The Green Bay Packers are 6-0 and should be 7-0 after feasting on Christian Ponder and the bumbling Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The Packers have been the more talented team on the field for each of their games this season, sometimes by a wide margin. But despite the Packers fast start and obvious talent superiority, I wouldn’t call this team dominant….yet.
Extremely good? Yes. Ultra-talented? Yes. The best team in the NFL? Yes. Dominant? Not quite.
- The Packers are 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Opposing QBs have racked up 1,798 passing yards on Green Bay, an average of almost 300 yards per game. Passing numbers are up around the league, but this number needs to come down for the Packers to be dominant.
- The Packers are third in Football Outsiders DVOA ratings and Pro-Football-Reference.com’s simple ratings system. I don’t put too much stock in this type of analysis this early in the season, but these numbers do tell us that the Packers are not miles ahead of everyone else like a dominant team would be.
- A dominant team would have put away the Saints and the Panthers (and probably the Bears) much earlier than the Packers did. Instead of putting these games out of reach, the Packers let both teams hang around. A dominant team also would not have been shut out by the Rams in the second half, even if that dominant team was bored like the Packers probably were on Sunday.
- The Packers schedule hasn’t exactly been mind-blowing. Strength of schedule is something the Packers can’t control, but it at least needs to be mentioned in this discussion. Wins over the Panthers, Rams, Broncos and (probably) Vikings aren’t going to make many people turn their heads and say “Whoa, that team sure is unstoppable.”
No, the Packers shouldn’t be labeled dominant right now, but there’s a lot of season left. They have the best QB in the NFL and have outscored opponents by 83 points. Their turnover differential is plus-8 and it wouldn’t surprise me if their defense improves as Tramon Williams gets healthier, Sam Shields returns to last season’s form and Dom Capers continues adjusting to life without Nick Collins.
If the Packers figure out a way to shore up their pass defense between the 20-yard lines, improve their tackling, and bury teams when given the opportunity, they will without a doubt become dominant.
Besides, if the Packers keep winning, who really care if they’re labeled dominant or not?——————