The Green Bay Packers impressed many in their first year under head coach Matt LaFleur, winning 13 games and reaching the NFC Championship Game. Expensive free agents Za'Darius Smith, Adrian Amos and Preston Smith led a resurgent defensive unit, and Aaron Jones had a breakout year. However, if the team hopes to repeat its 2019 success, it must avoid a few pitfalls that could cause disaster in 2020.
3. Impending Free Agents
The Packers have a number of important players hitting the free agent market after the 2020 season, including David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Kevin King, Aaron Jones, and Corey Linsley. With a sensitive salary cap situation, the team will likely have to choose two of the five (likely Bakhtiari and Clark), and harsh negotiations could leave Jones, King, Linsley, and others feeling alienated. The last thing anyone wants is for uncertain futures to have a negative impact on the on-field product.
2. Unproven Receiving Corps
The Green Bay Packers performed suprisingly well during star wideout Davante Adams's four-game absence in 2019, going 4-0 and relying heavily on Aaron Jones. However, the offense seemed anemic late in the season, and the front office's failures to add a wide receiver in the NFL Draft will force Aaron Rodgers to trust unproven players like Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jace Sternberger.
1. Tough Early Schedule
Green Bay faces a brutal first eight weeks in 2020, with two games against the divisional rival Minnesota Vikings as well as road dates with the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. While the schedule gets much easier from there, Green Bay will need to prove early on that it can compete with the NFC's heavyweights, or risk falling far behind in the playoff race.