Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM
As the Green Bay Packers get ready for a huge NFC matchup this Sunday afternoon on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, it’s time for handicappers and sports bettors to take a very serious look at what’s wrong with the offense of Aaron Rodgers. You simply cannot beat a team like Arizona with a poor offense…and there’s little hope of advancing deep in the NFC brackets against the likes of Arizona, Carolina, and the current form of Seattle if you’re going to spend all day punting.
Now, you may not think things are bad for Green Bay. They just scored 28 points in a home win over Dallas, then 30 points in a road win over Oakland. Isn’t that great offense? That’s an illusion from a hall of mirrors. Green Bay took advantage of some cheap scoring opportunities in those games in a way that helped hide what the offense wasn’t doing.
Believe it or not, Green Bay was below the league average in yards-per-play gained in both of those victories…and has been well below average for several weeks now. Some context…
Offensive Yards-per-Play Scale
6.4: best in the league right now with Arizona
5.5: league midpoint, a “typical” team gets this
4.9: worst in the league right now, tie between Houston, SF, and Indianapolis
The best offenses gain up around six yards-per-play. The worst offenses are down around five. Arizona right now leads the whole NFL…which is really bad news for the Packers considering how badly its offense has been floundering the past two months. Take a look…
Green Bay Offensive Yards-per-Play Last 8 Games
3.0 at Denver, in a true debacle against an elite defense
5.6 at Carolina, only because of extended garbage time (down 27-7 at half)
4.5 vs. Detroit in shocking 18-16 loss
4.6 at Minnesota in another misleading win
5.0 vs. Chicago in shocking 17-13 loss
5.0 at Detroit thanks to miracle Hail Mary
5.4 vs. Dallas two weeks ago
4.2 at Oakland last week
The ONLY time Green Bay made it to league average was when they got to face a prevent defense vs. Carolina several weeks back. And, that’s the same Carolina prevent that let the Giants come all the way back from 35-7 down last week. There are only two games above 5.0…and 5.0 is horrible. The Detroit game that landed on 5.0 only got there because of a Hail Mary on the last play of the game. Green Bay’s per-play production the past two months has basically been that of Houston, San Francisco, and Indianapolis. Ugh!
Clearly, Green Bay is lacking in PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS once you get past Hall-of-Fame bound Aaron Rodgers. He has nobody to throw it too. He doesn’t have consistently healthy running backs to hand off to. And, the offensive line isn’t giving him enough time either. Run your finger down those numbers again. This offense is not moving the ball. It’s a credit to Rodgers that he knows how to cash in great field position for cheap points when it’s offered.
I’m always encouraging students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping to see the REALITY of what they’re trying to handicap. You can’t beat oddsmakers just by looking at the scoreboard. That’s how squares lose! Dig deeper into the most important stats. Study the ebb and flow of games closely when you watch them live or record them. Focus on what really matters. Green Bay will continue to have trouble scoring this week vs. Arizona and through the playoffs if they don’t figure out how to crank that offensive YPP number up to something closer to 6.0.
You clients know we’ve been riding Seattle lately to big-unit scores. Think you can beat Seattle by gaining four or five yards a play? Not likely unless you’re returning kicks or turnovers for points. Time is running out for the Packers to get things figured out.
Does this mean I’ll be on Arizona big this Sunday afternoon? Possible. Depends on what happens in the marketplace between now and then. I’m fully aware that Arizona disappointed BIG TIME in their last home outing against Minnesota. They came in overconfident, and almost blew the game. I need both THE MOTIVATION FACTOR and an edge in PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS to step out with big units.
KELSO STURGEON’S best bets can always be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters’ office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you ask about combination packages that include ALL football through the Super Bowl, and basketball through March Madness or beyond.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping will be back with you early next week for another class discussion. That will likely be bowl related as we take stock of the first full week of the college postseason as we gear up for the marquee matchups. There’s so much going on right now…and I always try to keep the coursework fresh and relevant. Thanks for your attendance over this busy holiday week. See you again next time.
Be sure to follow:
Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters