Three bold predictions for the Packers offense in 2020.
We saw some outstanding moments on both sides of the ball for the Green Bay Packers in 2020 as they made their return to the playoffs with a 13-win season. Matt LaFleur, hired for his work as an offensive coach, looked to help things get back on track on this side of the ball.
In truth, it was an up-and-down year for the offense. That’s no surprise as a change of system can take time to learn and gain familiarity with. Aaron Rodgers, in particular, was transitioning from an entire career in Mike McCarthy’s system to something completely new.
While the Packers won lots of games and the offense, at times, looked dominant, the numbers weren’t all that great. Green Bay ranked 18th in total offense, 17th in passing offense, 15th in rushing offense, and 15th in points scored per game. There wasn’t one area where this offense dominated all season.
Entering year two under LaFleur should help. The familiarity with the scheme, and the time Rodgers spent working with LaFleur, should help lead to more success this season. Can they turn those moments of unstoppable play into complete performances?
But what should we expect from LaFleur’s offense this year? Here are my three bold predictions from the Packers offense in 2020.
3. Davante Adams will set career-best in receiving yards
Yes, the Packers are going to want to run the ball. Their offseason work shows this. They didn’t draft a wide receiver but did select a running back and an H-back in rounds two and three. They re-signed Marcedes Lewis, an excellent blocker. But even with more of a focus on the ground game to be expected, they are still going to throw the ball plenty. An offense with Aaron Rodgers always will.
But having not invested enough in this wide receiver corps during the offseason, the pressure is once again going to be on Davante Adams.
Devin Funchess could be a good addition as a complement to Adams but it’ll take some time to establish a connection with Rodgers. Allen Lazard played well in 2019, and the hope is that either Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Equanimeous St. Brown will make a jump.
But Adams is the receiver Rodgers trusts the most and that’s who he’ll be looking for on crucial third downs when they need a big play.
Adams set career-best numbers in 2018 with 1,386 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Had he not missed a month due to injury last season, he would’ve finished with similar numbers again.
I predict the Packers to have more rushing touchdowns this season, but Adams will still be targeted a ton in the receiving game. That will lead him to his new career-best in receiving yards.
2. Elgton Jenkins will be an All-Pro and Pro Bowler
The Packers would’ve had high hopes for Elgton Jenkins when they selected him in the second round of last year’s draft, but even they must’ve been surprised to see him adjust to the NFL quite so quickly. Jenkins had an incredible rookie season, far and away the best of the Packers’ 2019 draft class. Unsurprisingly, he was selected to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
According to ESPN, Jenkins had a pass block win rate of 95 percent, eighth-best in the NFL among guards last season.
Jenkins is one of the best young guards in football, which is clear after just one season. Marc Sessler of NFL.com put together a 2020 All-Under-25 Team, with Jenkins a starting guard alongside two-time All-Pro Quenton Nelson.
Not long ago, the Packers had the league’s best guard tandem in T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton. Since they left, guard has been a position the Packers have needed to find a long-term starter at. Jenkins showed in his rookie season that he can be the next great offensive lineman for the Packers.
I predict Jenkins will build on his rookie year in 2020, taking the next step to become one of the best guards in the league. In year two, Jenkins will be an All-Pro and Pro Bowler.
1. AJ Dillon rushes for double-digit touchdowns
Expect to see AJ Dillon used in short-yardage situations often this season, and that includes on the goal line. There’s a reason the Packers used their second-round pick on Dillon despite already having Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. One area this offense needed to improve on the ground was in short-yardage situations.
According to Sharp Football Stats, the Packers were 20th in the NFL at scoring a TD on the ground from their opponents’ one-yard line last season. They converted 54 percent of the time. On either third- or fourth-and-one from any position on the field, the Packers ranked 21st in the NFL, converting 64 percent of the time.
That’s where Dillon can help. Jones did a good job in the red zone last season and had 16 regular-season rushing TDs to show for it. But Dillon can have a huge impact on short-yardage situations for the Packers right away.
If Dillon makes a fast start he could become the goal-line back for the Packers, which will give him plenty of opportunities to score. I predict he’ll score double-digit touchdowns in his rookie year. Note to fantasy owners: Dillon needs to be drafted. You could find some great value in the mid-to-late rounds.
What are your bold predictions for the Packers offense in 2020?