It’s that funny time of year that’s not the offseason, not the preseason, but still not yet the season. The final few days before the NFL year kicks off.
It’s prediction season! And Packer fans can officially add another believer to their side.
Peter King, one of the most respected journalists in the NFL, is making no bones about it. He believes the Packers are the cream of the crop in the NFC.
I’m picking the Packers to make their first Super Bowl in 12 years by—isn’t it ironic?—going on the road to get there. Man, wouldn’t that be sweet for Aaron Rodgers.
In his yearly predictions column for NBC Sports, King blew past any wide receiver room worries and spoke incredibly highly of Aaron Rodgers’ focus this year.
Re the Packers: I think a purported weakness, the post-Davante Adams receiver room, won’t be as bad as most think. Green Bay has a cadre of young prove-it receivers who I believe will be mentally whipped into shape by Rodgers as the year progresses, and who will respond well to the patient coaching of Matt LaFleur. It’s a better roster 1 to 53 (including the kicking game, which doomed the Pack last season) with a defense that should be a top-five NFL unit by December.
There’s a rejuvenated quarterback too. Rodgers is one of those guys who loves when he’s doubted. I mean, truly loves it. No Adams now, and Rodgers figures, just watch me. We’ll be fine. That plus his three days in Peru taking psychedelics on his ayahuasca journey … The Rodgers who takes the field this year will be a slightly different guy, a guy who told me he loves football more than he ever has. “I think I just fell in love with it a little deeper,” he said. For Rodgers, there’s much to prove after the disappointments of home playoff losses as the top seed the last two years, though.
It’s worth noting that King did a pre-season tour of all the teams and spent time talking with Rodgers. There are few who have had better access to him and his mentality in the traditional media than King.
King also highlighted the Packers new special teams coach Rich Bisaccia in his yearly award predictions segment. While seeking a few assistant coaches who will make a major difference he singled out Bissacia.
After the Packers lost the divisional game to the Niners on a blocked punt last January, they made Bisaccia (reportedly) the highest-paid special-teams coach in history and gave him the authority to use players from all over the roster to resuscitate the morbid kicking game. He told the players: “The only ‘I’ I want to hear in here is, ‘What can I do to help us win?’” Results should follow.
Unfortunately for Packer fans it’s not all good news, as King has the Packers losing to the Bills in the Super Bowl. But after recent postseason heartbreaks I think Cheesehead nation will take their chances in the big game.