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Can't Miss Slants

Run the Table

I can’t believe the 2016 regular season is already over. It was a wild season with three (3) teams that led the NFC North and there were some crazy winning and losing streaks for the top three NFC North teams. Let’s take a look at the records, stats and production for the 2016 regular season.

Records

10-6 Green Bay (4th seed in playoffs, North champ)

9-7 Detroit (6th seed in playoffs Boombaya)

8-8 Minnesota (poor run game and protection cost them despite a good defense. Defense lacked against top 10 offenses though (Cowboys/Colts/Packers))

3-13 Bears (not enough talent and way too many injuries)

MKE Bet Satisfaction

Here it is ya bitchboi. The Packers won the division this year over the Lions and Vikings. The Packers appeared to be done after a terrible/embarrassing 4 game losing streak to fall to 4-6 after a 4-2 start. The Packers ran the fucking table with Rodgers playing out of his mind (even for him) and won 6 straight games. They deserve the North title for that. They swept the Lions and split with the Vikings and beat the Giants, Texans and Seattle at Lambeau. All their big games were at home but they still managed to go 4-4 on the road with a big win at Detroit.

Now you all know that the referees are a factor in 3-4 Lions losses every year, in my opinion. The Lions were cost 4 games by the referees this year, including both Packer games. However, Rodgers, the offensive line and the weapons for Green Bay made some great plays and thus I’ll allow them to be NFC North Champions given their 8 other wins. Congrats to MKE for being the luckiest son of a bitch in the world in having Aaron Rodgers to save his ass time and time again.

Streaks

The only place that had more streaks than the NFC North was thenichels underwear. The Vikings stormed to a 5-0 start. The Vikings followed that up with a 4 game losing streak. Finally, the Vikings would win one game and proceed to lose two twice in a row. Finally, the Vikings crushed the Bears to finish 8-8.

The Packers were 4-2 to start the season with wins at Jacksonville, home versus Detroit and Chicago and the Giants. The Packers lost at Minnesota and home to Dallas early. The Packers then lost 4 straight in embarrassing fashion with 3 road losses and a real embarrassing home loss to the Colts at Lambeau. Green Bay recovered with 6 straight wins including beating Detroit at Ford Field. (3 home, 3 away)

The Lions won the opener at the Colts and then lost 3 straight (2 away divisional games, home to Titans on last second TD). The Lions fought back and won 3 straight games (all home with nice comebacks). The Lions then lost at Houston (who went 7-1 in Houston). Detroit then won 5 games in a row including sweeping Minnesota, beating the Bears, winning at New Orleans and beating lowly Jacksonville. Detroit was in the driver’s seat through 14 weeks of the season. However, Stafford’s broken finger and three tough games (at Giants, at Cowboys, Packers) led to a 3 game losing streak. The Lions still earned the playoffs at 9-7. The Lions beat Washington and swept Minnesota. If that had lost any of those three games, they would have missed the playoffs. It was a great job by Detroit to win those games.

Offensive PPG and Yard

Green Bay was 4th scoring 27.0 points per games. Aaron Rodgers dominated and Jordy Nelson slowly formed into a good WR after a turtle start. The Packers run game was good with Lacy the first 5 games and surprisingly solid with Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael down the stretch.

Detroit was 20th scoring 21.6 points per game. Cooter ball had its moments but fell at the end with injuries (Abdullah, Riddick, Swanson, Stafford finger). Detroit only had six drives all season start in opponents’ territory (3 %). Detroit had to earn points the hard way with long drives. Green Bay, on the other hand, had 13 percent of their drives start in opponents’ territory (23 drives). Minnesota was 12% with 21 drives.

Minnesota was 23rd scoring 21.4 points per game. The Vikings just couldn’t run the ball or get protection. Their weapons were solid but could be better. Bradford started hot and cooled off. Norv Turner jumped ship midway through the season. Pat Shumur took over for the Vikings.

