Packers Training Camp Countdown: 7 Days

Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll provide one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry. The Packers are one of just two teams to rank in top 10 in opponent passer rating each of the past four years.

Because of the Green Bay Packers' unbelievable ability to intercept the ball under defensive coordinator Dom Capers and cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, the Packers not surprisingly dominate opponent passer rating.

Last season, the Packers finished fourth with a rating allowed of 76.8. Even while setting a dubious league record in passing yards allowed in 2011, the Packers tied for ninth at 80.6. When the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010, they also won the passer rating title at 67.2. In 2009, they finished fourth at 68.8.

Combined over the past four seasons, the Packers are No. 1 in interceptions, No. 2 in opponent completion percentage and No. 2 in opponent passer rating.

The Packers have finished in the top 10 in opponent passer rating in each of the past seven seasons. Over the four seasons spanning Capers' run as coordinator, Green Bay has averaged a ranking of 4.75. Only the Jets, at 4.25, have been better. Those are the only teams with top-10 finishes in each of the past four seasons. Baltimore, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Chicago are the only other teams with top-10 finishes in three of the past four seasons.

Capers rattled off most of those numbers last season as if he had just done the research a minute earlier, then added, "Now, I'll give you another stat: When we've held a quarterback under an 80 rating, we're 40-2."

Since 2009, 21 teams have finished a season with more interceptions than touchdowns allowed. The Packers have three of those: 2009 (29 TDs, 30 INTs), 2010 (16 TDs, 24 INTs) and 2011 (29 TDs, 31 INTs).

Combined with Aaron Rodgers' dominance of quarterback rating – he's No. 1 in NFL history by a stunning 8.1 points – the Packers have dominated passer rating differential, finishing second in 2009 and first in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Capers called that the "most significant" statistic in football.

"I go back to when the Packers beat us (the Panthers) in the (NFC) Championship Game out here (in 1996)," Capers said. "The final four teams almost every year have the biggest differential. If you look at us over my four years, we're in the top two or three every year.

"It's a common-sense principle. It's a quarterback-driven league so if you have a quarterback like Aaron and if you have a defense that's tough on a quarterback, that's a pretty good combination to have. How I got started on this, building two expansion teams, what's the formula to get to where everybody wants to go? You've got to have a quarterback and you have to have a defense that's hard on a quarterback."

According to ColdHardFootballFacts.com, teams that won the battle of passer rating differential went 209-46 last season, an astounding .820 winning percentage. The teams that reached the divisional round of the playoffs placed first, second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and 12th.

And if you're still not a believer, there's this from CHFF: The Packers finished first in four of Vince Lombardi's five championships (and third in the other), as well as Mike Holmgren's 1996 champions and Mike McCarthy's 2010 champions.


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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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