Goska: Packers' triple double a rarity

Eric Goska
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The Green Bay Packers pulled off a rare triple double Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass during the second quarter of their game Thursday, October 20, 2016 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Green Bay produced twice as many points, yards and first downs as Chicago in its 26-10 victory. More than 20 years have passed since the Packers last doubled up their rival in all three categories.

Neither Green Bay nor Chicago was in the pink of health for this 191st regular-season meeting between the teams. The Packers were without running backs Eddie Lacy (ankle) and James Starks (knee). The Bears started the evening minus quarterback Jay Cutler (right thumb), then lost Brian Hoyer to a broken arm in the second quarter.

Judging by the numbers, Green Bay had the more effective contingency plan.

The Packers outperformed the Bears offensively at almost every turn. Final statistics had them on top just about everywhere.

Working in Green Bay’s favor was its reluctance to part with the ball. Its time of possession was a selfish 39 minutes, 36 seconds.

Given so much time, the Packers produced 406 yards. Chicago registered a season-low 189.

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Aaron Rodgers passed and often. He completed 39 of 56 passes for 326 yards and threw three touchdowns passes.

Wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb doubled as running backs. They gained 81 of the team’s 103 rushing yards.

The Bears were not so fortunate. For the first time in nearly 50 years (Sept. 24, 1967), Chicago failed to have a running back, receiver or quarterback contribute at least 90 yards in the long-running series. Matt Barkley, Hoyer’s replacement, was the top producer with 81 yards passing.

Outgaining an opponent by a 2-to-1 margin doesn’t happen every week. Green Bay became the second to do it this season four days after Washington doubled up Philadelphia (493-239) in a 27-20 win on Oct. 16.

The Packers have gained at least twice as many yards as their opponent 82 times since 1933. The team’s record: 71-9-2.

Green Bay’s favorite teams to double up are the Lions (14) and Bears (10). Tampa Bay had been the last to suffer this fate at the hands of the Packers in December 2014.

But Mike McCarthy’s offense did more than outgain the Bears. The unit created more than twice as many points (26-10) and first downs (32-13) as did Chicago.

Call it a triple double. That is, a rare triple double.

Green Bay was the first to post one this year. Last season, 256 regular-season games were played and only six triple doubles were recorded.

Seattle was responsible for three of them. The Cardinals (two) and Steelers had the others.

Green Bay has come up with 39 triple doubles since 1933. The Lions (six) and Bears (four) again have been the Packers’ favorite targets.

Mike Holmgren was coach the last time they notched one against Chicago. In a 40-3 win on Dec. 11, 1994 they outgained the Bears (516-76) and had far more first downs (28-9).

Five and Ten

The Packers mounted five drives of 10 or more plays. The majority of the team’s yards (281) and first downs (23) occurred during these long stretches.

On its first possession, Green Bay used 13 plays and cashed in on Mason Crosby’s 32-yard field goal. A 9-yard pass to Jordy Nelson on fourth-and-4 kept the drive alive.

The second time out, Green Bay utilized 11 plays to reach the Bears’ 1-yard line where Montgomery failed to gain on fourth down. A 44-yard pass interference call on safety Adrian Amos accounted for much of the distance covered.

Another pass interference penalty – this time an 18-yarder on defensive back De’Vante Bausby – aided a 10-play jaunt just before halftime. Crosby finished the advance with a 40-yard field goal that put Green Bay up 6-3 at the break.

Rodgers then directed two, 13-play touchdown drives in the second half. Scoring passes to Davante Adams and Cobb capped the efforts.

Green Bay last had five drives of 10 or more plays in a 31-27 loss to the Patriots in 2010. Matt Flynn guided the team as it amassed 249 of its 369 yards on the five possessions.

Only once before have the Packers had five against the Bears. On Nov. 11, 1995, Green Bay mounted drives consisting of 14, 10, 12, 12 and 12 plays as the team prevailed 27-24 at Soldier Field.

Marking Double Time

Regular-season games in which the Packers had twice as many points, yards and first downs as the Bears. All four took place at Lambeau Field.

Date                      Score         Yards              FDs

Sept. 30, 1962       49-0           409-176           21-7

Nov. 30, 1975       28-7           309-132           22-11

Dec. 11, 1994        40-3           516-176           28-9

Oct. 20, 2016        26-10         406-189           32-13

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