Green Bay Packers v. Bears: Behind the Numbers

Here is a look at the stats and figures that helped define the Green Bay Packers win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. 

The game was close at times but largely the Green Bay Packers remained in control as they came away with the Week 6 win over the Chicago Bears. The Packers are now 5-1 on the season.
 
Since it is the Monday following a Packers game, you know that it is time to go Behind the Numbers as we take a closer look at the stats and figures that helped define Green Bay's performance.

5.6

For the most part this season, the Green Bay Packers have stuck with the run game this season; however, picking up yards always hasn't been easy on the ground. The Packers entered the game averaging 4.0 yards per rush as a team, which ranked 20th.
 
But up against a very good Chicago defensive front, we saw the Green Bay running backs have their most efficient game of the season. Aaron Jones finished with 76 yards on 13 carries, including a long of 28, while AJ Dillon had 59 yards on 11 carries with a long of 36. The duo would combine to average 5.6 yards per rush.

2

Maybe there were more, but two is the number of missed blocks by Robert Tonyan. And when I say missed, he nearly flat out whiffed on each of them. The result each time was Chicago disrupting the play in the backfield.
 
Tonyan has been quiet in the passing game this season, but blocking is another way for him to leave his mark on the game. Unfortunately, he has really struggled with that this season. According to PFF ($$), Tonyan entered Sunday's game as the worst graded pass-blocker among all tight ends. In the run game, he hasn't been much better, recording the 18th lowest blocking grade in that category. 

3/4

The Green Bay Packers were incredibly efficient in the red zone last season as an offense, scoring a touchdown on 80 percent of thier red zone trips. This, of course, was tops in the NFL.
 
This season has been a different story, however, with Green Bay finding the end zone only 55 percent of the time before Sunday's game--this ranked 27th. But against the Bears, the Packers were 3/4 in the red zone and what's also encouraging is that we saw some creative play designs from Matt LaFleur, which is something that had been missing. 

24

Out of 57 total plays on offense, 24 of them were running plays to either Jones or Dillon. In today's NFL and with a quarterback of Aaron Rodgers' caliber under center, Green Bay is going to pass more than what they run, but a 60/40 mix between the run and pass is very doable each week.
 
As good as the Rodgers to Davante Adams combo is, this offense just operates differently when Jones is at the center of it. We've seen on a few occasions what happens when this team gets pass-happy, and it's not good.
 
After the first quarter, when the Packers were trying to spread things out and going pass-heavy, we saw them get back to what they do best--having a good run/pass mix, utilizing motion, and the quick passing game. As a result, the offense was much better overall. 

4.4

Over his previous three starts, Justin Fields entered the game averaging 19 pass attempts per game. As a team, Chicago ranked 31st in pass attempts per game this season.
 
But against a Packers' secondary that was without Jaire  Alexander or Kevin King, Fields and the Bears tried to take advantage of that. Fields finished the day with 27 pass attempts and did find some success on the opening drive, and he also led a nice scoring drive in the second half.
 
Yet, for the most part, this Green Bay defense was able to limit the Chicago passing game. Fields would finish the day with only 4.4 yards per pass attempt. Pressure from the defensive front played an active role in this as well. 

2

This is the number of sacks that Kenny Clark had on Chicago's final drive alone. He has been playing at an unbelievably high level to start this season. 
 
Clark entered Sunday's game with the 12th most pressures among interior defensive linemen, the fourth most tackles, and the fourth most stops. Clark obviously has the ability to wreck a game on his own, but the linebackers, edge rushers, and cornerbacks all benefit greatly when he is playing at this level.

19, 17, 13

Jaylon Smith made his Green Bay Packers' debut and saw more playing time than Krys Barnes. Smith had 17 defensive snaps to Barnes 13. I have to say, this surprised me a bit as I did not expect to see Smith on the field as often during early downs. I thought he would be utillized more on third downs or in obvious passing situations. 
 
In addition to Smith and Barnes' numbers, it was actually Oren Burks who took the second most snaps at linebacker with 19. Was this because it is what the Bears and the game dictated, or will we see Smith over Barnes moving forward? And where does Burks fit into all of this?

8

Dean Lowry is typically not a player who is going to fill the stat sheet, rather he does the dirty work and his teammates benefit from it. But since the San Francisco game, he has been playing quite well, getting consistent push agianst both the run and pass. And these last two games, we've seen the results on the stat sheet.

Against Cincinnati, Lowry led the team in pressures with four and he had another four on Sunday in Chicago. When Lowry is playing well, Clark, the edge rushers, and the linebackers will all benefit. 

