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Statistical Oddities Of 2008


Johnny Jolly's blocked field goal against the Indianapolis Colts was the Packers' first since 2005.

It's that time of year for to take a look at some of the oddities in the final statistics from 2008. It wasn't as much fun compiling these as a year ago, after a 13-3 campaign, but there are some interesting nuggets nonetheless.

So, without further ado, here's the latest version following the team's 6-10 record in 2008. They're numbered zero through 16, one for every game, plus the bye week.

0:The number of offensive possessions the Packers had in two overtime games this season. Both OT periods, at Tennessee and at Chicago, ended as the Titans and Bears won the coin tosses and kicked field goals on the opening drives. Prior to '08, the Packers' last two regular-season overtime games also ended in one possession, with Green Bay coming out on top by scoring a touchdown on the first snap at Denver in '07 and kicking a field goal on the opening OT drive vs. Detroit in '05.

Some in the media have been calling for the NFL to look into changing the current sudden-death overtime format. They point out that in the last five years, 28 of 72 overtime games, or 39 percent, have been decided in one possession. The Packers have been involved in four of those, going 2-2. In the Packers' overtime loss to the N.Y. Giants in the NFC Championship last year, the extra session lasted two possessions.

1:The number of blocked field goals by the Packers this season. Johnny Jolly blocked a 45-yard attempt by Indianapolis' Adam Vinatieri in the third quarter on Oct. 19. It marked the first blocked field goal by the Packers in the Mike McCarthy era, with the previous one coming by Cullen Jenkins on Nov. 6, 2005, vs. Pittsburgh. Green Bay opponents blocked two of Mason Crosby's field goals this season, in the opener against Minnesota (Kevin Williams) and in Week 16 at Chicago (Alex Brown).

2:The number of 2-point conversions attempted and made by the Packers, also the first of the McCarthy era, and they came in back-to-back weeks. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 2-point passes to Ruvell Martin at New Orleans on Nov. 24 and to Greg Jennings on Nov. 30 vs. Carolina. The Packers didn't even attempt a 2-point conversion in either of McCarthy's first two seasons.

3:The number of different defensive players who started at the right defensive end position following Jenkins' season-ending injury in Week 4. Michael Montgomery (8), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (1) and Jeremy Thompson (3) all started games there over the season's final 12 games. The other three spots on the defensive line had a total of three starters all season - Aaron Kampman at left defensive end, Ryan Pickett at left defensive tackle and Johnny Jolly at right defensive tackle all started every game.

4:The number of games the Packers did not intercept at least one pass. The Green Bay secondary, featuring Pro Bowlers Charles Woodson and Nick Collins, intercepted passes in 12 games but did not get a pick at Tennessee (Nov. 2), vs. Chicago (Nov. 16), vs. Carolina (Nov. 30) or at Jacksonville (Dec. 14). The Packers recorded multiple interceptions seven times and posted a season-best three on three different occasions - at Detroit on Sept. 14, at Tampa Bay on Sept. 28 and at Minnesota on Nov. 9.

5:The number of 100-yard receiving games turned in by Jennings, one more than the total of 100-yard games he had in his first two seasons combined. Jennings put up a career-best 167 yards at Detroit on Sept. 14, which beat the 141 yards he had at Denver on Oct. 29, 2007. With nine 100-yard games in three seasons, Jennings is at nearly half of Donald Driver's career total of 20 over the past 10 years.

6:The number of fumbles the Houston Texans were charged with against the Packers on Dec. 7, losing three of them. That was the most fumbles by a Green Bay opponent since Atlanta also had six (also losing three) on Nov. 13, 2005. The last time the Packers fumbled six times was in a 17-14 loss to Philadelphia on a rainy Monday night at Lambeau Field, Nov. 10, 2003. The Packers lost two of those fumbles.

7:The number of times the Packers scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter this season. Unfortunately, the Packers' record in those seven games was just 4-3. The Packers scored 150 of their 419 points in the fourth quarter this season, by far their most productive quarter at 35.8 percent, and they were never shut out in the fourth. Contrast that with the first quarter, which was the team's worst with just 61 points (14.6 percent). The Packers were blanked in the first quarter six times and never scored more than seven points in the opening quarter until Week 17.

8:The number of replay challenges by opposing coaches this season, and they were successful only one time. Opposing teams were 0-for-7 in their challenges until the season finale when Detroit challenged Ryan Grant's 80-yard touchdown run and had it changed to a 21-yard run when it was ruled Grant was down by contact. For the Packers, McCarthy was successful on 4-of-7 challenges this season, a 57 percent rate that was tops in the NFC North, ahead of Minnesota (5-of-11, 45 percent), Chicago (4-of-10, 40 percent) and Detroit (4-of-10, 40 percent).

9:The number of points the Packers scored on their opening drives of second halves. Green Bay posted just three field goals coming out of the locker room at halftime, against Dallas, Indianapolis and Carolina. The opening drive of the game wasn't much better, as the Packers scored just 13 points all season on their first possession. All told, the Packers were outscored 64-22 on the opening drives of each half.

10:The number of non-offensive touchdowns scored in the Packers' games this season, nine of them by Green Bay. The Packers had seven defensive touchdowns (six interception returns, one fumble return) and two special teams touchdowns (both punt returns), while their opponents had just one defensive touchdown, a fumble return by Tampa Bay on Sept. 28.

11:The total number of defensive pass interference penalties enforced in the Packers' games this season, nine of them against the Packers. Opponents were called for just two defensive pass interference penalties for 32 yards, while the Packers' nine infractions cost them 150 yards. Neither of the Packers' Pro Bowlers, Woodson or Collins, had a pass interference penalty this season, and those two led the team in passes defensed, with 20 and 18, respectively.

12:The fewest pass completions by a Green Bay opponent this season. It happened twice, as Seattle's Charlie Frye was just 12-of-23 for 83 yards and Carolina's Jake Delhomme was 12-of-17 for 177 yards. Delhomme was just 10-of-15 for 87 yards until his last two passes, both to Steve Smith for a total of 90 yards, set up the Panthers' final two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

{sportsad300}13:The number of Packers scoring drives of 80 yards or longer. The Packers had 10 scoring drives of between 80 and 89 yards and three more longer than 90. Opponents had 11 scoring drives of 80 yards or longer, including two longer than 90. Interestingly, none of those 24 drives of 80-plus yards resulted in field goals. All of them produced touchdowns.

14:The number of times either Jennings or Driver led the Packers in receiving yards in a game. Only twice did someone else lead the team in that category. Brandon Jackson had a team-best 37 yards against Indianapolis on Oct. 19, and James Jones had 132 yards at Jacksonville on Dec. 14. In addition, there were only three times someone other than Jennings or Driver led the team in receptions. Jackson had five catches vs. Atlanta on Oct. 5 and six vs. Indy, while tight end Donald Lee had six receptions vs. Chicago on Nov. 16.

15:The season-high in tackles by one defensive player for the Packers. Montgomery posted 15, including 11 solo, at Tennessee on Nov. 2. Both of those totals were career-highs for Montgomery, who didn't even start the game.

16:The number of plays on the Packers' longest scoring drive in terms of snaps and time consumed in 2008. Against Carolina, the Packers drove 79 yards in 16 plays, possessing the ball for 9 minutes, 13 seconds, of the fourth quarter, and kicked a 19-yard field goal. For the season, the Packers had 26 scoring drives of 10 plays-or-more, including three of 15 plays. Unfortunately, almost half of those 10-or-more-play drives, 12 of them, resulted in field goals.

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