When it comes to the defending champion Green Bay Packers, everyone is familiar with the basics. They have a really great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Their defense needs work. They’re 8-0. They’re facing the Minnesota Vikings next, so this time next week they’ll be sitting comfortably at 9-0. Somewhere, Brett Favre is laughing maniacally and contemplating a return.
But beyond those basics, there is some very interesting stuff going down as it relates to this team. Everything from the type of wins they’ve been accumulating to their defensive play to just how brilliant Rodgers has been thus far, has a certain layer of depth to it that hasn’t properly been examined up to this point.
Here are five very interesting facts relating to the defending champs heading into Week 10:
The Packers have beaten six of their last eight opponents by totals of 11 points or fewer. Four of those games have been decided by ten or less. That means en route to the squad’s current 8-0 mark, even though Green Bay has outscored the opposition by 96 points, that total isn’t as impressive as it sounds. Five teams who didn’t win the title last year have outscored the opposition by 78 points or more. [WSJ]
Aaron Rodgers is having a Tom Brady-esque campaign in 2011. For those of you who haven’t carefully tabulated every quarterback’s rating since 1960 – we got your back. As it turns, beginning from 1960 and leading all the way up to now, only one quarterback who has averaged at least 10 passing attempts in his team’s first eight outings has put up a better passer rating than Rodgers: Brady. Whereas Rodgers’ passer rating this year is a 129.1, Brady’s was 136.2 when he was playing for the 2007 New England Patriots. The Evil Empire strikes again. [WSJ]
Things are going to get a little tougher later in the year. You know how the Packers weren’t really sweating their defensive woes because of their extraordinarily brilliant offense? Well, that extraordinarily brilliant offense is probably going to slow down as the season progresses. Aside from the weather angle, four of the team’s last eight games come against defenses that rank in the top eight pass defenses against opposing quarterbacks. Ouch. [BI]
The Packers are the first team in league history to win 14 games in a row all the while never trailing in the fourth quarter. You know how Rodgers was plagued by a little bit of “can he bring teams back?” talk in the early going? Well, he remedied that situation by making sure that his squad never falls behind. To date, the closest Green Bay has come to trailing has been being tied in the fourth quarter of a single game – an event that lasted less than two minutes. [CHFF]
Aaron Rodgers is on pace to throw for 5,238 yards and 48 touchdowns. Translation: Beast.