5 reasons the Packers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2021

Packers Coverage

The Green Bay Packers have been the best team in the NFC since Matt LaFleur took over as head coach. In his two seasons since taking over at the end of the Mike McCarthy era, the Packers have gone 26-6 in the regular season, earning home-field advantage in the playoffs both years. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to get over the hump yet in the NFC Championship Game.

In his first season, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Packers at Lambeau Field 37-20. In his second season, they ran into the buzzsaw of a Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, losing 31-26.

Despite that, people do not seem to be as high on the Packers coming into the 2021 season. The Aaron Rodgers uncertainty plays a part, but LaFleur has been steadfast in his stance that a plan is in place regardless of who is under center and the team will be ready to play.

Green Bay is being underestimated and they will surprise some people. Here are five reasons the Packers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2021.

5. Packers Secondary Is Loaded with Talent

To succeed in the NFL on defense you need either an elite pass rush or shutdown secondary. Green Bay had a good pass rush and is now building a secondary to piggyback off of it.

Jaire Alexander is a star cornerback and locks down one side of the field. The team used their first-round pick on Georgia DB Eric Stokes to further bolster the secondary. Kevin King, who was the scapegoat for the NFCCG, is back and brings veteran experience. Josh Jackson provides solid depth as well.

At the safety position, Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage Jr. are patrolling, giving the Packers two solid players at the back end as well.

4. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon Will Be Lethal On The Ground

Green Bay, to the surprise of many, used a second-round pick in 2020 on running back AJ Dillon out of Boston College. His role will now expand with Jamaal Williams departing in free agency and signing with the Detroit Lions.

Dillon will help spell Aaron Jones, who has turned into one of the most dynamic running backs in the league. He gets the job done on the ground but is also one of the best pass-catchers out of the backfield, even splitting out wide as a receiver in some circumstances.

No matter who is under center for the Packers, they can rest easy knowing they will have a strong running game to rely on. While the league is as pass-heavy as ever, having a good ground game is still a key to success and Green Bay will have one.

3. Green Bay Still (Likely) Has Aaron Rodgers

While things were tenuous at best during the offseason, Aaron Rodgers is still a member of the Green Bay Packers. As long as he remains in the gold and green, the team should be considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

Rodgers showed no signs of slowing down during the 2020 season, as he won the MVP award, compiling more monster stats along the way. The 4,299 passing yards were his most since 2016 and the 48 touchdown passes were a career-high. His passer rating of 121.5 was the second-highest of his career and his 84.4 QBR was a career-best; both led the league.

If Rodgers comes near those numbers again, the Packers will have more than enough firepower offensively to challenge for a Super Bowl.

2. Davante Adams Has A Lot More Help

For years the Packers’ passing game has been Davante Adams and not much else. That hasn’t stopped him from producing Hall of Fame-worthy numbers, but at least now, the team has gotten him some help to alleviate some of the pressure.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard and Devin Funchess provide some solid depth and versatility behind Adams on the wide receiver depth chart. Amari Rodgers was selected in the third round as well to help out this group. Robert Tonyan came out of nowhere in 2020 and has turned into one of the better tight ends in the league.

While Adams will undoubtedly still dominate the target share, there are at least other options now behind him that can take some of the pressure off of him.

1. They Have Just Gotten Better From Back-To-Back NFC Championship Games

The Packers have a great offensive line that will help keep the quarterback clean. As mentioned earlier, the duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will make things easier as teams will have to respect the running attack. Anyone can look good throwing the ball to Davante Adams and the improved pass-catching depth as well.

Defensively the Packers have a stud pass rusher in Za’Darius Smith and strong complementary pieces around him. The secondary is deep and talented as well and improved upon from 2020.

All of the chatter surrounding Aaron Rodgers has seemingly lowered the Packers’ stock heading into the 2021 season. As long as he is under center for Green Bay, they should be considered Super Bowl contenders.

However, even if Rodgers does indeed sit out the season, Green Bay has positioned itself to remain among the best teams in the NFC.