GREEN BAY, Wis. – In the opening week, the Packers will try to make their first step towards the Lombardi. Jaguars, on the other side, will start a difficult journey towards being a respectful team in the NFL.
Green Bay will enter the new season after a seven-year postseason streak which is the longest run in the NFL. Only one more team is in this situation, and that are the Patriots. Anyway, against Jacksonville, they will be led by the coach Mike McCarthy and a two-time MVP and one of the arguably best quarterbacks today, Aaron Rogers. Although the Packers are title contenders, they do have some issues.
First of all, Aaron Rogers had his worst season last year when he was ranked 15th in the passer rating category. Can he bounce back, considering that in the preseason he only played two series and threw nine passes?
Secondly, wide receiver Jordy Nelson missed the entire season due to an ACL injury in the 2015 preseason. We are all aware that he helped Rogers in so many ways in 2014 since he had 98 receptions for 1,519 yards. Moreover, he scored 13 touchdowns. His injury moved Peckers offense for the first place in 2014 to the 15th in 2015. He is back and ready for the start, but how quickly will he be 100% ready?
Last but not least, two-time All-Pro guard Josh Sitton was released on Saturday and that move certainly weakened the offensive line. He will be replaced by the guy with only two career starts – Lane Taylor.
It will take time for the Packers offense to shine.
Aaron Rogers said for the press:”I think the identity kind of grows game to game. You see it start to show itself this week. You have an idea where the ball is going to go or who is going to have opportunities in the game. But things happen out there. There’s broken plays and there’s guys who show up and guys who make the most of their matchups. Defenses can sometimes dictate the way we end up adjusting. So, it’s always interesting to see which guys show up when it really counts.”
Last time when the Jaguars had the winning record was in 2007. That was also the last time they entered the playoffs. Jacksonville lost at least 11 games in five previous years.
However, the franchise does have some crucial pieces which will determine the course of the season. The Jaguars are led by the coach Gus Bradley, quarterback Blake Bortles and the receivers such as Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Marquise Lee, all drafted in 2014.
Statistically, Bortles was extraordinary in 2015. He finished second with 35 touchdowns, and he had 4,428 passing yards. He also recorded 18 interceptions, and this category can be fatal for the Packers.
Bortles talked about the next step in his career:”Quit throwing the ball to the other team. I think if I can eliminate that – and I did a lot of stuff this offseason to try to help that out, whether it was mechanical stuff to be a more accurate passer and mental stuff to make faster better positions. Hopefully, I can help us out on that side of things and not turn the ball over so much.”
In this game, Rogers will be in charge of the offense, but the Jacksonville defense will have to find the way to stop the charge. Their defense has a different look this season. Firstly, they drafted cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the first round, linebacker Myles Jack in the second and Yannick Ngakoue in the third. Plus, they acquired Dante Fowler, a defensive end who was injured in his rookie season. Furthermore, Jaguars spent $220 million in free agency, signing former Browns’ safety Tashaun Gipson, cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive tackle Malik Jackson who just won a trophy last year.
“We’ve got so much respect for Green Bay. Here is a playoff team that has had great success, a really, really good offensive unit, and it’ll be a great challenge for us. Great challenge and we’re looking forward to that challenge. Anytime you have a chance to play a caliber team like Green Bay, especially how they are as an offense, it’s a great challenge for our guys”, Bradly announced.
Conclusion and our prediction:
We expect a high-scoring game in which the Packers will come up with the win.