Chicago scored 17.4 PPG for 28th in the league. Jordan Howard is a beast and Jeffrey is a good player. However, the Bears had major problems on offense.

Green Bay was 8th in yards and the Bears were 15th. The Lions were 21st in yards per game and the Vikings were 28th in yards per game for the season.

Defensive PPG and Yards

Minnesota was 6th in the league allowing 19.4 PPG. The Vikings defense is really good despite some poor games against top 10 offenses down the stretch.

The Lions were 13th in PPG allowing only 22.4 PPG. Detroit bent but didn’t break on defense despite a lack of pass rush (read Ansah injury and Taylor major disappointment) and poor LB play in the first half of the season (read Levy and Bynes injuries) and poor nickel play down the stretch (read Diggs injury).

Green Bay was 21st in the league allowing 24.3 PPG. Green Bay had a terrible stretch in their 4 game losing streak.

Chicago was 24th allowing 24.9 PPG this season. The Bears had major injuries to Pernell McPhee, Kyle Fuller, Eddie Goldman, Danny Trevathan (and suspension0 and Jerell Freeman this season. If there is one unit that will rebound next year, it will be the Bears defense (once they add more secondary).

Minnesota was 3rd in yards allowed and the Bears were 15th. Detroit was 18th in yards allowed and Green Bay was 22nd in most yards allowed this season.

Turnovers

Minnesota forced 27 and Green Bay notched 25 takeaways. Detroit had only 14 and Chicago had 11.

Detroit lost the ball only 15 times (10 picks and 5 fumbles). Minnesota had 16 turnovers and Green Bay had 17. Chicago had a lowly 31 which was the big reason they went 3-13 and scored only 17.0 PPG despite being 15th in offensive yards.

Minnesota was +11, Green Bay was +8, Detroit was -1 and Chicago was -20 in turnover differential.

QB

Aaron Rodgers notched a 104.2 QB rating with 65.7% at 7.3 YPA. Rodgers had an amazing 40 TDs and 7 interceptions. It was a MVP type season for him. Rodgers had 15 TDs and 0 interceptions in the 6 game winning streak to end the season. Hundley had an interception for Green Bay.

Sam Bradford earned a 99.3 rating with a great 71.6% completion. Bradford threw for 7.0 YPA with 20 TDs and 5 interceptions in 15 games. Shaun Hill had a 76 rating day against the Titans in Week 1 that was still a win for Minnesota with defense and special teams returns.

Matt Stafford had a great 100.5 QB rating through the first 12 games. Stafford injured his finger and finished with a 93.3 rating on the season (13th). Stafford notched 65.3% completion with 7.3 YPA throwing 24 TDs and 10 interceptions. Stafford had a good season for Detroit with Cooter ball despite a lack of run game (most of the season) and certain games with protection problems. Stafford missed Calvin in the redzone (and Riddick for 6 games, Abdullah for 14.5 games).

Jay Cutler had an injury plagued year and finished with a 78.1 QB rating. Smokin Jay had 4 TDs and 5 interceptions with a 59.1 completion percentage in 137 attempts. Cutler is probably done in Chicago. Fire up the Tony Romo trade rumors this offseason. Backup Brian Hoyer was playing well with a 98 QB rating with 6 TDs and 0 interceptions in 200 attempts. Hoyer broke his arm at Green Bay and Matt Barkley took over. Barkley had a 68 QB rating year with 8 TDs and 14 interceptions in 216 attempts. Barkley is clearly a backup QB at best.

Run Game- Offense

Jordan Howard had 1,313 yard at 5.2 YPC with 6 TDS. Howard was a beat his rookie season despite not playing much until Week 3. The Bears did not miss Matt Forte. Chicago ran at 4.6 YPC overall this season.

