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.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
PACKERSTATS-Game #18-2019 season
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 37-20 road playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, January 19.
- Well, the Packers ended the 2019 season going 14-0 when they kept their opponents under 24 points in a game; they were 0-4 when the opposition scored 25 or more points.
- Green Bay finished the 2019 campaign 14-4 (regular season and playoffs). Three of their four losses were road games in California… two to San Francisco, one to the L.A. Chargers. The 2020 regular season has only one trip to California for the Pack: they travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers in 2020!
- The Packers have now lost four of their last five NFC Championship Game contests. The 17-point defeat this year to the 49ers was the second largest margin of defeat for the team in an NFC/NFL title game. They lost by 23 points to the Atlanta Falcons in the 2016 (season) NFC title contest.
- Green Bay has now lost five of their last seven road playoff games. The Pack is 9-14 (.391) in road playoff games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
- Green Bay is 2-6 vs. the Niners in their last eight matchups (regular season and playoffs).
- The score at the end of the first quarter was San Francisco 7, Green Bay 0. Since 2000, the Packers are 4-7 in playoff games when they do not score in the first quarter.
- Green Bay was behind 27-0 at halftime. They are 2-48 in their history when they are behind by 20 points or more at halftime in a game.
- The Packers allowed three sacks of Aaron Rodgers. The team is 8-10-1 (.447) over the past two seasons (all games) when they allow three or more sacks in a game.
- Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions. Green Bay is 8-10 (regular season and playoffs) in games when Rodgers has two or more interceptions. The Packers are 2-7 in playoff games when Rodgers has one or more interception.
- Green Bay did not have a takeaway in the game. They are 16-41 (.281) since 2000 in games where they did not have a takeaway. In their last 19 games where they did not have a takeaway (regular season and playoffs) the Packers have only won two of those games.
- The Packers ended the season 12-0 in games when they had at least one takeaway… they were 2-4 in 2019 in games when they did not get a takeaway.
- With a pair of TDs in the game, Aaron Jones set the Packers all-time record for most TDs in a single season (regular season and playoffs) with 23. It was the 18th time in NFL history that a player had 23 or more TDs in a season (regular season and playoffs). The last player to do it before Jones was in 2018 when the Rams’ Todd Gurley had 23 TDs. LaDainian Tomlinson holds the NFL record with 33 total touchdowns in the 2006 season.
- Forty-Niners running back Raheem Mostert had four touchdowns in the game. He became only the third player to score four or more TDs against the Packers in a game. The others: Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams in 2008 and the Bears’ Bobby Douglass in 1973.
- Mostert had 220 yards rushing in the game on 29 carries. The 220 yards rushing is the third highest in a game against the Packers. Tommy Wilson (Rams) had 223 yards rushing in a game against the Pack on 12-16-1956 and the Rams Tommy Bell had 221 yards rushing in a 9-24-1989 contest against Green Bay.
- San Francisco finished the game with 285 yards rushing. The Packers are 1-37 in their history when a team gains 250 or more yards rushing (regular season and playoffs). The only game they won when the opponents rushed for 250+ yards was in 1965 against the Vikings; they had 251 yards rushing in that game, won by the Packers, 24-19.
- Davante Adams had nine receptions for 138 yards. He now has 20 games in his career (regular season and playoffs) with 100 or more yards receiving. That places him seventh on the all-time Packers list; James Lofton tops the list with 33 100-yard receiving games. Adams now holds the Packers record with four playoff games with 100 or more yards receiving.
- Rookie Jace Sternberger caught a TD pass from Rodgers in the game. It was not only his first NFL TD, but also his first NFL reception.
- Rodgers had a pair of TD passes and set the team record for most playoff TD passes with 40, passing Brett Favre who had 39 with the team. His 40 playoff TD passes ties him with Peyton manning for fourth on the all-time list. Tom Brady tops the list with 73 followed by Joe Montana with 45 and Brett Favre with 44 (Favre had five career playoff TD passes with the Vikings in addition to his 39 with the Packers).
- Rodgers ended the game 31-for-39 (79.5%) passing for 326 yards and a 97.2 Passer Rating. The 79.5 completion percentage was the second highest in a playoff game in his career (it is the 10th highest completion percentage in any game of his career, regular season or playoffs). The Packers are now 7-1 in playoff games when Rodgers has a Passer Rating of 100 or better… they are now 3-7 in playoff games when his Passer rating is below 100.
- Green Bay had only 62 yards rushing in the contest. For the season, the team was 10-1 in games when they had 100 or more yards rushing; 4-3 in games when they had less than 100 yards on the ground.
- The Packers did not lose back-to-back games in 2019. The last time they went an entire regular season without losing back-to-back games was in 2014. They finished that year 13-5 and lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.
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
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
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.
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.