Green Bay Packers: Three New Year's Resolutions For 2015
1.) Build Up A Run Defense
Their red-zone shortcomings may have been put on the spotlight following their 28-22 loss in Seattle, but their run defense deserves some of the blame. Marshawn Lynch ran for 157 yards and the touchdown that gave the Seahawks the league, while DeMarco Murray had 123 yards and a touchdown against them in the divisional round. In the regular season, the Packers ranked 23rd in the league in run defense, allowing 119.9 yards per game and an average of 4.3 yards per carry. Their pass defense is abundant with talent, ranking 10th while recording 18 picks and 41 sacks. The Packers must look into fixing up their run defense for the 2015 season if they are to top the likes of Seattle.
2.) Keep Their Receivers
The Packers have been criticized for letting go of effective receivers like Greg Jennings and James Jones in years past, but neither receiver has been particularly successful in their new uniform. Greg Jennings, who posted 5539 yards and 46 touchdowns from 2007-2011, was coming off of an injury-plagued season in which he only appeared in eight games. He went off to the Vikings to have two solid years, but is now clearly a level below the Packers' two starting receivers. James Jones posted a career year with a league-leading 14 receiving touchdowns in 2012 and went on to have a solid, 800-yard season in 2013, but the Packers decided to let him walk. Jones had a decent year with the Raiders, recording 666 yards and six touchdowns. Both receivers, though, were aging veterans that the Packers no longer needed. Guys like Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb stepped into their place. This year, the Packers have a similar situation, with Cobb not signed through 2015. The difference between the situations, though, is that Cobb is just 24 years old. Davante Adams had a nice rookie year, with 446 yards and three touchdowns while Jarrett Boykin had 698 yards and three touchdowns in 2013, but neither receiver can be expected to replace Cobb's production.
3.) Acquire A Reliable Tight End
The Packers have missed a Jermichael Finley-type player since losing him, but they have done little to replace him and his production. Richard Rodgers, a third-round pick, was stuck behind Andrew Quarless, a fifth-round pick from 2010, for most of the year and was outproduced by him. While they have needs up front on defense, it is possible that they use this first-round pick on or trade up for a tight end.