Usually, when a team wins 13 games, it does so with balance and consistency throughout the season. A good offense and defense work off each other, complementing one another and making the other more effective.
The Green Bay Packers are a lesson in inconsistency this season, across all parts of the football team. Pro Football Reference calculates an expected points added value for each game based on offense, defense, and special teams, and Green Bay is a curious case this year. Only three times all season have both the offense and defense finished in the positive — in wins over the Broncos (week 3), Lions (week 6), and Washington (week 14). In all three of those games, the contribution from each unit was in the single-digits, and the defense pitched in with less than one point in the Detroit and Washington games. And only the Washington game saw all three units above zero, with the special teams being at about 0.9 points.
All the units are capable of excellent performances. The defense’s best game came against the Vikings in week 16, when they contributed almost 26 points. The offense racked up 33 against the Raiders in week 7. The special teams even accounted for 11 points against Dallas in week 6, largely due to excellent punting from JK Scott and a pair of missed field goals by Cowboys kicker Brett Maher. But a truly consistent, even performance has eluded this team all year, and to advance in the playoffs, they will likely need to find a way to get all units in sync over the bye.
Packers hope first-round bye sets the table for special postseason | Packers.com
The Packers won 13 games combined in the last two seasons, the same number of wins they had in 2019 en route to a bye. Now with the team getting an extra week to recharge and recover, they feel good about their chances regardless of which opponent they will face.
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The question facing this team is whether a bye will help them put together a complete game for the first time in months.
Packers K Mason Crosby ties franchise record for FG% in single season | Packers Wire
One player who has been a steady and effective contributor all season long is Crosby, who went 22-for-24 this year en route to his first season with a field goal hit rate over 90 percent. He matched Jan Stenerud's season from 1981.
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And fans of the other three NFC North teams rejoice!
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Aaron Jones takes the third spot on Maurice Jones-Drew's list, coming in behind only Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry.
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Headline says it all.