Friday, January 12, 2007

While you can look at it for free, you have to look at the Football Outsiders Premium Stat Database. Aaron Schatz had been discussing these stats all season long on his weekly Fox Sports DVOA analysis column.

Football Outsiders ranked the Packers offense at 20th overall - below average and with a negative ranking. The only offense worse on 1st down than the Packers was Oakland, but unlike Oakland which was negative at every conceivable down and distance, the Packers were positive (above average) at every other conceivable down and distance other than 2nd and short. It seems likely that the Packers would revert to the mean on 1st down next season and there offense should improve. If WR Greg Jennings can improve and TE Bubba Franks can be replaced, then the offense can easily improve in 2007. However, if neither QB Brett Favre and RB Ahman Green, then it is time to start over on offense. QB Aaron Rodgers would at best play inconsistent although RB Vernand Morency might play just as well as Green, although Morency hasn't shown that he is much of a receiver yet.

The Packers defense was ranked 6th overall, and they were negative (above average) at every conceivable down and distance except 1st and 10. At first it seemed the late season improvement by the defense was due to the very weak competition they faced during the last four games, but DVOA takes strength of schedule into account. One major improvement over the last four games that cannot receive enough recognition is the great interior pass rush provided by DTs Cullen Jenkins and Corey Williams during that stretch. Where were they during the first twelve games? Jenkins missed some games with injury, but Williams was active for all 16 games. Despite the duos great play, the Packers should still try and improve the depth at defensive line in the draft and maybe Michigan's DT Alan Branch will fall into the middle of the first round.

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