Green Bay Packers Riding Four-Game Winning Streak Headed Into Bye
The Green Bay Packers head into the bye week with a 6-3 record having won four games in a row and five of the last six.
Two of the six victories have come against two of the best teams, by record in the NFL, Chicago (7-1) and Houston (7-1).
While Packers fans may be disappointed compared to a year ago when the Packers were undefeated at this point, cheeseheads learned a season ago what matters is how they finish and not how they start.
The bye week comes at an opportune time as the team is decimated by injury. The list is long and includes:
- Cedric Benson should return to practice in the next couple weeks.
- Greg Jennings has no timetable at present for return, but is hopeful of returning in the final month.
- Both 1st and 2nd string inside linebackers, Desmond Bishop and D. J. Smith, have been lost for the year.
- Nick Perry is seeking a second opinion on his injury.
- Sam Shields is expected to return after the bye, but may have lost his starting job to rookie Casey Hayward, who has been phenomenal in his absence.
- Jermichael Finley should also return to full strength following the bye week.
- Charles Woodson is expected to miss at least a couple more weeks.
- John Kuhn should return following the bye week.
- Jerel Worthy is out with a concussion. There is no timetable for his return, but could return in week 11.
- Brian Bulaga injured his hip on Sunday and has yet to see a specialist, his return date is unknown.
- Clay Matthews was also injured Sunday and will be out at least a couple games.
- Jordy Nelson left Sunday's game with an ankle injury but is not expected to miss any games.
Every team has injuries, but none has so many impact players and starters out. The hope is everyone that can return, does return in time for the final month push to the playoffs and Super Bowl.
It is pretty impressive Green Bay has managed to win four in a row which is a testament to this coaching staff, Ted Thompson, and the scouting department.
Now let's talk about the good stuff.
Green Bay has the best winning percentage over the last 27 regular season games winning 23 of them (.852)
Despite a slow start Aaron Rodgers is second in the league with a 107.4 passer rating. Behind only Peyton Manning who has a 108.6 rating. Rodgers is first in touchdown passes with 25, three ahead of second place Drew Brees.
Rodgers has just five interceptions and is 12th in the league with 265 passing yards per game. His 22 touchdown passes over the last six games breaks the record of 20 held by himself and Brett Farve over any six-game stretch in franchise history.
As a team Green Bay is 6th in the league with 3141 yards and 3rd in points with 239.
It is clear Green Bay has not consistently clicked on all cylinders. Even with everyone healthy Rodgers has had a tendency, this season, to hold the ball. That has played a part in Green Bay allowing 29 sacks, though eight of them came in one half against Seattle. Only eight since that half have been allowed.
“Early on we missed a few things here and there,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. “We were just a little off. At Times we've played well, but we still need to work on our consistency.”
The Packers have had a very balanced attack during the winning streak, running the ball 107 times to 139 passes, an 80 percent run to pass ratio. In the previous five games, when Green Bay posted a 2-3 record, the ratio was 48 percent with 91 hand-offs to 188 passing attempts.
You might notice a lack of yardage listed in the rushing statistics. It just isn't as important as the attempts. Of course it would be nice to rack up the yardage. Either way the attempts have to continue.
Alex Green Leads the team in rushing attempts with 87, yards with 272 and the longest run of the year of 41 yards.
All-purpose weapon Randall Cobb leads in yards per attempt, 16.0.
Green Bay has only two rushing touchdowns on the season, last in the NFL.
Cobb also leads the team in catches with 45. Jordy Nelson has the most receiving yards with 532 and James Jones is enjoying his best year as a pro leading the team with eight touchdowns and 63 targets.