Green Bay Packers
That leaves the Green Bay Packers as the perfect model for the 2020 Las Vegas Raiders.
After finishing the season 6-9-1, the Packers missed the playoffs in 2018, however, the team managed to turn it around this year and finish with a 13-3 record, NFC North Championship, and a first-round bye. A big reason for the change was the organization’s investments on defense.
Two years ago, the Packers allowed 25 points per game which ranked in the bottom third of the league. This was obviously a big problem and one that general manager Brian Gutekunst wasn’t afraid to throw some money at. Between Za’Darius Smith, Adrian Amos, and Preston Smith, Green Bay spent over $150 million (including incentives) on its defense.
The investment didn’t stop there as Gutekunst used the 12th and 21st overall picks on defenders, Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage. While the former has yet to pan out, the effectiveness of both Smiths mentioned above soften the impact of the draft bust. As for Savage, he ended up on PFF’s All-Rookie team and the Packers were successfully able to build around the young pieces of their defense.