WR1....what does that HAVE to mean or what MIGHT it mean for 2022?

tynimiller

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Okay fair warning...slightly longer post than normal...

Chatting with a Packer fan right now about the coming season will almost always circle back to at some point the question of "can this group of wide receivers produce at a high enough level for success?"

It's true, Green Bay, and arguably ANY team for that matter hasn't had to replace a wide receiver quite to the level (and in their prime) like Green Bay will attempt to do so after the Adams departure.

Over the last four seasons Adams has accounted for the following:
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Essentially in a simplistic way Adams has been 30% of our offense. That is a MASSIVE piece of the offense...but sometimes putting it in perspective of other recognizable names on other teams can assist in knowing if this is normal or not:

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As you can see many teams across the league have those "centerpiece" type guys that account for about a 1/3 of the teams production in the air...and account for at least 1/4 of the total receptions. However, do you have to have a Top 5 or Top 10 level type guy to be successful? Many folks are already declaring failure for GB due to the fact they don't see a single receiver on the roster that has the chops to deliver WR1 numbers. What does that exactly mean or look like though? What level of production bestows the christening of delivering "WR1 production"? A thousand yards? Twelve Hundred? Double digit TDs?

As for the yards many seem to hover around that 1,000 yard production figure. With that in mind I wondered over the last decade would the Super Bowl Champions of each season indicate a need to have one clear WR1 type level guy that put up 1,000 yards or more. I will be honest the actual figures shocked me:

2021 - Rams - Kupp insane season over 1800 was their WR1...WR2 802yds
2020 - Buccs - Mike Evans just barely over 1,000 at 1,006. Their second highest receiving yards was 840.
2019 - Cheifs - Their top yardage wasn't a WR but a TE at 1,229. Their WR1 put up 860 yards.
2018 - Patriots - Their WR1 put up 850 yards and their WR2 put up 720 yards (a RB was their number 2 actually in receiving yards at 751)
2017 - Eagles - A TE led the team with 824 yards. They had two WRs over 750 (789 & 768 respectively).
2016 - Patriots - WR1 put up 1,106 yards and WR2 was at 680 (a TE was their second at 701).
2015 - Broncos - WR1 put up 1,304yds and WR2 put up 1,135yds
2014 - Patriots - Gronk (TE) led the team at 1,124 but WR1 put up 972 and WR2 put up 953
2013 - Seahwaks - WR1 put up 898 and WR2 put up 778
2012 - Ravens - WR1 put up 921 and WR2 put up 855
2011 - Giants - WR1 put up 1,536 and WR2 put up 1,192


So over the last decade worth of Super Bowls...
Half the time has the winning team had a 1,000 yard regular season wide receiver.
Four times the winning team failed to have ANY player with 1,000 yards receiving.
Four times out of the ten the winning team didn't even have a WR with 900 yards.
Once they didn't even have a WR with 800 yards.

So while yes, many successful teams have that 1,000+ yard type WR1....the fact remains it is not a must have ingredient to be a VERY good team and win the ultimate prize in the modern era of the NFL.

In this league it is proven you have to have a lethal QB and either VERY VERY elite few weapons, or collectively have a lot of weapons playing very good at least.

Truth is having a level of Adams type player is not the only way to achieve the ultimate prize. However, what recent history has taught us is if you don't have that level of guy, you have to put forth a duo of receivers (could include a TE) that produce over 700 and toss in a third player with over 600. So three players producing at least 2,000 yards. The 2021 Rams barely missed this with their third in yards being Higbee just shy of 600...but together they all still produced 2,000.

The Broncos of 2015 also bucked this trend with there top three being 1,304 (Thomas), 1,135 (Sanders) and then 517 (Daniels)...but still over 2,000 in three guys (two in their case actually).

THE ONLY true SB winner over the last decade to not have 2,000 yards receiving out of three players were the 2013 Seahawks...which of course had an insanely good defense and produced over 2,000 yards rushing from it's top three rushers. So in order to conquer what appears to be a requirement they had to be ELITE in two other facets of the game.

All of this to say, Green Bay doesn't have to have a clear and true WR1 to put forth 30% or even 20% of the total receiving yards - it would ease a ton of minds and still fit some recipes for success if we did but it doesn't have to occur. A GB season producing 4,200 yards receiving could easily look like the following:

WR1 - 875 yards
WR2 - 700 yards
WR3 - 500 yards
WR4 - 380 yards
+
TE1 - 500 yards
TE2 - 300 yards
TE3 - 150 yards
+
RB1 - 450 yards
RB2 - 300 yards

and you are already at 4,155 yards receiving.

Whom each of those items wash out to be is irrelevant really, but it is easily within reason to see Watkins or Lazard or even Cobb or if it clicks for Watson or Doubs to make up those top two WRs.

Either side of the discussion you're on, needing a bonafide WR1 to put up like 1,100 yards and double digit TDs or the "by committee" approach will get us to where we need to be...it is perhaps comforting to know BOTH approaches have proven to find the ultimate success in very recent seasons.

Here's to either having a 2,000 yard WR1 and a Super Bowl trophy OR not having a single 600 yard receiver and a Super Bowl trophy....either way we ALL will be SMILING!
 
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sschind

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Oh good another WR thread.

While it may not be necessary to have a 1000 yd WR it does help to have several pass catchers capable of putting up 700,800,900 yards. Do we have that? Maybe we do maybe we don't. Only time will tell.

There are some who think that just because we have Aaron Rodgers our WRs will be fine. Again, that may be the case or it may not. Actually I'm leaning more towards that being the case myself because I think Rodgers is that good but the WRs themselves don't get me overly excited.

Looking at this group of WRs it wouldn't surprise me at all if either Jones or Dillon was our second leading receiver. In fact, for personal and selfish reasons I kind of hope one of them is as long as its for 700+ and 7-8 TDs and not 500 and 2.
 
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tynimiller

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Looking at this group of WRs it wouldn't surprise me at all if either Jones or Dillon was our second leading receiver. In fact, for personal and selfish reasons I kind of hope one of them is as long as its for 700+ and 7-8 TDs and not 500 and 2.

Could end up like the 2018 Patriots the one year James White was their second leading receiver.

Apologies on the another thread...I was going to put it in another thread but none seemed fitting and this way my massively long ramblings don't bog down discussions elsewhere.

If an admin wants to mesh it in with one of the others I'd understand.
 

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Brady did well without a real number one many times and did well after losing the best #1 (Moss) he ever had. It is nice to have a great one, but coaches are paid to scheme, and the great coaches' scheme around the strengths of their players. I think anyone that thinks LaFleur has lucked into 3 straight 13-win seasons will now get the chance to see if he is really a very good coach.
 
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I’ll start by saying I would have loved to have Adams stay(not at anything over about $23-24M area tops). I know I know, you’ll give me all examples of teams jumping off a bridge at WR. I’m not going to jump with them just because they are idiots.

It’s just my opinion, but factoring in risk of lots of eggs in 1 basket and the age of the those eggs is a significant factor. Older players seem to take longer to heal and re-injure more. Not to mention the surprise retirements etc..

If you gave me a choice. A 1500 yard receiver and then a bunch of 500 yard guys
OR
3 guys (1-900 ,1-775, 1-650 yards, plus a couple 400-500 yard guys) getting a more equal share of targets? I’ll take the latter.

I feel like one of the reasons we stalled last year was our reliance on #17 and teams began to game plan him. In contrast, when you have 6 guys all over 500 yards (including RB, TE, WR etc) you are much less predictable. We were predictable in that Divisional and Adams barely broke 90 yards.

There’s little to zero question in my mind that we don’t have at least several guys capable of getting it done in receiving yards.
 
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FTR I was willing to Franchise tag and keep Adams as well. I wanted him to retire a Packer. My son LOVES his Adams jersey and soon will possibly be getting a Jaire jersey
FTR. I would’ve loved for him to stay and break some Franchise records. He was well on his way when he jumped of the Packer train at a stop and didn’t show back up before the “all-aboard!” departure warning call.
My gut feeling was he was there but smiling and giving us the middle finger. I’m pretty sure I’m right. Sorry! :laugh:

PS. I also believe that the reluctance of the Packers to invest heavily at WR in the draft for years was a heavy influence on positive growth in Adams career. He should’ve been thanking our FO if anything.
 
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sschind

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Could end up like the 2018 Patriots the one year James White was their second leading receiver.

Apologies on the another thread...I was going to put it in another thread but none seemed fitting and this way my massively long ramblings don't bog down discussions elsewhere.

