Green Bay Packers 2019 Preview

By Alex Williams


It was a disastrous year for the Green Bay Packers, who missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, something which they hadn’t done since 2005/06. Aaron Rodgers had a poor year, due to, in part, his destabilising relationship with Mike McCarthy and injury concerns. The one day Hall of Famer outlasted his long-time head coach in what can only be described as a year to forget for the Packers.

Off Season

The Packers splashed the cash this off-season. Heavy investment was put into their linebackers. Za’Darius Smith signed for four years, $66 million, while Preston Smith signed for four years, $52 million. Furthermore, Adrian Amos was signed to bring some stability to a safety position, which has lacked talent in recent seasons. Defense was the emphasis at the top of the draft, with Rashan Gary (linebacker) and Darnell Savage (safety) both being selected on day one.

Away from the field, one of the bigger additions for the Packers was new head coach, Matt LaFleur. The 39-year-old comes from a tree of offensive minds such as Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. His on-field relationship with Rodgers should make interesting viewing, as the Packers bank on LaFleur getting #12 back to MVP form.


Rodgers is beautifully matched for Matt LaFleur’s offensive scheme. It will focus on pre-snap movements, misdirection, with plenty of zone runs and bootlegging play-action. LaFleur will also run the ball more than his predecessor, as he called a run play 51% of the time with the Titans.

Getting Rodgers to thrive in this offense is the only plausible way of seeing Green Bay have success in 2019. He has a legitimate elite wide receiver in Davante Adams, however, a lot of pressure lies on the young talent, such a Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison and Equanimeous St. Brown, to step up and make plays. Jimmy Graham had a disappointing 2018, so it was no surprise Jace Sternberger was drafted in the third round. He’s young and raw but has plenty of upside.

Their offensive line should be solid this season, and they will need to be. Part of the LaFleur offense involves Rodgers doing something he has not always been comfortable doing, turning his back on the defense. The Packers will also be looking for a big year out of their backs. Aaron Jones is expected to be the lead back, and they need production from that group to keep opposing defenses off balance.


The Packers recorded 44 sacks in 2018, which was good enough for 8th best in the NFL. This should only improve in 2019, with the additions of Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. Kenny Clark has been a dominant nose tackle for the past two seasons, and he’s joined by talented end Dean Lowry on the Packers front line. Kyler Fackrell led the team with 10.5 sacks last season and should continue to be effective in a rotation.

The secondary still has many concerns. Adrian Amos plugs in as the strong safety, but a lot will be asked of rookie Darnell Savage. Jaire Alexander is solid cornerback, but the corp is young and unheralded, besides 36 year-old Tramon Williams. Ultimately the group needs to create more turnovers, as seven interceptions in 2018 ranked bottom-three in the NFL.

the verdict

It’s tough to really predict how good these Packers are. On the one hand, Rodgers has outer-worldly ability to single-handedly win games. On the other hand, we haven’t seen that ability since 2016. The defense should make significant strides in 2019, due to a prosperous offseason. That will help Rodgers and the offense greatly. The NFC North is a hungry and competitive division. Consequently, the Packers now find themselves chasing the Bears and Vikings for the division pinnacle.

All things considered, there’s just not enough talent surrounding Rodgers. A tough schedule does the young head coach no favours, and as a result, it could all go sour very early.

Record Prediction; 8-8

Alex Williams

NFL Analyst

Alex is a recent Digital Journalism graduate from the North-West. He is a New York Giants fan & also follows both Basketball and Baseball.


Image Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports