“The run game abandoned me as a child” – Mike McCarthy

Welcome to the Podcast AF offseason review series, astutely titled “The Probe” – the unofficial official NFL offseason review series of the Vegas Golden Knights. Here, like most NFL “writers”, I will regurgitate takes I read or heard somewhere else and pass them off as original thoughts. Will Ryan Tannehill breakout in 2018? Was Mike McCarthy abandoned by the run game as a child? Does Saturn have a playoff atmosphere? Your questions, answered! Sponsored by “Ready Player One”, in theaters March 29th!

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Green Bay Packers : 7-9, 3rd NFC North

If you think Green Bay is an odd place to start, then you know how Brett Hundley felt when he Michael Cera’d himself into a starting QB job in the NFL. At times Hundley looked like he had other reasons for being at Lambeau field and accidentally walked into the QBs room and somehow ended up as the backup to Aaron Rodgers. He determined he was in too deep so didn’t speak up, and next thing you know he’s the starter.

(The real reason is I came up with the 100% real quote in the title and needed to get it on ePaper before I forgot about it.)

When Aaron Rodgers is the starter, the Packers make the playoffs. That’s the joy of having an elite QB. You can flat out ignore other parts of the roster and still win 10 games every year. Or, in the Packers case, every part of the roster. While the 2017 Packers weren’t as drastic of a case, it’s almost like removing Peyton Manning from the Colts in 2011 and being left with a 2-14 caliber team.

In spite of the best LT in the NFL, very talented WRs and dynamic RBs, the Packers offense looked like it was in the DCEU without Rodgers. If the Packers are Justice League, then Rodgers is Wonder Woman.

Rodgers’ absence also sent the defense into spiral. Looking from game to game, it’s clear how much more then Packer’s defense was on the field due to the ineffectiveness of the offense. There’s a clear downward trend in time of possession with the offense under Rodgers vs. under Hundley. The Packers front seven is filled with talented players who all rated out considerably well on PFF, yet the Packers’ defense was 26th in points allowed and 22nd in yards allowed.

In past seasons, the Packers have never gone shopping in free agency. They always gambled on what they had on their roster and/or what they could find in the draft. This year it was clear Aaron Rodgers was frustrated by his QBs coach being fired and Jordy Nelson being cut. So Mike McCarthy and Brian Gutekunst got him a toy: Jimmy Graham. Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard that Rodgers now has a deep threat TE, but it’s the first time it’s felt like it.

With the current roster, the Packers easily get to 10 wins, even in a division that looks like it could be the toughest in the NFL. Unless something were to happen to Aaron…wait who’s their backup QB?

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NOTABLE LOSSES

  • RG Jahri Evans (UFA)
  • WR Jordy Nelson (released)
  • SS Morgan Burnett (UFA)
  • CB Damarious Randall (traded to Browns)

NOTABLE ADDITIONS

  • TE Jimmy Graham
  • QB DeShone Kizer
  • DL Muhammad Wilkerson
  • CB Tramon Williams

At least they¬†tried to steal Kyle Fuller from the Bears. CB is currently a black hole for the Packers. They signed Tramon Williams, who’s 35. They currently need to fill their SS spot as well. Who knows, the front seven might be good enough and Aaron Rodgers might keep the defense off the field enough to cover up how weak the secondary is going to be.

On offense, the interior line desperately needs some help. But I reiterate, Aaron Rodgers. He’s so good at helping his linemen out via pocket movement and working the pass rush angles that it’s not like they need guys that can block like the Trade Federation. They need a starting RG and to hope the starting-caliber players don’t go down. At WR, like with every Packers WR the last ten years, someone will play and they’ll have 700 yards and 8 TDs because of who’s throwing them the ball.

DRAFT NEEDS: OG, CB, SS, WR

Reader Question:

Hey, love your stuff man! I was wondering if you think of Browns alum Mike Pettine as the Packers’ DC? Thanks!

 РGus from L.A.

Thanks for reading Gus from LA. I think Rodgers will make him look good, like every coach on this damn team. Pettine has said that that they’ll run neither a 3-4 or 4-3 in 2018. I’m pretty sure every DC says this. It’s like how every band says their 5th album is their most honest yet. I’m not sure how he justifies a 4-3 with this LB corp, unless Nick Perry moves to DE, or they have some sort of Cloverfield monster stored on their roster we don’t know about.

Prisco’s Pickanosis:

In honor of Pete Prisco telling me I’m dumb and that I’ll fail, here’s this entry’s edition of “Prisco’s Pickanosis,” where I highlight something the Tom Brady of acting like an infant on Twitter was completely wrong about.

This edition features a back and forth between Prisco and Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman.

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@JohnAnders42