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Viewing the Packers and Falcons Through Recent Stats

Most people agree that examining the overall regular season stats of the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons says little about how the two teams will match up when they take the field on Sunday. The same holds true for trying to compare the two teams based on their week 8 head-to-head contest, as many of the stars on each team either weren’t playing then but now are, or vice versa.

Aaron Rodgers certainly is playing on a whole different level now than he was back then.

Instead, let me throw out a few numbers concerning how the two teams have performed over their last eight games (counting the playoffs).

On the offensive side, here are the yardage averages, and points scored, for the teams over each’s last eight games:

  • Packers: 107 rushing, 278 passing, 385 total, 32.1 ppg
  • Falcons: 125 (*107) rushing, 276 passing, 401 (*380) total, 33.9 (*32.9) ppg

On the defensive side, here are the yards allowed averages, and points allowed, over that same time span:

  • Packers: 101 rushing, 280 passing, 381 total, 18.2 ppg
  • Falcons: 119 rushing, 223 passing, 352 (*364) total, 19.6 ppg

What the Statistics Suggest

The two teams are pretty evenly matched.

The Falcons have scored about two points more per game, but they have given up about 1.5 more points per game.

The Falcons have rushed for about 17 more yards per game, but they have also given up about 20 more yards per game than the Packers.

The teams are nearly even in passing yardage, 278 to 276.

In passing yardage given up, the Falcons are clearly the better defenders, as Green Bay has yielded 280 yards per game, versus only 223 for Atlanta.

As to total yardage, the Falcons have gained about 17 more yards per game, and the Packers have given up 29 more yards per game.

These numbers suggest that the Falcons have a discernible advantage overall, the major difference being that they have a substantially better pass defense.

I have one major caveat to this statistical analysis, however. The Falcons-49ers game of December 18 skews the stats. San Francisco played so poorly and lethargically in that game that the Falcons had a 550 to 272 total yardage advantage.

If you exclude that farce of a game, the Falcons’ average total yardage drops from 401 to 380 (five fewer than Green Bay’s), the average rushing yardage drops from 125 to 107 (the same as the Packers), and the average total yardage yielded by the Falcons’ defense jumps to 364. This would also change Atlanta’s scoring average to 32.9 points per game, within one point of Green Bay’s average score. These changes are marked with an * above.

It’s old news, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers needs to find a way to cut down on that average of 280 yards given up through the air. The team failed to do so against Dallas, which gained 326 yards via the pass last Sunday.

Rob Born

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



  1. KILLER January 20, 2017

    Well, Rob, your “caveat” is weak. You are saying, “OK, let’s take away the stats from the Falcons best game but leave in the stats from the Packers best game and then compare the two. sure, that is fair!” I’m sure you do think that is fair. You are reflective of the Packer mentality. The rest of the world calls that kind of selective skewing of stats cheating.

    You didn’t take out the Packers 38-10 victory at home over the Seahawks. Why not? Because the Seahawks are good, you splutter? Sometimes good teams lay eggs and sometimes bad teams do very well. Your point I guess is that the 49ers are an easy team to beat. The Packers faced some weak teams also. Shouldn’t you then combine that point with pointing out that overall the Packers had a much softer schedule than the Falcons? Well, you should… but that would be too fair of you!

    1. Robster January 20, 2017

      I didn’t take away any stats, I merely parenthetically added alternative stats for those who wished to test my premise that the 49ers didn’t put forth legitimate effort in its game against Atlanta. I don’t view the Week 7 Packers-Falcons tilt as relevant to Sunday because six key Packers players missed the game: Cobb, Cook, and Montgomery on offense, and Matthews, Randall, and Rollins on defense. The Falcons injury report, meanwhile consisted of Jonathan Babineau, Taylor Gabriel, Julio Jones, and Keanu Neal – but they all played!

      1. KILLER January 20, 2017

        C’mon, Rob. You removed the stats from the 49ers game and then showed what the Falcons stats would like like without them… but now state you didn’t take away any stats. ??? Then… what are we talking about here? How can you remove the stats from the 49ers game and then claim you did not remove any stats? What-WHAT? Are you putting us on here or is that the reality you are experiencing in your head?

