Packers Continue To Pass The Ball In Cold Weather

Debunking the fallacy that there's some sort of need to run the football better or more than usual in the winter months.

In my newest weekly column, I debunk the fallacy that there's some sort of need to run the football better or more than usual in the cold weather:

As certain as the sun rises in the east, around this time of year some naïve football pundit will talk about how much more important it is to run the ball in December and January.

The column appears in the Bliss Communications platform of publications including the Janesville Gazette, Janesville Messenger, Stateline News, Walworth County Today and Walworth County Sunday.

It also appears in the Reilly family of newspapers including the Dodgeville Chronicle, the Pecatonica Valley Leader and the Democrat Tribune of Mineral Point.

Follow the above link to read the column.

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Comments (32)

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bomdad's picture

December 08, 2010 at 10:21 am

Doesn't appear New England subscribes to the run the ball theory either.

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Brett Cristino's picture

December 08, 2010 at 10:46 am

Rodgers in cold weather games since 2008:

Games below 40 degrees...

2008(5 games): 103.7 QB Rating 66 Comp % 12 TDs 4 INTs

2009(4 games): 95.4 QB Rating 59 Comp % 7 TDs 2 INTs

2010(1 games vs SF): 135.1 QB Rating 70 Comp % 3 TDs 0 INT

So in 10 cold weather games(40 degrees & below), Rodgers has a 105.8 QB Rating with 22 TDs and only 6 INTs.

Love how people continue to say we're going to need to run the ball in December/January to be successful. May I ask why? Rodgers is just as good in cold weather as he is in September/October weather. Gotta love falsehoods...

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PackersRS's picture

December 08, 2010 at 11:18 am

It goes like this.

If your QB has the arm strenght to throw the ball effectively in cold weather, when it's windy and when it's raining, then you don't have to run the ball more often.

Now, if you have Chad Pennington, you have to. Everyone is affected by weather conditions, but some are too affected by it.

So it's not a fallacy per se, it's just that it depends on the personel you have.

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Tarynfor 12's picture

December 08, 2010 at 11:44 am

I don't think it is a must to run in cold weather,I think it is a safer way to protect from turnovers.IMO cold,wind,rain,snow(level of each)individually or two or more elements mixed, drastically increases INTs via tips,slippery hands-ball,then with the ball cradled in the RBs arms.

In cold weather(elements) and you have a two score lead,are you not better off running(if able) then to keep passing and play in a more unpredictable setting.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

December 08, 2010 at 11:53 am

Fortunately Aaron Rodgers is pretty much one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history at protecting the ball int he passing game.

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Tarynfor 12's picture

December 08, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Rodgers cannot control how the WRs hand are in the weather.Just saying IMO,INTs are more likely than fumbles in certain weather conditions.

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bomdad's picture

December 08, 2010 at 01:55 pm

So the CBs suddenly have better hands in the cold?

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Tarynfor 12's picture

December 08, 2010 at 02:26 pm

Didn't say that,but easier to catch a tipped ball then one thrown with force in bad weather.

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Franklin Hillside's picture

December 08, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Well, if you have a two score lead, probably. However, the Patriots don't.

I think Ryan Grant fumbled twice in the 2007 playoff game against Seattle in the snow. Granted he ran for 201 and 3 TDs after that, but still, all turnover chances are increased, not just passing ones.

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Tarynfor 12's picture

December 08, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Agree fumbles also likely,just think more likely in the passing.

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Norman's picture

December 08, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Actually it wasn't yet snowing when Grant had his two fumbles (on the first two possessions if I remember correctly). Wasn't particularly cold that day either.

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al's picture

December 08, 2010 at 12:00 pm

yea i agree if were gona turn the ball over its gona be because of the RB's fumbling, especially with a rookie like starks carrying it that increases the chances of fumbles, heck even Grant fumbled in the playoffs (home against seattle) and he rarely ever did. Or it will be the receivers like Jones dropping the ball but Jones does that in good weather too, so i think were gona be okay. If we loose its not gona be because of our passing game, more likely our defense.

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al's picture

December 08, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Although Rodgers is going 5 games without an interception which is the most he has gone and is the longest running streak of his carrer, so to bad hes due for an interception. Hopefully it will come this week against DET and not against the patriots.

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WoodyG's picture

December 08, 2010 at 01:42 pm

Being able to run the ball is always important regardless of the weather ..... The top 5 rushing teams have a combined record of 38-22 while the bottom 5 rushing teams have a combined record of 20-40 (thru 12 games) ......

Of course the strength of GB's offense is passing the ball because of AR's abilities ..... But if you also have the ability to run the ball then your passing attack is even more effective .....

