The Green Bay Packers have a great deal of questions to answer in 2023. Will Jordan Love be good enough to warrant moving on from Aaron Rodgers? Will Joe Barry finally get the defense playing on the level a defense with eight first round picks should be playing? Can David Bakhtiari stay healthy? There are certainly a great deal of unknowns, but fans and analysts are pretty sure they know what the biggest strength and greatest weakness of their teams will be. PFF identified the strengths and weakness of each NFL team heading into 2023, and what they identified as the Packers’ will not surprise many fans.
The Green Bay Packers’ Biggest Strength: Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon
Perhaps unsurprisingly, PFF believes that the Packers’ biggest strength heading into 2023 is their dynamic running back duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon:
“Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon headlined a backfield that finished with a league-high 91.9 rushing grade in 2022. Dillon profiles as the power back, while Jones offers more versatility with his quickness and route running. Jones actually finished just one catch behind Allen Lazard for the team lead. Both will be leaned on heavily in 2023 given the transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love.”
Last season, Jones was healthy for the full season for the first time since 2019. He set a career high in carries (213) and rushing yards (1,121). He had two rushing touchdowns to go along with five receiving touchdowns while recording 395 receiving yards. Dillon did not have as many carries (186) or rushing yards (770) as Jones, but he did have more touchdowns (seven). He also had 206 receiving yards, which left him just 24 yards shy of a second-straight 1,000+ all-purpose yard season.
Both running backs are more than capable of eclipsing 1,000+ all-purpose yards. In fact, each of them did in 2021. Jones had 1,190 all purpose yards and 10 total touchdowns and Dillon had 1,116 all purpose yards and seven total touchdowns. With Rodgers gone, there is speculation among fans that the running backs will be utilized more, as that is what the Matt LaFleur offense calls for. Indeed, both running backs could be in for massive seasons in 2023.
The Green Bay Packers’ Biggest Weakness: Lack of Dynamic Pass Catchers
As far as weaknesses go, PFF decided not to focus on the underperforming defense and instead focused on their unproven pass catching rooms:
“Christian Watson showed flashes as a rookie en route to a team-leading 77.8 receiving grade and three 100-yard games. However, he did not have another game with at least 50 yards. Last season, Lazard led the team with just 60 catches and 788 yards, while Green Bay’s tight end group was among the least productive in the NFL. Losing Davante Adams was going to hurt, but Green Bay may have underestimated how important he was to their success.”
One must suppose this is a fair take by PFF, as the Packers’ wide receiver and tight end rooms are very inexperienced and unproven. Indeed, as far as positions on the offensive side of the ball, they are the ones with the biggest question marks. The backfield is solidified with Jones and Dillon, the offensive line is among the best in the NFL, and Jordan Love is the starting quarterback for a reason. There is confidence that he will succeed.
The biggest challenge to this take, as mentioned, is the defense. With eight first round picks, one would assume that this defense should be one of the best in the NFL. However, the unit has grossly underperformed under defensive coordinator Joe Barry. The safety position got a bit of a boost with the signing of Jonathan Owens, but otherwise consists of special teams specialists. In my opinion, this position is the biggest weakness on the team, but given the unknowns surrounding the pass catchers on offense, one can understand why PFF went that route.
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