Packers kick returns have not helped the points column for a long time
The Green Bay Packers’ special teams has been a whipping boy for the teams’ struggles for a long time. The unfortunate part is that there are elements of the special teams that have been good.
You don’t have to look much further than Mason Crosby for a Packers’ special teams player who has succeeded. In fact. Crosby, the Pack’s kicker since 2007, has fashioned a career that could end in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Even some of the punters have had degrees of success. But one area where the Packers special teams have struggled has been with punt and kickoff teams. Specifically, the Packers running back kick-offs and punts and coverage when they are punting or kicking off to opponents.
Recently, I heard a friend question: When was the last time Green Bay even had a kick-off or punt returned for a TD? Great question. Problem is, as a Packers fan, you may not want to hear the answer.
Well, here goes…
The last time the Packers returned a kick-off for a TD: September 8, 2011, by Randall Cobb (yes, he did return kicks at one time in his career).
The last time the Packers returned a punt for a TD: December 28, 2014, by Micah Hyde.
One, a kick-off return for TD, has been more than a decade, while the other, a punt returned for TD, is fast approaching 10 years since.
When you look at the last time opponents have returned a kick-off and punt for TD, it’s a lot more recent…
The last time an opponent returned a kick-off for a TD: December 23, 2018, by Andre Roberts of the New York Jets.
The last time an opponent returned a punt for a TD: December 21, 2021, by Jakeem Grant of the Chicago Bears.
Here’s another eye-opening stat: If you turn the calendar back to 2015, the Packers have no kick-off returns for TD and no punt returns for TD. The opponents, on the other hand, have two kick-offs for TD and three punts for TD.
Considering that the 2022 Packers are struggling at 3-3 after Week #6, it would be nice if the special teams other than Crosby could help put some points on the board. Based on what we’ve seen, however, it may be another year with no kicks returned for TD for the green and gold.
Packerstats 2020: Game 4, 30-16 win over Atlanta
- PACKERSTATS-Game #4-2020 season
Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 30-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field on October 5.
- Aaron Rodgers has 13 TD passes and no interceptions through the first four games of this season. No one expects Rodgers to go through the whole season without an interception, but here’s an interesting stat: The NFL record for most TD passes in a season without an interception is 10 by Steve Young in 1987. Rodgers with 13 TD passes and no interceptions and Patrick Mahomes with 11 TD passes and no interceptions this season each still have 12 games this season to challenge Young’s record. Stay tuned.
- The Pack has won seven of their last eight games on Monday night dating back to 2014. Green Bay is 17-8 in Monday Night games at Lambeau since 1979.
- Green Bay has now won four straight at home against the Falcons. They have won five of their last seven games against Atlanta, and hold a 17-14 regular season edge all-time over the Falcons.
- The Pack is 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 2015. They have started 4-0 in six seasons; in those other five seasons, they won 10 or more regular season games in each of those years, and made the playoffs in each of those five seasons.
- Since the 2015 season, Green Bay is 12-6 in games in the month of October. Since 2000, the Packers are 27-10 in October games played at Lambeau Field.
- Atlanta’s Julio Jones came into Monday night’s contest as one of 15 players with three or more games with 100 yards receiving against the Packers. He finished the game with four receptions for 32 yards.
- Green Bay got on the scoreboard first on an Aaron Rodgers-to-Aaron Jones TD pass. It was the first game this year that the Packers scored a TD in the first quarter.
- The Packers held a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Green Bay is 15-7 since the 2016 season when they do not allow their opponents to score in the first quarter.
- Atlanta’s 20-play drive that resulted in a field goal was the longest drive (by number of plays) in the NFL this season. It was the 16th 20-play (or more) drive in an NFL regular season game since 2001. The longest drive since 2001 was a 24-play drive by the New Orleans Saints against the Carolina Panthers in a 2007 contest.
- Packers tight end Robert Tonyan had six catches for 98 yards and three TDs, all career highs. He became the 15th Packers player to have three or more receiving TDs in a contest.
- Mason Crosby missed an extra point in the game. He has missed an extra point in only 12 games in his career. The Pack is 10-2 in those games. He has missed two extra points in only one game in his career: October 8, 2017 versus Dallas.
- Za’Darius Smith had three sacks in the game, the second time in his Green Bay career (he did it last year in a December game versus the Vikings). He became the eighth Green Bay player to have three or more sacks in two or more games with the Pack. The others: Kyler Fackrell, Kabeer Gbaia-Biamila, Tim Harris, Aaron Kampman, Clay Matthews, Bryce Paup and Reggie White. The Packers are 27-8 since 1983 when they have a player record three or more sacks in a game.
- Aaron Rodgers had four or more TD passes in a game for the 25th time in his career. That ranks him fourth on the NFL all-time list behind Drew Brees (36 games), Peyton Manning (35) and Tom Brady (30). The Packers are 22-3 (.880) in games when Rodgers has four or more TD passes.
- The Pack had a 20-3 lead at halftime. Since 2010, the team is 36-4 when they score 20 or more points in the first half.
- Green Bay held the Falcons to 16 points in the game. They are now 70-4 since 2005 when they hold opponents under 17 points in a contest.
- Rodgers completed 27 of 33 passes, an 81.8% completion rate. That is tied for the third highest completion rate in a game for Rodgers. His highest completion rate was 86.4 in a game versus the Carolina Panthers 10-19-2014. He completed 19 of 22 passes in that game.
