About 100 years before the birth of the Green Bay Packers, John Howard Payne wrote the song “Home! Sweet Home!” The closing lyrics go, “There’s no place like home.”
Payne’s song rang true for the 2014 edition of the Packers. Lambeau Field was, indeed, “Home! Sweet Home!”
For the second time in four seasons, Green Bay went 8-0 at home. Only the Packers and Broncos boasted perfect home records last season.
Whether the tundra was frozen or lush and green, the Packers were dominant at Lambeau. After falling behind the Jets 21-3 in the second quarter of their home opener, Green Bay was nothing short of unstoppable on the home turf. The Packers outscored the Jets 28-3 to win 31-24, then clobbered the Vikings 42-10, Panthers 38-17, Bears 55-14 and Eagles 53-20, before knocking off the Patriots 26-21, Falcons 43-37 and Lions 30-20. Aaron Rodgers, who threw 24 touchdown passes against no interceptions at home, was replaced by Matt Flynn at the end of each of those four blowouts.
In their final seven home games of the regular season, the Packers outscored their opponents 93-7 in the first quarter and 189-30 in the first half.
“It’s got to be of historical-type proportions, but we have to find some way to (avoid) that,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said before the Nov. 30 game. “The games got so far away from Chicago and Philadelphia that no matter what you have, what kind of game plan, whatever you’re trying to do, the game got out of hand so fast, they had no chance really to be able to do it.”
Green Bay piled up 318 points in its eight home dates – third-most in NFL history behind the 2011 Saints (329) and 2011 Packers (321). Nine teams failed to score 318 points in their entire 16-game schedules.
The Packers outscored their opponents by 155 points. That was tops in the league, with New England at plus-130 and Denver at plus-117 being the only other teams with point differentials of more than 100. According to this chart we built at Pro-Football-Reference.com, the Packers’ plus-155 margin is the 15th-highest in NFL history and broke the franchise record of plus-151 established by the Super Bowl XXXI champions in 1996. (Note: the 1962 Packers were plus-148 in seven home games.) Since 2000, only the 2011 Saints (plus-186), 2007 Patriots (plus-172) and 2000 Raiders (plus-160) have been more dominant at home.
Can the Packers run the table again? It’s a daunting challenge. In order, the Packers’ home games are against: Seattle (Week 2), Kansas City (Week 3), St. Louis (Week 5), San Diego (Week 6), Detroit (Week 10), Chicago (Week 12), Dallas (Week 14) and Minnesota (Week 17). Those teams went a combined 71-57. The Seahawks and Cowboys went 12-4, the Lions went 11-5, the Chiefs and Chargers 9-7, the up-and-coming Vikings 7-9, the rising Rams 6-10 and the rebuilding Bears 5-11. Simply beating the Seahawks in the home opener could be the difference in the race for home-field advantage.
40-point games: Since 2011