A lot of reasons have been bandied about for the Green Bay Packers resurgence in the last five games. Most spectators point to the Packers’ dominant defense. Others focus on the improvement of the offensive line.
Those things have been a big part of the Packers’ recent success, but here’s the real reason the Packers have been rolling – time of possession.
The Packers are first in the NFC in time of possession at 33:25 per game. The number is third in the NFL, trailing only the New Orleans Saints (34:00) and Cincinnati Bengals (33:29). During the Packers’ five-game winning streak the team hasn’t lost the time of possession battle and has averaged 35:37 per game.
Time of possession isn’t exactly a sexy stat, and hell, I may be the only one interested in it, but it does mean two very important things.
The Packers have held the ball, on average, 10 minutes more than their opponents during the streak, which makes it awfully hard for opposing teams to mount a rally. Second, it’s a signal the Packers are taking care of the ball.
The Packers offense has five fumbles lost and two interceptions during the run. Meanwhile, the Packers defense has taken the ball away 15 times during the same stretch (11 interceptions, four fumbles) for a plus-eight turnover differential.
I hate to say it, but these statistics are the result of a solid game plan. I still think he’s a terrible coach, but I have to give credit to Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy and to a lesser extent, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, for ultimately putting the Packers in a position to win the past five weeks.
It took some time, but the coaching staff seems to be performing at the same level as the talent on the field, which is a great sign for Green Bay.
Don’t you find it interesting how McCarthy approaches penalties. When asked whether he is worried about penalties, he separates pre-snap penalties from aggressive-play penalties. The first kind he hates. The second kind he doesn’t seem to mind. I wonder if this public position is also what goes on behind closed doors. Yeah, Tramon Williams may have saved the bears game, but also was real close to actually handing the game over to them (eve assuming the overly-sensitive calls by referrees. Jay Cutler has been a real gift for the Packers.