It’s a contract year for Packers RB Eddie Lacy, who found the endzone just five times in 2015 after hitting double-digits each of his first two seasons
A ‘bad year’ for Green Bay still resulted in 10 wins and 31 passing touchdowns by QB Aaron Rodgers. The general sense in 2016 is that this team is ready to step right back into the Super Bowl conversation.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 10-6 SU and 9-7 ATS
Over/Under: 5-11 O/U
Noteworthy: HC McCarthy holds an impressive 46-28-2 ATS record vs. low yardage offenses (sub-330 YPG) and Week 10, the Packers are in Tennessee (Titans averaged 312 YPG in 2015).
The Packers are one of just four NFL teams charging juice on their divisional odds (Pats, Panthers, Hawks), and are tied for third with Pittsburgh in terms of lowest payback on Super Bowl winner. Rodgers underwent minor knee surgery in the off-season and is in top shape, RB Eddie Lacy has shed the excess weight that led to his worst year as a pro and WR Jordy Nelson (ACL) has made a complete recovery. Even the O-Line returns a full set of starters with second round pick Jason Spriggs brought in for backup. It’s like this season is a complete do over for Green Bay with the only major change being TE Jared Cook (Rams), who replaces Andrew Quarless.
The defense ranked top 10 for much of last season but tailed off near the end, ranking 11th out of 12 playoff teams, ahead of only Washington. Three of the Packers’ top four picks went to improving this side of the ball and LB Clay Matthews will move back to the edge after spending a season inside. Matthews tallied just 6.5 sacks in 2015, second lowest of his seven-year career. BJ Raji retired but Kenny Clark is a solid replacement and we’ll look for this unit to get stronger as the season goes on.
PACKERS BOTTOM LINE: CHALK TALK
Green Bay started off 2015 with five-straight wins and since 2008, when Rodgers became the full-time starter, they are 26-14 SU in the early going. Against the number, however, Green Bay is just 21-19, a byproduct of the team’s overwhelming popularity. With optimism for this organization at such a high level, be cautious laying too many points this season in home games against Detroit (Week 3), New York (Week 5) and Dallas (Week 6).
Home off a regular season home game (no bye in-between; applies in Week 6), Rodgers is just 6-7 ATS lifetime including a 1-5 ATS mark laying a touchdown or more.