Review~ a very interesting game. So interesting that, even though I attended the game and had a good feel for it, still needed to rewatch it twice to get a better understanding for what happened. It was a game where the Offense put up almost 400 yards (399) and 29 points (7 came from the Rasul Douglas pick-6) and the offense didn’t seem like it played well. Adversely, the defense gave up 353 yards (5.8 yards/play) and 28 points, but seemed to play well. That’s leading me to crunch some numbers in the latter portion of this blog.
Time of Possession – the Packers absolutely dominated this category and that does 2 major things:
- Your defense stays fresh while your opponents’ D gets worn down
- Your offense gets into (and keeps) a rhythm, while the other offense doesn’t and feels compelled to force things.
The sheer domination of it, 39:40 v 20:20 makes it nearly impossible to not win the game unless you score so quickly and make the other team drive down the field, consistently and settle for field goals. The only game like this that comes to mind is the 2001 Divisional playoff loss @ St. Louis, where Green Bay won the total yards and time of possession, but Favre threw 6 interceptions…so there ya go.
Turnovers – as I always bring up, and most others too, the Packers won that battle 3:1. Even then, the Packers’ offense only scored 6 points off the 2 they got, whereas Rasul Douglas got 6 of his own after the interception. So, the team scored 12 points off 3 turnovers. That seems like the minimum, which if that would’ve been the case in last year’s NFC title game, the Packers probably win.
What’s not considered in the turnover margin, was McVay’s decision to go for it on 4th & 1 from his own 29, early in the 2nd quarter. That turned into a free 3 points, which ended up making a fairly large difference in the game. Points are king, and in the 1st half, kicking field goals are usually the right play and vise versa.
Rasul Douglas—has been nothing short of incredible since his pick-up. He iced the Arizona game and came up with 4 big time plays vs. LAR. It’s difficult to tell if he was solely at fault for the OBJ touchdown, but he did drop an easy interception which truly would’ve iced this game, when OBJ fell down. Either way, he’s been incredible and the thought that if the Packers could get Jaire Alexander back, that would only help – however it’s dangerous to think that b/c often times the timing, comradery, overall flow of the defensive backfield runs amiss…but with that, please let’s get the best corner in football back, I believe it can only help.
Kicking – I’m still not sure if it’s a timing issue with the entire unit or if it’s Crosby. Again, either way, it must be fixed. The first 2 kicks had a knuckling effect and barely went through. The one miss began towards splitting the uprights, but pulled left and hit the upright. Frustrating is quite the understatement.
Offensive Line – while it held up fairly well against a healthy and stout defensive front, didn’t clear much room for running lanes and caved into pressure often. A credit to Dillon and Rodgers for producing a maximum amount. Aaron Jones didn’t have much of a chance to get rolling, however it’ll be nice for both Jones and the OL to get well-deserved rest to return to as close as 100%.
Standings of Stats~
The points/possession, for both the offense and defense is interesting to look at. I haven’t gone through all 32 teams, but this may explain a better feeling of the game vs. LA. The offense, while scoring 30 points, didn’t seem to play well, adversely the Defense giving up 28 points, did.
Giving up 2 points/possession in a game is just below the average for the season. When the Packers hold their opponent to that number, or below, their record is 7-1, with the lone loss come in Kansas City when Jordan Love got his first start and only scored 0.70 points/possession. Even then, had Mason made his field goals and not muffed a punt inside our own 10, the Packers win that game. Interesting to say the least. Maybe something to keep an eye on from here on out…
Lastly—something I stumbled into, the amount of $ being spent on players currently listed on IR (Injury Reserve) is incredible. What’s more incredible is the production this team has gotten with that much talent injured/not-producing. Take a look at the names on this list, and the amount…
|Player||Pos.||Cap Hit||Cap %|
*This is pulled from https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/cap/
Again, this doesn’t take into account starting All-World LT David Bakhtiari whom hasn’t suited up since the turn of the year (Jan 1, 2021). However, after looking through all 32 teams (no I did not chart them), the Packers seem to be right in the middle of all of them. There are a handful of teams with a far higher percentage of their cap on IR (Ravens, Panthers, Titans, for example) – it’s still a testament to how the Packers are as injured as any team in the league, yet still as good (or better) than all of the teams.