Horrible. Embarrassing. Ugly.
Those are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the Packers 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Packers fans, players and coaches are no doubt leaving last Thursday’s game behind and focusing on the remaining four games on the schedule. But here’s a quick look back at some of the numbers from the most recent loss.
* The Lions had 561 total yards in the game while the Pack could muster only 126. It was the 16th time since 1970 that one team had over 500 total yards and their opponents had under 150 in an NFL game. The Packers have been on the low end in three of these 16 games, most in the league. In 1999, the Packers lost to the Denver Broncos 31-10, with the Broncos gaining 514 yards to the Pack’s 133. In 1978, the Cowboys gained 537 yards en route to a 42-14 win over Green Bay. The Packers had only 142 yards in that contest.
* Until Matt Flynn connected with James Jones on that 56-yard pass play late in the game, the Packers had only 70 total yards. Had they stayed under 100 total yards for the game, it would have been the fourth time since 1970 that one team had over 500 yards and their opponents had under 100 in a game. The last time was in 1988 when the Vikings had 553 yards to Detroit’s 89 in Minnesota’s 44-17 win over Detroit.
* This was the 23rd game since 1970 that the Packers had under 150 total yards for the game. They are now 2-21 in such games. The last game with under 150 yards was November 19, 2006 against the New England Patriots. That resulted in a 35-0 defeat at the hands of the Pats.
* The Packers did have four takeaways in the game against the Lions. It was their second game this year with four takeaways (also vs. Cincinnati). Unfortunately, the Packers have lost both games when they had four takeaways. NFL teams this year are 30-6 (.833 winning percentage) in games where they have four or more takeaways. The Packers have two of those six losses; the Vikings have also lost two of those games. Green Bay is 101-25-3 (.795 winning percentage) in games since 1970 when they force their opponents into four or more turnovers; they are 30-4 (.882) since 2000.
* The Packers last 30-point loss was November 19, 2006 to New England when the Patriots won 35-0. Their last 30-point loss on the road prior to the Detroit beating on Thanksgiving was December 19, 2005 when they lost 48-3 to Baltimore.
* The Packers offense had no TDs last Thursday. It was the first game with no offensive TDs since December 12, 2010 when they lost 7-3 to the Lions. The Packers have had no offensive TDs in 11 games since 2000. They are 4-7 in those games.
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When former University of Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien started at QB for the Packers last Sunday against the New York Giants, he became the 25th different QB to make his debut as starting QB for the Packers since 1960. Tolzien was only the fifth QB to make his debut as the Pack’s starting signal-caller since 1992 (Seneca Wallace, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Brett Favre). From 1960 to 1991, 20 different QBs made their debut as the starting QB for the Packers. This was the first year since 1990 that two or more players made their debut as a starting QB for the Packers. In 1990, Anthony Dilweg and Blair Kiel both made their first starts at QB for Green Bay.
Here’s a look at six stats from Tolzien’s debut and how it matches up against the other 24 starters.
1. Since 1960, when the Pack has started a new QB, the team has won 12, lost 12 and tied one. Tolzien and Wallace both lost their starts this season; Rodgers won his first Packers start in 2008, making his the last Packers QB to make his debut as a starter in a winning contest. The starting QBs who won their Packers debut: Rodgers (2008), Favre (1992), Dilweg (1990), Alan Risher (1987), Randy Wright (1984), Randy Johnson (1976), John Hadl (1974), Jerry Tagge (1973), Scott Hunter (1971), Don Horn (1969), Zeke Bratkowski (1964), John Roach (1963). Those players who lost their first start as the Packers’ QB: Tolzien (2013), Wallace (2013), Matt Flynn (2010), Mike Tomczak (1991), Kiel (1990), Jim Zorn (1985), David Whitehurst (1977), Lynn Dickey (1976), Carlos Brown (1976), Don Milan (1975), Jack Concannon (1974), Jim Del Gaizo (1973). Don Majkowski started his first Packers game in 1987; that game ended in a tie.
2. Tolzien’s 24 completions against the Giants is tied for the most completions by a Packers QB making his starting debut. Flynn had 24 completions in his first start in 2010 against New England. The most pass attempts by a player making his debut as Packers starting QB was Tomczak in 1991 when he threw 40 passes in his first starting assignment for the Pack.
3. Tolzien became the fourth QB to have a completion rate over 70% in his Packers starting debut. The others were Wallace (100%… he was 5-for-5 before he was injured in his first start for the Packers), Rodgers (81.8%; he was 18-for-22 in his debut as a starter) and Favre (he completed 73.7% of his passes in his first start for Green Bay).
4. Tolzien became the first QB for the Packers to throw for over 300 passing yards in his first start for the team. He had 339 yards passing in his starting debut against the Giants. Tomczak with 271 yards and Flynn with 251 yards are the only other Packers QBs to have over 250 yards passing in their first start with the team.
5. Tolzien became the fourth Packers QB to throw three interceptions in his starting debut. The others: Whitehurst, Brown and Horn. Flynn and Dilweg are the only Packers QBs to have three TD passes in their debut as a starting QB with the Pack.
6. Tolzien had a Passer Rating of 65.7 in his starting debut. Only four Packers QBs had a Passer Rating over 100 in their first start at QB for the team: Favre (144.6), Dilweg (117.7), Rodgers (115.5) and Flynn (100.2). Three QBs had a Passer Rating under 20 in their starting debut for the Packers: Hunter (11.9), Brown (12.8) and Horn (18.5).
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