- By Brandon Barbour

After a controversial draft that saw the Green Bay Packers spend their top draft selection on Aaron Rodgers’ replacement, many are wondering what to expect from the Wisconsin team in 2020. They made a run to the NFC Championship game and were whacked by the San Francisco 49ers (37-20) for the second time over the entire season.

Green Bay’s defense was above-average in 2019. They allowed the ninth-fewest points per contest (19.6), despite allowing the 15th-most yards per game (352.6). Their 25 takeaways tied for the seventh-most in the league. The defense wasn’t an issue last season and they won’t be in 2020, as the majority of this defense is returning. The Packers played pretty well on both sides of the ball which made them one of top NFL picks ATS for last year. The Pack finished the season 11-7 against the spread, which made them #6 overall at covering NFL point spreads.

The Packers lost Geronimo Allison to the Detroit Lions in the offseason and added Devin Funchess from the Carolina Panthers. It’s unclear where Funchess stacks up on their depth chart, but he will run with Davante Adams, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and Allen Lazard. This is an area that most thought the Packers would spend a draft pick on upgrading, but instead, they added a tight end and a running back.

The Packers selected A.J. Dillon in the second round of the draft, a nice compliment to Aaron Jones. Dillon should take over as the goal line and between the tackle rusher and kick Jamaal Williams down a notch. This is an indication that the team is ready to pound the rock in 2020. Green Bay was in the middle of the pack in pass percentage last year (59.81 percent of plays), so expect that number to decline a bit. Jones posted the fourth-best DYAR among running backs last season.

The Green Bay offense posted 23.5 points per game last season, good for 15th-most in the NFL. This is why fans expected the club to spend on a wide out in a draft that was wealthy in that department. Sure, the Packers won 13 games and their division last season; however, they won eight of those games by one score or less.

Rodgers can only do so much. He still managed the eighth-best DYAR among quarterbacks last season. He only threw four interceptions on 569 pass attempts, partly because he throws it away often and doesn’t take unnecessary risks. The offense may need to take more of those risks in 2020.

The Packers draw a schedule that’s smack dab in the middle as far as strength of schedule goes. They’ll play the entire NFC South this season, the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, etc. Unfortunately, it just seems implausible that the Packers will reach 13 wins again. The Packers swept their division last season, so don’t expect a repeat 6-0 against the NFC North again.

The Minnesota Vikings are hot on their tail and looking for a rebound season. They’ll compete for the division in a major way with the Packers. As mentioned, the Packers won a ton of close games in 2019. Can this possibly continue moving forward? The challenges that await the Packers are the same ones from last season. How will they put up enough points to make a Super Bowl run? Will their offense be enough to get them back into the postseason?

There aren’t many teams in 2020 that have as many question marks as the Packers do. It’s unclear what their end result will be, but we can think of a few possibilities, all varying from one extreme to the other. The uncertainty revolving around the Packers is alarming. We’ll have to wait and see what coach Matt LaFleur and company have in store for 2020.

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