Green Bay Packers Behind the Numbers: Bye Week Edition

Here is a look at some of the more important stats and figures to know about the Green Bay Packers after their first 12 games of the season.

We may have just had the bye week, but that doesn't mean we can't still go Behind the Numbers. Here is a look at some of the more important figures to know about the Green Bay Packers after their first 12 games.

28-0

The Green Bay Packers are 28-0 during the Matt LaFleur era when they win the takeaway battle--something that they've done quite often this season. Green Bay is fifth in turnover differential at +9, ninth in total takeaways with 19, and they've forced two or more turnovers in 8 of their last 11 games.

25th and 31st

If there is one area that the Green Bay Packers have to improve on, it's their play in the red zone on both sides of the ball. After leading the NFL in red zone touchdown success rate a season ago, the Packers now rank 25th as their touchdown rate has plummeted from 80 percent down to 55.3. On defense, the Packers are allowing a touchdown on 71.8 percent of their opponents' red zone trips, and as I'm sure you recall, they didn't get their first stop until Week 7 against Washington. 

The good news is that the defense is one of the best in football at limiting red zone visits, ranking fifth in that category. On the flip side, the Green Bay offense is really good at getting to the red zone with the seventh-highest per game average this season. But finding more success on both sides of the ball is a must--come playoff time, issues in the red zone could send them home early.

“The positive is we haven’t done very well in that department, but we’ve still been able to win games, so hopefully that will start to even out a little bit, you’d think at some point,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said via ESPN. “But we’ve got to continue to grind and work at it and maybe look at what we’re doing and try to switch some things up.”

135.4

For much of the season, Aaron Rodgers and his receivers have struggled to connect on the deep ball. Through 10 games, he was eighth in attempts, according to PFF, but out of 36 eligible quarterbacks, Rodgers ranked 31st in completion percentage, 33rd in passer rating, and 13th in yards.

However, over the last two games, he has begun to find a bit of a groove. Rodgers has 12 attempts of 20+ yards and has completed six of those passes. He is also second in yards, fourth in yards per attempt, and second with a passer rating of 135.4 during that span.

I went into more detail in a recent article about what some of the issues might stem from, but a few include not having Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a large chunk of the season, the OL not being as stout as they were a year ago, and a lack of practice time.

3

Despite a littany of injuries, the Green Bay Packers are still 9-3 and in a good position within the NFC playoff picture. Their ability to overcome so many injuries is a credit to the coaching staff as well as the role and backup players who have been tasked with larger responsibilities.

But, hopefully, reinforcements are on the way. While not a guarantee, there appears to be growing optimism that Za'Darius Smith, David Bakhtiari, and Jaire Alexander will all return this season, and perhaps as soon as December, adding three All-Pros to an already very good football team.

20.2

Each week we've seen this Joe Barry defense improve, and it's led to some legitimate dominant performances over the last month or so. Green Bay is holding up well against the run, limiting the big play, pressuring the quarterback, and the end result is a defense that is allowing only 20.2 points per game--the fifth-fewest in football. With the offense not firing on all cylinders as they did a season ago, the defense has helped Green Bay secure several victories.

55.4

This is Aaron Rodgers' passer rating when under pressure this season, and out of 38 eligible quarterbacks, it ranks 32nd. Rodgers also ranks 35th in yards per attempt, 29th in total yards, and his completion percentage ranks 36th when under duress per PFF. 

For reference, a season ago, Rodgers was third in passer rating under pressure, 10th in yards per attempt, 14th in total yards, and 27th in completion percentage--although that mark was over 10 percent higher than what it is this season. 

9

Mason Crosby has already missed nine field goals this season and is just 18/27 overall. This is the most field goal attempts that he has missed since that abysmal 2012 season.

Crosby is certainly at fault, especially as of late, but the entire field goal operation has been to blame. We've seen poor snaps, bad holds, and the blocking has been rough, to say the least. Missed field goals have already cost Green Bay this season; hopefully, it doesn't do the same during the playoffs.

5th

By heavily utilizing lightboxes, this Joe Barry defense is basically daring opposing offenses to run the ball in an effort to take away the passing game. And for the most part, it has worked. According to Sharp Football, the Packers' defense ranks fifth in explosive play rate, and they're allowing just 6.2 yards per catch, which also ranks as the fifth-fewest.

Green Bay's best stretch of play in the secondary came against some of the game's most talented quarterbacks. Against Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson, the Packers allowed only 601 combined passing yards, just one touchdown, and came away with four interceptions. 

5

This is the number of different offensive line configurations that the Green Bay Packers have had to utilize this season, and it includes seven different offensive linemen. Yet despite the injuries and constant movement, this unit has held its own. This group won't be dominant like they were a season ago, and they need the game plan tailored to them, but overall, the run game has been effective enough, and Rodgers has had the time he's needed, for the most part.

1,666

This is the total combined yards that Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon have this season--and the equal distribution among the two is quite impressive. Jones has 564 rushing yards, 298 through the air, and seven total touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dillon has 543 on the ground, 261 receiving yards, and four total touchdowns. 

During this final five-game stretch, it's going to be important that Green Bay lean on their running backs. Although the Packers have Rodgers and Davante Adams, the key to unlocking the passing game is a good run/pass mix. Also, moving both Jones and Dillon around the formation and involving them in the quick passing game will help keep defenses guessing. 

4.1

The Green Bay Packers run defense hasn't been dominant this season, as evidenced by the 4.1 yards per rush they are allowing, which ranks 21st, but they have been much improved. The Packers are yet to allow a 100-yard rusher, and unlike over the last two seasons, we haven't seen opposing offenses able to control the game on the ground. 

Also, when taking into account the frequency that Barry plays with lightboxes, it's largely been up to the defensive front to win their matchups and to slow the run game. When Barry is able to rely on the defensive front against the run, it really allows this defense to do what it was designed to do, which is take away the passing game.

105.5

It can be easy to brush it off at this point because Rodgers has been playing at such a high level for so long, but he is still having a really good season. His 105.5 passer rating is his second-highest mark in this category since 2014 and only behind his 2020 MVP season. 

Rodgers is also completing 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,878 yards at 7.7 yards per attempt, along with 23 touchdowns to only four interceptions. No, the offense isn't clicking like it was in 2020, and Rodgers, along with everyone else, has areas to improve upon, but don't let that take the shine off of what is another impressive season.

---------------------

Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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8 points

Comments (42)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Brockrice99's picture

December 06, 2021 at 11:09 am

5 and 14 are the two most important numbers.
5 is how many Super Bowls the Packers will have at the end of this season.
14 is how many Championships the Packers will have at the end of this season.

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Crazytim87's picture

December 06, 2021 at 12:35 pm

I like the way you think!! GO PACK GO!!

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mnbadger's picture

December 06, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Paul, thank you for accurately capturing the essence of the season - showing statistics that are extremely positive as well as those that are equally negative. The difference between winning and losing (see mn 'queens) is so slight that it boils down to our players making good plays and preventing the other team from doing the same. Truly a game of inches and big plays, especially turnovers. this year's GPG's seem to have playmakers as well as average talent that is playing great football. Kudos to coaches, scout and acquisition and the players themselves. GBP's currently have it all. mn 'queens are only really good at player acquisition. I love it. GPG!

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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Paul, a really important number is - 208.2 million……. For 2022

…… with a strong indication that 2023 will be > $10M more than that again (the previous year on year average annual cap growth).

I think conversations of a mandatory 2022 player exodus blood-bath can now be reset.

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Guam's picture

December 06, 2021 at 02:40 pm

And the Packers have 52 players under contract for 2022 at a total of $257 million. That means they are $46 million over the cap without Adams or Campbell or King or any of the other potential free agents yet to be counted against the cap. How is there NOT going to be bloodbath?

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jurp's picture

December 06, 2021 at 03:56 pm

"How is there NOT going to be bloodbath?"

Pixie dust and unicorn tears, of course!

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Leatherhead's picture

December 06, 2021 at 04:00 pm

I think if you part ways with Rodgers and Adams the problem is mostly solved.

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Guam's picture

December 07, 2021 at 07:41 am

Parting ways with Rodgers saves around $26 million. Parting ways with Adams saves $0 since as a free agent next year he counts for nothing against the projected cap. You would still have $20 million of overage to relieve after trading Rodgers and not resigning Adams.

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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2021 at 06:06 pm

The numbers now at least give the certainty for Gute and Russ to wheel and deal.

Rodgers’ personal preference (stay or go) factors in here too.

Make no mistake, I completely agree that the 2022 Packers roster will be markedly different to this years roster - but I don’t think that if Rodgers stays that the damage will be as horrible as it could…. And if he goes, then it’s possible to retain most of the others.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2021 at 09:04 am

"Rodgers’ personal preference (stay or go) factors in here too."

I'm sure that they could engineer an ARod extension that would generate a 2022 cap hit that's at least equal to--if not smaller than--his dead money if all sides are willing to play ball.

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Bure9620's picture

December 06, 2021 at 10:59 pm

They already planned to move on from both Smiths and Randall Cobb due to their structured contracts. This Unloads $36 Million in cap space. Extending Jaire would alleviate another $10 million. The only question is Rodgers. He is traded or extended. If Extended, Love is traded. Rodgers is obviously not going to be a $46 million cap hit. His contract was voided for final year so 2022 is monopoly money.