12

After a rough start, the offensive line settled in once this Green Bay Packers offense got back to doing what they do best--running the ball, using motion, and the quick passing game. As I mentioned above, the running backs averaged 5.6 yards per carry while the offensive line gave up only 12 total pressures, according to PFF. For the most part, Rodgers had the time he needed to go through his progressions in the pocket. This was another very good defensive front that the Packers offensive line had to go up against and they did so after losing Josh Myers after only a few snaps.

22

Including the playoffs, Aaron Rodgers now has 22 wins and just five losses over his career when playing the Chicago Bears. As Rodgers said following his touchdown run, he does still own them.
 

---------------------

Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

7 points

Comments (43)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
4thand1's picture

October 18, 2021 at 11:28 am

Looks like the o-line coaching staff has to work with Tonyan. He seemed great in the SF game but is ranked dead last in pass blocking among TE's? Also his pass catching numbers are down due to all the shifting on the o-line and having to stay in to block. Hope Bahk will be back and the offense will open up even more.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 18, 2021 at 11:57 am

Tonyan has never been a great blocker, but he had become acceptable for a move type TE. I think that they have just been forced to ask him to try to be more than that so far this year. The absence of Bakh, the lack of a TE3, the injury to Daffney, Deguara having to get back up to speed and the fact that Lewis is of an age where he’s not going to play every down all factor in.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 18, 2021 at 08:29 pm

He's a fetcher, not a Rottweiler.

3 points
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Since'61's picture

October 18, 2021 at 11:39 am

The packers had 24 rushing attempts, actually 25 if we count Rodgers QB sneak. They had 23 pass attempts but to get a clearer picture of the run/pass ratio we should consider that Rodgers was sacked 3 times which means 3 more pass plays were called on those sacks plus Rodgers had 6 rushes out of the pocket including his TD run so those were 6 more called pass plays.

The total breakdown in terms of play calls should 25 run plays called and 32 pass plays called, total 57 offensive plays for a pass/run ratio of 56/44. Still a very balanced offense especially for the Packers. Getting closer to run more, pass less. Thanks, Since '61

7 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 01:12 pm

Thanks for that. The numbers weren’t adding up for me, but now they do. I counted Rodgers scrambles as runs , not passes.

Let’s put this another way:

We scored 24 points and completed 17 passes for less than 200 yards. On the road, with a beaten up line, against the Bears. We need to take a moment to think about the implications of that. To me, this clearly supports the “Run More, Pass Less” theory of winning football games.

It doesn’t support the theory of “Spend Lots Of Resources on superduper WRs”, which has been promoted ad nauseum.

Run. Protect the ball. Keep your defense off the field. Throw….efficiently. Protect your QB.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tangent. Rodgers was 17/23 yesterday. That means six incompletions. I’m pretty sure a couple of them were thrown away on purpose. This is some serious accuracy.

10 points
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Since'61's picture

October 18, 2021 at 04:13 pm

LH, yes I consider Rodgers rushing as originally called pass plays and then Rodgers decided to run either because of coverage or his protection broke down or both. So yes they appear as rushes in the “box score” but they were pass plays prior to the snap.

Obviously the QB sneak is a called rushing attempt. Either way your point of Run more, pass less is valid especially when the defense is playing well. Get a lead, keep their offense off the field and run the ball.

Having said that we all know the defense will have some games where they won’t play and those should be the games where we are more pass heavy and dependent on Rodgers. But if the defense is playing well the best way to protect the QB is to run the ball until they stop it and we need to throw for a first down. Then it’s back to the ground game.
Thanks, Since ‘61

4 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 19, 2021 at 04:30 am

This season has supplied plenty of support for the notion that the Packers should pay the super duper WR lots of money.

I agree that the stats you cite don't support paying WRs.

How about 37 seconds left with no timeouts. Two passes from the Diva to the unnecessary super duper WR equals game winning field goal. Running or dinking and dunking won't work.

Other game where GB lined up Adams alone to one side five plays in a row and the defense lined up a CB and moved a safety outside the numbers to Adams' side of the field. GB then lined up 3 TEs on the opposite side and pounded Dillon. Beautiful, but the stats suggest that the super duper WR had nothing to do with that beauty. But he did.

3 points
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jlc1's picture

October 19, 2021 at 05:54 am

Well then you are going to have to give the run game credit for when play actiion gives super duper WR a better chance at getting free for the on the money pass from Diva. So it balances out to at least some degree.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 18, 2021 at 01:05 pm

Zero. The faith I have in our kick returner and blocking for return units and thus in Drayton.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 01:25 pm

Coldworld…….at the risk of stating the obvious, our returns are not costing us games, nor will they as long as we don’t turn it over. The 11 guys we have on the field for those plays are a bunch of rookies and UDFAs who are mostly young, dumb, and full of ability to screw things up, so I don’t need/want a big return. Get off the field so Rodgers can get to work……we’re not paying him to stand on the sidelines while a guy on the bottom of the roster screws things up.

