14 stats the Packers need to improve to win the NFC title game
The Packers will venture out to California to play the San Francisco 49ers for the second time this season. Less than two months ago, on November 24, the Pack lost to the 49ers 38-9 in their Week #12 game. To advance to the Super Bowl, Green Bay will need to do a lot of things differently this time against San Francisco.
Here’s a look at 14 stats from the first meeting between the two teams and how the Packers will need to reverse those numbers.
- San Francisco had a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Packers cannot let the 49ers get off to a quick start like they did last game. Green Bay only let two opponents score 10 or more points in the first quarter all season (SF and Detroit on 10/14); they were 1-1 in those two games. They were 3-2 in games when they did not score in the first quarter and 10-1 in games where they did score in the first quarter. They were also 3-2 in games this season when they were behind after one quarter.
- Aaron Rodgers had only 104 yards passing. The 104 yards passing was the lowest of the year for ARod. The second lowest was 161 yards passing against the Chargers, another loss for the Packers in 2019. Green Bay is 0-8 in Rodgers’ career when he has less than 155 yards passing in a game and 1-11 when he has less than 170 yards passing in a game.
- Green Bay gave up five sacks in the contest. The 49ers five sacks against the Pack was tied for the most against the Packers in 2019. Green Bay is 5-17 since 2010 in games when they allow five or more sacks. Conversely, they are 9-2 since 2010 in games when they do not allow a sack in the contest.
- The Packers did not have a takeaway in the game. Green Bay was 1-3 this season when they did not have a takeaway… 12-0 in games when they had at least one takeaway. Since 2010, they are 6-26 in games when they do not have a takeaway… 96-30-2 since 2010 when they get at least one takeaway in a game.
- The Pack was 1-for-15 in third down attempts in the game. A third down conversion rate of 6.7% will not cut it in this game. The 1-for-15 on third down was the worst of the season for Green Bay. The Packers are 67-22 since 2010 in regular season games when they convert 40% or higher of their third down attempts. Last week against Seattle, the Packers converted on 9-of-14 third downs for 64.3%. That was the third highest third down conversion for the Packers in their history in a playoff game.
- Aaron Jones had 13 carries for 38 yards, a 2.9 average. Jones ended the 2019 season with a 4.6 yards per carry average. Green Bay was 9-0 this season when Jones had a per carry average above 4.0 in a game. They were 4-3 when it was below four yards per carry in a game.
- Davante Adams had seven catches, but for only 43 yards. In two of the three losses the Packers had this year, Adams had under 50 yards receiving. Green Bay is 24-11-1 in Adams’ career when he scores a TD.
- Green Bay had the ball 11 times in the first game, but no drive in that game started past their own 35 yardline. Field position will be a key. They can’t start every drive in their own territory.
- They had eight drives in the first half and did not score. In five of their eight drives in the first half, the Packers were three-and-out. Their longest drive of the first half was eight plays and 3:47. They will need to sustain drives and get first downs. For the season, Green Bay scored on 19 or the 23 drives that went 10 plays or longer.
- San Francisco scored on seven of their 11 drives in the game. Four of those scores came on drives that lasted four plays or less.
- Final Score, 38-9. Green Bay ended the year going 12-1 in games where they scored 20 or more points in a game. They were 0-3 in games where they allowed the opposition to score 26 or more points in the game.
- San Francisco had 112 yards rushing. In the three games the Packers lost this season, the opponents had more than 100 yards rushing in each of those contests.
- The Packers longest pass completion in the game was 15 yards. Rodgers completed a pass to Jamaal Williams for 15 yards for the longest pass of the game. The longest pass to a wide receiver was 14 yards to Adams.
- The longest play from scrimmage in the game was a 21-yard run by AllenLazard. The 21-yard run by Lazard was the longest play for the Packers. Is it possible that more trick plays need to be in the game plan?
Keys for a Packers win?
- A trick play or two will help.
- Keep the game a one-score game at halftime
- Aaron Rodgers cannot throw an interception
- The “O” line has to keep Rodgers on his feet; no more than two sacks
- Sustain drives; a third down conversion rate above 40%
- The running backs need to break a couple of long runs
- Davante Adams has to have a big game
- Rodgers two TD passes and 200-plus yards passing would be great
- The “D” needs to get a takeaway (or two)
- Mason Crosby cannot miss
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PACKERSTATS-Game #17-2019 season
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 28-23 home playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, January 12.
- The Packers upped their record to 5-0 this season in games when they scored 28 or more points. They also saw their record in 2019 go to 14-0 when they keep the opponents under 24 points in a game.
- Green Bay has now won three consecutive home playoff games. The last time they lost a home playoff game was on January 5, 2014, 23-20 to San Francisco.
