Numbers bear out Packers' dominance of rivals
Eric Goska, For USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin12:08 p.m. CST December 17, 2016
(Photo: Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-W)
Blurt is a board game in which participants vocalize answers they feel fit a description read aloud. Wrong answers are not penalized.
Get ready to blurt.
Against which team have the Packers had the most success in the past 25 years?
Odds are the Lions received another shout out. Their struggles against Green Bay, including a long run of futility in Wisconsin, have been well documented.
But the Bears deserve to be in this conversation. They are a close second, close enough that a case could be made that they, and not the Lions, deserve top billing.
A win Sunday by the Packers at Soldier Field would make that argument more compelling. The two rivals are set to clash in another late-season contest with playoff implications.
Those postseason possibilities belong to Green Bay (7-6). Chicago (3-10) can do nothing more than play spoiler.
Perennial losers from 1968-91, the Packers now are in their 25th season of a prosperous revival. Their regular-season record of 251-145-1 (.634) since 1992 is second only to New England’s 259-138 (.652).
Green Bay’s record against the Lions during that time is 36-13. Its mark against the Bears is 35-14.
Interestingly, the Packers have fared better in Chicago than at Lambeau Field. Their record in Illinois is 19-5; they are 15-9 at home.
The Packers have outscored Detroit by 339 points (1,279 to 940). They have outscored Chicago by 356 (1,201 to 845).
Green Bay has defeated the Lions by 10 or more points 20 times. It has done the same to the Bears on 23 occasions.
The Packers have swept their series with the Lions 11 times. They have swept the Bears 12 times.
Bears or Lions, Lions or Bears, it’s safe to say the Green and Gold is in the midst of quite a run against both teams over the last 25 years.
But let’s focus on the Bears. Just how successful has Green Bay been against its longtime rival?
Total the data from the last 49 regular-season meetings and it becomes clear the Packers have quite an edge. They have outperformed their Windy City neighbors in a number of categories.
Since 1992, the Packers have 982 first downs to 828 for the Bears. They have more total yards (17,397 to 14,348), and more yards rushing (5,733 to 5,165) and passing (11,664 to 9,183).
Quantity aside, Green Bay leads in a number of areas more reflective of the quality of their work. Their third-down conversion percentage is better (42.3 to 32.4), their average gain per offensive play is higher (5.6 to 4.8) and they have committed fewer turnovers (79 to 99).
But where Green Bay truly separates itself is in the passer game. While the Packers have enjoyed a quarter century of mastery at the position, the Bears have suffered through stretches of misery.
Two quarterbacks – Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers – have started against the Bears for Green Bay since 1992. Favre went 22-10 and Rodgers is 13-4.
Sixteen quarterbacks have started for the Bears. Jay Cutler (12) and Erik Kramer (five) are the only ones to have made more than four starts. Four others– Steve Walsh, Chad Hutchinson, Brian Griese and Brian Hoyer – were one-time starters.
Matt Barkley likely will become the 17th to open for the Bears on Sunday. He relieved Hoyer in the last game in the series, throwing 18 times and earning a passer rating of just 18.3.
Differences in passer ratings between the Packers and Bears have been dramatic. With Favre and Rodgers leading the way, Green Bay’s rating has been 91.97. Chicago’s has been 64.44.
That’s a difference of 27.53. It’s the largest gap in any NFL series over the last 25 years (minimum 30 regular-season meetings).
The Packers have compiled passer ratings of 100 or more 17 times. The Bears have managed five such ratings.
Green Bay has finished with a higher passer rating than Chicago 38 times. Its record in those games is 33-5.
The Packers (93) have thrown twice as many touchdown passes as have the Bears (46) in the series since 1992. Those 93 aerial scores would be the high in any series in the last 25 years except for the 96 that Green Bay has against the Vikings.
In the last quarter century, the Packers have more than made up for all the indignities they suffered at the hands of the Bears in the 1980s. A win Sunday would not only keep the team in the running for a playoff berth, it would cap an impressive run of success that hasn’t received its due.
Because of their efforts against the Bears and others, the Packers have compiled the highest passer rating of any team since 1992. Their mark of 91.4 is more than three points ahead of the second-place Patriots at 88.0.
pro-football-reference.com was used as a source for this article.
Overall: Chicago leads 93-92-6
At Soldier Field: Packers lead 24-19
Packers: Aaron Rodgers (87-45 overall; 13-4 vs. Chicago)
Bears: Matt Barkley (1-2; 0-0 vs. Green Bay)
Rating the series
Since 1992, rivalries with passer rating differentials of 15 or more points (minimum 30 meetings).
Diff. Team(rating) Team(rating) Record
+27.6 Packers (92.0) Bears (64.4) 35-14
+24.5 Packers (93.8) Lions (69.3) 36-13
+22.1 Steelers (87.5) Browns (65.4) 35-8
+19.6 Colts (100.2) Texans (80.6) 23-7
+17.8 Seahawks (91.4) 49ers (73.6) 19-11
+17.7 Patriots (92.2) Bills (74.5) 36-14