If an admin wants to mesh it in with one of the others I'd understand.
Just joking...kind of, with the another WR thread crack.

While I am not real excited by our WRs as a group I do think there is good reason tobe somewhat excited by some of the individuals. The main reason IMO to temper excitement is the lack of consistent production. Be it injuries (Cobb & Watkins) rookies (Watson & Doubs) these guys have to be consistent. In that respect Lazard may be the most exciting simply because he is young but experienced and he had been improving.

Still,. I love what a healthy Watkins and Cobb could bring. I love what potential, especially for the future, that Watson and Doubs have and as a bonus I think we have the best backfield in the league and they can both catch the ball.

I said it before, I think the wild card here is Aaron Rodgers. If even a half a dozen of our pass catchers can either step up or stay up I think he can light it up again. I certainly hope they can. I'll even say I think they can (my optimism showing through) but I won't go so far as to say they will.
 

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I actually like the group. I think if Rodgers loosens up; he will have a big year. Let everybody in. No doghouses.
I don’t think it’s that simple. #1 it’s highly likely the offense has been so good for so long because of the QBs attention to detail and high standards.

At least I think the likelihood is infinitely higher that is the case vs. the offense has been held back because Malik tayolor, Trevor Davis, J. Abbrederris, Jarret Boykin, Jeff Janis etc and company didn’t get enough chances or spent time in a dog house.

Almost all of those guys had the best days of their careers in GB for some reason and never did squat anywhere else.

Last year I thought MVS would do more he was looking better and then spent almost all season injured. He’s probably the only guy in the past 15 years that might actually perform the same or even better considering he’s hitting the prime instead of formative years of his career somewhere else.

They’d probably make a few plays they wouldn’t by just slinging it to people who don’t really perform or earn the opportunity, but there’s also a high likelihood the offense is worse for it overall because of ill prepared players missing opportunities by poor production or failing to function within the offense.
 

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At least I think the likelihood is infinitely higher that is the case vs. the offense has been held back because Malik tayolor, Trevor Davis, J. Abbrederris, Jarret Boykin, Jeff Janis etc and company didn’t get enough chances or spent time in a dog house.
Infinitely. That's a lot right? Anyway, Brady threw for more than 1,000 yds. Quite a few threw for more yards. I did not mean just sling it. I don't know about the new guys or Amari but we have some players that can catch the ball real good I think. I think the good pass catchers should have a leg up on the good route runners. If I was forced to choose one.
 

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I didn't see it and so I don't know this to be true. But someone wrote in another forum that MLF said in a presser that Adams was the first read on 80% of the pass plays. Could that be true? Anyone see a presser like that?
 
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tynimiller

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I didn't see it and so I don't know this to be true. But someone wrote in another forum that MLF said in a presser that Adams was the first read on 80% of the pass plays. Could that be true? Anyone see a presser like that?

I did not but that seems incredibly high...
 

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FTR I was willing to Franchise tag and keep Adams as well. I wanted him to retire a Packer. My son LOVES his Adams jersey and soon will possibly be getting a Jaire jersey
My youngest son was in same boat, waiting to see if Adams resigned and then he was going to get his jersey.

FTR I also would have been very happy to see Adams retire here. Maybe best wr since Sterling.
 

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I didn't see it and so I don't know this to be true. But someone wrote in another forum that MLF said in a presser that Adams was the first read on 80% of the pass plays. Could that be true? Anyone see a presser like that?
That quote was from AR last week. I believe it meant that Adams was the 1st read or the primary target of the called pass play. "The offense has to change,” Rodgers said last week. “Last year, when you have a guy who is that talented, it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that 80 percent of the plays in the passing game were designed specifically for 17, so we’re obviously gonna do some things a little different.”
 
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What I like about Watson is he was pretty successful in limited usage. The College “system” held him back some.

There was some question of how he would play against FBS level competition. At the Senior bowl he did that. He looked pretty darn good. Had Watson not had so many passes thrown behind him? He would’ve fared even better. You can see from film that those CB’s struggled to keep up with him.. he’s so fast of the LOS they struggled in press. Then, once he gets the ball with any separation whatsoever? he’ll smooth outrun ya. Many passes were slightly to majorly under throws and I’m beginning to wonder if that’s a large part due to his elite jump off the snap and long speed.
 

captainWIMM

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Many folks are already declaring failure for GB due to the fact they don't see a single receiver on the roster that has the chops to deliver WR1 numbers. In this league it is proven you have to have a lethal QB and either VERY VERY elite few weapons, or collectively have a lot of weapons playing very good at least.

