Here’s how Packers can punch their Super Bowl Ticket

On August 18, 2018, in NFL, by Stephen

By Stephen Nover

Three things need to happen for the Green Bay Packers to reach the Super Bowl:

Aaron Rodgers needs to stay healthy.

The defensive backfield must show heavy improvement.

A dominant edge pass rusher has to be found.

Rodgers is healthy. The secondary appears much better thanks to Tramon Williams turning back the hands of time and the intriguing potential of rookie cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson.

That’s two out of three. There is no superstar outside pass rusher, though. Clay Matthews is past his prime and has to spend time playing inside. Nick Perry is too injury prone and more mop-up guy than beast.

Those few teams lucky enough to have that rare superstar outside pass rusher don’t trade them. There could be an exception, though – the Oakland Raiders. They are having trouble signing Khalil Mack, who is holding out.

Money is a problem for the Raiders. It’s not for the Packers even when they sign Rodgers to the richest contract in pro football history. Acquiring Mack could elevate Green Bay’s defense into top-10 status given the Packers’ excellent defensive tackle depth and upgrade in coordinators from ill-fitting Dom Capers to Mike Pettine.

Trading for Mack would be a pipe dream if Ted “Sit on Your Hands” Thompson were still the Packers’ general manager. But he isn’t anymore. Brian Gutekunst is and he’s shown a refreshing aggressiveness during his short stint so far as Green Bay’s GM.

Mack isn’t close to signing with the Raiders. I’m sure this isn’t sitting well with old school Jon Gruden. The Packers have the ammuntion to get Mack owning two No. 1 draft picks. They would be an ideal trading partner with Oakland being in the other conference.

The trade makes sense for the Raiders. They would be building for their future in Las Vegas and getting off a malcontent. Gruden would establish his authority by showing no one player is bigger than the team.

The Packers would be getting a pass rushing superstar, who is in his prime at 27 and has 36 1/2 sacks the past three years, second only to Chandler Jones during this span. The Packers’ other No. 1 pick comes from the Saints. So there’s a strong possibility that both of these draft choices would be late first-rounders.

Thompson’s passiveness and disdain for making trades and in-season moves likely cost the Packers multiple Super Bowl appearances. Thompson largely wasted Rodgers’ Hall of Fame ability. But now the Packers have an opportunity to rectify Thompson’s mistakes by making a bold stroke, a stroke that makes them a far better team and clears up their biggest weakness.

If the Raiders do want to move on from Mack they should have a serious trading partner with the Packers.

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover has finished above .500 in the NFL in 21 of the last 23 years. If you are interested in his sports service please message him or email at


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