How the Green Bay Packers Can Avoid 15-1 and Done in 2012

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How the Green Bay Packers Can Avoid 15-1 and Done in 2012
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Watching the Green Bay Packers move the ball on offense this year, I often couldn’t tell if I was watching an NFL game or a magic act from an old America’s Got Talent episode.

Piers Morgan sets the ball down on a given spot on the field, sizes up Aaron Rodgers and waits for the performance.

The collective audition known as "The Pack" begins, scoring not only from Mr. Morgan’s initial spot but also from any other spot the team chooses.  The audience is on their feet in disbelief.

These guys are good.

It’s touchdowns galore, like a Madden ’97 matchup. Every play works to perfection.

Touchdown flipper-doodle, Jolly-green screen monster,  Flash-dash splash reverse flinger.  The plays are endless in success.  (Gamers, don’t go searching for those—they’re not real.)

As the brilliance comes to an end, the audience, along with Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, seem convinced.  But Piers Morgan is not.

“That’s all?” he asks.

The Pack is in disbelief.  Did he not just witness this electrifying performance of point production?

“Sorry,” Piers says, “we’re looking for the total package.” 

In 2010, when Green Bay convincingly became Super Bowl champions, the Packers tallied 47 sacks on defense but yielded a mere 3,107 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks.  They gave up only 24 touchdowns.

One year later in 2011, their sack total fell to 29.  They were torched in the secondary as teams passed for a combined 4,796 yards on their defense.  Their opponents scored 41 touchdowns against them, 17 more than the previous year.

What does this mean?  First of all, it means that Green Bay’s offense is quite potent.  For as poorly as the defense ranked this year, the team still won 15 games and did so by putting up explosive numbers.  

But it also means the team has some areas to address.

I think everyone can agree that the Packers are one of the league’s finest teams and organizations right now.  Despite their poor defensive rankings in 2011, they still managed to win the time of possession battle over the course of the entire season and were plus-24 in the turnover ratio, logging 31 team interceptions.

Those are important statistics. 

But if Green Bay wants to reclaim their championship status, they are going to have to address some areas heading into next season.

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