Monday, December 2, 2019

Packers Rate Better than Giants in 31-13 Win

By Eric Goska

Aaron Rodgers had a passer rating of 125.4; Daniel Jones had a rating of 49.4
Vive la dif·fé·rence!

Pardon our French, but if the Green Bay Packers can continue to come up with passer rating differentials such as the one they orchestrated against the New York Giants Sunday, the team will be tough to beat.

Aaron Rodgers and his merry band of receivers teamed up to produce Green Bay’s third-highest passer rating of the season. The defense, meanwhile, surrendered its lowest number of 2019.

The difference between the two numbers – a margin of 76 points – was the greatest the team has seen in three years. It was a number that stood out in the Packers’ 31-13 conquest of the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

In order to produce a gap of 75 or more, a team’s offense and defense must both be playing well. If only one unit is clicking, differentials typically aren’t as pronounced.

Case in point: Rodgers compiled the NFL maximum rating of 158.3 against the Raiders earlier this year, and his counterpart, Derek Carr, checked in at 119.2. While that’s a difference of 39.1 points, it could have been far more had Green Bay’s defenders been less forgiving.

In the Meadowlands, the Packers were strong on both sides of the ball when the teams took to the air. Rodgers fired four touchdown passes – two to Davante Adams and one each to Allen Lazard and tight end Marcedes Lewis. His rating of 125.4 was his third-highest of the season.

On the other side of the field, Daniel Jones appeared as though he might be equally as impressive, at least early on. His 18-yarder to Sterling Shepard tied the score at 7-7 late in the first quarter, and the rookie’s rating ballooned to 135.9.

But Jones fired incomplete on his next two attempts. He subsequent offering was waylaid by cornerback Kevin King early in the second quarter.

By game’s end, Jones’ rating was a miserable 49.4.

Rodgers’ jumped into triple digits on his second attempt of the afternoon. He found Lazard downfield for 43 yards and a first down to set up the Packers’ first touchdown.

From there, Rodgers’ rating never fell below 115. He even clocked in at 158.3 on a number of occasions in the first 18 minutes.

Jones’ rating plummeted to 63.1 after he was picked by King. It never got any higher than 71.5 thanks to fourth-quarter interceptions by Darnell Savage and Tramon Williams.

Gaps of 75-plus (starter versus starter with each quarterback attempting at least 15 passes) don’t come around often for Green Bay. When they do, the Packers usually prevail.

The Green and Gold has been 75 points better 48 times since 1947, the year the team went to the T formation. The team’s regular-season record in those games is 46-2.

Tobin Rote was the Packers’ triggerman in the first. On Oct. 2, 1955, he fashioned a rating of 89.3 while the Bears’ Ed Brown barely registered at 12.8. Green Bay won 24-3.

Brett Favre has been at the helm a record 15 times in these ratings landslides. Rodgers is next with 14 such outings.

Bart Starr was at the controls in the most lopsided. On Oct. 12, 1970, Starr’s 132.9 was 131.6 points better than John Hadl’s 1.3. Even so, the Packers needed a fourth-quarter field goal from Dale Livingston to escape with a 22-20 victory.

Rodgers last outpointed the opposing starter by 75 or more on Dec. 11, 2016. No. 12 tossed three touchdown passes (150.8 rating) while Green Bay’s defense intercepted Seattle’s Russell Wilson five times (43.7). The Packers cruised 38-10.

Gaps of 75 or more were more commonplace when Rodgers was younger. He and the Packers came up with at least two in five different seasons: 2009 (2), 2010 (3), 2011 (2), 2012 (2) and 2014 (3).

To this day, the difference between a team’s passer rating and that of its opponents is a good indicator as to how a team might fare in the postseason. Given that Green Bay’s number through 12 games is a pedestrian 14.6 (102.2 for; 87.6 against), continuing to widen that gap would likely only help the Green and Gold come January.

Extra Points
Green Bay’s two losses in 75-plus situations came with Lynn Dickey and Mike Tomczak under center. In 1983, Dickey (120.5) outplayed the Lions’ Eric Hipple (37.6), but Green Bay fell 23-20 in overtime after Dickey was lost to a concussion late in the first half.  In 1991, Tomczak (115.9) outdueled Billy JoeTolliver (36.1), but Atlanta came back to win 35-31 in the second half behind Chris Miller (137.7).

In 2010, the season in which the Packers last won a Super Bowl, the team’s passer rating (98.9) was 31.7 points better than that of its opponents (67.2).

Air Superiority
Quarterback starters for Green Bay who recorded the most regular-season games in which they outpointed the opposition’s starting quarterback by 75 or more (minimum 15 attempts by each quarterback).

   G   GB Starter         Largest Difference                                              Date         
  15   Brett Favre          125.8 (Favre 141.5; Trent Dilfer 15.7)                    Sept. 1, 1996
  14   Aaron Rodgers    119.0 (Rodgers 155.4; Derek Anderson 36.4)        Oct. 25, 2009
    9   Bart Starr            131.6 (Starr 132.9; John Hadl 1.3)                         Oct. 12, 1970
    4   Lynn Dickey        97.8 (Dickey 149.5; Archie Manning 51.7)             Dec. 13, 1981
    2   Tobin Rote          87.4 (Rote 115.6; George Shaw 28.2)                    Oct. 14, 1956

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