Comparing New England Patriots' Precision Offense to Green Bay Packers

Mike StangerCorrespondent INovember 25, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13:  Tom Brady #10 of the New England Patriots against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Offense is king in today's NFL.  With the liberalization of the passing rules and the restrictions placed on defensive players to do their jobs, the NFL has made it quite apparent that it likes the way business is currently being done.

And few teams do business better than the New England Patriots.  Arguably, the Green Bay Packers are one of those teams.

However, there is also an argument to be made for the Patriots' offense holding its own against the Packers. 

So, how do these two teams compare?  And how to do their effective styles contrast, if at all? 

The most obvious similarity between these teams is how many yards they accumulate through the air.  The Patriots and Packers rank second (426.7) and fourth (401.3), respectively, in total yards per game.  In passing yards per game, the Pats are ranked second (315.7) and the Packers are fourth (304.1).

In points per game, the Packers are first (34.7) and the Patriots are third (29.3).  So, it's obvious that the Patriots and Packers do business well.

The two teams contrast in how they do business, however. 

The Patriots rely heavily on their tight ends.  Whereas the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (56) and Aaron Hernandez (41) account for roughly 40 percent of team's total receptions (253), Jermichael Finley (36), accounts for less than 14 percent of the Packers' receptions (262).

The Packers are wide receiver-focused: 57 percent of the team's receptions go to the wide receivers.  By comparison, the Pats' wide receivers measure in at 49 percent. 

And the Packers spread the ball around among receivers Greg Jennings (58), Jordy Nelson (44), James Jones (24) and Donald Driver (23).  Wes Welker, however, does the yeoman's work for the Pats (71), with Deion Branch (39) a distant second.

The by-product of each team's focus can be found in net yards per attempt. The Packers hold almost a complete yard (8.6) over the Pats (7.8). 

This makes more sense when you see that the Packers have four regulars that average over 14 yards per catch—Jones (18.8), Nelson (17.8), Jennings (14.4) and Finley (14.3).  The Pats have two—Gronkowski (14.4) and Chad Ochocinco (18.3).  And, of the two, Gronkowski is the only significant contributor.

When comparing the running game—not that it matters these days—the Patriots hold the edge in rushing yards per game (111) over the Packers (97). 

Overall, the Patriots' offense definitely holds its own when statistically compared to the Packers', and as result, has a legitimate argument to being heirs to the kingdom.