The Green Bay Packers had gotten off to a slow start in 2016, going 4-6 over the first ten games. But quarterback Aaron Rodgers told everyone not to worry, and then led the team to six straight victories, clinching the NFC North, beating the New York Giants in the wildcard round of the playoffs, and then taking down the top-seated Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round before losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship. When Rodgers tells you don’t worry, don’t worry. The team spent their first four picks in the 2017 draft on defensive players and went into the season with a positive attitude.
The Packers started off great, going 4-1 in their first five games and scoring 35 points in weeks 4 and 5. Then week 6 took the team to Minnesota and a big hit on Rodgers put the quarterback on injured reserve with a possible season ending broken right collarbone. Rodgers had suffered a similar injury on the other shoulder a few years prior, but was able to come back and lead the Packers to the playoffs that year. This was different.
Their backup quarterback was Brett Hundley, who got his first career start in week 7. He would only get 3 wins the rest of the season, turning the ball over 16 times (12 interceptions and 4 fumbles) and while his completion percentage was 60.8%, he only threw for under 2,000 yards in his 11 games played. Rodgers would return in week 15 to try and start against the Carolina Panthers, he would be intercepted 3 times and lose the game. Rodgers would be put back on injured reserve after the game, turning the ball back over to Hundley for the last two games once the Packers were out of playoff contention.
There’s not a lot to fix on the Packers. The team was good enough with a bad quarterback to finish 7-9. They will need to look into some contract extensions for Rodgers before the market gets too much higher. They also need to extended Jordy Nelson, because you don’t want to take away Rodgers favorite target. You might be able to get some of that money but renegotiating Randall Cobb‘s contract, who isn’t quite living up to what he’s earning… or even cut him and bring in some new blood. But the biggest thing Rodgers needs is a reliable, big bodies tight end. The team has failed to find that go-to guy for Rodgers that could really put this offense firing on all cylinders.