Green Bay Packers: Another season heavy on the pass TD

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Aaron Rodgers and the 2008 Packers of...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Packers fans last weekend saw something that has been pretty rare this season: A rushing touchdown!

Running back James Starks in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings scored on a 22-yard running play to put the Pack ahead for good in their 23-14 win over the Vikings. It was only the third rushing TD for the Packers this season.

With four games remaining in the 2012 regular season, the Packers offense has scored 30 touchdowns via passes and only three on the ground. If the season ended today, that would make the Packers the 20th team since the Super Bowl era (1966) to have 30 or more touchdowns on passes and less than 10 on running plays. (Note: The New Orleans Saints currently fit into this category with 31 passing TDs and nine rushing TDs.)

The Packers are kind of the “kings” of this stat if you look at records going back to the ’66 regular season. The Packers have played five seasons where they had 30-plus TD via passes and less than 10 rushing TDs in a season. That tops the league in that category.

Following are the teams that have had the most seasons of 30-plus passing TDs and less than 10 rushing TDs in the same year.

5: Green Bay (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004)

2: Atlanta (1991, 1992)

1: Oakland (1969)
1: Buffalo (1983)
1: Miami (1986)
1: Washington (1988)
1: New England (1997)
1: Minnesota (2004)
1: Seattle (2007)
1: Pittsburgh (2007)
1: Arizona (2007)
1: New Orleans (2010)
1: Detroit (2011)
1: Dallas (2011)

If we reverse the numbers and check for seasons in which teams had 30-plus rushing TDs and less than 10 passing TDs, there are no teams that fit that criteria.

However, if you drop the numbers to 20 or more running TDs and less than 10 passing TDs in a season, there are two teams that fit that category: The 1973 Buffalo Bills had only four passing touchdowns and 20 rushing TDs; in 1976 the Chicago Bears had nine passing TDs and 20 running touchdowns.

One other quick stat: Since 1966, there have been 93 games where a team has had five or more passing TDs in a game with no rushing touchdowns. It has happened twice this season:

October 14: Green Bay had six passing touchdowns and no rushing TDs in their 42-24 win over Houston.
November 18: The Houston Texans had five passing TDs and no rushing scores in their overtime, 43-37 win over Jacksonville.

The Packers also top this category since 1966. The Packers have played in eight games where they scored five-plus passing TDs and no rushing TDs. Minnesota is second on the list with seven such games.

Three teams, Chicago, Jacksonville and Washington have not played in such a game since 1966.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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