I agree the Packers don't need a wide receiver to put up crazy numbers to be successful but as you mentioned could perform at a decent level with several players contributing as pass catchers.

Unfortunately I'm not convinced they have enough talent to make it work though.
It is nice to have a great one, but coaches are paid to scheme, and the great coaches' scheme around the strengths of their players.

Even great coaches need the players be talented enough to make their scheme work.

PS. I also believe that the reluctance of the Packers to invest heavily at WR in the draft for years was a heavy influence on positive growth in Adams career. He should’ve been thanking our FO if anything.

In my opinion Adams would have performed even better with more talent around him at wide receiver.

You can see from film that those CB’s struggled to keep up with him.. he’s so fast of the LOS they struggled in press. Then, once he gets the ball with any separation whatsoever? he’ll smooth outrun ya.

You need to consider those highlights were mostly against FCS cornerbacks who aren't talented enough to play in the NFL though.
 
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In my opinion Adams would have performed even better with more talent around him at wide receiver.
So if we signed Cooper Kupp and Hopkins (using for dramatic illustration) you believe Davante Adams would outperform last season??

I strongly disagree.

I believe “the team” would thrive as a whole, but I don’t think it would make Adams singular productivity increase even more. I think it would do the opposite.
 
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You need to consider those highlights were mostly against FCS cornerbacks who aren't talented enough to play in the NFL though.
We shall see. Maybe you are right. Maybe Christian Watson is a total failure and the NFL is way too big for him.

I guess the great thing Is time will tell and hopefully the thread will still be here to revive your repeated and repetitious low opinion of Watson.
 
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captainWIMM

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So if we signed Cooper Kupp and Hopkins (using for dramatic illustration) you believe Davante Adams would outperform last season??

I strongly disagree.

I believe “the team” would thrive as a whole, but I don’t think it would make Adams singular productivity increase even more. I think it would do the opposite.

Well, if the Packers had arguably the three best wide receivers on their roster none of them would put up numbers comparable to what they did last season (or in Hopkins' case the four seasons before last year). Adams would have benefitted of another receiver good enough for opponents not being able to cover him with at least two defensive backs on most plays.

We shall see. Maybe you are right. Maybe Christian Watson is a total failure and the NFL is way too big for him.

I guess the great thing Is time will tell and hopefully the thread will still be here to revive your repeated and repetitious low opinion of Watson.

I have absolutely no idea how you came up with me believing Watson will fail in the NFL :rolleyes:

You need to consider he was covered by FCS cornerbacks when taking a look at his highlights though.
 
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You need to consider he was covered by FCS cornerbacks when taking a look at his highlights though.
Some of the best WR to ever set field in the NFL played at the FCS Div. 1 level.

Now had the Packers had a long history of poorly developing Wideouts outside Division 1 or even Div1 FCS level? Then I could see more emphasis on why that would be some disadvantage. But that isn’t the case in GB.
 
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captainWIMM

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Some of the best WR to ever set field in the NFL played at the FCS Div. 1 level.

Now had the Packers had a long history of poorly developing Wideouts outside Division 1 or even Div1 FCS level? Then I could see more emphasis on why that would be some disadvantage. But that isn’t the case in GB.

I haven't mentioned anything about Watson having played at an FCS school being a disadvantage. I merely pointed out that when you take a look at his highlights you need to consider that he was mostly covered by cornerbacks who aren't good enough to play in the NFL.

That bares no meaning on how his NFL career will end up working out.
 

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Okay fair warning...slightly longer post than normal...

Chatting with a Packer fan right now about the coming season will almost always circle back to at some point the question of "can this group of wide receivers produce at a high enough level for success?"

It's true, Green Bay, and arguably ANY team for that matter hasn't had to replace a wide receiver quite to the level (and in their prime) like Green Bay will attempt to do so after the Adams departure.

