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Kenny Clark’s young Packers career contains several amusing splits

The newly-extended defensive lineman’s divisional production is one of the more interesting figures.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Strengthening the interior of the defensive line will be a focal point of the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming regular season and much of that improvement must come from within. Fresh off a lucrative extension, Kenny Clark will once again be one of the defense’s most valuable players in that capacity and for the foreseeable future.

Looking at Clark’s Packers career up to this point, the 24-year old has seen a steady statistical improvement from one year to the next. However, peeking further into individual splits, a few notable marks come into focus that should thrill the Packers over the next four years but that will not excite many other teams around the NFL, particularly within the division.

Game-wrecker against the NFC North

While it is no surprise with modern NFL scheduling that more than one-third of Clark’s games played through his first four years as a professional have come against the division (22 of 60), there are some eyebrow-raisers when analyzing the production within them.

Of Clark’s 16.5 career sacks, he has registered 8.5 against NFC North foes. By comparison, the next closest division is the NFC West with 3.5. Outside of sacks, Clark has also posted 12 of his 26 quarterback hits against the division and 13 of his 24 tackles for loss.

Clark has been particularly disruptive against Minnesota, racking up six sacks versus the Vikings, along with eight quarterback hits and six tackles for loss. But he has also been active in the backfield against Chicago with five tackles for loss in his career against the Bears.

And it extends to conference play

Perhaps one of Clark’s most surprising splits was the polarizing difference in his pressures against NFC and AFC opponents.

Although 46 of Clark’s 60 games have been played against the NFC, the figures are heavily tilted in that direction for the UCLA product.

Sacks

AFC - 1
NFC - 15.5

QB Hits

AFC - 3
NFC - 23

Tackles for Loss

AFC - 2
NFC - 22

Fumbles Forced and Recovered

AFC - 1, 1
NFC - 3, 3

Heating up as the weather gets cooler

Many of the Packers’ divisional games have been played later in the calendar year. With Clark’s numbers against NFC North opponents, it should not be surprising then that his splits late in the season are strong. Still, the defensive tackle certainly does not slow down as the season wears on.

Although Clark has played fewer total games (13) in Week 13 to Week 16 than any of the other four-game increments during a typical regular season, his numbers have been markedly higher. Nine quarterback hits, nine tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks have come during these four weeks. The next closest period is Week 9 to Week 12 with seven quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks in two more games played.

The month of December has been particularly impressive for Clark.

Kenny Clark’s Month-By-Month Splits

Month Total Games Sacks Quarterback Hits Tackles Tackles for Loss
Month Total Games Sacks Quarterback Hits Tackles Tackles for Loss
September 15 2.5 4 50 2
October 14 3 6 43 6
November 14 2 4 39 6
December 16 9 12 60 10
January 1 0 0 1 0

Home Field Advantage

At the friendly confines of Lambeau Field, Clark has also had meaningful splits. In only two more home games played than road games, he has doubled his sack output (11 to 5.5) while increasing his quarterback hits (16 to 10) and maintaining an equal number of tackles for loss (12 apiece). Notably, Clark has notched three of his four career forced fumbles at Lambeau Field and recorded all four of his career fumble recoveries at home as well.


The Green Bay Packers were never shy about their desire and intent to lock up Clark to a long-term deal with his relatively young age and high remaining upside. But his splits to this point also paint a positive picture for the effort and production the Packers can continue to expect from Clark against some of the team’s most critical opponents.