2. Turnover differential
Another area the Packers have been successful with McCarthy in the past is turnover differential. They led the league in this category in 2014, and were also in the top 10 in 2015 and 2016. But last season, Green Bay finished 19th in the NFL with a turnover differential of zero.
The defense only had 15 takeaways in the season, which was the third-lowest total in the league. The good news was that they also didn’t give the ball away often with only 15 turnovers. The offense had four interceptions and 11 fumbles.
What became frustrating to watch last season was when the Packers desperately needed a huge play on defense, they rarely came up with it. Having lost six games by a touchdown or less, a couple of game-changing takeaways could have turned those defeats into victories, and then the season would have a very different story.
Rookie safety Darnell Savage Jr. could make a few of those game-changing defensive plays this year, and a more consistent pass rush will force opponents into more mistakes.
Aaron Rodgers looks after the football better than any quarterback, so the Packers’ turnover total should remain healthy. But it’s now important for Mike Pettine’s defense to make those big plays to give the ball back to the offense.