Comparing the Detroit Lions offseason to the rest of the division
The Green Bay Packers
Lastly, the Green Bay Packers had parallel problems to the Detroit Lions last year. The Pack finished 6-9-1, one half game ahead of our Lions. They still possess one of the most dangerous passers in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers and cannot be taken for granted.
Lost in the poor record of the Packers is Rodgers performance, where he passed for 4,442 yards, twenty-five touchdowns and only two interceptions. While his completion percentage wasn’t great at 62.3%, the biggest stat that helps explain why their offense struggled is their 53.0 sacks allowed (rank 29th).
The Packers ranked fourteenth in scoring offense, while ranking 22nd in scoring defense according to the NFL website. Scanning for a basic breakdown of their moves, you’d have to say that they spent some money to try to give Rodgers another shot at a playoff run. They spent on linebackers, Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, safety, Adrian Amos, guard, Billy Turner, and re-signed tight end, Marcedes Lewis.
That doesn’t include the draft class that they brought in, which includes athletic freak defender Rashan Gary, who can play multiple roles. Darnell Savage is a playmaker defensive back that can be moved around. They drafted another tight end and a center early, too. You can see their whole class on the NFL’s Draft tracker.
On the other side of the ledger, they also lost some big names in franchise linebacker, Clay Matthews Jr., receiver, Randall Cobb, linebacker, Jake Ryan, defensive tackle, Muhammad Wilkerson, and safety, Kentrell Brice. So, much of their money went to replace the players that left and presumably were upgraded over.
Again, to summarize the chances that they might win the NFC North, you’d have to say the same thing that Packers fans have been saying for more than a decade: They have Rodgers so you can’t count them out.
Matt LaFleur, a Sean McVay disciple, is expected to shake things up offensively and provide some big plays and consistency to the offense. Defensively, the players that they have been developing along with the new talent give the defense a shot at being better than their 2018 selves.
Overall, they do look to have gotten better in a similar way to the Detroit Lions by filling in some holes after drafting some talent over the last couple of years to revamp the defense. Also like the Lions, they seem to be trying to reinvigorate their quarterback and extend his effectiveness by supporting him.
Could we see the standings flip in 2019? Who knows exactly how this will shake out but the teams at the bottom seem to have made headway on the teams at the top of the division. One thing that’s for sure is that this race will be tight again. Injuries, timing of bye weeks, and schedule will keep this interesting probably into December.
Who do you think had the best offseason beside the Detroit Lions? How do you think the Lions’ offseason compares to the rest of the division? Comment below, and follow us on Twitter, CoachKirk @mkirk2 for more Detroit and Michigan sports plus some other sports and current cultural content.