A statistical cheat sheet for watching tomorrow’s Packers-Vikings game

Jordy Nelson

Jordy Nelson (Photo credit: Brian Giesen)

With a 5-5 record, there’s a distinct symmetry that can be applied when trying to determine what’s been good and what’s been bad for the Green Bay Packers this season. As you watch the game tomorrow against the Vikings, here’s a statistical look back at some of the numbers that might help determine whether or not the Packers will win this contest.

This stats breakdown will look at some of the offensive numbers, specifically the offensive drives in each game. Green Bay has had 48 offensive drives in its five wins and 56 offensive drives in the five losses.

Scoring drives. In the five wins, the Packers offense scored on 29 of the 48 drives (60.4%). In the five losses, the Pack scored on only 19 of the 56 drives (33.9%). They scored touchdowns in 15 of the 48 drives in wins (31.3%) and only 10 TDs in the 54 drives in losses (18.5%).

Average drives. The average starting field position on the drives in wins was the 29.3 yard line; in losses it was the 27.2 yard line. The average number of plays in drives in wins was 6.6; in losses it was 5.6 plays. The average number of yards gained in drives in wins was 41.4; in losses it was 33.8. The average drives in wins lasted 3:09; in losses it lasted 2:21.

Long drives. The Packers offense had 10 10-play drives in their five wins this season. In their five losses, they had seven 10-play drives. In their five wins they had 11 drives that lasted 5:00 or longer; in their five losses they had only four drives that lasted 5:00 or longer.

Quick-score TDs. The Packers have been one of the best teams in the league the past couple of years in quick scores. In their wins this season they had nine quick scores (TDs on drives of five plays or less). In their losses, they had only four quick scores.

Three and out. In the five wins in 2013, the Packers offense has had only seven three-and-outs. In the five losses, they had 14 three-and-outs.

Starting field position. In their five wins, the Packers scored 16 times (TD or FG) in 29 drives when they started at their own 29 yard line or worse. In the five losses, they scored only 11 times in 39 drives that started at their own 29 yard line or worse. When the Packers had a starting field position of their own 40 yard line or better, they scored five TDs in 11 drives in their five wins. When they had a starting field position of their own 40 yard line or better in their five losses, they scored TDs on only two of 11 drives.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Packers defense needs to step it up in these last six weeks of the season if the team is going to make the playoffs. But as you watch the game tomorrow, keep an eye on the Pack’s offensive drives. In fact, you may want to ask yourself the following questions as the game progresses:

What kind of starting field position are they getting?
Are they scoring when they get the ball, or are they always punting or losing possession due to a turnover?
Are they having sustainable drives, or are there too many “three-and-outs”?
Are they keeping the ball for long drives and then scoring?
Are they getting some of those signature “quick-scores”?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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