Pocket Doppler 2011 Packers Predictions
I gathered together members of the brain trust that is PocketDoppler.com and asked them to give their own predictions for this year’s Packers’ season. Let’s see what everyone had to say about what may or may not happen this year.
Many people forget that the Super Bowl Champs have the enviable task of playing a second place schedule this season. This should help catapult them to a Division Title and 10-6 record.
Breakout players: Morgan Burnett on D, Bryan Bulaga on O.
Playoffs. Many people also forget that the team was very lucky to even make the playoffs last season and was even luckier to defeat the Eagles (Bishop’s shoe string tackle). As is the case in the NFL, luck tends to catch up with everyone. I don’t believe that the Packers will have everything fall their way this postseason. I predict the Packers will lose in the NFC Championship and I like a Patriots/ Atlanta Super Matchup. 31-16 Pats.
Concerns: offensive line quality and depth, the concussion health of Rodgers, replacing Cullen Jenkins, and sophomore slump from Shields.
I have concerns about Green Bay’s offensive line after losing Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz in free agency. I guess I still have bad memories from the year Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera had to skip town for salary cap reasons. The defensive line minus Cullen Jenkins hasn’t looked very good in pre-season either. We have yet to see much of a pass rush or a dominant performance against the run.
The 2011 Packers have a ton of talent at the skill positions, at linebacker and in the secondary, but they will only go as far as their “trench” players on both lines can take them. If the lines gel and perform, the Packers could go all the way. If they don’t, well…
Record: 11 – 5 & Win NFC North
Win Wild Card Game, Lose Divisional Round
If you’re like me you’ve read every Packers projection you can find out there, whether it be blogger or mainstream media type. You’ve read about how this team is actually more talented than last year’s Super Bowl Champions. You’ve read about how difficult it is to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. You’ve read that Kyle Cousineau has had beers with more active players than any other person in Green Bay…that’s not proven but it is most likely true.
So what will happen? Hell if I know…seriously, I don’t have a clue as to how this season will play out. Last year I thought it was over in Week 14 after the Rodgers concussion. So based on some knowledge, but more faith I say a 12-4 overall record which wins the NFC North. A run through the playoffs all the way to Indy where…oh what the hell, they repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Of course, if they go 10-6, sneak in as a Wild Card and lose that first playoff game I’m going to go back and edit this so it looked like I was really smart at the start of the season.
11-5. Should be a better team than last year, but whether that translates to equal success is another matter. Hard to see things fitting together as well this year as in 2010, but I am not discounting the possibility. I won’t be disappointed if they don’t win the Super Bowl again or even if they don’t make it to The Big Game. But this should be a division champion, one that good enough to host and win a home game. The only thing that would suck for me is seeing their season end either outside the playoffs or with a loss in the postseason at Lambeau.
Offense: Stellar QB1 and 5 WRs with a heck of a bunch of TEs. This is good for the Pack since they are a pass-heavy offense that runs plays such as the Big Five or Big Four. If Finley stays healthy, I expect him to completely change how the TE position. I don’t expect Driver to go downhill as many, and I think we’ll see Rodgers have a bunch of options when it comes to getting the ball downfield. My only concern on offense is how we only have 8 offensive linemen, but I fully expect Ted to draft a veteran or young player off waiver. I want to see the running game utilized a bit more, but I don’t think it has to happen.
Defense: We’ve seen Capers really come into his own over the past two years, which surprised me a bit. His track record shows that he suffers in his second year, which wasn’t the case here since the Pack won a Super Bowl. Most of our guys came back, and they work well together as a unit and reading the opposition. My only concern here is not having a good balance opposite Matthews. I want to see Raji do his dance again.
Regular Season Record: 11-5
Playoffs: All the way.
Going on the understanding that the Green Bay Packers can’t possibly repeat last year’s freak rash of injuries, there is no reason they don’t run the table at home while losing only a handful of road games. I would look for the Packers to have the most trouble with a few road trips, losing to Atlanta and Detroit, and facing trouble with either San Diego or Chicago.
I’ll put Green Bay at 13-3 for the regular season. That would be enough for a first round bye and an easier return trip to Super Bowl XLVI. I will reach here a bit on my AFC opponent and go with Houston, who has an easy division route to the playoffs and plenty of young, developing weapons of their own. The Packers might have targets on their back, but can thank their coaching staff, loaded with some of the best in the business, for keeping them grounded and always working. It also helps to have instant motivation on the players returning from injury: “You won a ring but you never played in a championship. Get back and earn it.”
The season will end the same as last year, with the Packers hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. I’ll predict that Aaron Rodgers wins the NFL MVP award, but I’ll also go out on a limb and put Tramon Williams as Defensive Player of the Year. Charles Woodson gets a lot of the media focus on defense, but Williams will take this year to make the leap to elite cornerback status.
As a bonus, I’ll predict Detroit as the runner-up in the NFC North and a wild card team. This is the 3rd year I’ve made this prediction and I think I got it this time.
I’m going with a 10-6 season. The Packers will make it to at least the second round of playoffs. If they get the momentum they have last year, anything is possible.
The Packers’ division should be fairly easy, but the Bears are hungry after last year’s NFC Championship loss. I think the Week 3 game will be one of the most challenging games the Packers face during the regular season. I expect Jermichael Finley and James Starks to be key assets to the offense. Matthews will be just as successful as last year, if not better. Like every Packer fan out there, I am hoping for a repeat, where Donald Driver MVPs in the Championship game. My simple dream for the 2011 season.
I remember the last time the Packers were looking to repeat as Super Bowl champs. I was serene all year in my belief that the Packers would make it to the big game, which they did relatively easily. Then, seeing as it was the Broncos and John Elway ALWAYS choked back when I used to root for them, I knew that Packers would win. That of course did not happen. I think the Packers, like myself, was just a bit overconfident.
This team reminds me a bit of that one, but this team has the added bonus of getting back a lot of Packers from injury who got a ring last year and feel strongly they did little or nothing to earn it. They want to change that and earn their rings this year. I expect they will do just that.
Season record: 12-4
Super Bowl XLVI Champions
There you go folks, that’s what we’re all thinking, how about the rest of you? Sound off in the comments.