The Packers are undefeated! Their last loss came 324 days ago. Kim Kardashian probably had no idea who Kris Humphries was and Netflix was still one company.
Somewhere between now and then many things have changed. The Packers rose from the sixth seed and never looked back. In this time we fans went from happy for a decent game at New England to people who expect perfection.
I can't say I'm not in the corner of people who expect perfection. I'm a homer. The Packers should win every game, and in my opinion have the game locked up as they enter the fourth quarter. Anytime this doesn't happen, I don't doubt that they will win, but I have to say, no matter how well the team is playing I'm a little disappointed.
But as always, there seems to be the section of people that can't seem to find a middle ground. The team is either perfect or rubbish (I'm watching Harry Potter as I type this - so that should explain any "rubbish" or "bloody" in this post).
I'm all for picking apart the games. I will freely say that this team is capable to beating any team in the league by at least three touchdowns. So when they don't we should look at the reasons. But there is a difference between looking for answers and what I can only determine as blind rage by some fans.
This season, running the live blog, I tend to read a myriad of comments. From those that want to marry Aaron Rodgers, to the growing in popularity, the Anti-Dom Capers crowd. I suppose now that we can't hate on Ted Thompson someone has to take the blame, but I find the "Dom Sucks" "This is why he can't hold down a job" garbage a bit much.
So here's some things about our defense.
They rock at interceptions and creating turnovers, they lead the league in point differential, they are the only undefeated defense in the league but also nearly lead the league in yards given up per game.
So I decided to take a look at some things. Outside of the New England Patriots, the Packers are not in the best company when it comes to giving up yards. They're surrounded by the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccanears and Arizona Cardinals. Out of those teams though, the Packers have given up less points than all of them.
After the Chargers game I just assumed that the Packers gave up more yards because they were obviously on the field less. After the two pick sixes in the first quarter, the Packers were leading but their offense was barely on the field. However, the Chargers only had the ball for 30 more seconds than the Packers. So I agree with the naysayers, the Packers give up too much yardage; they give up yardage comparable to teams with much worse records.
Out of the Packers six losses last year, only did the Dolphins and the Lions accumulated more yards than the Packers. In the four losses where the Packers outgained their opponents, they did so with an average of just over 100 yards. More yardage does not always a win make.
In 2o08, when the Packers finished a disapointing 6-10, they gave up on average 334 yards per game. In 2009 when the team had an early exit from the post season the Packers gave up only 284 yards per game. In the championship year 2010, the Packers gave up an average of 309 yards. This year the Packers are averaging a high 399 yards per game. Yardage wise, the Packers are giving up far more than they did in those previous years; however, this is the only team that has managed to win their first eight games. Heck, this team already won more than the entire 2008 season when they gave up over 60 yards less per game.
Do we all wish the Packers would give up less yardage. Yes. Is it risky? Could this pattern of giving up chunk loads of yards eventually catch up with the Packers? Yes. I do hope that the Packers will somehow fill the holes in their swiss cheese defense, but until then I'll take the wins over the yardage mark. As seen this year and last, the winning team doesn't always have the most yardage. Someone suggested on the live blog that they would rather have the defense giving up less yardage - or playing more consistently and the Packers with a 6-2 record then have the defense we have today.
I disagree, its risky to keep giving up so many yards. It's also risky to rely mainly on passing, and build the team around a superstar. Its also risky to even play the game.
This team has holes, but I am done spending time disecting the yardage issue. It is one stat of many that make up this team. And at the end of the day the only one that matters is the win-loss column.