, Touchdown!!!! Nice job Jack DelRio.
All of these predictions occured after the 49ers demolished the Packers in the NFC Championship game. In that game Rodgers threw two picks and the defense fell apart. Anybody who felt the Packers would be number one seed in the playoffs this year is lying. I think the Packers face the same type of team as the 49ers with the Rams, except the Rams have an even better defense. Even if the Packers play the Bucs, they’ll need 40 points and a miracle to stop Brady and Rodgers has never shown he can do that in the NFC Championship. We can say the prognosticators were wrong, but I think this season ends just like last year.
I think most of those predictions were made, after, and because of Gutes draft strategy, assuming there was a strategy.
Deepsky hit on an important point…..beware of the Rams.
My most respected commentor in here suggest he wanted the Rams to beat the Hawks…and i get it.
Your choosing between 2 evils. The Rams did win, congrats to them.
Now if i’m not mistaken and the Packers play the lowest seed playoff team next week, If the Saints beat the Bears, then the Packers play the Rams.
Look, i don’t know everything, i can’t predict the future any more than the next guy.
But…..LaFleur, Rodgers, Hackett…better think of play schemes and play calls to get the ball out of Rodgers hands in a damn hurry. Maybe it will be snowing.
That’s all i’m sayin.
Can anyone imagine if the Bears upset the Saints. Oh man.
Love me some NFL playoffs!!….As of right now, as a NFL fan. I’m getting ready to watch the Ravens vs the Titans….and i’ll be honest, i’m drooling a lil bit. I don’t have a clue who wins this game, Titans don’t win unless Henry rushes for 160-200 yards.
The last time they played Tannehill had 88 yards passing yards, and Henry had 30 rushes.
Ya, the Washington Football Team showed a lot of grit and heart last night. For a young inexperienced Q-back; Heinicke handled the big stage better than most expected. It’s just that the Bucs had more horses; and experience. Kudos goes out to that Rams defense, they really took it to Wilson and the Hawks. The Rams D feasted on Wilson trying to hit the home run play all afternoon. Rams won that game with both Donald getting injured, and with Goff playing with pins in his thumb. Also, they won in Seattle, which is tough, The Bills hold on and beat a feisty Colts team, I’m happy for the long suffering Bills fans. Some good football so far, in this post season!
For sure! I don’t like the Skins either; (because of their owner), but, The kid can play ball! It seemed as though he didn’t blink an eye going against Brady and co.
Chicago had a chance today but they definitely dropped the ball ;)
Man, that pass was a guaranteed TD right on the money, until it wasn’t. That’s gotta be frustrating.
It looked like McCarthy was coaching the Bears before the half because they had close to two minutes on the clock with two timeouts left and they ran the ball up the middle three times and punted. WTF?!? Sorry to inform you guys but you’re not in the lead.
That stand by the defense at the end of the game was really something. Knowing that they weren’t gonna win and still kept the Saints out of the endzone after all those attempts, even after the flag and first down. Then to see Bree’s talking smack to the camera about “we we’re getting in,” only to have the TD called back because the ball wasn’t even close lol. Nice foot in mouth moment right there. I’d say holding New Orleans to 21 points is a job well done.
I didn’t watch the whole game but CHI’s offense must have stunk it up, except for when it didn’t matter anymore and they marched down the field for a TD. Also, why no extra point at the end of the game? I know it would have been worthless but they dragged the Packers back on the field for an extra point after that Failmary BS. Then again, GB didn’t kick an extra point after the hailmary in Detroit in 2015. Maybe those scrub refs in Seattle just wanted to pile on the embarrassment, or they just didn’t know WTF they were doing… obviously.
It’s tough to win in the playoffs when you only rush for 48 yards, and your highest average per rush is 3,3 yards, and that’s coming your QB.
Going 1-10 on 3rd down doesn’t help, nor does the Saints possessing the ball for over 17 1/2 minutes more than the Bears.
But…the bears can say they got in the playoffs…i guess
They might be better served, finding a new QB.
Cheese, After the walk off TD by the Vikings against the Saints in the 2017 playoffs (?) it took the Saints a long time to get back on the field for a wasted extra point attempt. In the 2018(?) off season the NFL changed rules that you didn’t have to attempt the extra point on a walk off TD that won the game. Apparently that goes for if you lost like today.
If I recall correctly I think the Vikings kneeled down after the Saints took forever to come back on the field. I think the kneel down had an impact on betting lines so the NFL changed the rule to just end the game when no time was left and there was a clear victor. I’m sure Rodgers kneeled down after the Detroit Hail Mary.
I looked at a few clips of the 2015 game and didn’t see any kneeling but maybe they were all cut short. Either way, whatever. I assumed there was some reason but figured I’d bring it up anyway. Thanks Howard.