Bob McGinn nails the reasons why the Green Bay Packers have won 18 straight


Think back to the 70s, 80s, and very early 90s, if you are old enough like me … Or if you can’t, get out some books check out Wikipedia or some other resource and look up the record of the Green Bay Packers.

Then take a look at the most recent article posted by Bob McGinn over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

What you will find is something just short of astounding.

And I’ve wondered why I’ve been so much happier on Monday mornings than my Bears, Lions and Vikings friends.

The statistics that McGinn posts to support the reasons why the Packers have rolled to 18 straight wins is both a fabulous study in excellence, but is also a template for the entire league to follow.

I beg you to look at McGinn’s piece. It will literally blow your mind and certainly give you good reason to smile ear-to-ear.

Will the train be stopped any time in the near future? It’s difficult to say, but I will say this: it’s going to take a mighty locomotive or maybe John Henry to slow this behemoth.

You can jump directly to McGinn’s story here or take the jump just below for the complete story without leaving

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Packers have been on hot streak since ’09

By Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 9, 2011

Green Bay – They were counted out by just about everyone in the state after being ripped from stem to stern for losing to the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That was the scene in mid-November 2009 when the Green Bay Packers (4-4) ventured forth onto Lambeau Field as a 3-point underdog to meet the Dallas Cowboys (6-2).

Little would anyone know that the Packers’ 17-7 victory would propel them into a streak of sustained excellence rivaling almost anything in National Football League annals.

The topical number is 18 games, as in the team’s current winning streak. Counting playoffs, it’s tied with six other teams for second place all-time behind the mark of 21 held by the New England Patriots in 2003-’04.

What’s sometimes easy to forget is just how stunningly consistent and clearly dominant the Packers have been since their disappointing .500 finish in the first half of 2009.

Green Bay went 7-1 in the second half of 2009 before losing a wild, wild-card playoff game in Arizona.

As the most injury-damaged team in the NFL last season, the Packers went 10-6 before four victories in the postseason earned them a fourth Super Bowl title.

And this season they’re off to a 12-0 start.

Certainly, the Packers’ 33-8 (.805) record since mid-2009 isn’t worthy of all-time attention. But considering that those eight defeats were by a total of 27 points, and six of them came last season during the injury onslaught, it’s pretty clear that the Packers’ record could be much better than 33-8.

“I don’t think we even realize that,” nose tackle Howard Green said Friday. “It’s my first time even thinking of it like that. You just want to keep it rolling.”

Those eight defeats include three in overtime, two on last-second field goals in regulation and one on a touchdown pass as time expired. The most recent two losses came on touchdown passes in the middle of the fourth quarter before the Packers, minus Aaron Rodgers, misfired on fourth-down drop-backs deep in opposing territory with a chance to win.

Green Bay hasn’t lost a game by more than six points since the 38-28 loss in Tampa. The last time the Packers were blown out was by New Orleans, 51-29, in November 2008.

“That’s crazy, man,” said tight end Jermichael Finley. “But we don’t talk about the games we had in the past. What we talk about all the time is just how great this team can be. It’s right around the corner for us.”

In those 33 victories, the Packers have seldom been pressed. Just three of the 33 were won by four or fewer points. Their average margin of victory in those 33 games was 14.9.

The Packers have led from start to finish in 19 of their past 41 games. They faced deficits of seven points or more 10 times, four by double digits. They are 2-2 when trailing by 10 or more.

Whereas Green Bay put away most of its opponents in the first half of its 2009 turnaround, the common scenario the past two years has been blowing people out in the third quarter. In those 32 games, the Packers own a 241-84 scoring bulge in the third quarter.

In their 18-game winning streak, the Packers entered the fourth quarter leading 17 times and tied once (3-3, Chicago, Game 16, 2010).

Green Bay’s point differential is plus-466 in its last 41 games, or 11.4 per game.

“No. 1, I think we’ve got a very good quarterback,” defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said. “No. 2, there’s a lot of pride around here. Mike (McCarthy) and Ted (Thompson) have done a great job assembling guys that it means something to.”

Of the 60 players who were under contract to Green Bay for the Dallas game 25 months ago, 28 remain. Sixteen, including safety Nick Collins, remain starters.

“Not much has changed with the guys we got in the locker room,” said Finley. “It tells you what kind of guys Ted gets here and the type of chemistry we’ve got.”

It’s about turnovers

What’s the best way to beat the Packers?

It should be no surprise that it’s all about turnover differential.

In their 33 victories, the Packers have 87 takeaways and 35 giveaways for plus-52. They’re 25-3-5 in terms of winning the turnover battle.

In their eight defeats, the Packers have six takeaways and 14 giveaways for minus-8. They’re 0-6-2 in those turnover battles.

Yardage totals are far less significant. In their 33 victories, the Packers have averaged 377.1 yards and allowed 328.3. Even in their eight defeats, they’ve still out-gained their foes on average, 392.3 to 365.9.

“I think (safeties coach) Darren Perry said it best in his speech today to the team,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said Friday. “He said our excellence is in our commitment to each other.

“It comes from the top down from Ted and Mike. When you like each other, when you continue to respect each other, it goes through your work. That’s what we are.”

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