The Green Bay Packers continued to cheer up their fans with another strong offensive showing on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Aaron Rodgers finished the game 30-for-37; an 81% completion rate that reminded everyone why he is the best quarterback in the league. Jordy Nelson had another 100-yard game. Mike McCarthy called a great game, including a surprise onside kick which upset St. Louis’ control-the-clock approach. All in all, there were a lot of great things happening offensively in the game.
Of them all, it is the third down conversion rate that jumped out at me on Sunday when the Packers were able to convert 9-of-15 against a strong St. Louis defense. This has been an area of some concern through the first six weeks of the season, and a statistic that the Packers have focused on improving. Third down conversions is really one of the most important indicators of success, especially for a pass-happy offense like Green Bay.
The high conversion rate had a lot to do with Randall Cobb, who continues to justify my ardent love for him week after week. He has become Rodgers’ reliable target on third downs, having caught 12 third down receptions for 176 yards this season. On Sunday, Cobb answered the call seemingly every time the Packers were facing the chance of being forced to punt. Cobb was excellent across the board, catching all eight of the passes thrown his way. It is only the second time this season that an NFL receiver with at least eight catches has caught all the throws he was targeted on. You want to know who did it the first time? I’ll give you a hint: he has gorgeous eyes and plays for the Green Bay Packers. Yep, Cobb went 9-for-9 in Week 1.
Of all the gaudy numbers the Packers are capable of putting up with their offense, third down conversion rate is the one that I will continue to rate as most important. If the Packers can continue to record high third down conversion percentage, their offense will continue to be the same old record-breaking offense that we know and love.