What a great quarter! The Green Bay Packers are rolling in the right direction.
With our Green Bay Packers approaching their bye, there will be no Looking Ahead article this week. We’re gonna switch it up and take a look at how things might continue to shake up the NFL.
At 4-0, the Green Bay Packers are one of six undefeated teams in the league. With a combined 4-12 opponent record, the competition has been nothing special but that will change soon enough. They haven’t been tested yet but have still looked great offensively.
So through one-quarter of the season… where do the Green Bay Packers stack up?
NFL Power Rankings
- Kansas City Chiefs 4-0
- Seattle Seahawks 4-0
- Green Bay Packers 4-0
- Baltimore Ravens 3-1
- Buffalo Bills 4-0
- Indianapolis Colts 3-1
- Pittsburgh Steelers 3-0
- Tennesse Titans 3-0
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-1
- New England Patriots 2-2
- Los Angeles Rams 3-1
- San Francisco 49ers 2-2
- Cleveland Browns 3-1
- Chicago Bears 3-1
- Arizona Cardinals 2-2
- Oakland Raiders 2-2
- New Orleans Saints 2-2
- Minnesota Vikings 1-3
- Los Angeles Chargers 1-3
- Carolina Panthers 2-2
- Philadelphia Eagles 1-2-1
- Dallas Cowboys 1-3
- Cincinnati Bengals 1-2-1
- Detroit Lions 1-3
- Miami Dolphins 1-3
- Washington Football Team 1-3
- Jacksonville Jaguars 1-3
- Houston Texans 0-4
- Denver Broncos 1-3
- Atlanta Falcons 0-4
- New York Giants 0-4
- New York Jets 0-4
These are my personal power rankings after four weeks of play.
Both New York squads are trash and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for either team. The Texans and Falcons have been surprisingly unsuccessful. Bill O’Brien has already been canned and Dan Quinn will likely suffer the same fate, soon enough.
The NFC East is well represented in the twenties’ and the Bengals finally got their first win with Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor leading the team. They’ve looked decent the past two weeks and may continue to ascend. The Chargers and Vikings have each played well in 3 of their 4 games and are my top one-win teams. Both squads are talented enough to make a late-season push.
New England has a .500 record but is still a top-ten team. Their losses are to the top two teams in the NFL, the Seahawks and the Chiefs. The Pats offense looked worse without Cam Newton but he should be back on Sunday. The Indianapolis Colts are surging and have been a top-five team since their week one loss, however, that loss keeps them out of my top-five for now.
Chiefs, Seahawks, Packers, Ravens, Bills – Those are the top-five teams in the NFL. All five have had some quarters where they looked very average but have also been dominant in stretches. The Green Bay Packers fall into that category.
Aside from Monday night against the Falcons, the Packers have trailed at the end of the first quarter in every game. They haven’t played four quarters yet but have been kings of the second half against some weak competition. I’m comfortable leaving Green Bay Packers at third, for now.
That leaves them at second in the NFC. I expect them to stay in that position to the end of the year. That leads to my projected playoff seedings.
AFC Seeding Predictions
- Kansas City Chiefs (1)
- Baltimore Ravens (4)
- Indianapolis Colts (6)
- Buffalo Bills (5)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (7)
- New England Patriots (10)
- Tennessee Titans (9)
Just Missed: Cleveland Browns (14)
Don’t sleep on: Los Angeles Chargers (19)
The AFC is strong this year. Kansas City keeps proving that they’re the best team in the league, while Lamar Jackson basically admitted that Baltimore is #2 in the AFC. Aside from their week-one loss to Jacksonville, the Colts look like the best team in the AFC South. The Titans, at 3-0, are leading that division right now but their past opponents are all 1-3 and the Titans only won those games by a combined 6 points.
Perhaps the most interesting division in football is the AFC East, where the Bills are currently in the driver’s seat, though, the Patriots, at 2-2, are still playing like one of the best teams in the league. The Steelers and Browns will likely battle for second in the AFC North while the loser misses the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Chargers may be 1-3 but this is a growing team with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert now at the helm. Aside from Kansas City, the AFC East is weak, leaving room for a few extra wins. The Chargers looked good in their losses to the Chiefs and Buccaneers.
NFC Seeding Predictions
- Seattle Seahawks (2)
- Green Bay Packers (3)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9)
- Philadelphia Eagles (21)
- Los Angeles Rams (11)
- Chicago Bears (14)
- New Orleans Saints (17)
Just Missed: San Francisco 49ers (12)
Don’t Sleep on: Minnesota Vikings (18)
As strong as the AFC is this year, the NFC is equally weak. The conference is top-heavy with two dominant, undefeated teams in the Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers but there aren’t many talented teams behind them.
The Buccaneers are fine but they’ve only won two games convincingly, against pretty bad competition. A week-five showdown with the Green Bay Packers will tell us everything we need to know. The fourth seed will go to whichever NFC East team loses the least amount of games.
