28

August

2013 Green Bay Packers: Season Predictions

Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan will square off at Lambeau Field this season. But how many times?

Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan will square off at Lambeau Field this season. But how many times?

As training camp wraps up with the regular season just more than a week away, it’s time to put the 2013 Green Bay Packers under the microscope and make some predictions.

Last season, I picked the Packers to win the Super Bowl over the Baltimore Ravens. One team (Baltimore) made it there and won, the other team (Green Bay) did not. Oh, and so much for the Eagles-to-the-NFC-Championship pick. Yikes.

This season feels a little different.

For the past several offseasons, the Packers have been one of the most popular Super Bowl picks from the NFC. But despite an improved running game and a healthier defense, the Packers aren’t one of the more trendy picks to make it to Super Bowl XLVIII. The NFC West has a pair of Super Bowl-caliber teams in San Francisco and Seattle, and the Atlanta Falcons seem to be all-in on 2013 after signing Steven Jackson and bringing Tony Gonzalez back for one last season.

For the most part, the Packers are flying under the radar.

In the AFC, it’s the Denver Broncos and everyone else. I know, I know – Von Miller is suspended. If only John Elway and Broncos management had assembled a talented supporting cast around Peyton Manning. Oh wait, they did. Manning may not throw 49 touchdowns like he did in 2004, but I’ll go on record and say that he sets a new career high in passing yards this season at age 37.

Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker? Wow. If Manning and his trio of top targets stay healthy, this could be a Super season in Denver.

But let’s take a look at the 2013 Packers and see where I have their season ending. Do they miss the playoffs? Do they make it to the Super Bowl in New York? Read on.

49ers 27 vs. Packers 24

All offseason, the Packers have attempted to improve their overall team toughness after they were embarrassed by the 49ers in the trenches in January. While I think the Packers defense will contain Colin Kaepernick better than they did in the playoffs, the 49ers are the better team. It should be close, but I’ll take the 49ers.

Packers 31 vs. Redskins 27

This could be Robert Griffin III’s season debut. And if that’s the case, the Packers will begin the year against a pair of dual-threat quarterbacks. This looks like another close game, but I like how the Packers’ offense matches up with the Washington defense.

Packers 24 @ Bengals 23

Cincinnati is becoming a trendy Super Bowl pick out of the AFC, and their schedule isn’t all that intimidating. The Bengals defense is among the most complete in the NFL, and they added a potential star in running back Gio Bernard. This looks like one of the tougher games on the Pack’s schedule, but I’ll take Rodgers over Dalton; Packers over Bengals.

WEEK 4 BYE

Packers 31 vs. Lions 20

The Packers are typically a very good team coming out of the bye week, and I’d have a hard time seeing them lose to the Lions in this scenario. Detroit has the offensive weapons to keep it close, but the Packers should win this one.

Ravens 28 vs. Packers 27

The whole supposed “Ravens demise” is severely overblown. Yes, losing Dennis Pitta and Anquan Boldin will hurt the offense, but 2012 Ray Lewis wasn’t even half of 2002 Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed wasn’t any better than decent last season. They’ll be just fine on defense, and they have a pair of talented runners in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Just feels like a (close) Packers loss to me.

Packers 31 vs. Browns 10

At Throwback Weekend III, the Green Bay Packers will host the Cleveland Browns in their ACME Packers throwback uniforms. They say anything is possible. But the Browns beating the Packers at Lambeau? Ehh.

Packers 38 @ Vikings 24

It’s a night game at the MetroDome, with a former Packer taking the field against a supposed rival Aaron Rodgers. But unfortunately for Greg Jennings, Christian Ponder isn’t Brett Favre, nor is he Aaron Rodgers. Is it too early to say Packers at Vikings in 2013 will look like Packers at Texans in 2012? “Shhh.”