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Guam's picture

December 07, 2021 at 07:50 am

I think moving on from Turner is also a possibility which would save around $6 million. The development of Nijman, Runyon and Newman make some changes on the O-line possible. Cutting both Smiths would leave a large hole at OLB. I think they might be able to keep Preston with a creative extension of his contract.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2021 at 09:06 am

What was done can be undone in terms of those deals.

I agree: I don't think they planned to keep those players beyond 2021, but if the Packers think the immediate future is brighter than it looks right now, they might do something creative.

I think Z will get on the field yet this season, but the Packers shouldn't work too hard to keep him around. They've demonstrated an ability to play good ball with P and Gary, though, and it might behoove them to kick the tires to see what they can manage with P Smith. They might be able to do better than his dead money if they add a couple years.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 06, 2021 at 01:57 pm

A lot of good stuff, but I want to comment on two things.

First, Rodgers completion % includes a couple of throws each game where he just gets rid of it rather than take a sack or turn it over. On passes that he’s actually trying to complete, he’s over 70%. That’s how accurate he is. It’s amazing that his % is so high considering his receivers aren’t very good and can’t get open, or so I’ve been told.

Second, that turnover stat is compelling. Credit goes to all our skill position players for protecting the rock, especially the player who handles it on every play. Having an offense that protects the ball and doesn’t put the defense on short fields is a real advantage.

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Starrbrite's picture

December 06, 2021 at 07:28 pm

We have our disagreements leatherhead, but you make an excellent analysis. Especially concerning the ARod throwaways. In addition, he seldom ever gives up a pick six; I never sweat his decision making as I sometimes did with Farve.

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Philarod's picture

December 06, 2021 at 10:43 pm

Pick-6 Career:
Favre - 31; A-Rod 3
....
Some other greats: Brees, Manning - 27 Stafford (okay, not great) 26
Brady and Elway 18

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mnbadger's picture

December 07, 2021 at 12:36 pm

Great stats Philarod, thank you.
Also, to the writer that said he "sometimes got nervous with Favre" I say sometimes? Holmgren lost control of him and Sherman/Rhodes/Mccarthy never had it. The ol gun slinger was a bad throw waiting to happen on every down. He was also a miraculous throw waiting on every down, which made him easy to both love and hate. GPG

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Philarod's picture

December 09, 2021 at 12:11 pm

True, per Favre.
An easy Hall of Famer, truly great and exciting, but yes, somewhat reckless.
Rodgers throws, and completes, to tight windows, but somehow it often doesn't look risky.
I truly think Rodgers is the best to ever play the position, but completely understand the arguments for Brady.

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scullyitsme's picture

December 06, 2021 at 02:11 pm

Stats, MVS 17 rec, 39 targets
Lazard 19 rec 32 targets
Cobb 28 rec 39 targets.
What that says to me is, Lazard and MVS are now, what they will always be after 4 years, their stats are almost identical for 3 years. There’s no substitute for talent. Have we won with them or in spite of them? Good players, respected but all the crazy people wanting to crown MVS the next Adams and wanting to give him a big contract have been quiet for a while. Maybe we can go back to improving the roster in that area also n the off season, Cobb was an afterthought Rodgers forced on gute. Didn’t take much for him to outperform the “best blockers in the league “

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croatpackfan's picture

December 06, 2021 at 02:56 pm

With MVS you should count only catchable balls, not widely overthrown or underthrown. You should know that statistic will tell you the thruth only if you correctly use and explain it.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 06, 2021 at 04:08 pm

If you only count balls that are catchable, their catch rates are higher. That fact would undermine Scullys take on our WRs. He knows that.

It’s hilarious to think that guys can’t get open or catch on a team that wins 13 games every year.

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scullyitsme's picture

December 06, 2021 at 07:15 pm

Yep, because Rodgers throws most of his uncatchable balls to Lazard and mvs. It’s amazing that he’s deadly accurate with Tae and Cobb…hmmm… yeah must be Rodgers fault. But the reality is it doesn’t matter how many are catchable. They are exactly what they are and have been for 3-4 years..average. That why Cobb who also is average at this stage in his career, is making them look bad.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 07, 2021 at 01:48 am

Someone will pay MVS modest money as a deep threat receiver. Probably something in the area of $7M to $10M AAV. No one will pay Lazard that kind of money.

There have been lots of guys who have made a career of being a deep threat.

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barutanseijin's picture

December 07, 2021 at 05:52 am

Lazard may stick around at least to the next training camp. I can’t see another team wanting him enough to pay him. On the other hand, as poorly as Lazard and MVS have played this season, they’re both still better than Amari Rodgers.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2021 at 08:43 am

"Lazard may stick around at least to the next training camp."

I think this will probably be the case. He's had several breakout games and has shown he's capable in the past, just not so much in '21. His value in the grand scheme as a possession receiver is almost secondary to his ability to block downfield.

