For the Packers faithful, Green Bay was just a win away from the Super Bowl.
As for the naysayers, everything just went right for the NFC North champions during a surprising 13-3 season in which Green Bay's record was more impressive than its game-by-game performances.
Nonetheless, to most, the time was now for the Packers and they just needed to fill in some holes in the 2020 NFL Draft, perhaps most notably at wide receiver.
Instead, there were no wide receivers drafted as the Packers stunned many with the first-round pick of Utah State quarterback Jordan Love – likely Aaron Rodgers' successor – and followed with the second-round selection of running back AJ Dillon – perhaps another option in the backfield despite the emergence of Aaron Jones.
Though the Packers knocked on the Super Bowl door, a look inside the numbers per NFL Research unveils that Green Bay has gone three straight seasons without a top-10 scoring offense for the first time since 1990-1992. More so, the 23.5 points per game for the Packers (15th in the NFL) were the fewest among a 13-win team since 2010, according to NFL Research.
Only the Bills averaged less points per game among the 2019 NFL postseason field.
Perhaps Rodgers isn't the magician he once was. He's finished with a sub-100 passer rating for three straight seasons, which is a career first. Nonetheless, conventional wisdom points to a win-now approach when a team finds itself on the doorstep of the biggest of big games.
It's hard to see Love aiding in the Packers' playoff quest this season and it's impossible to see any draft picks aiding the wide receiver corps because Green Bay didn't select a single wideout. Perhaps Dillon will provide some punch, but Jones was a touchdown machine in 2019, tallying 19 total touchdowns that tied him for tops in the NFL and second in franchise history, which was the identical placement as his 16 rushing scores.
Will Jordan Love prove to be an asset or a distraction in 2020?
(Per NFL Research)
- The Packers selected Utah State QB Jordan Love with the No. 26 pick
- Green Bay selected a first-round QB with an MVP QB already on the roster for the third time in team history
- The Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers when starter Brett Favre was 35 years old. Rodgers was selected 24th overall in 2005
- Rodgers is currently 36 years old
*Packers 1st-Round QB Selections With MVP QB on Roster *
MVP Starter 1st-Round QB Draft
GB Aaron Rodgers Jordan Love 2020
HOF Brett Favre Aaron Rodgers 2005
HOF Bart Starr Don Horn 1967
Did the Packers do enough to help Rodgers and their title hopes in 2020? Only the season ahead can answer that, but if the answer ends up being an emphatic no, this might well be an infamous offseason to look back upon.
For now, though, the Packers are the reigning NFC North champions with two talented Aarons leading an offense aiming to get better despite the 13-win season in the rear view.