Week 16 – Packers (Away)
A lot of people seem to want to give the Packers the edge in 2021 when they face the Browns, but they’re not really realizing that this team is going to be going through some internal strife throughout the year. Aaron Rodgers wants out and is beyond unhappy that his friends are constantly being cut. The Packers were a top 10 offense and defense in 2020, but will that be the case in 2021?
The Packers offensive is deceptively old, with Rodgers 37, and Davante Adams turning 29 and no real help offensively besides them. This is an offense by committee and has been for most of Rodgers’ career. The Packers have no true second-threat offensively besides Adams. Aaron Jones is a fine running back but the Packers are always able to produce solid running backs. Nothing about his game says “can carry a team” if Rodgers isn’t on.
Defensively there’s Za’Darius Smith but the defense isn’t plagued with All-Pro guys either. Though there are two budding stars in former 2020 Pro Bowler Jaire Alexander and 2019 Pro Bowler Kenny Clark. That said, this is a beatable defense. Keep in mind who they faced four times last year; the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Not exactly the 1927 Yankees Murderers’ Row lineup, is it?
Expectations: This late into the season should make this game must-see TV. Regardless if Aaron Rodgers is on the team or not by this point, the Browns will likely be a better ran team under Kevin Stefanski, so it seems unlikely this is the cakewalk many expect it to be for the Packer. The Browns, assuming their defense is much improved, should be able to win this one.