This Packers offense in 2022 will certainly be a little unique. No Davante Adams or Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Multiple rookie receivers. Makeshift offense line. There are a whole lot of interesting storylines surrounding this offense. This upcoming season has a very similar feel to that of the 2009 season. A lot of youth and a lot of uncertainty were the themes of the preseason during that year. Green Bay ended up having an elite offense en route to Aaron Rodgers’ first payoff apparance as the starter in Green Bay. Young receivers, along with a couple of vets, stepped up in a big way to help out their quarterback. The team’s collection of running backs also came through to help out the offense. The 2009 Packers offense, at the very least, should give hope to all Packers fans going into this season.
In 2009, the Packers had a lot of receivers in different stages of their careers. Donald Driver was entering his 11th season. He was the longtime veteran. Greg Jennings was entering his fourth season and looking to become a star. James Jones was entering his third season in Green Bay. Jordy Nelson was entering his sophomore NFL season. Brett Swain was a rookie. Tight end Jermichael Finley was entering his second season too. Running backs Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson were moving into their third seasons in the league, as well. So, Donald Driver was the only skill-position player on the roster who had played over four full seasons. There was a lot of uncertainty. The team had just missed the playoffs in 2008. It was the second season without Brett Favre. People were nervous.
It would go on to be an incredible offensive season, of course. Aaron Rodgers would go on to make his first Pro Bowl appearance. Greg Jennings finished with his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. James Jones had his first season with at least five or more touchdown catches. Jordy Nelson was a big-play threat (14.5 yards-per-catch mark). Jermichael Finley finished with the second-best receiving yards output of his career (676). Ryan Grant would finish third in the NFC in rushing yards with 1,253 rushing yards and second in the NFC among running backs with 11 touuchdowns. The Packers would go on to finish 11-5 and earn their first playoff appearance since Brett Favre’s departure. What was very significant too was the fact that Green Bay finished 3rd in scoring offense, 7th in passing offense, and 6th in total offense.
Why is 2022 similar?
In 2022, the Packers have some experience with their pass-catchers. Randall Cobb is entering his 12th NFL season. Sammy Watkins is entering his 9th NFL season. Allen Lazard is entering his 5th NFL season. After that, rookies Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, along with second-year receiver Amari Rodgers are the young pass-catchers of the group. Aaron Jones is coming off of three impressive seasons and A.J. Dillon is starting to emerge as a start too.
This is obviously a dfferent situation considering the Packers are coming off of two consecutive top 10 total offensive seasons, including 2020 in which they finished first in scoring offense. Aaron Rodgers is in his 18th season and is coming off of back-to-back MVP seasons. But there are similarities between 2009 and 2022. A lot of uncertainty surrounding the offense. Some experience but a lot of youth. The offense ended up doing pretty well 13 years ago. They will do pretty well this season too.