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Packers Hoping Stafford Repeats History

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Packers Hoping Stafford Repeats History

When it comes to defensive proficiency, the 2017 Green Bay Packers haven’t exactly done a whole lot to inspire confidence in their ability to finish jobs. The Packers rank 23rd in the league in total defense, surrendering just shy of 350 yards per game, including 125 rushing yards per contest, good for 26th overall. In the passing game, Green Bay is in the dead center of the pack, allowing just north of 223 yards per game, though at times their patchwork secondary has made it seem much worse.

With Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions coming to town Monday night, it would be fair to think the Packers’ defense is in for a long evening. For his career, Stafford is 61-percent passer and averages 277 yards per game through the air. The Lions rely on him heavily, to the tune of over 39 pass attempts per game in his career, and no one expects that to change this week. Even with less formidable targets than he’s had in the past, Stafford still figures to pick on a Packers secondary that has frankly looked lost at times in their first seven games.

All of that would seem to indicate trouble for Green Bay. That is, until you look at Stafford’s career numbers against the Packers.

It’s not as though Stafford has been ineffective—in fact, the story has been quite the opposite. In 13 career games against Green Bay, Stafford has averaged 291 yards per game and boasts a 60-percent completion rate. He’s gone over 300 yards four times and thrown for multiple touchdowns in seven contests, with 25 touchdowns overall in those 13 games.

Still, Stafford owns just a 3-10 record against the Packers. Despite the gaudy statistics, a Stafford-led offense has rarely been able to do enough to get past Green Bay.

So, what’s the deal?

For one, the Lions rushing attack hasn’t exactly been a world-beating operation during Stafford’s time at the helm, hence the high number of pass attempts. That would seem to hold true in 2017, too, as the Lions clock in at 28th in the league with just over 82 yards per game.

Secondly, Stafford loves throwing the ball to the Packers. Green Bay has intercepted him a league-high 19 times in his career, and only three times in 13 games have they failed to pick Stafford off at least once. Meanwhile, they’ve recorded multiple interceptions six times.

Finally, the Packers have managed to get Stafford to the ground just over twice per game in his time with the Lions. While that may not an eye-popping number, two sacks would be a welcome sight from a Packer pass rush that has come this close too many times this season.

Now, the argument can be made that Matthew Stafford has simply failed to out-duel Aaron Rodgers over the years. Undoubtedly, the Packers have benefitted from having a future Hall-of-Famer to perhaps render Stafford’s play irrelevant. In 11 games in which Rodgers and Stafford both played, the Packers won nine times, averaging just over 28 points in those victories.

The Lions are giving up just over 24 points per game in 2017. With Brett Hundley at the helm, 24 to 28 points may be the ceiling for the Packers offense, which could make for a tight game when all is said and done.

Still, the fact remains that despite Stafford's statistics against the Packers, Green Bay has found ways to win by forcing him to make critical errors.

One thing is for sure—if the Packers can’t force Matthew Stafford into the same mistakes he’s made against them his entire career, it could be a very long night. If they succeed in repeating history, however, they should have every opportunity to come out of Monday night with a victory.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Against the latest McCapers defense, Stafford will run up big numbers.

Forget "Nitro." My nickname for McCapers's defense is the BB ROAD defense...

...short for "Bend, Break, Roll Over And Die."

Look for Stafford to do what almost every QB does--take a thrill ride on BB ROAD.

Finwiz's picture

Very creative!

justjoe's picture

Mr. Peth,

Kindly find another team to "cheer" for. I, and I'm sure many others, are sick of the constant pessimism. I have always found it to be amusing that all of the "experts" on Packers sites seem to know how to run a professional football team yet for some reason, no NFL team has called to offer them a job.

Thanks,
Joe

Savage57's picture

The Appeal To Authority argument is as weak as it is lame.

When you're talking about a competent NFL QB going up against the wet rag Packers pass defense, it's not pessimism as much as it is having two functioning eyeballs with a reliable connection to the brain.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

So according to Joe, only NFL GM's, coaches, and their all-positive groupies should post on Packers sites.

Methinks someone wants a safe space.

justjoe's picture

I would settle for an a**h*** free space.

=)

justjoe's picture

I apologize, I should not have written that!