Other than Crosby’s case of Crooked Leg, our special teams have not hurt us. How many teams in the league can say that.

-1 points
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Guam's picture

October 18, 2021 at 01:44 pm

That's a good bottom line view LH, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. My largest concern is the kick-off unit consistently placing the kick-offs short of the goal line thereby inviting a run back. That is going to bite the Packers at some point this season as their coverage unit is not strong.

I don't know if this is by design or if Crosby's leg is starting to fade a bit. I think it might be the former and Drayton is playing with fire if that is the case. If it is Crosby, maybe Bojorquez can kick off. Touchbacks, not returns.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 06:37 pm

Guam , I’ve been thinking about your largest concern.

If you are deliberately forcing the other team to return the kickoff, it’s because you think it’s to your advantage. You are figuring you can trap them inside the 25; or that they’ll screw up and take a penalty or maybe even turn it over.

You would do this if you wanted your opponent to have to return it because you think returning kicks is a losing proposition.

It’s a percentage based gamble. An occasional return is the downside. Let me ask this question: How many games have we lost because of a return in the last 10 or 20 years??🤔. I don’t recall any.

3 points
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Guam's picture

October 18, 2021 at 10:20 pm

Fair point about not losing any games to a kick-off return, but I wonder are the Packers winning field position or losing it with this tactic? If you keep them inside the 25, you are winning, but if the opponent is consistently running it back beyond the 25 yard line, you are losing field position. I have no statistics to resolve the question, just a sense that the Packers have allowed too many returns beyond the 25 yard line this year. Anybody have any factual insight on the starting line for offenses fielding kick-offs against the Pack this year?

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 18, 2021 at 06:27 pm

You are correct, we haven’t lost yet, but we’ve arguably rendered one, perhaps two, games unnecessarily close. My concern is, since we demonstrate fragility weekly, the fact that it hasn’t lost us a game yet is hardly reassuring. Prevention is better than a cure. Do we consider the ostrich wise for not seeing something because his head is in the sand? I’d argue that prevention is exactly what Drayton is paid for. Somebody needs to remedy this defect before it does defeat us.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 06:49 pm

Seven games, one made “unnecessarily close” game because of less than perfect special teams play. Two close wins because of special teams play.

Do we consider a dog wise because he sniffs turds? 😎

And we agree that prevention is better than a cure. That’s why we should PREVENT some guy on the bottom of the roster from having a chance to screw things up😋

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 18, 2021 at 08:35 pm

It's still a game of Field Position. You must be competent in the return game. It also shows mettle and the sp teams coach must be creative. Three Phases of Football. The trilogy must function as one.

2 points
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Stic's picture

October 18, 2021 at 05:57 pm

Special teams suck. Hill is a huge disappointment. The 82 yd punt was pure science fiction and not repeatable. A lot of things to get fixed and in irder and i dont mean “cleaned up”. Its way beyond that.

-4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 01:41 pm

I have some more numbers. As always, there may be some small, bourbon-induced, inaccuracies.

We’ve played 38 regular season games with La Fleur, we have a 31-7 record. We have scored 23 or more 31 times. We are 29-2 in those games.

We have held 28 opponents to 24 or less (that’s below the league average). We are 28-0 in those games

11 points
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greengold's picture

October 18, 2021 at 03:39 pm

Great stuff, Leatherhead!

What a great and welcome change Matt LaFleur has been as HC in Green Bay. Nothing is stale. Everything is new. Player development is being realized on the field.

No one is perfect, but, the guy has done a nice job leading his team over his short tenure, with some good-great success. Hoping he keeps building. Learned some hard lessons in the playoffs, and hopefully those pay off this season.

His numbers are remarkable. If we can get some players back healthy, and avoid further serious injuries, this could become a very powerful team. A lot of good tests ahead.

GPG

6 points
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Tundraboy's picture

October 18, 2021 at 09:15 pm

Equally great stuff!

2 points
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greengold's picture

October 18, 2021 at 03:32 pm

Great stuff, Paul.

I've been dying for this level of balance on the Packers Offense. Rodgers did great, after Myers went down, kind of draining team energy early. Lucas Patrick stepped in, and was steady after he got warmed up by Q2. That running game was just a taste of what this team can do against good run Ds. I think that kept CHI playing more honest, and Aaron Rodgers certainly benefited in the passing game with a modest, yet effective and efficient performance.

Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are a great 1-2 punch. They can take over games, and it was great to see them running more to finish out the Win, much like Dorsey and Edgar used to do for Mike Holmgren. I seriously love seeing that clock keep on spinning, running with the lead.

LOVE the new shovel pass to Lazard. That was a really great play design, and Lazard is one tough player, with good size to run it with... Glad to see him get more involved in the passing game too, with 5 targets.

CHI, with 4.4 yds per pass attempt? With Preston Smith going down? With Kenny Clark going down for an extended period? With Darnell Savage going down? Jaire out? King out? Z out? WOW!!! Impressive. Points to a nice team win, and some young/new players stepping up big time!

GPG

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 18, 2021 at 06:32 pm

LaFleur stated that Patrick was our highest graded lineman on Sunday. That is pretty impressive from a player playing an occasional position. Definitely leaning towards him being among our best 5 OL this year.

5 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 07:44 pm

I’ve never understood why some people don’t realize a young, healthy vet is an asset. He’s started in championship games. He can play a couple of spots. If everybody is healthy, he’s our RG.

3 points
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greengold's picture

October 20, 2021 at 07:55 am

Yup! Patrick has really been a steadying force. Royce Newman has done an admirable job for a rookie, but Lucas Patrick brings a wealth of experience.

0 points
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fordguy's picture

October 18, 2021 at 03:37 pm

Somehow I can't find the thread where all the people that were trashing the off. for throwing the ball late in the game last week. Run,run, run they said, yet I can't find them saying how stupid the pass for 41yds was to Adams setting up the late touchdown. Probably are now saying what a great job of not taking your foot off the opponents throat.

1 points
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greengold's picture

October 18, 2021 at 04:13 pm

Maybe you're just not wanting to recognize how a balanced attack, both run and pass helps the passing game, and opens up play action passing. To that point, the Packers had 12 pass plays to 6 rushing attempts in the 2nd half.

In the 1st Had, GB had 11 rushing attempts and 11 passing attempts.

The Packers more balanced attack kept CHI front seven playing more honest, instead of pinning their ears back in pass rush 80% of the time.

You want a lambaste someone over that?

What happened in our 2nd drive of the 2nd half? Run for 3 yds. Sack. Short pass for 4 yds. Punt. Had they stuck with handing the rock to Dillon & Jones, that drive could very well have been extended.

We all know Aaron can sling it. We've seen it for most of the last 10 years. Now we're seeing him hand the ball off more, and it is helping the Packers win games.

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 04:38 pm

Every week, I see QBs throw for big numbers and lose. Here’s why.

Hypothetically, our QB goes 30 for 40, for 300 yards. He gets two TDs and has one turnover. So his stat line looks really good: 75% completions, 7.5 yards/attempt.

Meanwhile, the clock isn’t moving very fast, and it increases the number of possessions for both teams. That means more opportunities against your defense. So do you want a high octane passing game that’s awesome, or a team that can grind sausage for three months, in the cold, with people injured.?

I’ll take the sausage grinders . The only thing that can derail this team is if Rodgers gets hurt, so get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. Id rather lose a regular season game or two than see Rodgers get broken.

1 points
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fordguy's picture

October 18, 2021 at 05:10 pm

Neither of you are getting my point,(on purpose). All sorts of people were bitching about the Packers throwing the ball late and getting incompletions. This week same scenario and Adams catches one for 41yds and I don't hear any complaining.

-3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 07:37 pm

fordguy…….I’m not smart enough to deliberately miss stuff. I miss enough stuff accidentally.
i get your point but I don’t think it’s the same scenario. In one case, we were trying to kill clock, and the other case we hit a kill shot. Similar, yes. And yeah, people bitch about odd stuff here.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 19, 2021 at 04:48 am

Of course, one might note that GB scored 14 points in the first half and 10 in the second half.

I think 60/40 to 65/35 pass/run is about right. Depends on the opponent and whether adjustments have to be made.

2 points
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Since'61's picture

October 18, 2021 at 10:55 pm

Ford guy, I’m pretty sure that you are referring to a thread following the Steelers game when Rodgers under threw Tonyan off of play action late in the game and Tonyan was wide open.

I posted on that thread that many fans complained over the years that the Packers don’t have a killer instinct and yet when they went for the kill shot against the Steelers they are complaining that they should be running the ball. In fact that play had been set up beautifully by 4 previous running plays by Dillon and was a great example of how the MLF offense should work.
I further stated that if Rodgers had made a good throw to Tonyan no one would be complaining which is your point about the play to Adams against the Bears which no one is complaining about nor should they.

