Packers offensive position grades for 2017 season
The Packers offense did not make the grade in 2017.
The Green Bay Packers’ 2017 season was not one to remember. When Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone in Week Six, the team took a turn for the worst and finished the season with a 7-9 record after starting the year 4-1. Without Rodgers, the Packers offense was inconsistent and finished the season 26th in total offense (305.7 yards per game) and 21st in scoring offense (20 ppg). But as much as the offense struggled, there were a few players who stood out and they look to get the Packers back on track in 2018. Here’s a look at the offensive position grades for the Packers this past season.
This would have gotten a failing grade had Rodgers not played the first five games of the season. Brett Hundley did some good things in his nine starts, but overall, he could not get the Packers where he wanted to go. He posted a 3-6 record, threw nine touchdowns, 12 interceptions and recorded a passer rating of 70.6 which ranked as one of the lowest among NFL starters. Joe Callahan, a player fans wanted to see over Hundley, only saw limited action in the season finale. Rodgers, who ended up playing in the WEEK 15 game against the Carolina Panthers, finished the 2017 season with 16 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 97.2 passer rating.
Running backs: B
This was the strongest position on offense which was a surprise considering the Packers lost Eddie Lacy and James Starksbefore the start of the season. The Packers drafted Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones in April and both were two of the top rookie running backs in the NFL. Jones rushed for four touchdowns and averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and Williams registered 556 rushing yards, 262 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. Ty Montgomery looked to have a breakout 2017 season after making the switch to running back from wide receiver in 2016. But a wrist injury placed on injured reserve and he missed the last eight games of the season. Devante Mays lost the trust the Packers coaches after fumbling twice vs. the Ravens in Week 11. Fullback Aaron Ripkowksi was solid despite only rushing for 13 yards on five carries.
Wide receivers: C+
This position was hurt the most when Rodgers broke his collarbone. However, Davante Adams had another strong season, recording 885 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns which led to him signing a four-year, $58.75 million contract extension. Adams has emerged as the team’s No. 1 receiver after suffering a slow start to his career. Jordy Nelson was on his way to having another strong year, recording six receiving touchdowns in the first five games. But when Hundley took over, Nelson did not find the end zone the rest of the season and he could not record more than 60 yards receiving in a single game. Randall Cobb slightly improved in 2017, but he’s still not the receiver he was in 2014 when he recorded over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Packers got little production from Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis and Michael Clark.
Tight Ends: D
Martellus Bennett was expected to make an impact after the team lost Jared Cook to free agency. But even when Rodgers was under center, Bennett could not get into a rhythm, and with him dealing with a shoulder injury which was reportedly an injury he was dealing with all season, the Packers waived Bennett at the beginning of November. Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgerscould not fill the void Bennett left. Kendricks had 18 receptions for 203 yards and one touchdown while Rodgers tallied 12 receptions for 160 yards and one score.
Offensive line: C
The offensive line held together considering the number of injuries. David Bakhtiari missed four games in 2017, but when he was on the field he was one of the best pass-blocking left tackles in the NFL. Jahri Evans was a strong free-agent addition for the Packers and they hope to bring him back in 2018. Corey Linsley was consistent at center and his play led to the Packers re-signing him at the end of the year. Lane Taylor was also productive when healthy as well as Bryan Bulaga before he went down with a torn ACL. Justin McCray was one of the big surprises for the Packers in 2017. He played nearly every position on the line and while he did play at a Pro-Bowl level, he played consistent football throughout the year.