Spud Rapids's picture

The defense is about middle of the road in most statistical categories but 3rd to last in sacks. If their pass rush shores up they could be close to a top 10 defense because IMO sacks permeate into interceptions, pass breakups and fumbles on the QB. I think this is possible but it's contingent on two things? 1.) Daniels being 100% coming off the bye and playing at his top level. When he is healthy he really puts a lot of pressure on opposing QB's because they aren't able to step up into the pocket which often makes them slide out of the pocket left or right into Matthews and Perry. 2.) Emergence of Perry, Beigel or another(M. Adams maybe) as a playmaker and getting sacks. If those two things happens I think it trickles down to the defense and good things start to happen. Tie that in with a solid running on offense and we can keep the defense fresh. Is this too many things to happen? I don't know but I don't think is implausible.

flackcatcher's picture

Nicely put Spud. The return of Burnett totally changes this defense. (Losing Brice at SS may even a plus for this group, seeing as he was not assignment sure, and was close to losing his starting spot over his horrific performance vs N.O. last week.)

Finwiz's picture

This is the TOTAL overstatement of the year....Burnett is not capable of totally changing any defense. He's not an impact player. At most he makes sure they don't have 10 men on the field in this game. Big deal.

dobber's picture

Brooks continuing to be a DNP with his bad back even after the bye is a pretty ominous sign. I think he's the other piece that could help this defense to get better (beyond Burnett), but I suspect he's looking at a lost season.

Savage57's picture

"Sacks permeate into interceptions."

Thanks, needed that.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I agree, Spud.

This defense is a good pass rush away from being above average, and a healthy Daniels, Perry, Biegel, and Burnett (coordinating the secondary) would really help.

It's frustrating, though, how McCapers''s defense derails without fairly optimum health.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Indeed, Dobber. I actually thought we'd see Perry and Brooks starting, with CM3 rotating in and getting almost as many snaps as Perry and Brooks, and equaling Perry/Brooks snaps by playing some snaps as a straight up ILB and on pass rushing downs being moved around. Maybe Brooks comes off the field in pass rushing downs depending on how things went with Perry, Daniels, and Clark/Lowry.

Oh well.

Duke Divine's picture

Stafford line 350+ 3tds and one int. Hudley 185 1td 1int....not a recipe for a W. Again hope im wrong

dobber's picture

I think we ALL do! ;)

Duke Divine's picture

Stafford line 350+ 3tds and one int. Hudley 185 1td 1int....not a recipe for a W. Again hope im wrong

pooch's picture

Spud,thats alot to ask for as we have been asking for that the last 6 years

Dzehren's picture

Stafford seems to choke in big games. The defense needs to hold them under 23 points. More importantly, Hundley needs to sustain drives, control the clock and keep Stafford and our D off the field as much as possible.

Duke Divine's picture

Hope you're right!

Duke Divine's picture

Hope you're right!

TommyG's picture

24-27-23. That’s the points put up by the lions over the last three matchups, with the first and last scores being in Detroit. That means our packers need to score 30 to win. The lions will be looking for Jones. MM must give hundley the plays to win this game.

al bundy's picture

You'll all be happy to know, fat ass eddie ran 5 plays, hurt his groin. Sounds all too familiar.

Finwiz's picture

Another Alabama RB flames out spectacularly in the NFL.
And they talk about WI RB's being disappointments?
Give Thompson some credit for not resigning this guy, weight clauses or not.

Archie's picture

Loser's season is over so everybody should be plenty motivated tonight. Game should be entertaining and close.

The pluses for GB will be several:
1 - Aaron Jones RB. He will run for 100+ and a TD.
2 - It's do or die time for one Mister McHundley. 15 days to get ready for this start, surrounded by a very healthy offense, with a bell cow RB means no excuses. Against a team w/o a bell cow and with a 3rd string LT and no #1 WR. On paper, GB wins this game if McHundley is any kind of a QB other than no good. Doesn't have to be great, just a game manager. Look for McHundley to run for one score and throw for another. Add a couple of field goals and GB is looking at 30 points.
3 - Defense should be much better tonight with or w/o King but preferably with him. Rest for Daniels will have our inside Bermuda triangle cranked up: Daniels-Clark-Martinez. I'm even thinking Adams and Biel will make contributions as will Perry and Matthews.

Packers 30
Lions 23

If McHundley sucks:

Lions 30
Packers 10

Archie's picture

Biegel or Beagle, but definitely not Biel!

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