Despite injuries, Packers' made incredible offensive output
Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field. Image by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
This week, the Green Bay Packers get their off season training program underway as they take the first formal step toward the 2014 season.
This is the time of year when I begin to put together my “spotting charts” which entails a look back at the 2013 campaign to log all of the pertinent information. This look back revealed some extraordinary accomplishments by “Team 93” (the 93rd NFL edition of the Packers).
In the past two seasons, injuries have severely tested the deep Green Bay roster. Last season, the Packers finished with 15 players on the injured reserve list. Four of them were preferred starters.
Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Games Lost (AGL) metric quantifies how much teams were affected by injuries based on two principles:
- Injuries to starters, injury replacements and more important situational reserves matter more than injuries to backup personnel who do not play a whole lot.
- Injured players who do take the field are usually playing with reduced ability, which is why Adjusted Games Lost is not based strictly on whether the player is active for the game or not, but instead is based on the players listed status that week on the injury report.
According to Football Outsiders’ AGL, the Packers were the third most injured team in the NFL last season.
Green Bay posted a 2013 AGL of 104.5 while the Giants 144.6 and Indianapolis 110.3 were the only teams who suffered more injuries than the Packers.
The healthiest teams in the league according to this metric were Kansas City 27.6, Philadelphia 33.6 and Cincinnati 43.4.
Seven of the bottom 10 teams in 2013 AGL made the post season including the Packers, compared to only three of the 10 healthiest teams.
While Aaron Rodgers (7 full games missed), Randall Cobb (10) and Jermichael Finley (10) missed considerable time, the Packers did not fold under the brunt of injuries the way Atlanta did.
In fact, despite starting four different quarterbacks and losing two of their top three threats in the receiving corps, the Packers offense still generated 6,482 yards - second most in franchise history to the 15-1 team in 2011.
In the passing game, the Packers ranked 6th in yardage, 266.8 yards per game. They also finished 8th in rushing yards, 133.5 per game. Green Bay tied for 8th in points, 26.1 per game. Months removed from the season, these numbers are impressive!
Say what you will, as 8-7-1 may not be what the Packers or their fans were looking for from “Team 93.” However, there is no question that after overcoming the crippling injuries suffered on the offensive side of the ball, this might have been one of the best coaching jobs I have seen by head coach Mike McCarthy and his offensive staff.
One last note: some have maintained the Packers backed into the 2013 NFC North Division title. The Lions went 0-4 down the stretch while the Bears were 1-3, but don’t sell the Packers short.
After the Thanksgiving Day massacre in Detroit, they got up off the mat and won three of their last four games, including a stunning come ack from 23 down at Dallas to beat the Cowboys and a dramatic winner take all regular season finale’ at Chicago.
The Packers did not back into anything. They overcame great obstacles to win a third straight division crown and make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.
I’ve got all of that on my chart. We will review the defense later this week.