The Green Bay Packers (4-2) are on a three-game winning streak and have plunged ahead of the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears in the NFC North division, but the Packers need to continue striking balance on offense if they want to continue their latest winning streak.
Over the course of the previous three seasons, the Packers had a non-existent rushing attack. In 2012, Green Bay averaged 106.4 rushing yards per game (20th in NFL) on 3.9 yards per carry (22nd) while scoring only nine touchdowns on the ground (t-7th fewest).
This season the Green Bay rushing attack has improved immensely. Packers running backs Eddie Lacy, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin have each had 100-yard rushing games this season and they’ve helped the Packers average 134.7 rushing yards per game (6th) on 4.9 yards per attempt (3rd), but they have only scored four rushing touchdowns (t-20th) this season.
In 2012, Green Bay ran the football on 44.3 percent of their offensive plays and the offense averaged 359.4 total yards per game (13th) and 27.1 points per game (5th) last season. A newly-found rushing attack has changed the Packers’ offense dramatically though early in 2013.
Through the first six games this season, the Packers’ offense as a whole has improved since last year, as Green Bay is averaging 434.7 total yards per game (2nd) and 28 points per game (4th). With an improved running game, though, Green Bay has actually ran the ball less than last year, as they are only running the football on 42.9 percent of their plays.
The Packers started the season winning only one of their first three games after running the football on only 37.4 percent of their offensive plays. Green Bay also averaged only 28 minutes and 35 seconds of possession per game while accumulating seven turnovers.
In their last three games, Green Bay has gone to ground more often, running the football on 48.4 percent of their plays. Since coming off of their early Week 4 bye, the Packers are averaging 32 minutes and 20 seconds of possession per game while accumulating only two turnovers, en route to a perfect 3-0 record.
The Packers’ total yardage and scoring numbers in the past three games have declined since the first three games of the season, but Green Bay is winning because they are finding more balance. With more balance comes a greater time of possession and a greater time of possession does nothing but benefit the defensive side of the football.
If the Packers are going to reach the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season and win the NFC North for the third consecutive year, Green Bay needs to continue striking a similar balance on offense. The less the Packers defense is on the field, the more points the Packers offense can score. Yes, it’s that simple folks.