I have joked before about a possible deal with the devil made by new head coach Matt LaFleur to explain the team’s inexplicable success this season. The more the season continues on, the more I think maybe this did actually happen. Maybe it was a fiddle duel with the devil in Georgia — or perhaps a genie with a sharp wit and clever use of topical humor appeared and granted him wishes.
One thing is absolutely certain: I sure am grateful that the team has made it to where they are right now.
With the Packers defeating the Chicago Bears this past weekend, and also the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay has guaranteed themselves a spot in the 2019 NFL Playoffs. This also places Matt LaFleur on a list of one(himself) of first-year Packers coaches to make the playoffs. It also completely destroyed any hopes of the Bears making the playoffs this season so we should not hear from their hoards of unwashed losers until next year.
While they are currently the leader of the NFC North division, they will still need to defeat the Minnesota Vikings on the road next Monday night to keep that position and improve their seeding going into the playoffs. Hopefully, if all goes well, the Packers can be the 2nd NFC seed.
While the Dallas Cowboys are in a bit of a sad state, they do lead the league in offensive yardage and are ranked 7th in opponent yardage. While Packers defeated the Cowboys in week 5, the reality is that, despite the disparity in their records, the Packers are hardly the far superior team. Anyone that followed the Packers closely this season has to be asking themselves: How the hell did this happen?
I’ll spare the reader the “if Green Bay keeps playing the way they are, they will not go far in the playoffs”. This has been said many times already, including on this site. However, I think it’s best to lay our cards on the table and assess ourselves as a team compared to the competition.
Current list of 11-3 teams:
New England Patriots
San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have played one of these teams this season(49ers) as a road game and loss that matchup 8-37.
Here is how each of these 11-3 teams rank in yards per game(YPG):
New England Patriots – 349.9 YPG – 18th in the NFL
Seattle Seahawks – 387.1 YPG – 4th in the NFL
San Francisco 49ers – 383.2 YPG – 6th in the NFL
New Orleans Saints – 373.3 YPG – 9th in the NFL
Green Bay Packers – 336.6 YPG – 21st in the NFL
Here is how these same teams rank defensively in opponent yards per game(YPG):
New England Patriots – 268.4 – 1st in the NFL
Seattle Seahawks – 378.3 YPG – 27th in the NFL
San Francisco 49ers – 269.0 YPG – 2nd in the NFL
New Orleans Saints – 328.8 YPG – 10th in the NFL
Green Bay Packers – 371.3 YPG – 23rd in the NFL
On a more positive note(and quite possibly explaining how the team got here in the first place), here is how each of these teams rank in red zone defense[ranked by % of times the opposing team scored in the red zone]:
New England Patriots – 50.00% – 6th in the NFL
Seattle Seahawks – 61.70% – 25th in the NFL
San Francisco 49ers – 54.55% – 11th in the NFL
New Orleans Saints – 60.47% – 22nd in the NFL
Green Bay Packers – 48.89% – 5th in the NFL
Most readers of the Total Packers know that this site is not for circle jerking. But for the few of you that are probably saying, “A win is a win, just support your team”: Yeah, I get it. But I also know that that mindset belongs on little league fields and not professional sports. The fact is, the Packers, despite an impressive 11-3 record, are not playing to their full potential. They would not be where they are right now with luck alone. They are where they are because of talent, but have made many mistakes and blunders that have been documented on this site through the season. It’s important to make an honest assessment of one’s team going into the playoffs.
The next, and last, test for this team will be playing the Minnesota Vikings who also have an impressive team(despite their annoying fanbase). If they can defeat Minnesota on the road, I will feel a lot more optimistic going into the playoffs about our chances of success.