Morning Buzz: Work to be done on defense
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a cup of coffee (or brew some tea, if that’s your thing) and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.
As we head into the offseason, we start with Bob McGinn’s Rating the Packers season-ending roundup.
The maximum total of five footballs were awarded six times, one more than last year. The quarterbacks – that is, Aaron Rodgers – earned five against Seattle and Minnesota. The kickers had five against Minnesota and at Dallas. The running backs were given five at Chicago and the defensive backs earned five against Seattle.
As an overall team, the Packers received five footballs for their 38-10 victory over Seattle. It was their first five-football game since the back-to-back triumphs over Chicago (55-14) and Philadelphia (53-20) in mid-2014.
Defensive tackle Mike Daniels and Rodgers shared the team lead in individual player of the game honors with three. Rodgers has either won or shared the top spot five times in his nine-year career as the starter. He was No. 1 a record seven times during the 17-game season of 2011.
Eric Goska dives deep into the numbers behind the Packers’ embarrassing loss to the Falcons. As you might have guessed, they aren’t pretty.
The Falcons dialed up a points-per-play average of 0.65 on 68 offensive plays. They averaged nearly a point per play in the second half in counting 20 points on just 22 plays.
Most impressively, Atlanta maximized its opportunities. Not only did it score on more than half its drives, it equaled the best effort of any team in the playoffs this century.
The Falcons had nine possessions. They scored touchdowns on six advances and kicked a field goal on a seventh.
That percentage of 77.8 was a season high for the team. It surpassed the 72.7 percent (8 of 11) posted in overwhelming the Buccaneers 43-28 on Nov. 3.
So high was this number that it has been equaled just twice in the last 17 postseasons. That’s a stretch of 186 playoff games.
Ty Montgomery actually worried about making the roster coming out of camp:
The Packers signed eight members of the practice squad to futures deals:
Really cool collection of all our Packers covers this season:
Elsewhere, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky takes a look at the Packers' pending free agents on the offensive side of the ball:
As one might expect, the tape from the Falcons game is not kind to the Packers:
David Bakhtiari ran into an old friend at the Pro Bowl:
Speaking of the Packers left tackle, he was named Best Pass Protector by Pro Football Focus:
Coming into this season, David Bakhtiari was an average offensive tackle who was pretty good in pass protection, but struggled as a run blocker. This year, he vastly improved in all areas, and was charged for fewer total pressure (23 combined sacks, hits and hurries) than his own quarterback (24 total for Aaron Rodgers) was over the season. Given that Rodgers held the ball longer on average than every QB in the league outside of Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor, Bakhtiari’s performance as a pass protector was astounding, and earned him the highest PFF pass-blocking grade (93.4) of any offensive tackle. Over the entire season, and including the playoffs, he was responsible for Aaron Rodgers hitting the ground just four times.
T.J. Lang and Micah Hyde were each given the Tom Mulhern Stand Up Guy award:
Wes Hodkiewicz wrote on the award at the team’s website.
Packers fans are truly everywhere:
It won’t be long until the Packers are back on the practice field doing drills like this:
The Packers head into the offseason as one of the favorites to reach next year’s Super Bowl:
When it comes to Dom Capers, the natives are restless:
The NFL and the NFLPA could be close to amending the league’s marijuana policy:
The Pro Bowl will be...different this year: