2012 Green Bay Packers: Season Predictions

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Could this be the matchup in Super Bowl XLVII?
Could this be the matchup in Super Bowl XLVII?

After Adam Czech posted his full-season predictions on Monday, I figured I’d post mine as well.

As a complete NFL nerd, I pick every game of the regular season in an effort to make my predictions a bit more accurate. That way, I can pick games week-to-week and see what teams I have in the playoffs, instead of simply saying “Team X will go 6-10″ without even looking at their schedule.

From the NFC, I have the Packers, Falcons, 49ers and Eagles winning their division, while the Bears and Cowboys earn the Wild Cards. And from the AFC, I have the Ravens, Texans, Broncos and Patriots winning their division, with the Steelers and Bills earning the Wild Cards. I definitely didn’t expect to have Buffalo in the playoffs, but as I said, I pick every individual game to make my picks, and I surprisingly had the Bills winning 11 games this year.

I think the Packers are as talented as any team in the NFL, and I truly believe they’re headed for another special season. Part of me hopes they lose a game early in the season as a “wake-up call” so they don’t have to deal with all the “undefeated” talk later in the season, but overall, I have the Packers going 13-3 and beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship.

So, the Packers are back in the Super Bowl. But who do I have them playing against? Read on.

Packers 24, 49ers 20

San Francisco’s defense is absolutely stacked in the middle of the front seven, but the Packers have too many wide receivers for the 49ers to account for. The Pack wins their regular season debut in a nail-biter.

Packers 31, Bears 27

Chicago’s offense should be much improved with Brandon Marshall in the fold, but the Packers’ defense holds the Bears just enough to preserve the win at home. I fully expect the Packers and Bears to split with each other this season, but I give the Pack the edge at Lambeau.

Packers 27, Seahawks 23

Russell Wilson has it all–except the size–and the Seattle defense is far better than most give them credit for. On a Monday night in Seattle, the Packers will have their work cut out for them. But I just can’t picture the Seahawks beating the Pack.

Packers 37, Saints 27

There will certainly be some offensive fireworks with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers going against Drew Brees and the Saints. However, I think the Pack’s defense will keep the Saints out of the endzone just enough to steal another win at home and improve to 4-0.

Packers 31, Colts 16

Aaron Rodgers gets the better of the No. 1 overall pick in this one. Luck and the Colts are playing at home, but Rodgers and the Packers’ fast-paced offense love playing in domes no matter where they’re located.

Texans 24, Packers 23

After a 5-0 start, the Packers drop their first game of the season in Houston. The Texans may be the most complete team in the AFC with an established air attack, a punishing ground game, and a solid defense. Ultimately, I think Houston wins a very close game. This one could be decided by a field goal as time expires.

Packers 34, Rams 20

Both the passing game and the running game should get on track against the Rams in St. Louis. The Rams’ defensive backs are a step below mediocre, and the Packers’ wide receivers and tight ends are excellent. The Packers win this one fairly easily.

Packers 31, Jaguars 13

With Blaine Gabbert in charge of the offense, the Jaguars don’t pose much of a threat to the Packers. At this point of the season, Maurice Jones-Drew may finally have his legs under him, but his presence won’t matter if the Packers get ahead early. Blowout.

Packers 41, Cardinals 10

With back-to-back home games against the Jaguars and Cardinals, the Packers’ confidence should be sky high as they approach the bye week. Whether it’s John Skelton or Kevin Kolb at quarterback, the Cardinals won’t be able to match the Packers point-for-point. A second consecutive blowout for the Packers.

Lions 31, Packers 27

Detroit will certainly be fired up to play the Packers at home this season after last season’s embarrassment on Thanksgiving. If Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson stay healthy, the Lions boast one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the league. The Packers drop their first divisional game in Detroit.

Packers 30, Giants 23

The Packers win in New York for the second consecutive season. The biggest difference from last season in how the Packers match up with the Giants is Cedric Benson and what the Packers hope is an improved running game. If they can establish the run, they’ll be able to slow down the Giants’ dominant defensive line.

Packers 34, Vikings 16

Minnesota is the only team in the NFC North that nobody is talking about. The Packers, Bears and Lions have reason to be optimistic headed into the season, but the Vikings really don’t. However, if Adrian Peterson is healthy, Minnesota could certainly win some games that they probably shouldn’t.

Packers 31, Lions 27

Same score as the first matchup between the two teams, but a different outcome as the Packers win this one at home. Detroit’s leaky defensive backfield will be tested this season against the Packers’ spread attack and the Bears’ big wide receivers.

Bears 27, Packers 17

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bears beat the Packers in Week Two at Lambeau Field, but I think the Bears are more likely to defeated their heated rivals in a late-season game in Chicago. I have a feeling this has the makings of an ugly game to watch for Packers fans.

Packers 30, Titans 20

The Packers bounce back from their third loss of the season with a home win before Christmas over the Titans. Tennessee is a sleeper pick to earn a wild card this season if Jake Locker proves to be a solid quarterback. But ultimately, the Packers have too much offensively for the Titans to overcome.

Packers 31, Vikings 24

The Packers used to struggle mightily in the MetroDome, but that hasn’t been the case lately. However, at this point of the season, the Vikings will likely be out of playoff contention so this matchup will be Minnesota’s “Super Bowl.” On their way to the real thing, the Packers defense the Vikings in their “Super Bowl.”

(Divisional Playoffs) Packers 34, Cowboys 23

On a cold Sunday in January at Lambeau Field, national media outlets will be sure to play old re-runs of Bart Starr’s quarterback sneak to defeat the Cowboys in the “Ice Bowl.” I think Dallas will put it all together this season and make the playoffs as a wild card, as well as win a playoff game. However, playing in a cold weather game in Green Bay will be too much for Dallas to handle, and the Packers advance to the NFC Championship.

(NFC Championship) Packers 30, Eagles 24

I think it will be close between the Packers and Eagles as to who will finish the regular season with a better record. I picked the Packers to go 13-3, and I had the Eagles finishing with 13 wins as well. Ultimately, the Packers knock the Eagles out of the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Michael Vick doesn’t enjoy this postseason trip to Lambeau Field as much as he did last time with the Falcons. The Packers are headed back to the Super Bowl.

(Super Bowl) Packers 27, Ravens 23

Two years after facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the Packers see another AFC North team in Super Bowl XLVII. Terrell Suggs will miss most, if not all, of the 2012 season due to injury, but the Ravens are deep enough at outside linebacker to overcome his absence. Ray Lewis and the defense will carry the Ravens through the postseason after their disappointing loss to New England in last year’s AFC Championship. However, Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense falls short in the Super Bowl, and Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl and another Super Bowl MVP.

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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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  • Chad Lundberg

    Just one 40 point score game for the Packers? We did that like 5 times last year.

    I’m not saying the defense is back to it’s 2010 form, but even last year’s defense held the Vikings in a game under 10 points. There ought to be one or two score predictions that demonstrate a strong defensive showing by the Packers.

    Sorry, I just think this list is played a little too conservatively. Every season is so unpredictable, and that’s why I feel everybody ought to be just a little bold when it comes to score predictions.

    • Marques Eversoll

      We’re complaining about not being bold enough in predicting the Packers’ scoring output. Really?

      Dude. I have the Packers scoring 479 points this season – that’s an average of 29.9 points per game. I’d say that’s a pretty stinkin’ good scoring offense.

      And as for the defense, sorry but the NFL has too much offensive talent to predict shutouts, etc. You say the NFL is so unpredictable, but you complain about not having more 40 point performances and not enough dominant defensive performances?

      Ugh.

      • Chad Lundberg

        Dude, don’t take it so personally. You think I’m “complaining”? I’m just showing my reasons for why I disagree. What’s so bad about that?

        After scoring 40+ points in six games last year, you have them doing that just one time this year. Even at 29.9 points a game, that’s 80 points less than they scored last year. That to me is a VAST difference. Especially considering that this offense has more potential with Cedric Benson.

        My point about the defense is that even though it was simply horrible last year, they kept the Rams to only 3 points, and the Vikings to only 7. But the defense should be even better this year. One can reasonably expect there to be a game or two where the Packers keep their opponent to under 10 points.

        • Marques Eversoll

          No one is taking it personally. I just think you’re really nit-picking on a preseason projection of how the season might play out.

          I could have just left scores off entirely and simply picked winners, then what? I’m sure once the season is underway, and I see how things start going, my scores will change slightly.

          But the offense shattered team records last season, and I truly don’t expect a similar result. I’d be quite surprised if the offense duplicated their 560 points scored last season, regardless of Cedric Benson’s presence.

          • Gary

            If Cedric Benson has the positive effect we are hoping for,then the pack will have more 10 min drives running the ball and less 10sec drives passing the ball.This will result in lower point totals,and allow the defense to catch there breath.

            • Oppy

              Bingo, Gary.

              Perhaps lower point totals, but greater point differentials.

              However, Rodgers talked about how MM has been talking about pushing the play count up towards the 70’s. The kind of tempo necessary to achieve that many offensive snaps might suggest that 10 minute drives would be unlikely, but let’s hope not completely out of this picture. I’d love to see an efficient, reliable, grind the clock offense to keep our opponents’ offense cold and our defense fresh.

            • Chad Lundberg

              Benson will simply be a more effective back when he carries the ball. I highly doubt McCarthy plans to play him much more than he would with Starks. Maybe like, 3 or 4 more carries a game and that’s about it.

              Just my opinion.

    • toolkien

      In 2009 the Packers broke the all time franchise scoring record by scoring 461 points. That dropped in 2010 due to injuries. Then they scored 560 points, which is the second most all time. There’s two reasons why they likely won’t score near the same – only the Greatest Show on Turf Rams consistently repeated 500+ scoring seasons and the Packers took the ball away a ton last year giving it to the offense. The Packers are playing teams that haven’t turned the ball over a lot, so takeaways will likely be down and therefore there will be less scoring by the Packers. In other words, 479 will be the second most in franchise history and is a decent prediction given the stingy giveaway teams the Packers play in 2012. Personally I’m seeing about 440 scored.

      Also, the defense wasn’t that bad, they gave up only a little more than the league average in points, which made them mediocre where it counted. And in the last 10 or so years, off the charts offenses w/ mediocre defense is a reasonable model – GSOT Rams, Colts (in 2006 anyway), the Saints, and the latter 2000’s Patriots. One may wish for more, but it is a model that is workable.

      My only caution to the author is the point differential run through the football Pythagorean formula would have an expected outcome of 11-5. And I see a predicted 13-3 outcome. Given the Packers’ history of “win big/lose small” (except of course the 19 game streak) I don’t know if having an expectation to the high side isn’t too optimistic. My gut tells me, given the ending to last season, the Packers will once again have a very high point differential (perhaps 2nd in the league like the last 3 years), but we will see a return of the inconsistency. Simply, I think there’s two more losses at least on the schedule due to offensive fade out or the D letting a very good passing team pass on them all day.

      • Oppy

        What the heck is the “football Pythagorean formula??

        Afc^2 + Broadcast revenue^2 = C you at the Superbowl^2?

      • Chad Lundberg

        The Packers have all of the same weapons and then some as they did last year. Finley is looking to rebound, Cobb is in his second year, Benson will add juice to the run game, and Rodgers is only getting better too.

        The Packers have consistently taken the ball away for the past three season, this year won’t be any different. Plus, you won’t need to take the ball away so much if the pass rush comes back to life.

        It didn’t say the defense was bad, but it has some serious, and I mean SERIOUS flaws. The most passing yards allowed NFL history is just one example.

        If a defense that played that bad can keep a few opponents under 10 points in a few games, then why weren’t there a few given in the list above? That was my only point.

  • Mr. Bacon

    Aha. So you picked the Ravens as well for the Superbowl, good man.

    The Eagles have been very overrated under Andy Reid. He has the same thing Belicheck had. A good defense to hide a very meh looking offense.

    Dallas I can see, but then that would mean no Eli and the Giants, who have been consistent.

    The Lions will suffer a sophmore slump as they begin to become a franchise, and come back next year. The same as the 49’ers, as I have a feeling you will see the 49’ers get TORCHED. Not because I am a homer, but because San Francisco has a VAUNTED Defense. A great defense can be killed with a ELITE QB easily.

  • Madcity

    “I have the Ravens, Texans, Broncos and Patriots winning their division, with the Ravens and Bills earning the Wild Cards.”

    The Ravens Divisional Winners and Wild Cards. Brought to you by your Department of Redundancy Department.

    • Marques Eversoll

      Good catch. Change made.

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