- The Pack has won four of their last five games against Seattle. Four of their last six games against the Seahawks have been decided by eight points or less.
- The temperature was 23 degrees at game time. Green Bay is 16-6-1 (.717) in home games played below 25 degrees.
- Seattle won the coin toss. The Packers are 6-6 since 2001 in playoff games when they do not win the opening coin toss.
- Green Bay scored first in the game on an Aaron Rodgers-to-Davante Adams pass. They are now 16-8 (.667) in the Super Bowl era (since 1967) in playoff games when they score first in the contest.
- Aaron Jones had a pair of TD runs in the game giving him 21 total TDs for the season. That is one behind Ahman Green’s team record; he scored 22 total TDs in 2003 (regular season and playoffs).
- Preston and Za’Darius Smith became the second set of Packers teammates in team history to each have two or more sacks in a playoff game. Mike Neal (2 sacks) and Nick Perry (2.5 sacks) are the only other Packers pair to have two or more sacks in the same playoff game. They did it January 10, 2016 in the Pack’s 35-18 playoff win over Washington. Green Bay was 5-0 this season when Preston Smith had 1.5 or more sacks in a game; the Pack was 5-0 in 2019 when Za’Darious Smith had two or more sacks in a contest.
- Green Bay had a 21-3 lead at halftime. They have never lost a playoff game where they had a halftime lead of 18 or more points (5-0). The last time the Packers lost any game where they had a lead of 18 points or more at halftime was October 7, 2012 against the Indianapolis Colts. They lost that game 30-27. Ironically, they were leading that game 21-3 at halftime.
- Davante Adams had a pair of TD receptions in the game. It was Adams’ first two-TD playoff game. The Packers are 8-0 in regular season games when Adams has two or more TDs.
- Adams broke the Packers single-game playoff record for most receiving yards in a game. He had 160 yards receiving; one yard more than Jermichael Finley had in a January 10, 2010 playoff game against Arizona. Adams now has three playoff games with 100 or more receiving yards which ties him with Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman and Greg Jennings for most 100-yard receiving games in the playoffs by a Packer player.
- Adams ended the game with eight catches, 160 receiving yards and two TD receptions. He became the 11th player in NFL playoff history to reach those numbers in a post-season game.
- Green Bay had a 28-17 lead going into the fourth quarter. The last time the Packers lost a game when they had a lead of 10 points or more going into the fourth quarter was October 10, 2010. They led 13-3 going into the fourth quarter of that game and lost the contest 16-13.
- For the 10th time this season, the Pack did not have a turnover in the game. They are 10-0 in those games.
- Aaron Rodgers had a Passer Rating of 113.7 in the game. Green Bay is 7-1 in playoff games when Rodgers has a PR of 100 or higher.
- Of the 17 playoff games that Rodgers has started, the 243 passing yards in yesterday’s game is the 5th lowest of those starts.
- Rodgers did not have an interception in the game. Green Bay is 9-1 in playoff games started by Rodgers when he does not throw an interception. In the eight playoff games where Rodgers has thrown one or more interceptions, Green Bay has a 2-6 record.
- Seattle scored 20 points in the second half. Green Bay is now 29-65-1 (.311) in the Super Bowl era in games when their opponents score 20 or more points in the second half.
- Green Bay converted 9-of-14 third down attempts in the game, 64.3%. That was the highest third down percentage rate in a game since November 28, 2016 when they converted 71.4 of third downs against the Eagles. Since the 2015 season, Green Bay is 17-3 in games when they convert 50% of more of their third down attempts.
- Green Bay has now won six straight games. The Kansas City Chiefs have the longest winning streak of the four teams remaining in the playoffs with seven. Both San Francisco and Tennessee have now won three straight contests.
A Conference Championship Game with two divisional foes? Three chances this year to make it happen
If you are a fan of the NFC North, the NFC West or the AFC South, you may be hoping this weekend that the Conference Championship Games scheduled for Sunday January 19 feature a pair of divisional rivals who will play for a chance to advance to the Super Bowl.
Of the eight teams remaining in this year’s NFL playoffs, there are two teams each from the NFC North (Green Bay and Minnesota), two from the NFC West (San Francisco and Seattle) and two from the AFC South (Houston and Tennessee). And because these divisional foes will not meet in this week’s games, there’s a chance that both Conference Championship Games could feature teams from the same division.
(Note: Of these three potential conference title game matchups between two divisional rivals, Green Bay defeated the Vikings twice in the 2019 regular season; San Francisco and Seattle split their two regular season games; and Houston and Tennessee split their two games this season.)
