This article is part of our Team Previews series.
State of the Franchise
The Packers finished atop the NFC North in 2012 for the second straight year, but the season ended on a down note as the squad was rudely booted from the postseason at the hands of the 49ers. Despite the ugly ending, the Packers are hoping that a couple of superstars combined with a couple of rookies will help get them back to the Super Bowl.
Green Bay sat at just 2-3 after five weeks last season, but lost just twice the rest of the way and finished at 11-5. Despite the lack of a consistent running game, Aaron Rodgers provided another MVP-worthy performance, leading the NFL in QB rating and finishing with 39 touchdown passes, good for second in the league. The defense held up for the most part, but had trouble stopping the run when it needed to. The Packers won their playoff opener against the Vikings, but the issues in the running game and their spotty defense were exposed in the second round, and the team lost convincingly to San Francisco.
Recognizing that additions had to be made on both sides of the ball, the Packers addressed their needs, as they do typically, through the draft rather than free agency. The team added athletic defensive lineman Datone Jones in the first round, and then added two running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, over the next three. Both Jones and Lacy should contribute immediately and have a good chance to start in Week