Where do Packers stack up in five big keys for winning playoff games?

Do the Packers have what it takes to make it through the playoff gauntlet and win Super Bowl XLVII?  Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jay Sorgi, from our Packers Gameday team, identifies five things that Super Bowl champions share, and he sees where the Packers stand in each category.  Scroll through the photos to read more.

  • 1) Matchups

    Just because a team may be the most talented squad in football doesn't mean they're equipped to beat the teams they face in the playoffs. The Packers know that on both sides. In Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers came in with the NFL's best defense, but Aaron Rodgers' success against blitzing teams was the key factor in Green Bay's win. The Packers' weakness against great front fours did Green Bay in against the Giants in the 2011 playoffs.

  • 1) Matchups - Where do the Packers stack up?

    In terms of the wildcard game against Minnesota, that depends on whether the Packers can tackle well or make Christian Ponder's life miserable. The 49ers? That's a different story. San Francisco has an awesome pass rush without using the blitz, and they can cut down Rodgers and company's possessions with their running game. That formula worked in beating Green Bay in Week 1.

  • 2) Momentum

    In the playoffs, the team that gets hot late in the year most often wins it. Ask the 2010 Packers. Ask the 2007 and 2011 Giants. Right now, teams like Seattle, Washington and - dare we say it - Minnesota embody heavy heat in the NFC. They have winning streaks that add up to a combined 16 games.

  • 2) Momentum - Where do the Packers stack up?

    Not as well. They have won three of their last four games, but outside of their 55-7 demolition of the Tennessee Titans, they simply don't look dominating.

  • 3) Passing and defending the passing game

    Sometimes, statistics can be misleading, but there's one that has proven in recent decades to stand out in revealing championship greatness: passer rating differential. (Your team's passer rating subtracted by your opponents' passer rating against you.) Six of the last seven Packers NFL championship teams finished No. 1 in that category.

  • 3) Passing and defending the passing game - Where do the Packers stack up?

    In 2012, the Packers are again the NFL's best at this statistic. Aaron Rodgers (67.2 completion percentage, 4295 yards, 39 TD passes, 8 INT's) made Green Bay the best passing team in the league.

  • 3) Passing and defending the passing game - Where do the Packers stack up?

    That, teamed with their ability to stop teams from completing passes (55.1%, 4th in NFL) while intercepting them (18, 8th), produces a possible portent of good things to come in the playoffs. But they can't afford bad days in either department, such as what happened against the New York Giants in the 2011 playoffs.

  • 4) Turnovers

    The team that successfully forces turnovers while protecting the football wins about two out of every three games, and can be critical in the playoffs. Some examples? The Packers didn't commit a turnover in Super Bowl XLV. The Steelers forced three. The Packers won. In the 2011 playoff loss to the Giants, the Packers committed four turnovers and only forced one.

  • 4) Turnovers - Where do the Packers stack up?

    Above average, but second worst among the remaining NFC teams competing for a Super Bowl berth. The Packers have a +7 turnover ratio. Washington is +17 in comparison. Only the Vikings are worse (-1) among NFC playoff opponents.

  • 5) Ability to win multiple ways

    Historically, championship teams offer enough skill and talent at various positions that they have the versatility to win, even if a part of their game isn't performing as well. For example: the 2010 Packers had a bad day through the air in the NFC Championship Game against Chicago, but James Starks and the Packers' defense did plenty to make up for it. Those two facets were not as strong against Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl, but Aaron Rodgers had an MVP day to lead Green Bay to victory.

  • 5) Ability to win multiple ways - Where do the Packers stack up?

    Green Bay has the NFL's best passing game, but if a team can make Aaron Rodgers' life miserable, their run game may not bail them out. (20th in NFL.) Defensively, they can stop the pass effectively, but against great running backs like Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore (who play for the Packers' next two possible playoff opponents, Minnesota and San Francisco), they have trouble. They gave up 214 yards per game on the ground against those teams.