While we have a week and a half to brace ourselves for another Super Bowl push, there's plenty of time to digest a few of the eye-popping numbers from the Green Bay Packers most succesful regular season ever. 15-1. The record may be the most impressive of them all. Since the NFL went to a 16 game regular season in 1978, only the 84 Niners, 85 Bears, 98 Vikings, 04 Steelers and the 16-0 Patriots of 2007 have done it. The offensive numbers were record shattering, most yards gained, 6482, 125 more than the 1983 squad. Most passing yards, 4924, a whopping 475 more than was gained by Lynn Dickey and company that same year. The 560 points scored was the third highest in NFL history and 99 more than the previous team record set two seasons ago. Staying in the air but of a more dubious nature, the 4796 passing yards given up by this year's defense was the most yardage allowed in the air in NFL history, eclipsing the 4541 yielded by the Atlanta Falcons in 1995. The 6585 total yards allowed was second most all-time, only the Baltimore Colts of 1981 gave up more with 6793. The Packers ranked dead last in total yards allowed for the first time since, here we go again, 1983. Let's get back on the positive spin, the 51 touchdown passes thrown by Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn tied the Colts single season team record of 2004. As for Rodgers, he broke Peyton Manning's NFL single season passer rating record with a rating of 122.5, Manning was at 121.1. Rodgers also led the league in average gain per attempt at 9.25 and in touchdown percentage at 9.0. He was second in completion percentage and in overall touchdowns along with interceptions. I realize Drew Brees set the new yardage standard at 5476 and led the league with 46 TD's, one more than Aaron, but I did a little number crunching this weekend. Rodgers had 343 completions in 502 attempts playing just 15 games. Brees played all 16 and completed a league high 468 balls in 657 attempts, second only to Matt Stafford's 663. For all those who wish to annoint Brees the MVP, if Rodgers attempted as many passes as Brees did, computing both his average gain per attempt and touchdown percentage, Rodgers would have wound up with 6077 passing yards and 59 touchdowns. That's how much more efficiently he played the position. Rodgers was also the top rated league quarterback in the 4th quarter and second rated passer on third down. As for Aaron's top targets, Jordy Nelson led the team with a career high 68 catches for 1263 yards and 15 touchdowns. Only Sterling Sharpe (18 in 1994) and Don Hutson (17 in 1942) had bigger scoring years. Greg Jenning finished with 67 catches for 949 yards and 9 scores. Nelson finished 9th in the league in receiving yards and third in touchdowns. It was another big year for Mason Crosby with 140 points, giving him 649 in his career, the most in NFL history in the first five years of a career. Crosby already ranks 5th all time in Packer scoring behind Ryan Longwell, Don Hutson, Chris Jacke and Paul Hornung. Mason also finished third in the league with 49 touchbacks. Tim Masthay broke the team record for gross punting average at 45.6, beating Craig Hentrich's mark of 45.0 from the '97 season. It's believed his net average of 38.6 is also a new team standard. Rookie Randall Cobb made quite an impact in the return game. He finished number one in the NFC and second in the NFL in kickoff return average at 27.7 yards. His 108 yard touchdown on opening night against New Orleans was the longest kickoff return of the year. Cobb also wound up 7th in the league with a punt return average of 11.3 and added another touchdown. Charles Woodson wound up sharing the interception title with Kyle Arrington of New England and Erik Weddle of San Diego with 7 picks. As a team, the Packers swiped 31 to lead the league, 8 more than New England and San Francisco. I have to admit, the number crunching from this year's team was pretty fun to see.
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