The Wildcard battle will be interesting. The Rams and Bears are each 3-1 and second in their division, behind the Seahawks and Packers, respectively. I believe those two teams will secure playoff berths.
The seventh seed will be a craps-shoot. The Saints and 49ers are the two front-runners for me. The 49ers are the better team but they’ve already lost two games and haven’t yet reached the most difficult part of their schedule. The Saints have a few tough matchups ahead of them but can finesse their way to a 10-win season.
Aside from a week-two stumble against a very good Colts defense, the Vikings offense has been productive. This young team was behind the eight-ball with the limited preseason but looked like they found an identity against the Texans, on Sunday. Their remaining schedule is no joke but the Vikings might be the best one-win team in the NFL.
Quarterly NFL Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Alvin Kamara (Saints) – Kamara showed what he’s capable of against our Packers in week three. He has 7 touchdowns and 557 yards from scrimmage on the year.
Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt (Steelers) – Many of you are Badger fans so this award will be bitter-sweet. Watt is the highest graded edge-rusher for PFF and has 3.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 1 interception through the first three games.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Justin Jefferson (Vikings) – I had Mekhi Becton here, prior to this past week, but Becton’s injury and Jefferson’s performance have convinced me otherwise. After a slow start, Jefferson has seen his snap count increase and he has 11 catches on 14 targets for 278 yards and 1 touchdown over the past two games.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young (Washington) – Prior to week 4, Antoine Winfield Jr was the only player competing with Young for this award but he showed his limitations on a downfield target against the Chargers that resulted in a long touchdown. Chase Young has no limitations. Young has been the best Ohio State alum edge-defender this year, which is really saying something.
Comeback Player of the Year: Aldon Smith (Cowboys) – Aldon Smith’s struggles off the field have been well-documented. Smith has been suspended by the NFL a half-dozen times but seems to have his head on straight in Dallas. At 31 years-old, he may not be the same athlete he used to be but he’s still a productive pass-rusher. Aldon Smith is on pace for 16 sacks and is maybe the only bright spot on the Cowboys defense.
Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians (Buccaneers) – I’m expecting the Buccaneers to have a decent season, win the NFC South, and make a push into the postseason… something Arians hasn’t done yet. He’ll be the benificiary of the team’s turnaround.
Most Valuable Player: Russell Wilson (Seahawks) – Russ hasn’t won the MVP yet, but he’s been close more than once. With 16 touchdowns in the first four games, he’s on pace to throw (double-checks math) 64 touchdowns on the season.
Aaron Rodgers is nipping at Wilson’s heels in MVP voting. Rodgers and Aaron Jones give the Geen Bay Packers arguably the best backfield in the NFL. They operate behind arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. The receiving core, meanwhile, lacks depth, especially with Allen Lazard on IR.
The same can be said of the Packers linebackers, with Christian Kirksey also on IR. The tandem of Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage regressed some this year but they’ve been helped by stellar play from the cornerback group. Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, and Chandon Sullivan have done well holding off second-half passing attacks.
Kenny Clark returning to his nose role will help the defensive line significantly. He’ll play between Kingsley Keke and Tyler Lancaster who both stepped up in Clark’s absence.
Statistically, the Green Bay Packers haven’t been moving the needle much but it’s been more about when those big plays have taken place – a perfect example of that is Za’Darius Smith’s forced and recovered fumble against the Saints.
Offensively the Packers are looking good. I’ve chosen to take the Green Bay Packers individual stats and project them along a 16-game season.
|Player||Gms||Targ||Rec||Cat %||Yards||Y/rec||Tds||Season||Gms||Targ||Rec||Cat %||Yards||Y/rec||Tds|
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference
Given the way the Green Bay Packers have played through the first quarter of the year and the talent remaining on the roster, it’s safe to say that the Packers are poised for some shootouts. Given their remaining schedule, I’m almost certain that we’ll see exactly that.
Week 5 – bye
Week 6 – @ Tampa Bay
Week 7 – @ Houston
Week 8 – Minnesota
Week 9 – San Francisco
Week 10 – Jacksonville
Week 11 – @ Indianapolis
Week 12 – Chicago
Week 13 – Philadelphia
Week 14 – @ Detroit
Week 15 – Carolina
Week 16 – Tennessee
Week 17 – @ Chicago
I won’t give a prediction on the outcome of the remaining schedule, as I already gave my prediction prior to the season, which you can find HERE. I will say that a lot of these games are very winnable for the Green Bay Packers. Given the weak competition in the NFC, the 12-4 record I predicted in July should have the Packers in contention for a first-round bye.
Look for continued dominance on offense by the Green Bay Packers and hope for some answers to the struggles on defense. The Packers have a bye week to figure it out but this schedule becomes a lot more difficult for the last three-quarters of the season. We’ll have all news and top opinions on the Green Bay Packers going forward, here at Game On Wisconsin.