Divisional rivals facing off in the Conference Championship has happened three times since the NFL went to a four-division format in each conference in 2001. The three times divisional rivals met in the conference title game since 2001:
2008: AFC, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
2010: NFC, Chicago vs. Green Bay
2013: NFC, San Francisco vs. Seattle (a repeat this year?)
Let’s take a quick look at these three matchups.
- Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh, 2008: Pittsburgh won the AFC North with a 12-4 record. Baltimore ended the season 11-5. Pittsburgh beat the Ravens twice in the regular season (23-20 and 13-9) and then defeated Baltimore a third time, 23-14, before advancing to the Super Bowl to beat Arizona.
- Chicago vs. Green Bay, 2010: The Bears won the NFC North with an 11-5 record, the Packers were 10-6. The teams split their two regular season games. Green Bay beat the Bears 21-14 in Chicago to advance to the Super Bowl where they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- San Francisco vs. Seattle, 2013: Seattle won the NFC West with a 13-3 record, a game ahead of the 49ers. The teams split two regular season games. Seattle then won the NFC title game 23-17 before a lopsided Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos.
If we go back to 1970, when the two leagues (AFC and NFC) merged, there were 15 times when two teams from the same division met in the conference title contest.
It’s interesting to note that on only four occasions did a team defeat a division foe twice in the regular season and then defeat them in the conference title game… Miami in 1982 over the Jets; New York Giants in 1986 over the Redskins; Tennessee in 1999 over Jacksonville; and 2008 (noted above) when Pittsburgh beat the Ravens twice in the regular season and then in the ’08 Conference Championship Game
One final note: Only once has a team defeated a divisional foe twice in the regular season and then lost to that team in the conference title game. It happened in 1983 when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Oakland Raiders twice in the ’83 regular season but lost to the Raiders 30-14 in the AFC title game. The Raiders then went on to beat the Redskins 38-9 in the Super Bowl that year.
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Five stats you may not know about the NFL playoffs since 2000
The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday with four Wild Card games. Here are five stats that you may not know about the NFL playoffs since the start of this century.
- NFL teams spend the regular season trying to not only make the playoffs, but also find a way to get the highest seed possible in the post-season… including trying to get a bye that first weekend. So, how important is it to get home games during the playoffs? And, is hosting a playoff game more important in the Wild Card round, the Divisional round or in the Conference Championship Game? Since 2000, home teams were 122-68 (.642) in playoff games. Home teams were 44-32 (.579) in Wild Card games; 53-23 (.697) in the Divisional contests; and, 25-13 (.658) in Conference Championship games.
- The 12 playoff teams this year played 32 games against each other. The Baltimore Ravens, who finished the NFL regular season with a 14-2 record, best in the league, also had the best record against the other 11 playoff teams. They were 5-1 against the other 11 playoff teams. Here are the records of each of the 12 playoff teams in games played against each other in 2019: Baltimore 5-1, New Orleans, 3-1, Green Bay 3-2, San Francisco 3-2, Houston 3-3, Kansas City 3-3, New England 3-3, Seattle 3-3, Philadelphia 2-3, Tennessee 2-3, Buffalo 1-4, Minnesota 1-4.
- The Indianapolis Colts have played in the most Wild Card weekend games since 2000 with 11. Seattle, which will be playing in a Wild Card game this weekend, is making their 10th Wild Card weekend contest since 2000, is now tied for second most in the league with Green Bay. The number of Wild Card weekend games played by each NFL team: 11-Indianapolis, 10-Green Bay, Seattle, 9-Baltimore, Philadelphia, 7-Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, 6-Houston, New Orleans, New York Giants, New York Jets, 5-Dallas, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, Minnesota, 4-Atlanta, Carolina, Denver, Miami, New England, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington, 3-Arizona, Detroit, Jacksonville, L.A. Rams, San Francisco, 2-Buffalo, Oakland, 1-Chicago, Cleveland.
- This is the first year since 2009 that the New England Patriots have not been either a #1 or #2 seed in the playoffs. They have been either a #1 or #2 seed in the playoffs 13 times since 2000, by far the most in the league. By conference, here are the number of times each team has been the #1 or #2 seed in the playoffs since 2000: AFC: 13-Patriots, 5-Broncos, Steelers, 4-Chiefs, 3-Colts,Ravens, Titans, 2-Chargers, Raiders, 0-Bengals, Bills, Browns, Dolphins, Jaguars, Jets, Texans. NFC: 4-Bears, Eagles, Falcons, Packers, 3-Forty-Niners, Panthers, Rams, Saints, Seahawks, Vikings, 2-Cowboys, Giants, 1-Bucs, Cardinals, 0-Lions, Redskins.
