Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 42-21 win over the Detroit Lions on September 20.
- The Packers have now won eight straight home openers. The last time they lost their home opener for a season was in 2012 when they lost 30-22 to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau.
- Green Bay has now won three straight over the Lions. The 21-point margin of victory was the biggest against Detroit since November 26, 2009 when they defeated the Lions 34-12 in Detroit.
- The Pack is now 22-7-2 (.742) at home against the NFC North since 2010.
- The Lions scored 14 points in the first quarter of the game and had a 14-3 lead. It was only the sixth time since 2000 that an opponent scored 14 or more points in the first quarter in a game at Lambeau. The Packers, however, won four of those six games.
- Mason Crosby made a pair of field goal attempts. It was the 101st regular season game where Crosby connected on two or more field goals. The Packers are 72-27-2 (.723) when Crosby makes two or more field goals in a game.
- Green Bay score in each of the four quarters. Since 2014, the Packers are 29-2-1 when they score in each quarter. The last time the Packers lost a home game when they scored in each quarter was in 2013 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-31.
- The Pack scored 40 points in consecutive games for the fourth time in team history. They also did in 1961, 2011 and 2014. They have never scored 40 or more points in three straight games. In their third game after scoring 40 in consecutive games, the Packers tallied 33 in 1961, 35 in 2011, and 24 in 2014… hopefully a good omen for next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
- Aaron Jones scored three TDs in the contest. Green Bay is 8-1 in the nine games where he has scored two or more touchdowns in a game.
- Since 2017, Aaron Jones’ first year in the NFL, he has 36 TDs. That is tied for fifth most in the league over the past three-plus seasons. Todd Gurley tops the list with 55 TDs since 2017; he is followed by Christian McCaffrey (43), Alvin Kamara (40), Melvin Gordon (37) and Jones and Derrick Henry tied with 36. If we check those TD numbers since 2018, Jones has 32 TDs, third most behind Gurkey and McCaffrey, both with 36.
- Jones’ 168 yards rushing was a career high; his 68 yards receiving was the third-most in his career.
- Jones amassed 236 yards from scrimmage. It was the second-most yards from scrimmage in a game by a Packers player in team history. Billy Howton holds the team record with 257 yards from scrimmage in a game on October 21, 1956. Jones became the fifth Packers player to have 200 or more yards from scrimmage in two or more games as a Packer. The others: Ahman Green (he did it three times), Billy Howton, Dorsey Levens and Jim Taylor.
- Jones had 18 carries in the game. The Packers are 10-2 in games where Jones carries the ball 15 times of more.
- Robert Tonyan had a TD reception in the game, the third of his career. He had a career-tying two catches in the contest.
- Chandon Sullivan intercepted a pass for the Packers; the team has now won 17 straight games when they intercept one or more passes in a game. The Pack has intercepted 19 opposing passes in the last 18 games.
- Green Bay had 259 yards rushing in the game. That was the fifth most since 1970 for the team. The team is 43-3-2 since 1970 when they rush for 200 or more yards.
- The Packers had a 17-14 lead at halftime. They have now won 10 of their last 11 home games when they have the lead at halftime. Since 2017, the Packers are 17-5-1 (.761) in games when they have the lead at halftime.
- Aaron Rodgers threw for two TDs and did not have an interception. It was the 76th regular season game in his career where he had two or more TD passes and no interceptions. That is the third most in league history. Tom Brady tops the list with 106 games with two or more TD passes and no picks in a game, followed by Drew Brees with 83.
- Green Bay had 488 total yards, the second straight week they had over 450 total yards. The longest streak for consecutive games with 450 or more total yards by an NFL team is four games, held by five different teams. The Packers longest streak of 450 or more total yards in a game is three… they did it in 1961 and 2014.
- The Pack did not commit a turnover for the second straight game. The team record for most consecutive games without a turnover is four. The 2016, 2016 and 2019 Packers each accomplished this.
- The Packers offensive line allowed only one sack in the game. The Packers are 35-11 (.761) since 2010 in games when their quarterback is sacked once or not at all in a game.
- Green Bay had a 34-14 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Packers have led by 20 or more points going into the fourth quarter 118 times in their career. They have only lost one game in team history when they had a 20-point lead going into the fourth quarter: it happened in 1952 when the Packers had a 28-6 lead at home against the Rams and saw the Rams outscore them 24-0 in the fourth quarter for a 30-28 win (loss for the Packers).
- The Packers allowed 34 and 21 points in their first two wins of the year. Since 2015, Green Bay is 25-29-1 (.464) in games where they allow the opposition to score 20 or more points in a game.
Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 43-34 win over the Minnesota Vikings on September 13.
- The Packers scored first in the game on a Mason Crosby field goal. They have now won six straight games when they score first. The Pack is 31-10-1 (.733) since 2015 when they score first.
- Jaire Alexander became the first Packers player in team history to have a sack, interception and safety in the same game. Only nine NFL players have done this since 1982. Alexander became the second-youngest player to accomplish this feat.
- Za’Darius Smith had a sack in the contest; the Packers have won their last six games when Smith has a sack.
- Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams connected on a pair of TD passes. The duo has now combined on 41 TD passes. That ties Adams with James Jones for the second-most TD passes received from Rodgers in team history. Rodgers to Jordy Nelson combined on 65 TD passes to top the list.
- Alexander’s interception was the fourth of his career. The Packers are 4-0 when Alexander has an interception.
- The Packers led 22-10 at halftime. They are now 37-1-1 since 2010 in games where they have a lead of 10 points or more at half.
- The 22 points at halftime was also the 39th time since 2010 that the team scored 20 or more points in the first half. They are 35-4 in those games.
- Davante Adams had 14 catches for 156 yards. The 14 catches were a career-high; the 156 yards tied for the third-most in his career. Adams also had two TD receptions and became the 15th player in NFL history to have 14 or more catches, 150 or more receiving yards and two TD receptions in one game. It has happened 17 times in NFL history with Jerry Rice and Antonio Brown doing it twice.
- Rodgers had four TD passes, the 24th time in his career he passed for four or more TD passes. He passed Brett Favre for fourth place on the NFL list with 24 four-TD games (Favre had 23). Drew Brees has 36 four-TD pass games, Peyton Manning is second on the list with 35 games with four or more TD passes.
- Rodgers had a Passer Rating of 127.5 in the game. The Packers are 39-3 in games when Rodgers has a Passer Rating above 120.
- Green Bay had a 29-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. It was their 52nd straight win when they have a lead of 15 points or more going into the fourth quarter.
- Allen Lazard caught his fourth career TD pass. Green Bay is 4-0 in games when Lazard catches a TD pass.
- Aaron Jones had a rushing TD in the contest. Of his 33 career regular season TDs, 26 have come in games the Packers won.
- The Pack had 522 total yards in the game, the most in a game since December 23, 2018 when they had 540 total yards against the New York Jets in 44-38 overtime win. It was the most total yards they tallied in a season opener in team history.
- The 77 combined points scored by the two teams was the most in the Packers-Vikings series. It topped the 75 combined points scored by the two teams on October 27, 2013 in Green Bay’s 44-31 win at Minnesota.
- The Green Bay ground game churned out 158 yards. The Packers have now won 12 of their last 13 games when they have 150 or more yards rushing in a game.
- The Packers did not have a turnover in the game. It was the fourth season-opening game in the last six years where they did not have a turnover in the first game of the year. The Pack has now won 10 of their last 11 games when they do not have a turnover.
- In the battle of time of possession, the Packers had 41:16 TOP to the Vikings’ 18:44 TOP. That was the first time since 2013 that the Packers had 40 minutes or more TOP in a non-overtime game; that was also against the Vikings. In fact, of the seven times the Packers have had 40 minutes or more TOP in a non-OT game in their history, three of them were against the Vikings.
- Giving up 34 or more points in a game usually does not equal a victory in the NFL. Since 2000, Green Bay is now 9-36 in games when they allow the opponents to score 34 or more points.
- Since 2000, the Packers have won 14 of their season-opener games. New England tops the list with 16 season-opening victories since 2000. The Packers are tied with Denver at 14.
No wide receivers in the draft is not common for the Packers
How about one more article on the recent NFL draft?
In addition to the chatter about how the Green Bay Packers used a first round choice on a QB, the other big news for the team was the fact that they did not select a wide receiver early in the draft… truth is they didn’t select any wide receivers among their 2020 selections.
Most experts had the Packers adding a playmaking receiver in the first couple rounds of the draft. When they didn’t select even one over the three days, a lot of people were surprised.
The last time the Packers did not select a wide receiver in any round of an NFL Draft was in 2012, eight years ago. If we check the team’s drafts from the past 50 years, it was only the ninth time since 1970 that the Pack did not choose a wide receiver in the draft.
Let’s go back to the selection of a wide receiver in the first round, again, an expected move for the Packers this season. In some respects, it should not come as a surprise that they didn’t use their first rounder on a wide receiver. Since 1970, only four times have the Packers chosen a wide receiver in the first round. The last time it happened was in 2002 when Green Bay selected receiver Javon Walker in the first round.
