The Green Bay Packers defeated the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 43-37 on Monday. As always, the final score is the most important set of numbers in any football game, but there are a multitude of other measurable factors that affect the flow, emotion, and meaning of the game.
Today we present to you some of those numbers that help explain how and why the game ended with the result it did, as well as to give some context to the various individuals and units that contributed to the game's result.
The yards per carry gained by the Packers' running backs, Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Furthermore, they combined to force seven missed tackles on running plays (likely a few more on receptions) and they racked up 85 yards after contact as well.
The A.J. Hawk phase-out continues, as Hawk played just eight snaps last night. He was in run defense on five plays and coverage three times. Sam Barrington started and played 46 snaps, while Brad Jones contributed 22 snaps, mostly in sub packages as he spent 15 of his plays in coverage.
The number of pressures allowed on Rodgers by the offensive line. Even though they appeared to give Rodgers time to throw often and only allowed two hits on the quarterback (both by David Bakhtiari), each starter except for Corey Linsley allowed at least two hurries (Linsley had one). This was the first time since the Packers' loss to the Saints in which the line allowed Rodgers to be pressured more than 10 times, and it was just the fourth game overall with that many hurried throws.
Mason Crosby's hit rate on field goals 50 yards or longer in 2013 and 2014. Crosby made a 53-yard attempt at Lambeau last night to move to 4-for-5 in 2014 and 9-for-12 over the past two years. Prior to the 2013 season, Crosby was hitting from 50-plus only 42% of the time, going 14-for-33 between 2007 and 2012.
Matt Ryan's passer rating. Only one quarterback this year has a better rating against the Packers: that would be Drew Brees, who completed a ridiculous 27 of 32 for 311 yards, three scores, and no picks for the Saints. In fact, it's only the fourth game this season in which the Packers allowed a passer rating greater than 85 in a single game - Russell Wilson and Tom Brady were also above that threshold.
In other words, perfect. That was Aaron Rodgers' passer rating when throwing to his top two targets, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb - he was 12-for-14 for 204 yards and two scores (though Jordy did most of the damage with 8 catches for 146 and both touchdowns). By contrast, Rodgers' rating throwing to all other receivers was 94.4.
That is the amount of game time that the Packers of played without committing a turnover. The last time the Packers gave the ball to the opposition was when Randall Cobb fumbled late in the first half against the Bears in week 10. Since then, Aaron Rodgers has remained interception-free and Green Bay's offense and special teams have been able to pounce on the football all five times they have put it on the ground - including when Rodgers was stripped of the ball on Monday night but recovered it himself.
Ball security could be a bit of a concern moving forward, however. The Packers have been charged with a fumble at least once in each of the past 8 games (and two in the game against the Eagles). They have recovered seven of those nine, only allowing recoveries to the Saints and Bears, but holding onto 78% of your fumbles is unlikely to be sustainable.
The number of passing yards allowed by the Packers' defense on Monday night, and most of them (259, to be exact) to one man: Julio Jones. This was the highest passing yardage allowed by the Packers all year - in fact, the entire defense had given up more than 374 total yards in just four games prior to this.
(Note: YAC, missed tackles, snap counts, and blocking statistics reported by Pro Football Focus)