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Can Green Bay Packers' offense return to dominance?

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The 2015 Packers posted their lowest points per game, yards per game, yards per play and third-down percentage of the Aaron Rodgers era.

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Although Rodgers was saddled with the slowest collection of wide receivers and tight ends in football, per Next Gen Stats, coach Mike McCarthy repeatedly insisted the offense's woes were not a one-position issue.

Outside of a calamitous injury to Rodgers, everything that could go wrong did.

Jordy Nelson, one of the NFL's top half-dozen receivers and a player boasting a mind meld with Rodgers, was lost for the season with an ACL injury. Randall Cobb was never at peak strength, battling a season-long shoulder injury after suffering a sprained AC joint in late August.

Breakout candidate Davante Adams regressed while fighting through a high-ankle sprain. Rookie Ty Montgomery was just beginning to see an increased role when a nagging high-ankle sprain of his own ended his season and ultimately required clean-up surgery.

Beyond the wideout woes, Eddie Lacy devolved from a top-five NFL running back to an out-of-shape liability. The offensive line suffered a litany of injuries as Rodgers was sacked more than any quarterback from Week 9 through the end of the season.

The situation was so bleak by mid-December that McCarthy was even forced to reclaim play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Tom Clements.

Rodgers ended up going nine consecutive games without three touchdown passes and 11 consecutive games without a passer rating of at least 100.0, the longest such droughts of his career.

One NFL assistant coach identified the core issue in a conversation this week with the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

"Last year you had one guy (Cobb) for Aaron to throw it to," the coach explained. "It was, OK, cover that guy, and after that (Rodgers) had to make everything up."

The passing game had degenerated to an atavistic sinkhole, with Rodgers forced to play sandlot ball, improvising as play after play broke down.

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As backward as last year's attack was, there's reason to believe the Packers can return to the heights of 2014, which led McCarthy to declare that his offense had a chance to be "the best pro football has seen" in 2015.

"Now if you get Jordy back, you have Cobb," the assistant coach continued. "Put Jared (Cook) with those two guys, you're talking about some matchup issues."

The improvement goes beyond Nelson and Cobb recapturing 2014 form and Cook adding a speed element down the seam.

The Packers are going young with a suddenly deep wide receiver corps. Adams and Montgomery have an offseason to get healthy while highly athletic postseason hero Jeff Janis is poised to take on a bigger role.

Better yet, Lacy looks downright svelte, providing hope that he can channel his late 2014 success as the only NFL back to exceed 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the final nine games.

For all of the newfound optimism on the heels of a disappointing season, do the Packers have a chance to rejoin the ranks of the league's elite? The Around The NFL Podcast crew addressed that very subject after this week's acquisition of Cook.

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