Add to that .... If AR can turn & hand the ball off 25 times in a game, that's 25 times that AR is unlikely to get hit .... It's part of protecting your best player .....

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WoodyG's picture

December 08, 2010 at 01:48 pm

Two more reasons you run the ball ....
Throw in TOP & resting your defense ....

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PackerAaron's picture

December 08, 2010 at 02:09 pm

The Patriots' defense looked plenty rested on Sunday night with their offense throwing it all over the yard... ;)

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WoodyG's picture

December 08, 2010 at 02:19 pm

Brady thru 29 passes versus 26 rushes by the RBs ..... That's almost 50-50 .....

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Brian Carriveau's picture

December 08, 2010 at 01:53 pm

Exactly, Woody. The point I was trying to get across is there's no EXTRA importance on running the ball. It's as important now as it was in September.

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WoodyG's picture

December 08, 2010 at 02:00 pm

I agree with your premise, almost 100% ..... However, I'd rather have GB play in a dome on the road in the playoffs than on a sloppy, half-frozen Lambeau Field with wind gusts of 10+ mph ..... There are still weather conditions that inhibit a good passing game ...... If GB had a strong running game, it probably wouldn't matter ......

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andrew's picture

December 08, 2010 at 09:46 pm

patriots run the ball all the time... they just have all their big plays come from passing.. they have a very solid running game.. as does every other team that has potential to beat us.. falcons eagles (its vick but still a running game) saints are back to form now that bush is back they looked terrible when his leg was broken.. now all the sudden they are on a winning streak.. but.. it probably has nothing to do with that running game...
nahhh.. throw on every down that the way to win.. -__-

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jdondlinger's picture

December 08, 2010 at 02:02 pm

Even if the Packers get a spark from Starks running the ball (which I believe they will), this team is still going to be pass first no matter the weather. And that is how it should be the QB and WR they have.

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redlights's picture

December 08, 2010 at 03:19 pm

Yes, the Packers will pass because that is their strength.

Temperature versus wind is misleading. I believe that the argument is about the elements in general, affecting the team. Also, no one is differentiating (sp?) between short versus downfield passes.

Wouldn't it be a shame for the Pack, or any team, to get to the playoffs and fold in adverse conditions (once in ten year style) because they were unable to run the ball when they had to? What if (gasp) we have a rash of injuries to our receivers? The run game/short pass game gives any team an additional way to win.

Kind of like having insurance.

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PistolPete's picture

December 08, 2010 at 10:11 pm

+1

It's not just running the ball in Dec/Jan, people, it's running the ball when you need to or have to.

Did we learn nothing from ATL? Rodgers had a great game throwing the ball, but we couldn't pick up a 3rd and 1 with out a running game. Last week against SF was exactly what a pass first team like the Pack needs to do come playoff time. Short yardage and running when we have the lead. That is the key and what the pundits are talking about when they mention the need to run the ball.

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PackerAaron's picture

December 09, 2010 at 01:10 am

"That is what the pundits are talking about when they mention the need to run the ball."

I think you're being kind there. I agree you "run when you're winning" but most 'pundits' especially on television, are espousing an antiquated theory "You have to establish the run" Um, no. You don't.

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thepretzelhead's picture

December 08, 2010 at 02:02 pm

You run because your linemen hit their linemen and hopefully linebackers and best of all corners and safeties! Anytime of the year, true that Carriveau.

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al's picture

December 08, 2010 at 03:25 pm

i disagree id rather play home in freezing and windy conditions then going and playing in the domes, especially if the opponent is the saints, we saw how that worked in Cinci, or any dome team. The only teams it probably wouldnt help us any against are the bears and giants

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Brian Carriveau's picture

December 08, 2010 at 03:27 pm

The last two opponents on the Packers schedule.

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al's picture

December 08, 2010 at 04:16 pm

yep hopefully if we dont get a first round bye we can play the rams in the playoffs

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Cuphound's picture

December 08, 2010 at 04:48 pm

I liked the article Brian. I'm really glad McCarthy has the team practice in the cold now. It's so embarrassing when we don't look like Winter's Team.

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thepretzelhead's picture

December 08, 2010 at 05:10 pm

PLEASE HYDRATE ON COLD DAYS>>>>"WORLD"S GREATEST TRAINING STAFF" or have we fogotten Favre's last game.

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thepretzelhead's picture

December 08, 2010 at 06:12 pm

or an "r" in forgotten?

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Rich Beckman's picture

December 08, 2010 at 10:53 pm

I've posted this before, but I do not consider it to be insignificant or coincidental that the day Favre announced his retirement, Rodgers went to Alaska to dog sled.

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