- Rodgers ended the game with four TD passes, completing 27 of 33 passes (81.8%), 327 passing yards and no interceptions. He is one of 20 NFL QBs in the league’s history to complete 80% or more of his passes, throw four or more TD passes, pass for 300 or more yards, and have no interceptions in a game. Rodgers has done it three times in his career.
- The Packers have a bye this week. The game following a bye week has not been good for the Packers in the past few years; they have lost four of their last five games following a bye week. They will face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs in the game after the bye week.
- Jamaal Williams caught eight passes for the Pack in the game for 95 yards. Both were career highs for him.
- The Packers again had no turnovers in the game. Since the 2015 season, the Packers have had 39 turnoverless games, tops in the NFL. The Packers were 30-8-1 in those games. In their last 20 regular season games, the Packers have not had a turnover in 13 of those games, going 12-1.
Packerstats 2020: Game 3, 37-30 win over New Orleans
Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp
Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 37-30 win over the New Orleans Saints on September 27.
- The Packers have now won four of their last five games against NFC South opponents. Since 2010, the Packers are 13-7 against NFC South foes.
- Green Bay is now 17-9 all-time versus the Saints. They are now 7-7 against the Saints when they play in New Orleans. Yesterday’s win over the Saints in New Orleans was the Packers first victory against the Saints on their home field since December of 1995.
- The Pack is now 14-12 in Sunday Night games since 2010.
- The 3-0 start is the sixth time since 2000 that the Packers started the season 3-0. They did it last year and in 2015, 2011, 2007 and 2001. They made the playoffs in each of those other five seasons.
- Green Bay scored first in the game on a Mason Crosby field goal. The Packers have now won seven straight games when they score first. They are 11-5-1 since the 2018 season in games when they score first.
- Crosby made all three of his field goal attempts. The Pack is 37-8-1 in games when Crosby makes three or more field goals. Since the start of the 2019 season, Crosby has made 29 of 31 field goal attempts.
- On October 7, 2018 in a game versus the Detroit Lions, Crosby missed four field goals in the Packers 31-23 loss to the Lions. Since that game where he went 1-for-5 in field goal attempts, Crosby has made 48 of 52 field goal attempts.
- Allen Lazard had a career-high 146 yards receiving on six catches, also a career-high. The Packers are 10-1 in games when Lazard has three or more catches. They are 7-0 in games when Lazard has at least 45 yards in receptions.
- Defensive Lineman Kingsley Keke had a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. Both were the first of his career.
- The Packers trailed 17-13 at halftime. Since the 2016 season, the Packers have trailed at halftime in 32 games; they won 13 of them. Since the 2016 season they have trailed at halftime on the road 22 times. They have an 8-14 record in those games.
- Aaron Jones had a rushing TD in the game and has scored a TD in six of his last seven games. He has scored a rushing TD in each of the first three games this season. The Packers record for most consecutive games with a rushing TD is seven held by Paul Hornung.
- The Packers have gotten off to a relatively slow start in each of their first three games. They have scored only a field goal in the first quarter in each of these contests. While they have only nine points in the first quarter this year, they have tallied 43 in the second quarter, 38 in the third quarter and 32 in the fourth quarter. In fact, the second and third quarters have been where the Packers seem to take control of the game. In the second quarter this year they have a 43-13 advantage (+30) and in the third quarter they have a 38-10 advantage (+28).
- Alvin Kamara had 197 yards from scrimmage in the game for the Saints. He is the fourth player since the start of the 2018 season that had 190 or more yards from scrimmage against the Packers. The others: Amari Cooper (Dallas, 226 on 10/6/2019), Dalvin Cook (Minnesota, 191 on 9/15/2019) and Todd Gurley (LA Rams, 195 on 10/28/2018).
- The Packers have not committed a turnover in the first three games of the season. That has never happened in team history. The team had only one turnover in the first three games in 2009 and 2015.
- Green Bay has scored 122 points in the first three games of the season. That is the sixth most in NFL history. The 1968 Dallas Cowboys top the list with 132 points scored in the first three games of that season. The 1966 Dallas Cowboys hold the record for most points in the first four weeks of the season with 183. Not sure the Packers will score 62 points against the Falcons this week, but you never know.
- Jace Sternberger had three receptions in the game, the first of his career.
- Fellow tight end Robert Tonyan had a career-high five catches in the contest.
- Aaron Rodgers had three TD passes in the game. In his career, he has 65 games with three or more TD passes. The Packers are 52-13 (.800) in those games.
- Drew Brees had three TD passes and completed 29 of 36 passes (80.6%). He became only the second QB in NFL history to lose two games where he had three or more TD passes and a completion rate of over 80% in a game. The other is Matt Ryan; he did it twice last season.
- This was the third week in a row that the Packers scored 30 or more points in a game. The team record for most consecutive games with 30 or more points is seven. That was accomplished by the 1963 Packers squad. Five Green Bay teams scored 30 or more points in four straight games: 1996, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2016.
- Rodgers had a Passer Rating of 124.9 for the game. The Packers are 37-3 in games when Rodgers has a Passer Rating of 124 or higher.
- The Packers “D” had a fumble recovery and have now had a takeaway in eight straight regular season games. Since 2015, the Pack is 47-16-1 (.742) when they get at least one takeaway; they are 2-17 (.105) if they did not get a takeaway in a game since 2015.
- The game was tied 27-27 going into the fourth quarter. When the Packers are tied with their opponents going into the fourth quarter on the road, they are 5-5 since 2000. They are 7-4in home games since 2000 when they are tied going into the fourth quarter.
Packerstats 2020: Game #2, 42-21 win over the Detroit Lions
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.
Packerstats 2020: Game #1, 43-34 win over Minnesota
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.