The other first round receivers taken by the Packers in the first round since 1970: Sterling Sharpe, 1988; James Lofton, 1978; and Barry Smith, 1973.
Both Sharpe and Lofton went onto great careers with the Packers. Sharpe had 595 catches with the Packers and ranks second behind Donald Driver’s 743 for most catches by a Green bay wide receiver. Lofton grabbed 530 passes as a Packers and ranks fourth on the wide receiver’s most catches list.
Sharpe, Lofton and Walker are the three Packers wide receivers drafted in the first round that had 150 or more career catches with the team. Of the 19 wide receivers who had 150 or more career catches with the Packers, five were selected in the second round, four were taken in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round or later, and two of the players came to the Packers via a trade or free agency, and one, Don Hutson, who ranks fifth on the list with 488 catches, was with the team before the NFL Draft was ever instituted.
Looking at the 22 NFL wide receivers that have 900 or more career catches, 10 were drafted in the first round, two were chosen in the second round, four were selected in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round, and two of those wide receivers with 900 or more career receptions were undrafted.
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Here’s how the Packers have treated their previous first-round QBs
“With the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select… Jordan Love, QB, Utah State.”
With those words, spoken from his basement, NFL Commissioner Roger Godell sent a literal wedge into Packer Nation. On one side, there are the Packer faithful who see Love as the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers and feel the selection of Love in the first round was a sound decision for the future. On the other side, we have Packers fans who thought the selection of a QB who will likely not see the field anytime soon was a waste, especially when you consider the team has needs at other positions.
In today’s NFL, it is not uncommon for teams to use a first round pick on a quarterback, especially if they have a dire need for an upgrade at that position. But for the Packers to choose Love (JLo) when they already have Rodgers (ARod), seemed strange. (Maybe as strange as Alex Rodriguez dating Jennifer Lopez… but I digress.)
Love, who was the fourth QB chosen in the first round of this year’s draft (behind Joe Burrow-Cincinnati, Tua Tagavailoa-Miami and Justin Herbert -L.A. Chargers), is clearly looked upon as Rodgers’ eventual replacement, but that will probably not happen soon. Burrow, Tagavailoa and Herbert will likely be thrust into starting positions in their first seasons with their respective teams while Love will sit. Rodgers has said he wants to keep playing into his 40s, and if he stays healthy, Love will not get introduced as the G.B. starting QB unless Rodgers sustains an injury.
Having said all of this, it should not be surprising that the Packers franchise took this route in the draft. Consider this: Love is the fourth QB the Packers drafted in the first round since 1970. The other three first-rounders, Jerry Tagge, Rich Campbell and Aaron Rodgers, rarely took snaps as the Pack’s starting QB in their first three seasons on the team.
Tagge was a first rounder in 1972, the 11th overall pick. He did not start any games at QB for the Packers his first season; started six games his second season, and had six starts his third season. After that, he was out of football after only three seasons.
Campbell was the Packers first pick in the 1981 draft, the sixth overall selection. He spent four seasons in Green Bay, yet never started a game for the team. In fact, he played in only seven career games in the NFL. Yes, that was the Packers’ first round choice in 1981. Five eventual Hall of Famers were selected after Campbell that year.
Rodgers was the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. He did not start a game until his fourth season with the Packers. We all know what he has done since then.
There’s a really interesting stat I discovered about first round QBs taken since 1970… there have been 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970. Did you know that only two QBs of those 110 did not start a game for his team the first three seasons with his team? Well, I gave you the answer above; Rich Campbell and Aaron Rodgers are the only two QBs taken in the first round since 1970 who did not start an NFL game for their team in the first three seasons… both quarterbacks chosen by the Green Bay Packers in the first round.
Will Love see his career go the route of the previous first round QBs taken by the Packers? We’ll see. It would not, however, surprise me if Rodgers stays healthy and Love does not start a game for the Pack in his first three seasons with the team. That would make him the third Packers first round QB to not start a game in his first three years with the team. None of the other NFL franchises has since 1970 has had even one QB fit this category.
Here are the 11 NFL quarterbacks selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 1970 who started the fewest games in their first three seasons in the league.
0: Rich Campbell, 1981; Aaron Rodgers, 2005
1: Jim Druckenmiller, 1997
2: Dan McGwire, 1991
3: Mark Malone, 1980
4: Paxton Lynch, 2016; Tommy Maddox, 1992, Steve Pisarkiewicz, 1978, Andre Ware, 1990
5: Jack Thompson, 1979
6: Art Schlichter, 1982
In addition to Campbell and Rodgers, there are two first round QBs who did not start a game in their first two seasons. The other two are Chad Pennington and Philip Rivers. Ironically, of the 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970, Rodgers has started the 12th most career games with 174, and Rivers has started the fifth most career games with 224.
