Packers Starters Struggled to Meet Expectations in 2017

The 2017 Packers season was lost from the moment Aaron Rodgers’ clavicle was broken on the turf of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. But perhaps a more interesting angle on Green Bay’s 7-9 record is how the team’s preferred 22 starters failed to even meet expectations.

For the second straight season, we’ve evaluated each and every player on the Packers and graded them with a simple criteria: did they exceed, meet or not meet expectations?

It’s important to note that all expectations aren’t created equal. How we expect Aaron Rodgers to perform is different than the team’s backup offensive linemen. Exceeding expectations doesn’t necessarily mean the player deserves to be an All Pro, but it does give us an idea of who is ascending and descending on the roster.

Our player evaluation series concluded with our final write-up last week. With the results in, more than 80 percent of the entire roster failed to exceed expectations in 2017:


If the data looks bad, it’s even worse when compared to last season. For context, we graded 28 percent of players in 2016 as having exceeded expectations.

Nearly half of the starters failed to even meet expectations

We ranked 70 players this season, but just 22 of those were considered to be the team’s preferred starting lineup. Nine started did not meet expectations, five met expectations, and eight exceeded expectations – in line with the team-wide averages.

However, when we dig into the nine preferred starters who did not meet expectations, it’s easy to see why the Packers failed to even win half of their games in 2017.

  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Ty Montgomery
  • Martellus Bennett
  • Randall Cobb
  • Jordy Nelson
  • Nick Perry
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  • Morgan Burnett
  • Kevin King

If you could pick nine of the Packers’ most important players heading into the 2017 season, it’s likely at least half of these starters would be on that list.

When we ranked the roster from 90 to 1 in June 2017, six of the nine above were featured in Gary and Jon’s top ten:


It’s hard to win games when six of the top ten players on your team perform below expectations. It’s even harder when one of the six is your quarterback, the most important singular position in all of sports.