One of the most consistent franchises of the past four decades, the Green Bay Packers enter the 2021 season looking to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2010. They have lost in the NFC Championship Game each of the past two seasons, though, and drama is swirling in another public feud with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Despite all of this, the Packers field one of the more complete rosters in the NFL. Today, we take a look at the three faces of the 2021 Packers.
2021 Green Bay Packers: Faces of the Franchise
This comes as no surprise. One of the best pure passers to ever play, Aaron Rodgers capped the 2020 season with his third career MVP award and is the face of the Packers. Even though he turned 37 in December, Rodgers threw a career-high 48 touchdown passes against only five interceptions. He appeared more comfortable in Year 2 under head coach Matt LeFleur.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, the future is murky for Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers’ future has been in question since Green Bay selected Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft. But after going 26-6 the past two seasons and playing as well as he ever has, Rodgers has shown no signs of slowing down. We don’t need to revisit every detail of the public feud, but even though Rodgers has reportedly told teammates that he doesn’t want to play for Green Bay again, the safest bet, for 2021 anyway, is that Rodgers is the starting quarterback for the Packers.
It only makes sense that Rodgers’ favorite receiver makes is one of the faces of the Packers. Davante Adams has established himself as one of the league’s most complete receivers, leading the league with 18 touchdown receptions in 2020 even though he missed two games. He isn’t the most spectacular receiver in the league, but he is a technician with his route running. His efforts got him recognized as a first-team All-Pro.
Perhaps no one has more to lose with the potential departure of Rodgers than Davante Adams. A receiver is only able to affect a game if they have the ball in their hands. Last week, Adams voiced his obvious support of Rodgers through this public feud. But as stated above, we’re going to assume Rodgers is back, so let’s assume Adams again puts up All-Pro numbers.
The final spot on this list came down to either cornerback Jaire Alexander or linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Based on youth, potential, and career trajectory, Alexander gets the nod as the final face of the Packers. The fourth-year corner turned 24 in February and has gotten better each season of his young career. In 2019, Alexander only allowed receivers to catch 53.6 percent of passes thrown his way for 831 yards. In 2020, he was even better, allowing only a 51.3 percent rate for a mere 375 yards. Allowing only two touchdown passes all season, quarterbacks had a 67.4 passer rating throwing Alexander’s way in 2020.
Alexander received his first Pro Bowl nod in 2020. A well-known trash talker, he has the ability to get into receivers’ heads and also back it up physically. As he continues to mature, Alexander has all the tools to finally become a first-team All-Pro and a bonafide superstar at cornerback.
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