What Every Fan Needs to Know About the 2013 Green Bay Packers
After a preseason schedule that will see the Packers take on three NFC West opponents, the Packers will open the 2013 regular season against another team from the NFC West...the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. That game will be played at Candlestick Park.
As the Packers prepare for this upcoming season, I want to point out five details about the team that every Green Bay fan should know.
43 Straight Games Without a 100-Yard Rusher
Everyone knows that the Green Bay offense is primarily led by the passing game of Aaron Rodgers. But there are a couple of glaring facts about the rushing attack of the Packers that needs to be stressed as the team prepares for the upcoming season.
For one, the Packers have not had a running back rush for over 100 yards in a game since Brandon Jackson did that on October 10, 2010. That span has lasted 43 games.
In addition, the Packers have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since the 2009 season, when Ryan Grant ran for 1,253 yards.
The Packers will be looking to change both those statistics in 2013, as the team drafted running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin in the 2013 NFL draft.
Both players were highly productive in college, and the Packers plan to emphasize the running attack much more often this season behind both Lacy and Franklin.
Aaron Rodgers Has Had Four Straight Seasons of Having a QB Rating of over 100
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has the best quarterback rating in the history of the NFL with a 104.9 mark. Rodgers has thrown an amazing 171 touchdown passes, compared to just 46 interceptions for 21,661 yards in his career.
Beside those eye-opening statistics, Rodgers has also accomplished another amazing feat. That is, Rodgers has had four straight years now of having a quarterback rating of over 100.
In 2009, Rodgers had a quarterback rating of 103.2. That was followed by ratings of 101.2, 122.5 and 108.0 from 2010-12.
The 122.5 quarterback rating in 2011 is the best-ever mark in NFL history.
Expect a fifth-straight 100-plus quarterback rating in 2013.
The Packers Are the Only Publically Owned Team in Professional Sports
The Green Bay Packers are the only publicly owned team in professional sports. The Packers currently have over 112,000 shareholders, none of whom receive a dividend on their initial investment.
The Packers have season ticket holders from all 50 states, as well as people from foreign countries such as Canada, Japan and Australia. The waiting list for season tickets has nearly 100,000 names on it.
The story of the Packers is quite amazing. Four times (1921,1922, 1934 and 1950) the Packers have averted financial collapse by calling on the community to help.
The Packers also play in the smallest television market in professional sports. Green Bay is currently ranked 70th. The next closet team in the NFL is the New Orleans Saints, who are ranked 53rd.
Finally, the Packers play at Lambeau Field, which first opened in 1957. No NFL team has played at a venue longer. The next closest is the San Diego Chargers, who have played at Qualcomm Stadium since 1967.
The Defense Under Dom Capers Has Been a Top 11 Defense Three out of Four Years
Dom Capers took over as defensive coordinator for the Packers in 2009. Since that time, the Packers have been ranked second, fifth, 32nd and 11th in total defense in the NFL.
The 3-4 defensive scheme that Capers uses calls for pass pressure to set up the looks that the defense will give their various opponents.
Since 2009, the Packers have ranked 11th, second, 27th and fourth in sacks in the NFL.
Capers' defense helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV in the 2010 postseason. That being said, the defense has also been the biggest reason why the Packers exited the postseason in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
One can't expect to win when your team gives up 51, 37 and 45 points in a playoff game.
That needs to change if the Packers expect to have a long postseason run in 2013.
The Offense Under Mike McCarthy Has Been in the Top 10 Six out of Seven Years
Mike McCarthy took over as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2006. Since that time, the team has gone 74-38 in the regular season, with three NFC North titles and a win in Super Bowl XLV.
The Packers have also had a prolific offense since the arrival of McCarthy. Since 2006, the Packers have ranked ninth, second, eighth, sixth, ninth, third and 13th in total offense in the NFL.
The Packers have been a great passing team under McCarthy as well. The Packers have been in the top 10 in passing every year since 2006.
The best the team has ranked in rushing was just 14th in 2009, and that is the area that the offense wants to improve upon in 2013.
Bottom line, expect another top 10 offensive performance by the Packers in 2013, as well as a much improved running game behind rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin.