The Packers (4th in power rankings) are heading into Jacksonville -- yes -- Jacksonville, maybe you've read an internet and heard of the Hurricane Ida, to take on the Saints. Green Bay had an interesting off-season, with all sorts of drama surrounding 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers and his apparent falling out with the organization. We handicappers don't need to concern ourselves with such nonsense, and instead can focus on the fact that Rodgers will representing the Green Bay Packers to start the season. The offensive line has long since been a strength of the Packers -- but with Corey Linsley playing for the Packers and David Bakhtiari (knee) on the PUP, it's suddenly looking like an issue. They'll start two rookies on Sunday, including 2nd rounder C Josh Myers and 4th rounder RG Royce Newman. The receiving core is -- yet again -- DeVante Adams and nobody else, with old man Randall Cobb coming back from Houston to man the slot. The strength of the defense is without question the secondary, led by CB Jaire Alexander ans safety Adrian Amos. The defensive line is heavily reliant on Za'Darius Smith to bring pressure, but he's a true questionable with a back injury after missing practice on Friday. I have nothing nice to say about their linebacking core, so I won't say anything at all (jk, they suck).
The Saints have said good-bye to all time passing yardage leader Drew Brees, and hello to "I once threw 30 interceptions in a season" Jameis Winston. Winston is technically in his second season as a Saint, but played just 50 snaps at QB last season. In his Tampa years he was an up and down quarterback, capable of wild range of outcomes. The Saints system has long since emphasized short area, safe throws that hopefully should tame Jameis's obsession with throwing the ball to the other team. Up front, the tackle duo of Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead gets my vote as the best in football, but the interior positions are far weaker. They'll also be without Michael Thomas to start the season, leaving RB Alvin Kamara as their most capable pass catcher, though Marquez Callaway was impressive in the pre-season. The defense should also be solid, led by Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport on the edge. Marshon Lattimore as back at corner, who's certainly had his issues entering his 5th season, but he's still a capable corner who can shadow your best receiver if you need him to. They were also able to retain S Marcus Williams on the franchise tag, who is one of the more underrated players at the position.