Three things we’ve learned about the Packers halfway through the season.
Entering week nine means we are officially halfway through the NFL season. At the halfway point the Green Bay Packers stand at 5-2 and lead the NFC North.
Thus far, the Packers have had both some impressive and embarrassing moments. Green Bay went on the road and beat the New Orleans Saints in week three.
But they also have terrible losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week five and to the last-place Minnesota Vikings this previous week.
With half the season remaining, the Packers must show what type of team they are. Are they the best team in the NFC or a contender with a clear ceiling to how far they can go?
Here are the three things we’ve learned about the Packers thus far this season:
Offense more explosive than last season
The best part of the Packers this season is their offense. Halfway through the season, Green Bay ranks third in points per game averaging 31 points. Not to mention, in all five of their wins the Packers have scored over 30 points.
Green Bay’s offensive explosion could be contributed to being in their second year in Matt LaFleur’s offensive system. The 31 points per game this year is exceedingly higher than the 23 points per game they averaged last year.
It also helps that Aaron Rodgers has returned to playing at an MVP level. Rodgers has 20 touchdown passes halfway through the season with only two interceptions.
Another reason the offense is better is the emergence of their young receiving corps. Before his injury, Allen Lazard was emerging as a true number two receiver that the Packers drastically needed.
However, since Lazard went down, the tight ends have made an unexpected impact. Robert Tonyan is second on the team with five receiving touchdowns.
Green Bay dominates inferior teams
One knock against the Packers last season was they won a lot of one-score games. Although Green Bay went 13-3 last season, they won eight of those 13 by one score.
Nonetheless, this season they have been dominant against teams they’re favored against. Green Bay has four wins against against teams below .500. The Packers won those games by an average margin of 14 points per game.
Halfway through the season, the Packers have only played in two one-score games. Those coming against the Saints and the Vikings. Green Bay having decisive victories will benefit them later in the season where a loss could jeopardize playoff positioning.
Packers can be the number one seed in NFC
It’s known that the NFC as a conference is both loaded and deep with playoff caliber teams. But the battle for the number one seed will come down to the Packers, Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks.
Yet, of those three teams, Green Bay is mostly likely to win their division. Both the Buccaneers and Seahawks have already lost to the second-place team in their division. Meanwhile, the Packers still have a chance to sweep the second-place Chicago Bears this season.
The one issue for Green Bay is they might have the most glaring weakness of these three teams. In week eight versus the Vikings, Dalvin Cook had 32 touches for 226 yards and four touchdowns, showing once again the defense has a major issue at stopping the run.
Green Bay has eight more weeks to correct any issues and build upon their strengths if they want to win another Super Bowl.