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Packers Aren’t So Good at Forcing Fumbles

Forcing fumbles is a skill that every NFL team practices in the preseason. Some teams and players pick it up better than others. Most Green Bay Packers have done poorly at applying what they’re taught to game situations.

Each season, around 40 players force three or more fumbles, and another hundred or so force two fumbles. Overall, NFL teams average around 20 forced fumbles yearly.

Individually, over the last five years, only three Packers have repeatedly distinguished themselves in this statistical category.

In 2015, safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker Julius Peppers each had two forced fumbles.

In league-wide stats in 2014, Peppers tied for 3rd with four forced fumbles while only linebacker Clay Matthews had more than one (two).

In 2013, Matthews and linebacker Nick Perry were tied at 15th in the NFL with three forced fumbles each.

In 2012, only Burnett managed even two forced fumbles.

In 2011, the only Packer with two or more forced fumbles was Matthews, who tied for 21st in the NFL with three.

We can quickly conclude that only three Packers in the last few years have consistently shown ball-hawking skills. Counting Peppers’ forced fumbles with the Bears from 2011-13, he has a five-year total of 12 (six in two seasons with the Packers), Matthews has nine (but had none in 2015), and Burnett has seven over the last five years.

Remember the good old days, when Charles Woodson caused 15 fumbles in his seven years with the team? And he and Peppers polished their skills while on other teams.

Forced fumble statistics aren’t don’t seem to be tracked very well. We found that one place routinely had different numbers than others, including discrepancies between ESPN, NFL.com and the Packers themselves.

What we do know for certain is the Packers finished in the top 10 in this category as a team just once in the past five years. Three times they were in the bottom half of the league.

As a team, the Packers had 12 forced fumbles last year (tied for 25th), 14 in 2014 (tied for 20th), 19 in 2013 (tied for 6th), eight in 2012 (31st), and 14 in 2011 (tied for 18th). The top team has caused from 23 to 32 forced fumbles over that span.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Howard July 13, 2016

    To force fumbles you have to be a good tackling team and swarm to the ball. The Packers have been Mediocre at both. This team can be better at tackling but anyone who watches the team know they have long lapses at the worst times making a solid tackle. Arm tackles don’t cut it if you want fumbles, unless you are sacking the QB. Then when you force a fumble you need teammates around to get the ball, and or taking out the opponents trying to recover. The D in spurts tend to watch others make the play and not anticipate or go for the ball or hit.

  2. Draymond Green July 13, 2016

    That’s because the Packers are a bad football team. The Warriors will go 74-8 and we will play better than the Packers. THE PACKERS ARE NO LONGER THE NAME OF THE SQUAD FOR GREEN BAY. THEY ARE NOW THE GREEN BAY PRETENDERS.