There is no doubt that the Green Bay Packers are not the same team the Cowboys beat in Lambeau Field back in October 30-16. Green Bay was 3-2 after that loss, and won the next week over the Bears, but then lost the next four games, at Atlanta, home against Indy, and at Tennessee and Washington, leaving them 4-6 and in third place in NFC North. At that point, Aaron Rodgers said the Packers could “run the table” and still make the playoffs. The Packers accomplished that feat by winning their next seven games in a row.
Who have they beaten in that time? And what is the run-pass makeup of those teams?
What we find is that while some of those teams have good defenses, none of them have offenses that can compete with the Packers. Let’s take a look.
|Score||Team||PPG||Rank||Rush YPG||Rank||Pass YPG||Rank|
The highest-ranked scoring offense the Packers have played during their winning run was 16th-ranked Philadelphia, which started their streak. They have successively played teams ranked 28th (tie), 18th, 28th (tie), 23rd, 20th, and 26th. Moreover, only two of those teams have ranked in the top half of the NFL in rushing the ball. Most are one-dimensional teams that pass much more than they run the ball, and even then, only one is a top-10 passing team (Seattle).
By comparison, here are the same rankings for Green Bay and Dallas.
|Team||PPG||Rank||Rush YPG||Rank||Pass YPG||Rank|
In the game in October, played in Green Bay, Dallas racked up 191 yards on the ground, with Zeke accounting for 157 himself, even though, coming into the game, Green Bay had given up the fewest rushing yards in the NFL. Overall, Dallas out-gained Green Bay 424 to 372 yards in that game.
When they have faced a team able to average more than 23 points per game this season, or in the top half of the NFL in scoring offense, the Packers have lost every time. (Points per game and NFL rank in parentheses).
- Oct 16, lost at home to Dallas (26.3, #5) 30-16.
- Oct 30, lost in Atlanta (33.8, #1) 33-32.
- Nov 6, lost at home to Indy (25.7, #8) 31-26.
- Nov 13, lost at Tennessee (23.8, #14) 47-25.
- Nov 20, lost at Washington (24.8, #12) 42-24.
Green Bay, given how hot Aaron Rodgers is, will certainly be a formidable opponent for the Cowboys, who will have to find a way to slow down the Packers’ passing game. But the Packers will also be facing by far the most formidable offense they have faced since their winning streak began, and one that was missing Dez Bryant during the first matchup. So we’ll have to see which team has its hands full.