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Cheese Curds, 12/15: Packers’ situational offense is functioning at an elite level

Big Bob is a big reason for the team’s successes on third downs and in the red zone this season.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like a broken record at this point. Once again, the Green Bay Packers scored 30 points on Sunday, doing so for the fourth consecutive game and the tenth time in 2020. They also crossed the 400-yard mark on offense, hitting that number in seven out of 13 games.

Those numbers are truly impressive, and they are buoyed by the team’s consistent and sustained success in critical situations: specifically third downs and the red zone.

The Packers converted 8 of 11 third-down attempts against Detroit on Sunday, bringing their overall season conversion rate to 49.7 percent. That ranks second in the NFL, behind only the Las Vegas Raiders, who sit at an even 50 percent. But the Packers also excel in converting in the red zone, where their 77.1 percent touchdown rate leads the NFL. That makes the Packers the only team to rank in the top eight in both categories this season, a stunning example of how and why they continue to lead the league in points scored.

One reason for those successes is tight end Robert Tonyan, whose situational usage is shown in his league-leading DVOA mark among tight ends. Tonyan converted a pair of third downs on Sunday and caught a red-zone touchdown, underscoring how much trust he has from his quarterback and head coach.

Let’s take a look at Tonyan and the team’s overall successes in these areas a bit more in today’s curds.

Green Bay Packers Offense Dominates Third Down vs. Detroit Lions - Sports Illustrated
The Packers were a stellar 8-for-11 on third downs, including that throw to Tonyan and Rodgers' touchdown run, and only three of those attempts required more than seven yards to move the chains.

Robert Tonyan producing in the clutch | Packersnews.com
Early in the season, it was Allen Lazard coming up with all of the big third-down conversions. Now it seems that Tonyan is the go-to guy in critical situations, most notably the third-and-5 play that sealed the game. Tonyan has also been a big reason for the team’s red zone successes, scoring five times from inside the 20 while also being a big-play threat with four touchdowns of 21 or more yards.

Matt LaFleur: Aaron Rodgers should be front runner for MVP | Packers Wire
Yep. Matt's right. Nothing to add here.

Ups and downs continue for Packers’ defense | Packers.com
The Packers will need to get some answers for their run defense in the coming weeks, with Carolina and Tennessee both featuring rushing offenses in the top 11 in DVOA coming into week 14.

Why Packers are NFC's favorite and a (surprise) team that could stop them - ESPN
One NFL scout thinks that the team with the best roster and philosophy to match up with the Packers is actually Washington, thanks to their elite defensive line.

Menasha police respond when woman texts she's stabbed, meant swabbed | Green Bay Press-Gazette
Autocorrect strikes again! Good work by the Menasha police, though, to respond so quickly,