Packers 21 vs. Bears 17

In primetime for the second straight week against a division rival, the Packers will get their first shot at Marc Trestman’s Chicago Bears. I’m not exactly sure what to think of the Bears this season. I thought they’d be a playoff team last season, and they fell short. This season, I could see them going 6-10 or 10-6. Either way, the Packers win at home on Monday Night.

Packers 41 vs. Eagles 17

It’s tough to project a 40-point game in the NFL, but this looks like a potential blowout to me. Chip Kelly’s Eagles could be fun to watch on offense, but I think Philadelphia’s defense will be among the worst in football. Packers win easily.

Giants 30 vs. Packers 27

The Packers are incapable of beating the Giants, right? Wrong. The Giants are just a complete football team that matches up favorably against the Packers. With an improved ground game, the Packers should fare better in this matchup. But in August, I’m taking the Giants over the Pack in a close one.

Packers 27 vs. Vikings 24

This is sure to be a fun and eventual day, as Greg Jennings makes his return to Lambeau Field. There’s no way the Football Gods would send me home unhappy on my 23rd birthday, would he? The Packers sweep the Vikings, and Rodgers and Jennings shake hands without throwing fists. Shocker.

Lions 31 vs. Packers 21

The Lions haven’t won on Thanksgiving in 10 years. Back in 2003, the Lions topped the Packers 22-14. I think this is the year the Lions snap their Turkey Day losing streak. Just four days after an emotional game against the Vikings, this smells like a trap game for the Packers.

Packers 28 vs. Falcons 20

The Falcons are one of the most popular Super Bowl picks out of the NFC, but I’m not quite as high on them as most. I think they’re one of eight or so playoff-caliber teams in the conference, but they’re not as good as the 49ers or Seahawks, in my eyes. In fact, I’m picking the Saints to win the NFC South.

Cowboys 27 vs. Packers 24

The Packers haven’t won in Dallas since Christmas Eve 1989. That’s before I was born. Dallas a real chance at winning the NFC East this year, and this looks like a tough game for the Packers. That said, JerryWorld will feel like home for the Packers, whose last game in Dallas was Super Bowl XLV.

Packers 27 vs. Steelers 20

With two games to play, the Packers still have a lot to play for in terms of playoff seeding. Their 2013 season ends with a game against their opponent in Super Bowl XLV (Pittsburgh) and the team they beat to get there (Chicago). The Pack finishes the regular season undefeated at home for the second time in three years.

Packers 17 @ Bears 16

In the regular-season finale, the Packers escape with a victory over the Bears. It’s going to be interesting if Jay Cutler fares better against the Packers under Marc Trestman than he has in his first four years in Chicago. Da Bears finish the season 6-10, as the Packers finish 11-5 and move on to the playoffs.

Wild Card Round: Packers 28 vs. Seahawks 20

This game has to happen eventually, right? The preseason edition saw a handful of scuffles and a lot of chirping between sides. Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and Golden Tate fall to Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers and M.D. Jennings in a rematch of last season’s “Fail Mary.” On paper, this looks like an instant classic, but I believe home-field advantage would make all the difference for the Packers.

Divisional Playoffs: Packers 33 @ Giants 27 (OT)

Uh oh. With a trip to the NFC Championship on the line, the Packers have a seemingly impossible matchup against the almighty Giants. The Packers’ postseason struggles against the Giants have been well-documented in recent years, but this Packers team appears better suited for football in January. Eddie Lacy breaks off a 42-yard touchdown in overtime, as the Packers punch their ticket to the NFC Championship.

NFC Championship: Falcons 27 @ Packers 24

Earlier, I said I wasn’t as high on the Falcons as most seem to be. And I’m not. I have Atlanta sneaking into the playoffs at 10-6, but the No. 6 seed means nothing in the NFC Playoffs, as the Packers won Super Bowl XLV at 10-6 and the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI at 9-7. If Matt Ryan plays mistake-free football and Steven Jackson doesn’t run out of gas in January, the Falcons are a Super Bowl contender. And despite going 8-0 at Lambeau Field in the regular season, everyone in the NFC Playoffs will be capable of winning on the road. If this game ends up happening, I’d probably pick the Packers, as I think they have the better coach and quarterback. But weird things happen in the playoffs. I don’t know, call it a gut feeling.

