Only statistic that matters is W
Jay Hodgson, Packers contributor
Mike Daniels.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
CREATED Sep. 16, 2013
In an age of fantasy football and our tendency to rank everything, we have become obsessed with statistics.
The scoreboard in Lambeau Field shows player and game statistics.
Apps on our phones track player and game statistics.
The scrolling ticker at the bottom of our televisions show all kinds of statistics.
Box scores are available everywhere for us to read.
How many yards did the player gain? How many touchdowns were scored? How many sacks?
We clearly care a lot about statistics.
In their dominating win over the Washington Redskins, the Packers had many statistical milestones.
Aaron Rodgers tied Matt Flynn for the most yards passed in a single game with 480.
James Jones had career-high receiving yardage with 178 while averaging an astonishing 16.2 yards per catch.
Randall Cobb also added a monster day of his own with 128 yards and a touchdown catch.
James Starks, who was unexpectedly thrust into action, ran roughshod through the Redskins defense for 132 yards and a touchdown of his own.
He was the Packers first 100-yard rusher in 45 games. It’s nice to have that monkey off their backs, I’m sure.
Overall, the Packers offense torched the Redskins defense for an eye-opening 580 total yards. Yes, this offense is for real.
Dom Capers, despite dealing with injuries to Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward in the secondary for a second straight week, had an excellent game plan to stop the potent Redskins offense.
Remember, the Redskins did win the NFC East last year.
The most telling statistic about the Packers defense was 0 points given up by halftime. Yes, not a single point. This defense is also for real.
However, if you scan the box score, you’ll notice that the Packers defense gave up a total of 422 yards to the Redskins offense.
Robert Griffin III threw for 320 yards, and Pierre Garcon caught 143 of them.
Alfred Morris ran for 107 yards himself.
On paper, it seems like the Packers defense wasn’t very good. That’s a lot of yards.
But, for those of us who saw the game, it was a dominating performance by the Packers defense.
The yardage was really only racked up during the second half when the Packers clearly took their foot off the gas. They were playing loose coverage to melt the clock.
You could go as far to call it “garbage time,” but that might be disrespectful to the players giving their all on the field.
Bill Parcells calls it, “Shortening the game.” The game is in hand, so let’s get out of here with the win and live to play another day. Keep players in bounds and let the clock run out.
So, in the end, total yardage is really a pretty worthless defensive statistic. It doesn’t properly show a defense’s dominating performance.
In this golden age of offensive explosions, teams are going to pile up yards. It’s inevitable. Most of the rules clearly favor the offense.
As far as defensive statistics go, the most important statistic is points yielded.
The defense kept the Redskins out of the endzone most of the day. The Redskins had 12 possessions, and they only scored on three of them. It was a very good defensive performance.
At the end of the game, the Packers defense surrendered fewer points than their offense spotted them. That’s a win. Every time.
The Packers did a lot of good things Sunday. They owned the game and beat a very good team Sunday, and beat them very thoroughly.
They came away with the “W”.
That’s the only statistic that matters.
If the Packers have several “W’s” in January and February, no one will care one lick about how many yards they surrendered on defense.
All we’ll be counting is the number of Lombardi Trophies on display. That’s the real money statistic.