Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Packers Are Very Likely To Make The Playoffs and Torch The Saints's Awful Defense

Obviously (sarcasm alert) the big news of the day is that the Packers got to see Pearl Jam and meet Eddie Vedder, but I was also looking at the advanced stats released today.

Football Outsiders have now put the odds that the Packers will make the playoffs at 89% which is second best in the NFC behind the Cowboys at 90.1%. I'd feel really good about where they stand, but things can change in one play. Unfortunately this might be a jinx, but I'll point out that the Packers were 5-2 last season, just as they are this season, after seven games and then QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in their eighth game.

Overall, Football Outsiders has the Packers ranked as the third best team, mainly on the strength of their offense (third overall), but the defense and special teams are both currently above average. They're way behind the Broncos in the rankings, but Denver's lapping every other NFL team at the moment, so they're is in good company.

They're also ranked 3rd overall on offense by Pro Football Focus, but those stats are better used to evaluate individual players instead of entire teams. For example, the overall PFF rankings currently have the Broncos's offense at number seven overall, one spot ahead of the Bears, which doesn't seem right. Individually, PFF has QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Jordy Nelson as the highest ranked players at their respective positions.
Looking ahead to New Orleans, their offense isn't quite as great as they were in 2013 because of TE Jimmy Graham's injury, but their defense has fallen apart. The Saints are currently ranked as the worst defense in the NFL according to Football Outsiders (the bottom four defensive spots are all occupied by teams from the NFC South and the Packers play both the Buccaneers and Falcons in December). After what the Packers just did to the Panthers last Sunday, I think a match-up between Aaron Rodgers and any team featuring a terrible defense is going to be a lopsided affair.


Jack Niemuth said...

It's easy to say that the game will be an easy win, since it should be. Still, since the Packers seem to be a different team on the road this year I'm not sure they'll win. Ir just seems like the kind of game for the Saints to turn their season around in.

Brandon said...

They've also had their three toughest games of the year on the road, so it could be due to the opponents. And the Saints haven't played a good team at home this year. It's hard to predict how the home/road advantage for both teams will work out.