Packers Flex Muscles At Home

Whether it's Aaron Rodgers and the offense or a surprisingly strong defense, the Packers have been an unstoppable juggernaut at Lambeau Field, where they've trailed for barely 3 minutes this year. We show you the numbers that should give the Giants pause before guaranteeing victory.

This week, a few members of the New York Giants have guaranteed a victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Perhaps they should do their homework on the challenge that awaits.

The Packers are one of three teams to finish 8-0 at home this season. Their 13-game home winning streak is the longest in the NFL, and their 19-1 mark over their last 20 home games is tied with New England for tops in the league.

Throwing out the regular-season finale, in which coach Mike McCarthy rested his top three players (Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews), the Packers have trailed just once at home all season. That was in Week 4 against Denver, 3-0 in the first quarter. A 50-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson erased that deficit 3 minutes and 14 seconds later.

After holding off the Saints with a last-play goal-line stand 42-34, the Packers have dropped the hammer at home. They wound up beating Denver 49-23, St. Louis 24-3, Minnesota 45-7, Tampa Bay 35-26, Oakland 46-16, Chicago 35-21 and Detroit 45-41. In the six games between Week 1 against New Orleans and Week 17 against Detroit, the average final score was 39.0 to 16.0. In those six games, the only game that was close in the fourth quarter was against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers pulled within two points twice early in the fourth, but the Packers immediately answered with touchdowns to regain a comfortable margin.

Offensively, the Packers scored 40.1 points per game at home, the second-best figure in NFL history behind this year's Saints.

Rodgers, who probably would throw for three touchdowns and have a 100-plus passer rating if the game were played on Pluto, posted a rating of 128.5 in his seven games at Lambeau Field. He completed a sizzling 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,149 yards, with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Maybe more importantly for this game, he was sacked 13 times in seven home games (1.86 per game) vs. 23 times in eight road games (2.88 per game). Life, simply, is much easier for an offensive lineman when he can hear the snap count and consistently beat his opponent off the ball.

"We're hoping for a great crowd and a loud, raucous environment," Rodgers said. "I think that's the one thing that you noticed going on the road last year in the playoffs, Philly, Atlanta, Chicago, it was tough to hear all three places. That can have a big impact on their offense if they have to do a lot of silent count stuff, that can maybe allow our defense to get a half-step quicker off the ball. So, we're hoping for that loud crowd that we're used to at Lambeau and a fast start."

Fast starts have been the norm at home. Again, throwing out the Detroit game, the Packers' halftime lead has been an average of 16.1 points.

That's because a maligned defense has performed much better at home. In the first seven home games, the Packers allowed just 7.1 points in the first half. Green Bay's first two opponents, New Orleans and Denver, each scored 17 in the first half. The next five opponents (St. Louis, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Oakland and Chicago) combined for 16.

With the offense leading the NFL in first-half scoring, the defense's strong play to start their home games has been the formula for blowout victories.

"To me that's what home-field advantage is all about," McCarthy said. "You expect to play your best defense at home. You're on your own turf. You have the crowd behind you. It's really part of the home-field advantage. I anticipate our players on defense will play very well."

The Giants finished a respectable 5-3 on the road, with a signature win at the Patriots but losses at San Francisco and New Orleans. While Eli Manning's numbers were about the same home vs. away, New York allowed 23.1 points per game at home but 26.9 on the road. Five times, the Giants allowed at least 27 on the road.

"I don't know if they have that much mental edge, but time will tell," defensive lineman Justin Tuck told reporters in New York on Sunday. "We know what it takes to go up there and win. Obviously they know what it takes to win there, too. It's just going to be two football teams doing any and everything within the game of football to make sure they come out with a win. I think that makes for exciting football."

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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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