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.
That headline is hurtful and is making me weep…..and i can’t stop. Not because it might be true, but because a Packer fan wrote it. We have fans of other teams that come and tell us stuff like that. We don’t need to jump in bed with them.
Great…i’m out of tissues now.
Stop weeping PF4L. Did they cut #81 yet?
Lol…i don’t know if they cut Allison. But i do know that Gute is on top of the receiver problem as he brought in some dude from the Giants for a workout. It’s comforting that Gute see’s a problem, and get’s off his ass and does something about it….in week 16.
No disrespect…..but i’m a grown ass man and i can cry if i want to….GDI
I have commented about the Packer red zone defense since early in the year. The other good situational aspect to the team that I have commented on for a while is the Packers red zone offense.
If we think the Packers red zone defense is good then why doesn’t anyone talk about the Packer red zone offense, except maybe me? The Packers red zone offense is currently #2 in the NFL at 68.89%. The same comparison to other 11-3 teams is as follows:
Patriots #26 @ 49.06%
49ers #23 @ 51.85%
Seahawks #10 @ 62.96%
Saints #20 @ 54.90%
The Ravens are #1 in red zone TD % @ 73.17%. The Vikings are #4 @ 66.00%.
It was clear that LaFleur put a lot into red zone situations in training camp. In fact I believe I heard early in camp, red zone is how LaFleur would start practice.
It is no accident that the Packers are one of the top teams in both red zone offense and defense. You have coaches emphasizing red zone In the off season and practice. You have a QB who can be dangerous in red zone that your defense is practicing against almost everyday, then you add in Aaron Jones.
I understand how the Packers defense can be very good at red zone defense on a constricted field. It still surprises me that a Packer offense that can be very good on a constricted field has such a hard time on third down conversions, and playing consistent offense with an open field in front of them. Usually red zone is when offenses bog down.
Aaron Jones 17 total TD’s have a lot to do with that. the one scoring area where this offense is elite in comparison to the league. That’s along with Jamaal Williams who is under appreciated for the hard work, and the tough yards he picks up, Plus he’s a more natural receiver than Jones
The squeaky wheel tends to get the grease, so thanks for pointing out this positive info. As long as we have the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior of this team, and the QB in particular, there is always the chance we’ll get them/him in his Jeckyl mode – if we do, I think this team has a fair chance against any team in the league. There’s still that hope.
Thank you, trying to stay positive. One other positive on the offense. The Packers are #3 in first quarter scoring. The team is only behind the Ravens and Patriots in that stat.
That brings up a few negatives such as the Packers are really bad at 2nd and 4th quarter scoring. The Packers are now #10 in 3rd quarter scoring thanks to da bears, and some extra time to communicate adjustments during the half.
I do think this answers, in part, my question about how the Packers offense can be so good in red zone scoring (#1) on a constricted field while being so bad with an open field in front of them.
It is becoming more evident that LaFleur and Co. have some very good scripted plays to start the game. I’m starting to believe that the red zone plays are also scripted and tailored to each opponent. I’m sure in practice the entire offense goes over in detail, adjustments that QB#1 can make on the scripted plays, including red zone. Repetition then follows.
It is after the scripted plays or after teams make adjustments that the offense bogs down.
This team except for a couple of games have shown they have the offensive minds and talent to attack teams from the start. The Packers adjustments to the opponents adjustments between series is lacking. I would think by now LaFleur should have figured out the bottleneck. LaFleur has more than once mentioned poor communication. I think LaFleur is correct and my guess is that poor communication of needed adjustments in all position groups is not happening properly among all the young offensive coaches and players between series. These guys aren’t rookies anymore they should have this problem figured out.
One of my few concerns with LaFleur was how is a new head coach, and a 2nd year play caller going to address adjustments between series. I think not as well as LaFleur would like at this point.
I don’t think there is a single source of blame for the inconsistencies. Part of it is it seems like if there is any kind of negative play whatsoever on a drive, particularly early on, it seems to throw a wrench into the whole series every time. That would seem to be on the playcaller to adjust and get the offense back on schedule. It would be nice if the receivers could make some plays when they have the opportunity, like dropping a ball. Of course, if they aren’t given an opportunity to do so by QB1, that makes it pretty difficult, which seems to be the case way too often.
The Ravens are the best team in the NFL, I don’t think there is any question. The Ravens beat the Seahawks in Seattle, beat the Patriots soundly, and beat the 49ers. They were barely beaten by the Chiefs, and that was in KC.
As for the list of 11-3 teams, the Packers would lose to anyone of them in the playoffs, unless LaFleur, Rodgers and the Packers can finally put everything together in the playoffs.
So, while the 49ers had a terrible team last year and with the second pick got Nick Bosa who turned their defense from mid-pack in 2018 to top 3, the Packers will again draft 25-30 and get a tweener.
Love the Pack and have enjoyed the ride, but I am a realist. We are gonna get thrashed in the dome and Cousins will have his first prime time win. Damn. I expect the NFC playoff field to include SEA,SF,GB, MN, NO, and DAL. If I were to seed based on quality I am afraid the Pack comes in at #6. A first round bye gets them “further” but I can’t see them winning against any of these opponents. NFC is the much tougher conference, Pack would fare much better in AFC. I can cope with what’s coming if I set the expectation bar low, real low, like a Gilbert Brown vertical leap. Like Sky says we’re gonna be drafting late so Gutey needs to do his research.
The #1 indicator of wining is turnover ratio. The Packers score very high (if not highest in the NFL) on turnover ratio. We have a defense that is close to #1 in QB sacks and pressures (if not #1 then #2 in the NFL)…this creates turnovers. We have a QB who does not turn the ball over. Ugly or not, this is an intended winning strategy. We give up a little on stopping the run but gain elsewhere. We tend to throw the ball away more often than other teams but gain elsewhere. The article is misleading…this is not luck or a “deal with the devil”…the Packers are playing with strategy and intention, game after game. Did we get blown out twice? Yes. But EVERY playoff team listed has at lest one if not two inexplicably bad losses.
Maybe also don’t just cherry pick stats?! Packers are third in turnover differential, 5th most interceptions, least amount of turnovers offensively. When you add the amount of takeways the defense gets along with red zone efficiency it is easy to see how they have won 11 games. Who cares if you give up a lot of yards if you win the turnover battle and don’t give up touchdowns.
It is easy to criticize a team for winning ugly, but they do it on a consistent basis. They are finding ways to win in multiple ways. I suggest some of you guys watch this video. In 2010, the chargers had the #1 offense and #1 defense in terms of yardage. Sometimes there is a lot more than meets the eye with teams than just raw yardage stats
Well lets see if the improvement with ST I mentioned holds the next two games:)
I totally agree with your assessment on our Packers this year,next Monday night will go a long way in proving how accurate you are. I am hopeful but not convinced that we are capable of competing with the other NFC playoff teams.
The Packers haven’t had much of any rhythm on offensive as of late. You see a lot of dropped passes when those gears aren’t quite meshing. That’s not to say that a good offensive rhythm couldn’t get going in January. Their offense is as healthy as it has been in years and lighting could strike! Go Pack!
Always negative comments, let’s see you play the game, we easy to be negative
Mick & angie from england love green bay love the packers. We just enjoying the ride!! GO PACK Go.🤞
Greetings from Packer Nation!