However, they are 2 different situations. Against the Steelers the Packers had a 2 score lead at the time and following the incompletion to Tonyan the drive stalled after 2 more incompletions. Against the Bears the Packers were holding only a 3 point lead with about 8 minutes to go when Rodgers hit Adams for the big gain. At least to me the Packers were trying to build a safer lead and the risk/reward was worth the try.

While the play proved to be decisive in the game I wouldn’t call it a kill shot as much as a shot to try to achieve a two score lead and make a Bears late comeback much more difficult.

In any case fans tend to complain whenever a play doesn’t work even in a game when the Packers are leading and they expect or take the successful plays for granted.
Thanks, Since ‘61

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 19, 2021 at 10:12 pm

I've always been an advocate for fan 4 a day contests. Winner gets to suit up and dance the gridiron while 6-4, 265 #dudes that run 4.6 40s play with their heads.

1 points
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THESZOTMAN1's picture

October 18, 2021 at 03:54 pm

I was BIG supporter of Tonyan when as heir apparent to Jimmy G. Now I just wish that Marcedes was 29 instead of 39. Blocking, catching, and flat-out running people over. The Big Dog is the definition of old school pro.
As for "Big" Bob --- C'mon Man!
The Szotman

6 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 18, 2021 at 04:44 pm

Hockenson will be FA eventually. Maybe we could screw Detroit in a trade. Maybe we get a chance at a guy next year in the draft.

Tonyan is a fine #2 TE, but Lewis pushes people around out there. He’s not going to last forever.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 18, 2021 at 06:36 pm

Tonyan is a move TE. He’s a pretty decent one. He’s filling in as a traditional in line TE out of necessity several times a game. He isn’t one and it shows.

1 points
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dobber's picture

October 18, 2021 at 06:52 pm

With Z.Smith out indefinitely and P. Smith now dinged...

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2021/10/texans-to-release-de-whitney-m...

Here's another chance for a guy who might not cost too much and can give the Packers pass rush help on limited snaps.

3 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 19, 2021 at 04:57 am

Dobber, I believe many of Packers fans forgetting one important thing. There is very small number of players whom you can put immediately in D and expect to perform at least good. They'll need 2 to 4 weeks to adjust to the system (offensively or defensively) to be able to contribute in the full amount. That should be time when most of your starters will be back from injuries and you'll do not need him. You have promising young guys on the roster and, you have next year rebuilding season. I'll play with Garvin, Hamilton, Galei this 2 to 4 weeks.

And there must be a reason why Mercilus is cut.

2 points
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dobber's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:37 am

I would agree for most positions. I would argue that a designated pass rusher--especially a vet like Mercilus--would insert pretty readily right off the bat for limited snaps. He has been productive for a bad team...the rationale for his release as I've heard it is that they've decided to go young and his contract is too big to keep on the bench.

I would argue cost is the biggest issue. If they can navigate a deal like they did with Jaylon Smith, it's worth the shot. Right now, this is an opportunity to improve defensive depth for a team that's getting very thin at OLB. There's no guarantee that Z will make it back, and the schedule is about to get significantly harder, and with "pass happy" teams. Even if they get 100% healthy, he'd be a cheap contract on the bench.

Kick the tires. Good teams stockpile good players. Mercilus makes this team better.

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

October 18, 2021 at 09:33 pm

So many superb comments here. What a great great win. Couldn’t be any prouder of the effort. Despite a new string of injuries from the first snap with Myers going down the team responded to every challenge. Loved the balance on offense, Ripping off great runs on the vauntedBear D and then finishing them off with Clark. Going to savor this one.

4 points
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Since'61's picture

October 18, 2021 at 10:36 pm

Agree tundra a great win. Stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

1 points
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Tundraboy's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:54 pm

Thanks 61 You as well. As I understand your in NY , we should meet up at the Kettle one day. Never been but it’s time.

0 points
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jont's picture

October 19, 2021 at 09:19 am

15
In six games, the bad guys reached the red zone 15 times and scored a TD every time.

A mix and match LB corps and CBs who are average at best are key reasons for this, of course, but the D really has to dig deep and stop somebody one of these days. The league average is 60-63%... so if GB's D were average, that's five fewer TDs in six games.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 19, 2021 at 12:27 pm

On the other hand, the bad guys don’t reach the red zone very often, and they almost never score from outside the red zone. And so far, the bad guys don’t score enough to win.

I think people are fixated on that red zone stat; there’s more to it. We’re bad in the red zone on offense, too, but we’re scoring enough to win.

0 points
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