What ESPN’s Power Football Index tells us about the Green Bay roster

The Green Bay Packers go into the 2022 NFL season as the best team in the NFC according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. On their metric, the Packers sit 8.8 points above an average team, behind only the AFC’s Buffalo Bills (9.4 ). Although there is a growing perception that the AFC is stronger, the NFC is significantly more top-heavy. Four of the top six teams in FPI are from the NFC: the Packers, the Los Angeles Rams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Dallas Cowboys.

How they stack up in the NFC

The first thing to take away is that the Packers are clear favorites to win the NFC North for the fourth straight year. They are much higher on the FPI than the Minnesota Vikings (3.2), the Detroit Lions (-4.3) and especially the Chicago Bears (-13.2).

Despite having the best team in NFC, they don’t have the highest chance of reaching the Super Bowl. ESPN gives them a 6% chance, just behind the defending champion Los Angeles Rams (7%).

Great unit

According to FPI, the Packers have the best offense in the NFL at 7.9. ESPN puts them 7.6 ahead of offensive juggernauts like the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. The Dallas Cowboys have the second-best NFC offense at 6.1, so that’s a significant lead.

Not so great

Defense, meanwhile, doesn’t get that much attention despite Brian Gutekunst’s huge investments. The Packers unit is slightly above average at 0.7, ranks 10th in the NFL and sixth in the NFC. The Rams have the best overall defense at 2.7.

item by item

In addition to the Football Power Index, ESPN also published a Post-Draft Unit Grades. In that regard, Green Bay has the best overall list ahead of the Bills. The defense also gets a lot more encouragement in this analysis, as it is in second place, directly behind the New Orleans Saints. The Packers have the seventh best offense.

Strongest parts of the squad

ESPN’s system gives four points for the best unit in the NFL and 0.1 for the worst. Aaron Rodgers ranks the Packers first for quarterbacks, a position that weighs 28% overall.

Offensively, they have good marks in running back (3.1) and offensive line (3.3). Overall, the defense is incredibly strong and deep. The Packers have scores above three points inside the defensive line (3.4), cornerback (3.8) and safety (3.3).

Average

According to ESPN’s Unit Grades, the defense has no weak link. Still, there is one area where it is not elite. The fringe group (2.5) is just above average. The linebacker group is just under three points (2.9). It’s fair to expect improvement in this area if rookie first-rounder Quay Walker is as good as the Packers think he could be.

The worst units in the squad

Unsurprisingly, the wide receiver position is the weakest area of ​​the roster for Green Bay. At .4, it is only ahead of the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens. That’s because the Packers don’t have any tried-and-true merchandise here. The young players need to make their mark in the NFL, and even guys like Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb need to show they can still be effective.

Speaking of offensive weapons, the tight end group isn’t as bad as the WR unit, but it’s still below average according to ESPN. The Packers received a .9 grade, one of the worst in the league. However, it could be higher if Robert Tonyan recovers and can repeat the productive season he had in 2020.

Still, the Packers roster is generally strong. The passing offense stepped back significantly after trading Davante Adams and losing free-hand Marquez Valdes-Scantling. But the team has improved in other areas and should be competitive if Aaron Rodgers can maintain the level of play he’s shown over the past two seasons.

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