Make it four straight wins for the 2021 NFC North champions. And despite some tricky moments, the Green Bay Packers continue to rack up victories.
Matt LaFleur’s club got a big effort from red-hot quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a ball-hawking defense that sacked Browns’ signal-caller Baker Mayfield five times and stole four of his passes. But it was also a game in which coordinator Joe Barry’s defenders were pushed around, especially when it came to the run.
Cleveland rolled up 219 yards on the ground and Kevin Stefanski’s squad finished the day with 408 total yards.
Shades of the club’s Week 15 win at Baltimore? The Packers allowed 143 yards rushing to the Ravens and needed a failed two-point conversion attempt by John Harbaugh’s club to ensure a 31-30 triumph. Still, a win is a win in a league where many teams fail to win the close ones.
Rodgers has now thrown 33 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in 14 outings this year. Dating back to 2020, he’s served up an amazing 81 TD tosses and been picked off only nine times. He and wideout Davante Adams are playing pitch-and-catch against opposing defenses.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the defense, the numbers are somewhat familiar from a year ago. Last season, the Packers finished ninth in the league in total defense, were tied for 13th in the NFL against the run, and were ranked seventh vs. the pass.
Entering Week 16, the team was eighth in total defense, 12th vs. the run, and ninth against the pass. Those numbers will certainly change considering how easily the Browns were able to move the football.
Over the last five games, the last four resulting in wins, the Packers have allowed a combined 144 points. That’s a shaky 28.8 points per game. Still, the end result has been more wins than losses. And during their current four-game winning streak, Green Bay has totaled 10 takeaways. That means they have forced 26 turnovers this season – eight more than a year ago.
The Packers own a 12-3 record and a modest plus-59 point differential. One reason for that number was a 38-3 loss to the Saints in Week 1. The other has been a penchant for playing in and winning the close games. It’s a team that has been far from overwhelming.
But it also continues to get the job done with players stepping up on both sides of the ball. You can’t ask for more than that this season.