Looking Ahead to Kickoff Weekend

The Packers are on a roll in Week 1, with five consecutive season-opening wins. That and more as we take a quick-hitting lookahead to the regular season.

The Green Bay Packers have to finish the preseason on Thursday but it's not too early to take a look ahead to the regular season with some fun nuggets from the NFL.

— The Packers are 52-36-3 on Kickoff Weekend, tying Chicago for most Week 1 wins. Green Bay's .588 winning percentage ranks sixth in the NFL, with Dallas (.663) and Jacksonville (.647) leading the charge.

— Under coach Mike McCarthy, Green Bay has won five in a row on Kickoff Weekend. Only New England, with eight consecutive season-openings wins, is on a longer streak. For what it's worth, Curly Lambeau won four season-openers in a row (1929-32) and Vince Lombardi's longest streak was three (1964-66).

— Behind Green Bay's league-leading 560 points — second-most in NFL history — a record 11,356 points were scored. At 44.4 points per game, it was the highest-scoring season since 1965 (46.1).

— Last year was the first season in NFL history in which three teams scored at least 500 points – Green Bay, New Orleans (547) and New England (513). Those clubs finished a combined of 41-7 (.854).

— Parity? What parity? The Packers (15-1) were one of six teams to win at least 12 games. The others: New England (13), New Orleans (13), San Francisco (13), Baltimore (12) and Pittsburgh (12). Six teams also won at least 12 games in 2003.

— There were seven new division champions last season, including Green Bay taking the NFC North title away from Chicago. The other new champions: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, New York Giants and San Francisco. That's the most turnover since the eight-division format was started in 2002.

— Six teams – Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, the New York Giants and San Francisco – made the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before. It marked the 16th consecutive season in which at least five teams (out of 12) accomplished the feat.

 — Houston (AFC South) and Denver (AFC West) rebounded to win their divisions after finishing in last place or tied for last in 2010. This marked the NFL-record ninth consecutive season that at least one team went from worst-to-first in its division. Good luck, however, to Minnesota as it tries to leapfrog past arguably the best top-three of any division: Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago.

— Here's why the Packers place such an emphasis on winning games. Last season, 132 of the 256 games were decided by one score — eight points or less. That's 51.6 percent. Surprisingly given Green Bay's overwhelming success, the Packers played seven games decided by one score. Moreover, 110 games — 43.0 percent were within a field goal at some point in the fourth quarter. In that light, every yard of field position becomes important.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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