- As you might expect, the New England Patriots have won the most post-season games since 2000 with 30. That is twice as many as the two teams second on the list, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, who have each won 15 playoff games since 2000. Here is the number of playoff games won by each franchise since 2000. 30-New England, 15: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, 14-Philadelphia, 13-Indianapolis, Seattle, 12-Green Bay, 10-NY Giants, 9-New Orleans, 8-Carolina, 7-Denver, 6-Atlanta, NY Jets, San Francisco, 5-Arizona, LA Chargers, LA Rams, 4-Miami, Oakland, 3-Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, 2-Kansas City, 1-Miami, Washington, 0-Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit.
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PACKERSTATS-Game #16-2019 season
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 23-20 road win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, December 29.
- The Packers defeated the Lions twice in 2019 (23-22 on October 14 in Green Bay and Sunday’s game), both games ending with a Mason Crosby field goal as time expired. Both were come-from-behind victories, meaning the Packers did not lead at any point in the game except for the final play. That’s 120 minutes played against the Lions in 2019 without ever leading in the game… but two victories!
- Green Bay went 5-0 in December. It was only the second time in team history that they won five games in one month. They also did it in October of 1961.
- The Pack went 6-0 against NFC North opponents this season, the first time since they went 6-0 against the NFC North in 2011.
- Green Bay went 6-2 in road games this season, the best road record since they went 7-1 in 2011.
- Green Bay during the 2019 regular season was…
- … 12-1 when they scored 20 or more points in a game
- … 4-0 when they scored 28 or more points in a game
- … 13-0 when they allowed 24 points or less in a game
- … 0-3 when they allowed 25 or more points in a game
- … 10-2 in Sunday games
- … 1-1 in Thursday games
- … 2-0 in Monday games
- … 4-2 in night games (started after 6pm)
- … 2-1 in mid-afternoon games (started at 3:25pm)
- … 7-0 in noon games
- … 8-1 in one-score games (games decided by eight points or less)
- The Packers went 12-8 against the Lions in games this decade. They were 7-3 in games at home, 5-5 in games in Detroit.
- The Packers were 13-9 (.591) in December road games this decade.
- Since 2000, the Packers are 15-5 (.750) in the last game of the season (Game #16). That is tied for the second-best record in the NFL; the Pittsburgh Steelers were 17-3 in the 16th game of the year since 2000. Green Bay was tied with Indianapolis for the second spot.
- Aaron Jones ended the year with 1,084 yards rushing, the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Pack since Eddie Lacy in 2014. He became the 10th player in Packers history to have a 1,000-yard rushing season.
- Jones also ended the year with 1,558 total yards from scrimmage (he had 474 yards receiving on the season). He became the eighth Packer to reach 1,500 yards from scrimmage in a single season. Ahman Green holds the Packers record for most yards from scrimmage with 2,250 in 2003.
- The Pack was held scoreless in the first quarter with the Lions taking a 7-0 lead after the first quarter. Green Bay is 26-37 (.413) since 2000 in road games when they do not score in the first quarter.
- Green Bay was behind 17-3 at half. This was only their third win in 18 tries since 2000 when they were behind by 14 or more points on the road at halftime in a game.
- Davante Adams caught a TD pass in the game. It was the 44th career TD for Adams. Of his 44 career TDs, 32 have come in Packers victories.
- Blake Martinez had a sack and an interception in the game. He was the second player this season to have a sack and interception in the same game. Adrian Amos had a sack and pick in the December 8th win over Washington.
- Allen Lazard had a TD reception in the contest, his third this season. Green Bay won each of the three games when Lazard had a TD reception.
- Mason Crosby made three-of-four field goal attempts in the game. Green Bay is 35-8-1 (.807) in games when Crosby makes three or more field goals in a game. He tallied 11 points in the game; the Pack is 36-3-1 (.913) in games when Crosby has 11 or more points.
- The Packers scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and have now won six straight when they tally 13 or more points in the fourth quarter. They are 47-17-1 (.731) since 2000 in games when they score 13 or more points in the fourth quarter. They are 24-5 (.828) since 2000 when they score 13 or more points in the fourth quarter in an away game.
- Aaron Jones ran the ball 25 times for 100 yards. It was his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the year. The Packers won each of those five games. He was one of nine NFL runners to have five or more 100-yard rushing games in the league this season.
- Aaron Rodgers attempted 55 passes in the game, tied for the third most he has attempted in a regular season game in his career. He completed 27 of 55 passes, a 49.1 completion percentage. It was only the eighth time in 181 regular season games that Rodgers completed less than 50% of his passes in a game.
- The Pack racked up 432 total yards in the game. Since 2010, the team is 26-3-1 (.883) in games when they tally 430 or more total yards in a contest.