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Watching New Orleans completely force the hand of the Colts late in the game last night made me think of one thing…the Packers really were good enough to do the same thing. You could say, “Oh, well Indy would have torn apart Green Bay’s D,” or “The Packers’ offense is good, but it’s not dominant like the Saints.” But let’s look at the numbers, shall we.
In the regular season the Saints had the 26th ranked passing defense while the Packers ranked fifth. Okay, maybe ranking in the upper 15 percent was a bit of a flash in the pan for the Pack because of an easy schedule, but had they faced tougher offenses would they have dropped 21 spots to 26? I don’t think so.
How about the run defense? You could tell last night that the Colts felt pretty comfortable running the ball. The reason being because New Orleans gives up an average of 122 yards on the ground, good for 21st in league. The Packers? Only the top ranked running defense in the NFL , giving up 83 yards per game.
The turnover margin is also in the Packers’ favor with a league best +24, while the Saints—a team that proclaims to rely on turnovers—sits at +11. So, with all these statistics we can agree that the Packers defense is at least up to par with the “Who Dats?”
Now on to the offensive side of the ball. The Saints were outstanding, putting up 6,461 total yards this year. This was the No. 1 offense, but the Packers were not too far behind at No. 6, putting up 6,065 yards.
Both teams were led by excellent quarterbacks. Drew Brees’ performance over the last few seasons speaks for itself. A-Rodge’s does as well. He actually put up very similar statistics with the ex-Boilermaker . He had more yards and less picks, while Brees had four more TD’s and a slightly higher passer rating.
While numbers clearly aren’t everything, they provide a good way gauge a team. And if you’re gauging with these numbers, you could say that the only thing holding back the Packers from the Superbowl was a better defensive game plan against the Cardinals .
Either way, with a few minor adjustments, these numbers give Packer fans all the more reason to be excited for next year.
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