Green Bay got five games out of Eddie Lacy at 5.1 YPC. Lacy had 71 carries and 0 TDS. It will be interesting to see if he resigns with Green Bay this offseason. Ty Montgomery came out of nowhere with 77 carries at 5.9 YPC with 3 TDs. Rodgers ninja scrambles worked for 5.5 YPC on 67 scrambles with 4 TDS. Aaron Ripkowski rumbled for 4.4 YPC on 34 carries with 2 TDs. James Starks was terrible (2.3 YPC) on 63 carries. The car accident helped the Packers. Christine Michael had 3.7 YPC on 31 carries. Jeff Janis had two 19 yard reverses for 38 yards. Green Bay ran at 4.5 YPC on the season.

I hate injuries. Ameer Abdullah started the season red hot with 5.6 YPC on 18 carries. Theo Riddick had 3.9 YPC on 92 carries but missed 6 games. Zach Zenner came on strong in the final 2 games with 3.8 YPC on 88 carries with 4 TDs. Rookie Dwayne Washington showed flashes but missed too many holes while notching only 2.9 yards per carry on 90 carries. Stafford had a good scrambling year with 5.6 YPC on 37 carries and 2 TDs. Tate only had 4 yards on 10 carries. The reverses to him didn’t work this year. Marvin Jones had 3 yards on a 1 reverse. Ebron had a one yard TD run.

Minnesota had poor run blocking and missed old Adrian Peterson. When Peterson did play, he was poor in 2016. Peterson had 1.9 YPC on 37 carries. He was not worth his contract this year is an understatement. Jarrick McKinnon ran for only 3.4 YPC on 159 carries with 2 TDs. Matt Asiata added 3.3 YPC on 121 carries but did have 6 TDs on the season. Ronnie Hillman had 2.8 YPC on 18 carries and Bradford is not a good scrambler with 2.7 YPC on the season. Minnesota needs a new top back and better run blocking in 2017. Dumping Peterson should give them much more cap room.

Weapons

Jordy Nelson was back with 152 targets. Nelson notched 1,257 yards and 14 TDS. Not bad for a turtle. It amazes me how teams allow this guy wide open time after time. Davante Adams stepped up as the number 2 WR in Green Bay. Adams caught 10 TDS and earned 997 yards in 121 targets. Randall Cobb had a down year and was injured late in the season. Cobb earned 610 yards and 4 TDS out of the slot. Jared Cook had an injury but still managed 377 yards and 1 TD with a strong late season performance. Montgomery had 348 yards before switching to RB. Geronimo Allison was huge in the last few weeks with 202 yards and 2 TDS. Green Bay has plenty of weapons for Rodgers again.

Golden Tate had 1,077 yards and 4 TDS. This is the second 1,000 yard season for Tate in 3 seasons with Detroit. Marvin Jones started the first five weeks red hot then became mediocre with more double teams faced. Jones still earned 903 yards and 4 TDs with 16.9 yards per catch. Jones would have had 1,000 yards if he had played in the Saints game. The Lions have two 1,000 yard receivers. Eric Ebron missed 3 games but still had 711 yards but only one touchdown (and one rushing). Anquan Boldin saved the day with 8 TDs and was top 5 in the league in first downs on 3rd down. The ageless wonder caught 67 balls on 95 targets for 584 yards and 8 TDs. Theo Riddick had 337 yard and 5 TDs in 10 games. He was missed in the passing game down the stretch. Andre Roberts had some clutch catches in the comeback with 188 yards and 1 TD on 25 targets. Zach Zenner added 196 receiving yards and TJ Jones notched 93. Detroit is loaded with weapons.

Cameron Meredith was the Bears leader with 888 yards and 4 TDS. Alshon Jeffrey had 821 yards and 2 TDs in a franchise year. Jeffrey was suspended 4 games for substance/PED violation. It will be interesting to see if the Bears bring Jeffrey back since they had major QB problems. Zach Miller had 486 yards and 4 TDs but missed many games with an injury. Eddie Royal started out with 369 yards and 2 TDs but also had a late season injury. Jordan Howard added 298 yards receiving to his great rushing total as a rookie. Howard is a major weapon for Chicago. Kevin White showed some flashes with 187 yards but was injured after only 3.5 games after missing all of 2015. White is an injury bust unless he can prove otherwise in 2017.

