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Packers 2022 NFL preview, schedule: Aaron Rodgers guarantees Green Bay at least the playoffs

Since Rodgers assumed control of the offense as the Packers’ starting QB in 2008, Green Bay has only missed out on the playoffs three times.

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Aaron Rodgers guarantees at least the playoffs for the Packers
David EulittAFP

In 2008 the Packers bet on Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre moved to the Jets and after 14 seasons of running the Green Bay offense the University of California alum has only missed out on the postseason three times. Ahead of the 2022 NFL season there is little to suggest the Wisconsin powerhouse won’t be in the mix again even in the absence of Davante Adams, who had been Rodgers’ favourite target for the past eight seasons.

Despite a lengthy game of cat and mouse surrounding Rodgers’ continuity at the Packers, in March the reigning MVP signed a three-year, $150 million extension that provided relief for general manager Brian Gutekunst and allowed the Packers to address other needs.

Rodgers short of targets going into 2022 NFL season

The big question mark hanging over Lambeau Field is how the Packers will fare without Adams. Although Rodgers committed to the franchise, the star wide receiver was traded to the Raiders, where he will team up again with his former college quarterback Derek Carr. The departure of the Fresno State alum will be keenly felt as Green Bay have lost the most productive NFL receiver over the last five seasons, during which time Adams racked up 6,195 yards.

The passing game situation is further complicated by the departure of two of Rodgers’ other wide options, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, who both departed the NFC North in free agency. The only big names remaining at Lambeau Field are Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.

For the 2022 season, Rodgers will rely on a supporting cast led by Lazard, Cobb and Sammy Watkins, newly arrived in Green Bay on a one-year deal. Rookies Christian Watson and Amari Rodgers could provide other options, but the young receivers have so far failed to impress Rodgers.

The strength in the Packers’ offense for the new season lies in the running game. AJ Dillon emerged as a viable option running the ball (803 yards, 5 TD) last season and will pair up with Aaron Jones (799 yards, 4 TD). In total, the Packers back line rushed for 1,900 yards in 2021, placing the franchise 18th in the NFL in that regard.

Packers defense strengthened through draft

Defensively, the Packers finished as the ninth-best in the NFL in 2021, giving up a total of 5,579 yards, and even though they have lost Za’Darious Smith, they strengthened through the draft, picking up LB Quay Walker and DT Devonte Wyatt in the first round. In total, the Packers took five defenders from the latest crop of college talent.

Another element working in the Packers’ favour is their schedule, which is the 11th easiest in the league with their rivals posting a combined record of 137-150-2 (.478 winning percentage), in 2021.

Green Bay Packers

Record in 2021: 13-4

Stadium: Lambeau Field

Super Bowl titles: 4

Head coach: Matt LaFleur

Offensive Coordinator: Adam Stenavich

Defensive Coordinator: Joe Barry

Packers 2022 schedule

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5
at Vikingsvs Bearsat Buccaneersvs Patriotsvs Giants
Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10
vs Jetsat Commandersat Billsat Lionsvs Cowboys
Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14Week 15
vs Titansat Eaglesat BearsBYEvs Rams
Week 16Week 17Week 18
at Dolphinsvs Vikingsvs Lions