        I guess you might be trying to say you were open about taking away the stats and did not do it in secret. I’d agree with that. But they were still taken away.

        Premise, huh? This “premise” seems to come from the fact it was the Falcons trouncing the 49ers and not the Packers trouncing the 49ers. And from the end point total and net yards. Did you include multiple videos of multiple players lollygagging? And clips of 49ers players after the game saying they were not trying? You have no actual evidence of “lethargically” — which is exactly why you presented none. You just made an unfounded premise and invited your readers to buy into it without giving them ANY logical reason to do so.

        Now, get this: POS Jerry Jones is basically claiming his team did not put forth their best effort because they underestimated Rodgers. Woah Nellie! We actually have a half-assed admission. Did you note in your article how the Cowboys, as indicated by their owner, were not giving their best effort and so you removed the stats from that game? Nope.

        You are very selective in your stats time line. Last 8 games. Including the playoffs. This is already weird because it means the Falcon stats go further back in time because the Packers played that extra wildcard game so you needed to go back an extra week to match the game count (though it still does not match when you selectively remove the 49ers game stats as an alternate reality invitation to the readers). Hmm. I wondered. Why did you choose 8 weeks? Could have been 4, could have been 10. Why 8? Well, if you went back 9 weeks you’d include the Packers humiliating demolishing at the hands of the Redskins 42-24. And if you went back 10 weeks you would include the Packers even more humiliating obliteration at the hands of the almighty Titans 47-25. Soooooo you choose 8 weeks as the fair and right number of weeks! Aaaaaaaand, IF you had gone back 9 weeks then it would have included the Falcons 43-28 win over the Buccaneers with 461 yards of offense. Oh no, we can’t have that, it will make them look too good. If you had gone back 10 weeks — due to the odd wildcard week — then the Falcons stats would have included their victory over the Packers. Oh no, can’t have that! That game can’t count for the Falcons! After all the Falcons won and their opponent must have then played lethargically. Well, that is my premise and I am Rob Born and Rob Born with a premise does not need evidence and ought to be good enough for anyone! Rob says those Packers were lethargic what with their journeyman QB playing at a substandard level only throwing 4 TDs with no INTs and running for 60 yards. 60 lethargic yards. 4 lethargic TDs. Hell, he was too lethargic to even get around to throwing an interception!

        You know every game is different and teams that face each other multiple times in a season all have different scores and frequently different winners. The Packers could well win Sunday. I’m not saying they can’t. Only an idiot like MM would guarantee a victory. But teams are always missing some players or some players are “playing on a whole different level” different games. I think the previous results are relevant though. Sure, both sides have injuries and now have different injuries. But you make it sound like the Packers are in a much better situation now. Their leading receiver in that game was Jordy Nelson and he is out this week (I think). The Falcons second best payer is Julio Jones. He averages over 100 yards a game… even when including (as I do because I have no evidence to support a premise of lethargy) his game vs. the Packers in which he could barely walk and only had 3 catches for 29 yards. Well, he is in much better health now. Besides, missing Matthews and Randall was probably a blessing actually, addition by subtraction.

        Anyway, I see you did not try to deny the points made in my previous second post that Rodgers was not playing at some sub-level in the previous Falcons game. I’ll take that as your best attempt to man up that you were mistaken.

        PS I’m not trying to come across as hostile here, Rob. I’m sure we’d buy each other beers and have a good time talking football if we ever met. I have nothing at all against you. Not even that you are a Packer fan. Anyone can root for anyone and I have no issue with that. It is illogical thought processes, deceptions, abusiveness, and unfairness which trouble me, accidental or purposeful, and I seek to correct those when I come across them.

        1. PF4L January 21, 2017

          In what fucked up warped sense of reality do you exist in thinking anyone would want to spend time with you?

          1. PF4L January 21, 2017

            So you can’t stand unfairness, and when you see it, you need to call it out?

            But….You can accuse players of taking PED’s with no substance of proof.

            And you define that as “fair”?

            You try to come off as a deep thinking intellectual. But your own words expose you for the simple minded fool you are.

          2. KILLER January 21, 2017

            Monty McMahon, as per your above post under your pseudonym PF4L =

            ANSWER: You’d be surprised. (Now, see, if I were you I’d have put in here how I spent intimate time with your mother or girlfriend. You’ve made those comments in the past. But I am not you so I am too classy to make that type of juvenile comment.)

