According to sports media outlets, the 2023 Packers are not going to be a very good team this year. That is mostly due to Aaron Rodgers no longer being on the team.
Yes, Aaron Rodgers has done a lot for the Packers franchise and has carried the team numerous times. Rodgers not being on the team is a huge loss, as he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
However, everyone forgets that the Packers still have a ton of talent on this team despite the loss of Aaron Rodgers. Here is what makes the 2023 Packers an underrated team this season.
What Makes the 2023 Packers Such an Underrated Team
Inside Linebackers Leading This Defense
I would not sleep on the 203 Packers being up there as one of the best inside linebacker units in the NFL. They have a very good group this year. De’Vondre Campbell got injured last season, which affected his play, and he will look to bounce back this year. Quay Walker was up and down as a rookie but got better toward the end of the season. He led all rookies in tackles last season and looks to take that second-year jump. Can not forget about Isaiah McDuffie, Eric Wilson, and Tariq Carpenter, who all three provide solid depth behind Campbell and Walker. Lookout for the Packers’ inside linebacker unit this season, as it is very talented and deep.
A Top Offensive Line
You also can’t forget the 2023 Packers have a really good offensive line going into this season. They had injuries and a lot of different rotations/combinations on the line that did affect them. However, they were still ranked top 10 as a unit and ranked third in pass blocking. In the last two years, the Packers have had a good number of injuries on the offensive line, which has affected the offense as a whole. This should be the first year since 2019 the unit enters the season fully healthy. With the offensive line at full strength, it will indeed help the Packers’ offense get back on track.
Jordan Love Connects With The Players On Offense
Last year it was pretty clear that the rookie wide receivers did not have any connection with Aaron Rodgers. In his last year as a Packer, Rodgers did not attend offseason workouts. He did not get mucy work with Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure. In addition, he did not play in the preseason, making things more complicated. This resulted in the Packers’ offense struggling and not being able to get anything going early in the season. At times, When Aaron Rodgers was making audibles, the rookie receivers did not know what to do. The connection got better towards the end of the season, but it was too late, as the Packers missed the playoffs.
Jordan Love, on the other hand, is already building a connection with everyone on offense. Watson and Love built chemistry all last offseason. Romeo Doubs’ rapport with Love is already being shown early in OTAs this year. Watson, Doubs, and Aaron Jones have been working with Jordan Love earlier in California to get the connection and timing down. With Jordan Love actually trying to get the chemistry going, the offense should get off to a faster start than last year.
Packers Pass Rush Could Be The Best In The NFL
The 2023 Packers potentially could have the best pass rush in the NFL. It starts with Rashan Gary, who is coming back from a torn ACL last season. Gary is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL when healthy. Behind him is Preston Smith, who had a solid season last year. Then promising second-year player Kingsley Enagbare showed a ton of flashes as a rookie. Justin Hollins, the late free agent pick-up last year, will be a solid rotational piece for the Packers.
First-round pick rookie Lukas Van Ness a raw pass rusher will look to make a huge impact in his first year. Brenton Cox is also someone to watch out for, as he was a pretty high prospect but went undrafted due to character issues. Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, Tadarrell Slaton, Colby Wooden, and even Karl Brooks could provide that interior push and get the pass rush going from the inside. There is a lot of talent, and the Packers could have arguably the best pass rush in the NFL if everything gets put together.
Jaire Alexander & Rasul Douglas Are a Top Cornerbacks Combo
The 2023 Packers have a very talented group at cornerback on defense. It is led by Pro Bowl corner Jaire Alexander, who is one of the best corners in the NFL. Next to him on the other side is Rasul Douglas, who is a solid corner. Douglas struggled a bit last year, mostly because he was playing in the slot, which is not his strongest position. When he is on the outside, Douglas played well, and he even had game-changing interceptions in the back half of last season.
Both Alexander and Douglas are excellent man-to-man corners and are capable of guarding opposing offenses’ best wide receivers. I could even add Eric Stokes to that mix when he is fully healthy. Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas could possibly form one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL.
Matt LaFleur Is More in Control
It just seems that head coach Matt LaFleur was not running his offense with Aaron Rodgers last season. Rodgers was rumored to be checking out of plays and not playing within the offense. Rodgers was even avoiding the middle of the field all of last season.
Now he is no longer a Packer, meaning LaFleur is fully in control of the offense. Everything will certainly be different with Jordan Love at quarterback. More motion, shifting, and jet sweeps will be involved. It will be a lot more creative formations on the Packers offense this season. No opposing defense this year will have a true view of how the offense is going to look because everything will definitely be much different with Jordan Love at quarterback compared to Aaron Rodgers. With Matt LaFleur now calling the shots, the 2023 Packers offense could be much better and more explosive.