- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014


New faces: DL Julius Peppers, rookies S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, WR Davante Adams.

Key losses: WR James Jones, TE Jermichael Finley, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, DT Ryan Pickett, DL Johnny Jolly.

Strengths: QB, RB, WR, G, T, OLB, CB.

Weaknesses: TE, C, S.

What’s New: Packers hope Julius Peppers improves pass rush. B.J. Raji moved to nose tackle before season-ending right arm injury, so second-year player Josh Boyd may need to step up. After no interceptions from safeties last season, Clinton-Dix drafted and Micah Hyde moved from cornerback, all in effort to add playmakers to defense. J.C. Tretter appeared on course to become team’s fourth starting center in four years until he hurt knee in preseason win over Oakland. Jones’ production must be replaced after he left for Raiders. Packers appear deep but unsettled at tight end.

Expectations: Rodgers has been sharp, though questions remain at receiver beyond Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Offense could be even more dangerous with strong RB group led by Eddie Lacy, last year’s Offensive Rookie of Year. If Clay Matthews returns to form, and defense can generate more turnovers, look for deep playoff run.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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