With home-field advantage throughout the playoffs officially clinched, you have to wonder what exactly the Green Bay Packers have to play for heading into their Week 17 showdown versus the Detroit Lions. Clearly head coach Mike McCarthy wants to avoid sitting his guys too much and creating a situation where they’re rusty and lethargic heading the postseason; at the same time, rest is precious at this late point in the NFL season. It’s a virtual certainty that the starters will sit for some portion of Sunday’s game regardless of what the score is, but the question now is: how much?
In an effort to get you into Week 17 completely up to date on any and all useless Packers information, here are five interesting facts you can impress your friends with this weekend:
Jordy Nelson is the NFL’s most efficient receiver. We all know that Aaron Rodgers is a fantastic quarterback and a regular season MVP frontrunner, but let’s take a moment to acknowledge one of the receivers that makes him who he is. Nelson has caught the ball in 59 of the 79 instances he’s been targeted – a feat that, as per ESPN Stats & Information, makes him the league’s most efficient player at the position. [ESPN]
Week 16 marked the first time this year Rodgers went a game without getting sacked. Despite the fact that he had reserves protecting him at right and left tackle versus the Chicago Bears, Rodgers actually avoided getting sacked for the first time all year. Kevin Seifert came up with the perfect explanation as to why it happened, so I’ll let him take it from here: “The Packers used three wide receivers, normally their base formation, on only 37 percent of their plays. That forced the Bears to line up with their base defense for the most part and gave the Packers extra blocking help with tight end and running backs as well.” [ESPN]
Rodgers could not play against Detroit and still have had a record-breaking year. All signs point to Green Bay’s star quarterback playing but, if he doesn’t, here are the marks he’ll have set regardless: best yards per attempt total by passer with more than 400 attempts (9.25 yards per), fewest interceptions for a quarterback with 4,000+ passing yards (six), most games with a passer rating of over 100 (13) and highest passer rating (122.5). And, again, this is all if he doesn’t play Sunday. [Cold Hard Football Facts]
The Packers offense is pretty good this year; then again, when is it not good? Over the course of the last 19 seasons, Green Bay has had one of the six best scoring offenses in the league 14 times. In that same span, they haven’t ranked in the bottom ten once. Not once. [Cold Hard Football Facts]
There is still Packers stock available. It’s still available because, you know, people are still paying them for it and the shares are essentially worthless upon purchase. [Opposing Views]