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scullyitsme's picture

December 07, 2021 at 09:06 am

7-10mil for MVS as a deep threat seems like silly money to me, but good for him if he gets it. Just hope it’s not with the pack. I’d take him back as a deep threat for more like 3-5 mil

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jurp's picture

December 06, 2021 at 03:58 pm

"Lies, damn lies, and statistics!"

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2021 at 09:10 am

The offense has mostly been an Adams-funnel for the last couple years. I think the better estimation of the value and usage of those players comes from the 6-8 games Adams has missed over the last couple years. The indications there are that the ball gets spread around more on a weekly basis and the offense runs through the RBs.

"Maybe we can go back to improving the roster in that area also n the off season, Cobb was an afterthought Rodgers forced on gute. Didn’t take much for him to outperform the “best blockers in the league “"

Imagine if ARod had just said, "find me a slot playmaker" instead of "go get me #18".

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Since'61's picture

December 06, 2021 at 04:28 pm

Four numbers that matter the most: 9 wins, 3 losses (Rodgers 9-2). Rodgers 23 TDs, 4 interceptions.
Honorable mention, Rodgers 105.5 QB rating.

Defense: 27 sacks and 46 hurries. +9 turnovers.

Green Bay TOP 32:29- avg TOP 12 games 35:56- last 3 games 39:40 -last game 34:48 - Home 30:51- Away

Maintain possession, don't turn it over, pressure the opposing QB, force turnovers. Stick with that formula and the Packers will be fine.

GPG! Thanks, Since '61

6 points
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NickPerry's picture

December 06, 2021 at 07:24 pm

"Maintain possession, don't turn it over, pressure the opposing QB, force turnovers. Stick with that formula and the Packers will be fine."

And it REALLY is that simple...Thanks Since '61!

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Since'61's picture

December 07, 2021 at 11:07 am

Easier to post than to execute. But the Packers have done well so far. GPG! Stay safe Nick. Thanks, Since '61

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Starrbrite's picture

December 06, 2021 at 07:30 pm

Right on—-especially possession time.

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Since'61's picture

December 07, 2021 at 11:11 am

Starrbrite, TOP can often be a deceptive stat especially if the defense is allowing easy TDs. Fortunately, the Packers defense is much improved this season and is getting a huge assist from the offense by keeping our opponents' offense off the field. If we can continue to maintain our strong ground game we should be able to dominate the scoreboard and TOP for the remainder of the season. Be well. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2021 at 09:18 am

"Rodgers 23 TDs, 4 interceptions.
Honorable mention, Rodgers 105.5 QB rating."

These numbers--along with 9-3--are what's going to generate options for the Packers with regard to how they handle the roster changes coming this off-season. It will allow them to choose (assuming an amenable #12) whether to deal him since it will produce suitors--whether other teams see him as a quirky diva or not.

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Since'61's picture

December 07, 2021 at 11:13 am

There will definitely be owners who will pursue Rodgers. If for no other reason than to put fans in the seats.
Thanks, Since '61

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Lphill's picture

December 06, 2021 at 04:35 pm

Tom Silverstein reports , Alexander , Z Smith , Bach returning to practice this week.

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relleum61's picture

December 06, 2021 at 06:22 pm

The availability of these three will key the success of the stretch/playoff run. Alexander and Z Smith can energize the defense if they can get enough reps before the playoffs I like the possibilities if we can add an "in sync" A & Z to the D. Bahk (and Myers) will stabilize the O-line immensely. I relish the possibilities if we can get all 4 back before the playoffs.

3 points
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dobber's picture

December 07, 2021 at 09:18 am

Why would anyone thumbs-down this?

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Starrbrite's picture

December 06, 2021 at 08:31 pm

We all would relish the possibility of playing any of the potential playoff teams with a healthy group of our own —-if it happens—lookout!!!

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Since'61's picture

December 07, 2021 at 11:20 am

We need Bak, Alexander, Myers and Z back in that order of priority. We can win in the playoffs without Myers and Z. But we will need Bak against the better pass rush defenses and Alexander against the better QBs and WRs.

Myers would be great to have back but I think that Patrick can hang in there. It would be nice to have Z back but I think our defense has proven that they can succeed without him as long as Gary and P. Smith maintain their current level of play.

GPG! Thanks, Since '61

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Starrbrite's picture

December 07, 2021 at 06:46 pm

Good list ‘61. My list is identical save for Bak and Alexander—I would swap Alexander to #1…but it’s close.

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EstebanPablo's picture

December 07, 2021 at 08:02 am

I wonder what the red zone defense looks like since the first stop in week 7. I have no idea where those stats come from, but a comparison of the first 6 games and the second 6 games prior to the bye week.

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