One final note: Of the 110 QBs taken in the first round since 1970, 65 of them started 50% or more of their teams’ games in their first three seasons in the league. Twenty-five of the 110 started 40 or more of the team’s 48 games in those first three campaigns, and five first round QBs started all 48 of their team’s 48 games those first three seasons. The five: Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill.
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Looking for longevity and durability in the NFL Draft? It will likely come from later round draft choices
The NFL Draft is this coming week and teams are looking to find just the right college players to add to their rosters.
The short-term goal for each NFL team is to have a draft where most if not all these draft choices can make the team and contribute in some way, shape or form. The long-term goal might be to draft a player or two who can become a mainstay for the franchise for years to come and be a player who provides longevity and durability as an NFL player.
You would think that the drafted players who most likely would have long careers in the NFL would be players drafted in the early rounds… those are the best college players, the cream of the crop.
History, however, tells us otherwise. Players drafted in the first round are not always the players who stay in the league a long time and play in triple-digit career games.
To prove my point, I looked at the last several college drafts going back to 2000. I looked at each year’s draft and found which player in that draft played the most career games of those players drafted that year. Here’s an example:
- In the 2000 NFL Draft, defensive end Courtney Brown was the overall number one pick in the draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played a total of 61 games in his NFL career. The player from that draft who played the most career NFL games was punter Shane Lechler who was a fifth round choice (#142 pick overall) of the Oakland Raiders. He played 286 career games in the league.
Before you raise your hand and say, “Sure, kickers drafted are going to last a lot longer in the league than non-kickers,” I’ll admit you’ll have a good point. But that was not the case in every year.
Here are the players from each draft year (2000-2014) who have played in the most career NFL games from their draft class. I have also listed the number of NFL games each number one selection from that year played in his career.
2000: Shane Lechler, punter (5th round, #142 pick), 286 career games
Number One pick: Courtney Brown, 61 career games
2001: Drew Brees, QB (2nd round, #32 pick), 275 career games
Number One pick: Michael Vick, QB, 143 career games
2002: Julius Peppers, defensive end (1st round, #2 pick), 266 career games
Number One pick: David Carr, QB, 94 career games
2003: Jason Whitten, TE (3rd round, #69 pick), 255 career games
Number One pick: Carson Palmer, QB, 182 career games
2004: Larry Fitzgerald, WR (1st round, #3 pick), 250 career games
Number One pick: Eli Manning, QB, 236 career games
2005: Dustin Colquitt, punter (3rd round, #99 pick), 238 career games
Number One pick: Alex Smith, QB, 166 career games
2006: Sam Koch, punter (6th round, #203rd pick), 224 career games
Number One pick: Mario Williams, DE, 158 career games
2007: Mason Crosby, K, (6th round, #193 pick), 208 career games
Number One pick: JaMarcus Russell, QB, 31 career games
2008: Brandon Carr, DB (5th round, #140 pick), 192 career games
Number one pick: Jake Long, tackle, 104 career games
2009: Kevin Huber, punter (5th round, #142 pick)/Thomas Morstead, punter (5th round, #164 pick) each 174 career games
Number one pick: Matthew Stafford, QB, 149 career games
2010: Ndamukong Suh, DT (1st round #2 pick) 158 career games
Number One pick: Sam Bradford, QB, 83 career games
2011: Cameron Jordan, DE (1st round #24 pick), 144 career games
Number One pick: Cam Newton, QB, 125 career games
2012: Mitchell Schwartz, tackle (2nd round #37 pick)/Russell Wilson, QB (3rd round #75 pick)/Demario Davis, LB (3rd round #77 pick) each 128 career games
Number One pick: Andrew Luck, QB, 86 career games
2013: Cordarelle Patterson, WR (1st round #29 pick)/Duron Harmon, DB (3rd round #91 pick) each 111 career games
Number one pick: Eric Fisher, tackle, 102 career games
2014: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, DB (1st round, #21 pick)/Jarvis Landry, WR (2nd round, #63 pick) each 96 career games
Number One pick: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, 75 career games.
If we go to the 2015 draft, there are five players drafted that year who have played in the maximum number of career NFL games since that year, 80. None of those five were drafted in the first round of that ’15 draft.
Even the 2016 draft has a similar result: Nine players drafted in the ’16 draft have played the maximum of 64 career games in their four-year career in the NFL. Of those nine, none were drafted in the first round.
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