AFC Championship: Broncos 31, Texans 17

The Broncos almost have to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, right? I haven’t felt this strongly about a preseason Super Bowl pick since I picked the Packers to repeat in 2011, but we all know how that turned out. Von Miller will be out of the lineup to start the season, but that will be a distant memory late in the season. Peyton Manning has never had weapons like he will this season.

Super Bowl XLVIII: Broncos 31, Falcons 23

Sorry, Tony Gonzalez. You may be the best tight end in the history of the NFL, but as long as Peyton is throwing to Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, the Broncos have the most dangerous passing attack in football. The cold New York weather will certainly have an effect on this one, but I think Manning gets ring No. 2. Eli won his second ring in Peyton’s house, and Peyton will win his second ring in Eli’s house. It all makes sense.

Season Summary: 11-5 (1st in NFC North, losing in NFC Championship)

Is every season a failure if you fall short of the Super Bowl? Not necessarily, but the Packers will certainly have Super Bowl aspirations as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center.

On paper, the 2013 schedule looks a bit tougher than it did last season. But a similar 11-5 record seems about right for this Packers team. Sure, there’s definitely reason to be excited.

They’ve made a point to improve their weaknesses. To add some balance to the offense, the team added Eddie Lacy and reshuffled the offensive line. On defense, they’ll be much healthier to start 2013 than they were when the 2012 season wrapped up.

But the NFC is a strong conference from top to bottom, as fan bases of all 16 NFC teams enter 2013 with at least a glimmer of hope. When I went through and picked every game of the season, I had Carolina finishing with a conference-worst record of 5-11. In the AFC, I had seven teams finishing 5-11 or worse. The NFC is strong, and whoever makes it to the Super Bowl will certainly be battle-tested.

So, what is an acceptable finish for the 2013 Packers? Is it Super Bowl or bust?

In my opinion, as long as a team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender, you can’t call them a disappointment. And if the Packers go 11-5 and undefeated at home before losing in the NFC Championship, they had a successful season in my eyes.

What say you? How far do you have the Packers going this season?

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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40 Responses to “2013 Green Bay Packers: Season Predictions”

  1. Razer says:

    Gusty call. Atlanta keeps adding pieces, I am not sure that they will ever get there. But I do agree that the Packer weaknesses (O-line, run game) will likely keep us from the top spot.

    I’ll go with SF vs. Broncos with the 49ers earning top spot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Another fair prediction. The Falcons matchup doesn’t really worry me too much, but that’s what worries me. If that makes any sense whatsoever?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. mike says:

    really dallas come on guys stop drinking jerry jones kool aid

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    • Dobber says:

      In all honesty, I think Dallas wins that division this year. Washington was lightning in a bottle last year, Philly will have its growing pains, and the Giants aren’t what they once were. It will be tight, and maybe none of those teams wins 10 games.

      If the Doughboys can’t win that division this year, I think Jason Garrett deserves what’s coming to him.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

        I have Dallas winning 10 games this year, so I’m with you there. I had to go back and figure out the tiebreaker between ATL and DAL for the final wild card spot.

        Definitely wouldn’t be a surprise to see both NYG and DAL in the playoffs this year, but that’s just me.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

          I’d bet it’s WAS in the playoffs from that division. The NFCE is perennially overrated simply because its on the east coast in the biggest cities.

          PHI – where’s the D?
          NYG – who knows – they could be terrible or graeat. They are bipolar.
          DAL – I’d bet they’re 6-10 or so. NOT a good team. And the “GM” is to blame. They won’t be good until Jerrah dies. (I know it’s mean – but it’s true)

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  3. NYPACKER says:

    VERY difficult to predict individual game outcomes since two of the main factors are: 1) Injuries 2) How the other team is playing at the time you play them. I’m thinking 10-6 or 11-5 is about right. Playoff games often come down to matchups & game plans. Examples of that are the win over Atlanta on our SB run, everything we did just seemed to work, our coaches were a step ahead of theirs all night. Just the opposite in the Giants & 49ers losses of the last two years, bad matchups for us with 2 physical teams & their coaches were way ahead of ours in game plans.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Definitely. I’m sure we’ll be looking back at these predictions in February, and we’ll all laugh.

