The Tale of the Turnover Tape

Turnovers have been an enormous factor for the Packers, not only last year but during Mike McCarthy's first five seasons as coach. Plus, three players were ruled out and Mike Neal was listed as questionable on Wednesday.

It's no secret that turnovers are the overriding factor that determines winning and losing in the NFL.

That's evident during coach Mike McCarthy's first five seasons as the Green Bay Packers' coach.

When the Packers have won the turnover battle, they're a stunning 36-6 (.857) during his watch. That includes 16-3 (.842) with a plus-1 ratio, 9-1 (.900) at plus-2 and 11-2 (.846) at plus-3 or better.

In games in which they've lost the turnover battle, they're 6-20 (.231). That includes 5-11 (.313) at minus-1, 1-7 (.125) at minus-2 and 0-2 (.000) at minus-3 or worse.

The real eye-opening figure is games in which the Packers end up even in turnovers. While McCarthy is 48-32 overall while blessed with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers as game-changing quarterbacks, his teams are only 6-6 in games in which they're even in turnovers.

Beyond the actual turnovers, it's what the Packers do with the turnovers that has been so critical. Last year, they ranked fifth in the league with 111 points off of takeaways, with a fourth-ranked touchdown percentage of 46.9. During the playoffs, they led the league with 48 points — the most since Dallas in 1992 — and turned six of the 11 takeaways into touchdowns. In 2009, they led the NFL with 141 points off of takeaways.

Similarly, the Packers' defense was fantastic last season in what coordinator Dom Capers calls "adversity situations." Of the offense's 22 giveaways, the Packers allowed just 39 points — with seven of those coming on Matt Flynn's interception at New England that was returned for a touchdown. Green Bay allowed a second-ranked three touchdowns off of turnovers and finished fourth with 1.77 points allowed per giveaway.

Packers injury report

Out: CB Davon House (ankle); LB Vic So'oto (back); LB Frank Zombo (shoulder). Questionable: DE Mike Neal (knee). Probable: LT Chad Clifton (knee); TE Jermichael Finley (ankle); TE Ryan Taylor (hip).

No surprises here. McCarthy said on Tuesday that So'oto would be out, and had ruled out House and Zombo earlier in the week.

Had the Packers practiced, Clifton and Taylor would have been full participants and Finley and Neal limited.

Saints injury report

Out: K Garrett Hartley (hip); WR Lance Moore (groin). WR Adrian Arrington (knee); DT Tom Johnson (calf).

Moore is a big loss. He caught 66 passes for 763 yards and scored eight touchdowns last season, including a 72-yarder on a punt return. Moore had a 70-yard touchdown catch in the Saints' romp over Green Bay in 2008.

Links worth noting

— In a region where bagging deer is a way of life, "Hunting for XVI" has become a nifty Super Bowl slogan for the 2011 Green Bay Packers.

But before devout Cheeseheads venture to buy team paraphernalia bearing that motto, they should know this: The Packers were better able to focus on their goal by not being around town during the NFL lockout.

Nothing personal. But if the Packers had conducted offseason workouts in Green Bay, the club would have experienced a much more difficult time doing what is a struggle for every defending Super Bowl champion trying to repeat: leaving the past behind.

"In a way, I think that was a blessing in disguise," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told after Tuesday's practice. "We didn't have to keep reliving the 2010 season. It would have been fun for a time, but this team is about moving forward and new challenges."

For more from Fox's Alex Marvez, CLICK HERE.

— Going to be in Green Bay for the game? Here's the TIMELINE OF EVENTS. And, in a shameless plug, the Packers Pro Shop is selling copies of our season preview edition.

— subscribers can chat with publisher Bill Huber from 4-5:30 p.m. (Central) on Thursday.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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