Adding To An Impressive Streak

Outscoring their opponents by 75 points combined over the last three games, the Packers have hit a high point in the Mike McCarthy era. Matt Tevsh analyzes the Packers' four-game winning streak headed into a matchup with the 8-2 Falcons.

A win this Sunday at Atlanta could go a long way for head coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers.

As a snapshot, it would give them a win over the NFC's top team and continue momentum heading into the final full month of the regular season.

Looking at the big picture, it would give them a five-game winning streak and would seal what would have to be considered the most impressive stretch of football during the McCarthy era.

By at least one measure, the Packers can stake a claim to this midseason run being their most dominant over the last five seasons. By outscoring their opponents 85-10 over the last three games - an average of 25 points per game - they have posted their largest point differential in such a span since the 2003 season. Throw in a four-point win over the Vikings on Oct. 24 and the point differential during the four-game winning streak is still an impressive 19.8.

"We're on a little roll right now," said linebacker Clay Matthews after the 31-3 victory over the Vikings on Sunday. "This team is jelling and really coming together. We know the type of talent we have. It's very similar to last year, so hopefully we can keep this going."

Four times under McCarthy the Packers have won at least four in a row during a season. Each streak has had its own personality.

In 2006, McCarthy's first year as head coach, the Packers ended the regular season with four straight wins. It was a positive end to a transition season in which the Packers finished 8-8. The average point differential during the streak was 10 points.

In 2007, the Packers opened the season with four straight during a transformative time for their offense. Without any semblance of a running game, a Week 3 win vs. the Chargers at home was the first sign that the Packers were for real. The average point differential during the streak was 9.8.

In 2007, later in the season, the Packers put together a six-game winning streak that featured high drama. They fought their way past the Redskins at home, posted magical finishes at Denver and Kansas City, and delivered divisional knockouts to the Vikings and Lions. The average point differential during the streak was 13.2.

In 2009, the Packers posted a five-game winning streak, perhaps the most impressive under McCarthy to date. After losing to the 0-7 Buccaneers, the Packers posted a landmark win at home over the Cowboys before impressive wins over the Lions and Ravens along the stretch. The average point differential during the streak was 11.6.

As impressive as each of those streaks were, the current streak is as good as it gets. The Packers are doing it with all three phases of their team playing well, a point not lost on our Bill Huber in his story on Sunday titled, "All-Around Power Has Packers Looking Super."

Additionally, the Packers have not committed a turnover in the last three games, and they have a plus-10 turnover ratio during their winning streak.

Though the Packers have beaten only one team – the Jets – with a winning record since Oct. 24, to win four straight, after losing two straight to drop to 3-3, represents a dramatic turnaround to a season that easily could have gone south.

With 11 players on injured reserve – seven who have started at least one game – the Packers for the time being have overcome the worst rash of injuries since McCarthy took over. In 2008, the second worst year by comparison, only four starters were put on IR, and that was by the end of the season.

According the Elias Sports Bureau, no other team in the league entering last week's games had more than three players on injured reserve that started a game in 2010.

Four other starters for the Packers – Donald Driver, Korey Hall, Cullen Jenkins, and Ryan Pickett – have combined to miss five games because of injuries during the winning streak.

What all this spells is that the Packers are on to something potentially special. Beating the 8-2 Falcons will confirm that.

"We're going to see another great team (this Sunday)," continued Matthews from his previous comments, "so we got to keep preparing, getting ready, and hopefully we can get another victory and move forward."

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Matt Tevsh has covered the Packers since 1996. E-mail him at

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