The Green Bay Packers have found their stride, and the rest of the league may have a long two months ahead. Aaron Rodgers threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns Sunday as Green Bay steamrolled Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings; Greg Jennings snagged three of the scoring passes himself. Clay Matthews registered a sack, giving him 11.5 already, and Tramon Williams intercepted his fourth pass of the season.
The Packers have won their last two contests by a combined 66 points and now stand at 7-3, ready top challenge the Falcons for NFC supremacy next week in Atlanta. That game could determine who has home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots managed to take down the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, keeping pace with the New York Jets at 8-2. Those two teams look more and more every week like the class of the AFC, and are ticketed for a big showdown on Dec. 6 in Foxboro.
These head-to-head matches of top-tier teams are a great way to see firsthand who is better. But when such determinate games are not available, a good secondary guide is to turn to the numbers.
Who eats up yardage on offense? Whose defense is stingiest? Who is dominating the turnover battle? Who has benefited from an easy schedule, and whose has been a nightmare? Statistics can answer all of these questions and more clearly show us who the best teams in the league are.
Therefore, let's look strictly at the numbers accrued by each team this season, and decide who we think is the best. Forget projections of future improvement--if a team is still underachieving by now, maybe that is not going to change. We will use simple math to weight the performance of each team in a variety of categories, then see who comes out looking a bit better than we thought.