            As per your post below =

            ANSWER: I did not accuse players of taking PEDs without proof. There is plenty of proof. Eyewitness testimony of the most reliable kind — self-incrimination when not aware of being tape recorded. Associations with known PED abusers and even a known and admitted PED pusher. The words of Clay Matthews’ own mother! Tons of circumstantial evidence — too much to even list here. Career arc. Injury history. There is loads of evidence. You have a mentality that unless someone confesses they are innocent.

            Unless it is the Vikings and it involves crowd noise and you are writing as Mordecai. Then a cowardly comment in 2014 by Mike McCarthy becomes absolute proof even though you love to refer to him as buffoon.

          3. PF4L January 22, 2017

            You simple minded little child.

            So i’m guessing your burden of proof is much lower than the NFL’s burden. The NFL and it’s resources couldn’t find any proof to stick on Mathews and Peppers, they cleared them.

            But you…..have “real” proof. Is that what your saying?

            You sad petulant little child.

            Did your Mommy and Daddy not love you enough?

  2. KILLER January 20, 2017

    Next FALSEHOOD =

    Rob, you wrote this: “Aaron Rodgers certainly is playing on a whole different level now than he was back then.”

    Aaron Rodgers, in the game against the Falcons was 28 of 38 for 246 yards, 4 TDs, no INTs, and ran 6 times for 60 yards. With a near perfect QB rating. That marked when he came out of his funk.

    His most recent game was excellent. He did throw for more yards with 355. And he did have the same number of completions. But he lad a worse completion percent because eh attempted 5 more passes. And, instead of 4 TDs he had 2. And, instead of 0 interceptions he had 1. And, instead of running for 60 yards he ran for 16.

    I think a person could validly say Rodgers is currently playing AS WELL as he did vs. the Falcons or could even argue that at least statistically eh is NOT playing as well now. But you related it in such a way to make the reader think they are getting a brand new difference making Rodgers totally better than in their game earlier this year. Not sure if this is just ignorance of the facts by you or intentional deception. Only you can shed light on that… but could we confidently believe which one you chose?

    Now, if I said to you, OK, this Sunday vs. the Falcons, take it or leave it, you don’t now anything about the running game or defense or special teams, Rodgers goes 28 of 38, 4 TDs, no intercepts, and also runs 6 for 60… would you take it or leave it?

    If you would take it then the point about Rodgers playing at a whole different level now is a false one.

    And if you would not take it? Well, then, you are a fool!

  3. Chiller January 20, 2017

    Does anyone actually read Killer’s posts?

    1. PF4L January 20, 2017

      No…lol. He even knows it, which makes it hilarious, and sad, all at the same time.

    2. icebowl January 21, 2017

      Killer has to be The saddest MF to ever post on this site..
      Waste of space-time..

  4. Deepsky January 20, 2017

    I think the Falcons have faced worse pass defenses than the Packers throughout the year and especially in the playoffs as the Seahawks had Earl Thomas out and Richard Sherman playing with a torn MCL.

    Still this playoff game is going to come down to which crappy defense can muster a few more stops.

  5. PF4L January 20, 2017

    Now look at the last 5 games, and the #’s change….dramatically.

  6. Deepsky January 21, 2017

    One thing I find kind of annoying is how people taking the Falcons are pointing to how good they looked at the end of the season. That’s not really that difficult to do however when you play some of the worst teams in the league who have largely thrown in the towel. The Falcons played the Rams, Saints, 49ers, and Panthers. None have a winning record and pretty much had given up this season.

    Meanwhile the Packers played playoff contenders fighting for playoff spots and division foes fighting for the division. Every game was a struggle and yet the Packers stats are similar to the Falcons. Their offense played great and their defense held down the points.

  7. icebowl January 21, 2017

    All good facts, sans those presented by a certain troll named Killer….
    Still wouldn’t underplay strength of Falcons, given GB injuries and suspect secondary they could quickly run up a lead and use Freeman/Coleman combo to eat up clock and keep #12 off the field…
    Given the stats Rob researched so well it has all the makings of a nailbiter, with Last team to have ball driving to win by a last second FG…..