      …or will we? ;)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Sanguinius says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  5. Nick Perry says:

    I think the Packers beat the 49ers and the lose to the Bengals to start 2-1. The Packers aren’t losing 3 in a row to the 49ers OR the Giants. Dallas will be tougher than people think but Romo will throw to the wrong guy(a Packer) to many times. People tend to forget the Falcons, already with not much of a pass rush lost most of their defensive backfield. If they beat the Packers they’ll have to out score them and I’ll take Lacy over Jackson to play keep away from the the Falcons passing game.. Packers over the Bengals in the SB!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Actually debated the same thing (beating SF and losing to CIN.)

      I agree the Bengals have a real chance at getting to the SB, but IMO, it’s Denver and everyone else in the AFC. They’re a notch above the rest.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Nick Perry says:

        The thing is Marques, the Falcons aren’t much on a Grass field and to have them in December, at Lambeau well, I think that’s a bit more than the Falcons will be able to handle.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Jeff frasier says:

    Undefeated. Win Super Bowl

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  7. PatMc says:

    MM will not let the team fall for the trap. GB beats Det on Turkey day. GB also starts the season out with a big win in SF.

    13 wins, NFC Champion and then:
    Beat Denver by blitzing the heck out of Manning at the giants stadium. Sorta two-fer one special. GB adds another SB ring to collection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. BradHTX says:

    Interesting thoughts, but just a technical point… Check your @/vs count, you only have 4 away games. And one of those you have listed as Cowboys @ Packers. I know you’re listing the winner first, but this is kind of confusing. Just sayin’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Always put the winning score first. That should clear things up.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. topgbpackfan says:

    Are you going to have Raaders vs Writers Fantasy Football League this year. If so, I’s like to be a part of it like I was last year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      We are. We put out a post inviting all readers to apply for admission, and we drafted a couple weeks ago.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. FITZCORE1252 says:

    Idk how the season will shake out, but I do know, if we get Atlanta, at Lambeau, in January, for a chance to advance… I’ll be contacting my friendly neighborhood bookie! I’m underwhelmed by the dirty birds, and if things shook out that way… I’d be elated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Art says:

    First, I’m not so sure that the Giants make the playoffs. With an improved Washington and Dallas, and all the other teams from the other NFC divisions, there’s no room for them. Second, not so sure Atlanta makes it as far as the NFC Championship round. They seem to get far, then save their worst game of the season for the playoffs. With those two teams out (in my scenario) it’ll be Niners vs Packers to play for a shot at the Super Bowl with the winner being whomever has the home field advantage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Dobber says:

      I agree on the Giants. They aren’t what they once were. Maybe they have the Packers number, maybe not. But I don’t think they make the playoffs.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

        I like the Giants this year, mostly because of David Wilson. I think their offense is about to pop off and have a huge year.

        Potentially two NFC East teams in the playoffs this year, IMO.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    We’re not losing to the Cowboys Marques.

    As far as predictions go, in August… the rest pass the smell test.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Why not? I think Dallas is a good team. Packers lost @ IND and @ MIN last season. They lost @ KC in 2011. THey lost to Miami at home in 2010.

      It’s a season prediction in August, man. Things happen.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

        Dallas doesn’t beat good teams outside its division (which I would argue hasn’t had any good teams in the past 5 years outside the NYG miraculous run in 11).

        Jerry Jones is a moron. His “team” knows that if (when) things go sour, Jerrah will fire the hapless Jason Garrett before any of the players get fired. Even in quite possibly the worst division in football, Dallas won’t finish in the top half.

