The Packers went 13-3 last season. They advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
They are one of the most popular teams in the NFL.
Yet, the Packers feel an afterthought in the NFC what with all of the talk of Tom Brady and Leonard Fournette to the Buccaneers, the Saints’ pursuit of Jadeveon Clowney, the Cowboys’ hiring of Mike McCarthy and the Lions’ signing of Adrian Peterson.
The last big Packers’ headline involved the team’s decision to trade up in the first round to take quarterback Jordan Love.
The Packers, though, remain Aaron Rodgers‘ team, and because of that, they remain a conference contender.
“You know what, I don’t know about our squad,” Rodgers said Wednesday, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “I think the beauty is there’s a lot of conversation about other teams, whether it’s Tom and Tampa, or the teams that were really solid last year, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Dallas with Mike and what they’ve done to their roster. I like where we’re at as far as kind of flying under the radar, even though we went 13-3 last year. We’ve got a chance to prove what kind of team we are to start the season out on Sunday, and I look forward to the opportunity.”
The Packers don’t look a lot different than they did last season. That could be a good thing; it could be a bad thing. Who knows?
The Packers will start to find out the answer to that question Sunday at Minnesota.
“It hasn’t felt like a normal anything really with no preseason games and the schedule being different, and obviously the COVID testing every morning,” Rodgers said. “That has all felt very different. Today felt like the first day of a game week. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I know I felt like I was in a rhythm from the moment I stepped on the field and I wanted to lead with some energy today to kind of set the tone that game weeks are different than training camp.
“Everything is amped up a little bit, to even, like I told the guys before practice, it’s easy to get amped up, obviously more on game day and with each progressing week, the urgency and the importance obviously picks up and so today I felt was a good day for us energetically. And it was definitely the first time I think, for me, that the realness of this kind of set in and the understanding that now it does matter. Hopefully, the rest of the guys don’t take until Sunday to have the same feeling because I know it’s been strange for all of us.”