Despite the heroic efforts of Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers could not defeat the Falcons on Sunday and reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2011. Aaron Rodgers has been fantastic, but the rest of the team has been a complete different story. Rodgers’ play has covered up the real truth about this team: they have a below-average roster. Let’s look at three reasons why the 2016 Green Bay Packers would have been the weakest Super Bowl roster in the history of the NFL.
- The Packers’ pass defense ranked 31st in the league.
Forget about talent for one minute, this pass defense based on stats alone was atrocious. The only team that gave up more passing yards during the season was the New Orleans Saints, and we all know how mediocre that Saints team is even with a future Hall of Fame QB. The Packers secondary also ranked 3rd worst in passing TD’s allowed, by giving up 32 passing TD’s. The stats are not good. With a few injuries throughout the season, the Packers ended the season with Randall, Rollins, and Gunter as their starting cornerbacks. That won’t cut it if you want to get Aaron Rodgers his second ring.
- Their kick return defense ranked last in the NFL.
Special teams is often a forgotten area of football when looking at successful teams. Not only is special teams important, but it can be the difference maker between an average team and an elite team. Green Bay gave up an average of 26.3 yards per return, which was last in the National football league. This sets up the opposing team with a shorter field, and a greater chance at scoring.
- Green Bay’s rushing attack ranked 20th in yards per game, and 29th when you take out Rodgers’ rushing yards.
With Eddie Lacy only playing 5 games in 2016, and back-up James Starks only playing 9, the Packers run game struggled. At one point late in the season Green Bay’s starting running back was converted WR Ty Montgomery. To say that the Packers were a one dimensional offense would be an understatement. Take away the rushing yards that Aaron Rodgers had, and the Packers were under 85 rushing yards per game, which would rank 29th in the league.
Green Bay barely uses free agency, which puts a lot of stress on the draft. However, as you can see with the talent on their roster, the draft has been failing them lately. This team needs a revamp of talent, and quick. I can honestly say that the Packers’ roster would have been the weakest team to make the Super Bowl. There is a reason the Atlanta Falcons won on Sunday, and it was not Aaron Rodgers in the least bit.