Training camp hasn’t even begun yet, so we’re basing all our projections on what shows on paper. Still, the 2014 Packers should be a much improved team. That’s exciting to me because they were a pretty good team in 2013 despite some serious injuries.
There are three key stats that I think the Packers will improve on that I think will make a world of difference in 2014.
Green Bay was fairly solid on defense in 2013, their one big Achilles’ heel was their defense of backs. I think will be much improved in the defensive backfield 2014. The cornerbacks did a fine job in the last season. Where the Packers failed last year was with the safety play. Here’s what has me pumped about that situation.
The Packers total defensive production last year placed them in the top 10 at #10 defense against receivers. The Packers defense was also #8 defending against scoring and #6 defending against touchdowns in particular. The only place the Packers really fell short defensively wise in the interception column.
The team as a whole only generated 11 interceptions last season. And the safeties didn’t intercept a single pass. If the Packers can improve on this one single statistic, their overall defense should climb drastically in the rankings and be a force to be reckoned with.
Okay. Admittedly I’m hanging onto a great deal of hope. But my gut says after the last several seasons of struggling with the injury bug, it’s the Packers turn to not have to fight with that monster 2014.
The Packers were the fifth most injured team last season. Not only that, but nobody can argue with the fact that the Packers loss of Aaron Rodgers for several games last season was by far the most impacting injury in the entire league.
There are couple primary reasons I think the Packers injuries will be mitigated next season. For starters, teams won’t be able to just focus on Clay Matthews. With the addition of Julius Peppers teams will have to play more honest in pass protection. With Clay not having to do the bulk of the work, that should save him from more injury.
Secondly, I think the loss of Aaron Rodgers last year will have given the offensive line a greater deal of focus. It’s their job to keep the quarterback protected, and they didn’t do that last season. I think they will come out in 2014 with greater determination to keep Aaron upright.
Now for the fun stuff!
I believe the offense will be much improved this season. Simply stated Aaron Rodgers will be back for the full season. Even with Aaron missing seven games, the Packers had the number three overall offense, the number six passing offense, and the number seven rushing offense.
As stated earlier, I fully expect Aaron to play all 16 games of the regular season this year. That in itself will make this offense more productive. However, the other thing that has me excited is that Eddie Lacy is no longer a rookie. Eddie admitted that early when he took over, he was hesitant. He will no longer have that hesitancy in 2014.
Couple of these facts with the statement Mike McCarthy made about wanting to run 75 offense of plays a game and you have an offense that’s producing off the charts.
2014 is going to be fun for Packer fans.