        We’re playing Dallas in December. Go look at Romo’s December record.

        They are switching to a Tampa 2 scheme that they don’t have the personnel for.

        Murray will be hurt by December (again), leaving the offense to be run through Dez and Witten. (not enough firepower).

        Need I go on?

        We’re NOT losing to Dallas.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. James David says:

    AFC will have 2 “locks” in NE #2 and DEN #1 and four teams fighting for the last 4 spots in CIN #4 , BAL #6,IND #5 and HOU #3. The NFC has no”locks” and will have 8 teams fighting for 6 playoff spots:SEA #3, SF #5, GB #2, CHI #6, NO, ATL #1, WAS #4, and NYG. I have Bal and HOU and then DEN and NE and then DEN. I have SF and SEA, then SF and GB, and then GB. GB wins the SB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  14. DuJuanaman says:

    No way a dome Falcons team can make a wildcard run like the Giants, Steelers, Pack. You trippin.

    Also, i need to change my name…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      I’m not big on the Falcons. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they miss the playoffs entirely. But if they sneak into the playoffs, that team is dangerous. They’re all-in on 2013.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  15. Outis says:

    Everyone has an opinion. Some are just the dreams and wishes of true and loyal fans; other fans, just as true and loyal, have opinions based upon reality, not dreams. Injuries are reality. You cannot dream them away. The Packers lead the league in injuries. In an earlier post this week, Adam Czech observed that the Pack led the NFL in “Adjusted Games Lost” due to injuries in 2012. We are on the way of exceeding that. We already have 4 players on IR and 4 on PUP. That said, this season’s schedule looks tough. I predict a 9-7 or 8-8 year with 2 loses out of 6 games within our division and loses to SF, Cincinnati, Baltimore, NY Giants, and at least one or both of our games with Atlanta and Dallas. The only way we make the playoffs is winning the NFC North by the-skin-of-our-teeth. We won’t if we lose a 3rd game within the division.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Batavia Greg says:

      I, too, read Adam Czech’s post. He predicted that we will exceed 2012′s total of 108.1 adjusted games lost due to injury. I believe his prediction was made before the official announcement that Harris was placed on IR. I hope that both Adam and you are wrong. Hope truly does “spring eternal” even when the odds are against it! Fans got to have hope. Mine is for another SB victory!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

        McGinn has a great article in the JSOnline about this very issue. You can’t play FBall afraid, and it seems MM and TT have unintentionally been espousing that very philosophy.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

          That was quite an interesting article… and the last sentence was rather scathing.

          But I think McGinn has a point. It’s like turning into a snow skid with your car to regain control. The answer is sometimes counterintuitive.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Go Pack Go says:

    I think you’re severly underrating Atlanta. This is not the same falcons team we beat in 2010. They are dangerous. You are kidding yourself to think otherwise. I also don’t agree with the saints winning the nfc south. They had the worst defense in nfl history just last year! They have done nothing to really improve that defense except add one of the most overrated defensive coordinators in rob ryan. At best the saints go 9-7. Atlanta has won more games in matt ryans first 5 years then any team in nfl history. I wouldn’t sleep on them if I were you.

    My prediction for the packers is 12-4 , win in superbowl against broncos

    GO PACK!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  17. Wagszilla says:

    Packers are in too many games. They’ll get blown out by 49ers and Giants (or at least they should).

    If the Packers play the Falcons at home, Falcons are donezo. Matt Ryan is pedestrian as they come but especially on the road.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  18. packett says:

    Packer first win is against Baltimore; but that 1-5 record then turns…and they’ll take care of the rest of the NFC-E, and AFC-N: that means Bal, Pitt, Clev. They’ll take down NY, and Phi and Dal. They’ll take both Chi games, but split Minn, lose both Det. So; 9-7, but they get in the wild card route, and meet Seattle again. Kaepernick will get injured and SF will be in trouble by January.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

    And you managed to get a Gio Bernard reference in!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0