The Green Bay Packers were widely expected to be one of the top teams this season with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers finally being provided with some top-quality receivers to make use of his passing ability.
Sammy Watkins seemed like excellent additions to an already stacked Packers roster and resigning Robert Tonyan and Jaire Alexander was important, but the opening game did not go to plan. The Packers lost 23-7 against division rivals Minnesota Vikings in what was a huge shock based on the pre-match odds with Green Bay being favorites. Aaron Rodgers was his usual self, constantly creating opportunities for his teammates, but as sometimes happens in this game, he was let down by his teammates.
Packers NFL odds have grown massively since the loss, they are now offered at +1400 on Draft Kings Sportsbook; a number of free bets are available at Yard Barker, which can be used on a regular season game or on a future outcome of a potential Super Bowl winner. The Packers roster is full of experience and players with proven track records elsewhere so it is likely the issue is not related to quality and the roster will need time to gel and build an understanding as a team unit.
Going into the season, the Wisconsin-based team was as high as third favorites trailing just the Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are boosted by Tom Brady for one final NFL season. In the game against the Vikings, Rodgers’ frustrations were clear from Rodgers as his performance was at a strong enough level to provide his teammates with numerous potential touchdown passes.
However, his receivers still let him down despite the high expectations some of the new additions brought with them. It is very early in the season, but significant improvement is required if Rodgers is to stand a chance of earning his second Super Bowl ring. It could be argued the tight ends could improve in their blocking to allow the out-and-out receivers more space when they receive Rodgers’s long-range throws.
The Packers certainly boast an abundance of quality within the roster, and with bringing many starting players in, it could be a case that the players simply have little chemistry with each other as of yet.
This situation has occurred many times in the history of the NFL, in which a team brings in many new additions but struggles to make an immediate impact on the field with so many players adapting to the team simultaneously.
There is no doubt that this is the strongest backing Rodgers has received in several years and it is a question of whether the Packers’ replenished squad has the mentality and desire to react to their opening day loss.
Much work will be needed on the training pitch in order for the players to improve their combination play and as a result, look more like a tight-knitted team on the pitch rather than individuals.
It would be a huge disappointment if a player of Aaron Rodgers’ caliber was to end his career with a sole Super Bowl ring.