Defensive Stats

Minnesota allowed an 83.4 passer rating for 4th best in the league. The Vikings have a good secondary and LB coverage. Chicago gave up a 93.5 QB rating for 23rd and Green Bay was 25th allowing a 95.9 QB rating. Chicago and Green Bay both missed their number 1 CB almost all year (Kyle Fuller and Sam Shield). Green Bay had injury issues with Damarius Randall as well.

Detroit gave up 106. QB rating, this was the worst in the league. Slay missed 2.5 games and Quandre Diggs missed 3.5 games (and struggled most of the year in the slot). DeAndre Levy missed 11 games and Josh Bynes missed 6 games. The Lions pass rush was not good enough with only 26 sacks and lack of consistent pressure. Detroit did well being 13th in PPG allowed and 18th in yards allowed but Detroit had issues in coverage and allowed too many TDS (with only 10 interceptions forced). The funny thing is, Slay and Lawson played well, as did Glover Quin at free safety. Detroit’s strong safeties rebounded in the second half of the season after a poor first half and rookie Miles Killebrew made a ton of clutch tackles on 3rd down forcing punts despite limited snaps. Diggs and his injury replacements struggled this season and the Lions need to upgrade their nickel CB. The backup LBs and Tahir Whitehead struggled early in the year until Bynes and Levy fixed the issue on their return. Whitehead had an up and down season at Mike linebacker. The main problem was pass rush for Detroit which hurt their coverage.

Green Bay allowed 4.0 YPC in rush defense and Minnesota allowed 4.2 YPC. Detroit and Chicago both struggled allowing 4.4 YPC on the season. All four teams must shore up their run defense.

Sacks and Pressure (Offense and Defense)

Minnesota was 5th with 41 sacks and Green Bay was 6th notching 40 on the season on defense. Chicago had 37 and Detroit only had 26 (31st in league). Danielle Hunter had 12.5, Everson Griffen had 8, Brian Robison had 7.5 and Linval Joseph had 4 to lead the way for the Vikings. Nick Perry had 11.0 in a contract year, Julius Peppers had 7.5 in a contract yea, Clay Matthews added 5.0 sacks (and missed a few games) and Mike Daniels had 4.0 sacks.

Kerry Hyder earned 8 sacks but most of that was early in the season. Devin Taylor had 4.5 sacks but did not get consistent pressure. Ziggy Ansah only had 2 sacks after a monster 2015 season. Ansah was hurt and battled shoulder and ankle injuries all season. The Lions missed his normal self. Rookie A’Shawn Robinson tallied two sacks. Willie Young led the way with 7.5 sacks but dealt with an injury. Rookie Leonard Floyd had 7 sacks and Akiem Hicks notched 7 sacks for the Bears. Pernell McPhee tallied four sacks despite missing the first six games of the season on PUP. Chicago has a good amount of pass rushers.

Chicago only allowed 28 sacks with not many passing attempts. Green Bay allowed 35 and Detroit allowed 37. Green Bay allowed some pressure but not a lot overall. Detroit was in the middle of the pack in pressure allowed. Minnesota allowed 38 on the season with consistent pressure allowed on Bradford.

 Playoffs

The season was very streaky and had 3 different teams leading the North. All that matters now is how the Packers and Lions do in the playoffs. The Packers host a tough Giants team with a good defense and Odell Beckham on offense. The Lions travel to Seattle which is a tough place to play a game. Russel Wilson can scramble and Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Jimmy Graham can play well. Seattle still has a top 5 defense but lost stud free safety Earl Thomas. It should be an interesting wild card round. Enjoy the playoffs Packers and Lions fans. Better luck next time Vikings and Bears fans.