Well XCFL Season #22’s regular season is in the books, let’s take a look at how your Green Bay Packers did.
Coming off an incredible Season 21 and a divisional loss to the Redskins, QB Aaron Rodgers was playing some of the best football of his career. It came as a complete surprise when with the 25th pick in the Season 22 Draft, GM Nick Larson decided to select QB Malcolm Starkey from LSU. Starkey is a big kid, listed at 6’5 235 lbs, with a rocket arm. He split time at LSU with his college teammate and 2nd round pick Houston Texans QB Evan Leach. Any time you are replacing a legend like Aaron Rodgers, the pressure is at an all time high, especially because Rodgers the previous season threw for 4,584 yards, 40 TD, 18 INTs and completed 61% of his passes. What did the rookie Starkey do in his rookie campaign? Well… let’s just say Packer fans do not miss Aaron Rodgers one bit. Starkey came out guns blazing and threw for 5,089 yards, 56 TDs, 16 INTs, and completed 64% of his passes.As the stats currently sit, he is the favorite for some big time awards and looks to lead Green Bay into the playoffs.
Another interesting situation at the running back position in Green Bay. After finding a gem in Khrystian Milton in the 4th round just a season ago, the Packers decided to ship the 22 year old to the division rival Vikings. With the Pack, Milton ran for 1,339 yards and 16 touchdowns, adding another 2 through the air. With Milton in Minnesota, the Packers signed scat back Boston Scott in the offseason to pair with a very average journeyman Desmond Williamson. After Scott went down mid season, the Packers signed Cesa Harrington. Harrington was a former 4th round pick by the Houston Texans, who has bounced all around the league in his short three year career. In just a handful of games with the pass happy Pack, Harrington ran for 564 yards and 3 TDs, while Boston Scott added 434 yards 2 TDs and caught 21 passes for 184 yards and 5 TDs. Will be interesting to see how this duo does in the playoffs, because as Larson has said numerous times, if you can’t run the football in the playoffs, you won’t go very far.
Easily the most talked about position in the Packer organization, but for good reason. When you have two WRs like Berry Brooks and Isaic Rawls, teams are going to take notice. With 8 Best WR awards and 11 pro bowls, these two showed out again this season. Brooks led the way with 73 receptions for 1,956 yards, and 23 TDs, also adding 137 rushing yards and 3 more TDs, while Rawls caught 69 balls for 1,578 yards and 16 TDs, and returned a kick for a score. The guy in this bunch that doesn’t get much time in the spotlight is the big body slot WR Julius Dewalt. Dewalt is coming off back to back 40+ catches, 930+ yard, 8+ TD seasons and is easily one of the most unselfish guys on the team. This season Dewalt snagged 40 balls for 697 yards and 9 TDs. This trio is one the the best units the XCFL has ever seen, and we are looking forward to seeing how they grow to finish out the cycle.
It doesn’t matter. Moving on…
After trading away the teams best edge rusher for the past 4 seasons, this group came in with a big question mark. DE Josh Sweat set a new career high in sacks with 10.5, despite missing 4 games. Second year speed rusher Ricardo Marsh did his best to fill the HUGE void left by Watts, and added 42 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 8 TFL, and forced 4 fumbles. DTs TiMario Byrd and Margarito Meyer did what was asked of them and clogged the middle while adding 4 sacks and 14 TFLs between the two of them.
In our humble opinion, this organization has the best MLB duo in the entire XCFL. JaCorie Medlin recorded 106 tackles, 9 TFLs, 5 sacks, 2 INTs, 11 pass def while Nathan Fry added 99 tackles, 12 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 4 INTs, 10 pass def, and 1 forced fumble. With a defense that usually only has 2 LBs on the field, these guys cover so much ground in the passing game while still helping to get physical and stuff the run.
The Packer’s defensive has led the XCFL in INTs almost every season this cycle, this year they are on pace for much of the same and that all starts with the defensive backfield. Jaire Alexander has established himself as a top 3 CB in the XCFL and this season it showed as teams completely avoided him. He was still able to snag 3 INTs and defend 13 passes, but much lower totals than previous seasons. After trading away CB2 Kevin King, Josh Jackson moved from nickel to outside and had a big year recording 49 tackles, 6 INTs, and 9 pass def. Filling Jackson’s spot at nickel was 5 year vet Dawson Reynolds. Reynolds did what was asked of him and came away with 3 INTs and 10 passes def. The real MVP of the secondary is strong safety Derwin James who had another monster season. 83 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 6 INTs, 13 pass def, and 3 forced fumbles, in short Derwin was all over the place this season. Many feared FS Obi Melifonwu lost a step coming into this season but he responded by having one of his best seasons this cycle. 60 tackles and 7 INTs from the 30 year old. GM Nick Larson rewarded him with a 3 year extension. Last but not least, the GOAT Josh Jones. When the Packers were discussing the deal to send their stud HB Milton to the Vikings, the Vikes were offering all sorts of extra picks to get the deal done. GM Nick Larson said keep your picks I want the GOAT back. Josh Jones made his return back to GB for Season 22 in his normal role, of strong safety/nickel/LB. Jones showed he was happy to be back putting up 42 tackles and 5 INTs in his hybrid role. He is the heart and soul of this defense.
Overall it was a tremendous season as the Packers finished 13-3 and have locked up the #5 seed in the NFC. We await to see who they will play in the first round, but it looks to be either the Rams or the Seahawks. Good luck to everyone in the playoffs and this offseason.
Thanks for reading!
Go Pack Go!