Over the last four seasons Adams has accounted for the following:
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Essentially in a simplistic way Adams has been 30% of our offense. That is a MASSIVE piece of the offense...but sometimes putting it in perspective of other recognizable names on other teams can assist in knowing if this is normal or not:

You must be logged in to see this image or video!


As you can see many teams across the league have those "centerpiece" type guys that account for about a 1/3 of the teams production in the air...and account for at least 1/4 of the total receptions. However, do you have to have a Top 5 or Top 10 level type guy to be successful? Many folks are already declaring failure for GB due to the fact they don't see a single receiver on the roster that has the chops to deliver WR1 numbers. What does that exactly mean or look like though? What level of production bestows the christening of delivering "WR1 production"? A thousand yards? Twelve Hundred? Double digit TDs?

As for the yards many seem to hover around that 1,000 yard production figure. With that in mind I wondered over the last decade would the Super Bowl Champions of each season indicate a need to have one clear WR1 type level guy that put up 1,000 yards or more. I will be honest the actual figures shocked me:

2021 - Rams - Kupp insane season over 1800 was their WR1...WR2 802yds
2020 - Buccs - Mike Evans just barely over 1,000 at 1,006. Their second highest receiving yards was 840.
2019 - Cheifs - Their top yardage wasn't a WR but a TE at 1,229. Their WR1 put up 860 yards.
2018 - Patriots - Their WR1 put up 850 yards and their WR2 put up 720 yards (a RB was their number 2 actually in receiving yards at 751)
2017 - Eagles - A TE led the team with 824 yards. They had two WRs over 750 (789 & 768 respectively).
2016 - Patriots - WR1 put up 1,106 yards and WR2 was at 680 (a TE was their second at 701).
2015 - Broncos - WR1 put up 1,304yds and WR2 put up 1,135yds
2014 - Patriots - Gronk (TE) led the team at 1,124 but WR1 put up 972 and WR2 put up 953
2013 - Seahwaks - WR1 put up 898 and WR2 put up 778
2012 - Ravens - WR1 put up 921 and WR2 put up 855
2011 - Giants - WR1 put up 1,536 and WR2 put up 1,192


So over the last decade worth of Super Bowls...
Half the time has the winning team had a 1,000 yard regular season wide receiver.
Four times the winning team failed to have ANY player with 1,000 yards receiving.
Four times out of the ten the winning team didn't even have a WR with 900 yards.
Once they didn't even have a WR with 800 yards.

So while yes, many successful teams have that 1,000+ yard type WR1....the fact remains it is not a must have ingredient to be a VERY good team and win the ultimate prize in the modern era of the NFL.

In this league it is proven you have to have a lethal QB and either VERY VERY elite few weapons, or collectively have a lot of weapons playing very good at least.

Truth is having a level of Adams type player is not the only way to achieve the ultimate prize. However, what recent history has taught us is if you don't have that level of guy, you have to put forth a duo of receivers (could include a TE) that produce over 700 and toss in a third player with over 600. So three players producing at least 2,000 yards. The 2021 Rams barely missed this with their third in yards being Higbee just shy of 600...but together they all still produced 2,000.

The Broncos of 2015 also bucked this trend with there top three being 1,304 (Thomas), 1,135 (Sanders) and then 517 (Daniels)...but still over 2,000 in three guys (two in their case actually).

THE ONLY true SB winner over the last decade to not have 2,000 yards receiving out of three players were the 2013 Seahawks...which of course had an insanely good defense and produced over 2,000 yards rushing from it's top three rushers. So in order to conquer what appears to be a requirement they had to be ELITE in two other facets of the game.

All of this to say, Green Bay doesn't have to have a clear and true WR1 to put forth 30% or even 20% of the total receiving yards - it would ease a ton of minds and still fit some recipes for success if we did but it doesn't have to occur. A GB season producing 4,200 yards receiving could easily look like the following:

WR1 - 875 yards
WR2 - 700 yards
WR3 - 500 yards
WR4 - 380 yards
+
TE1 - 500 yards
TE2 - 300 yards
TE3 - 150 yards
+
RB1 - 450 yards
RB2 - 300 yards

and you are already at 4,155 yards receiving.

Whom each of those items wash out to be is irrelevant really, but it is easily within reason to see Watkins or Lazard or even Cobb or if it clicks for Watson or Doubs to make up those top two WRs.

Either side of the discussion you're on, needing a bonafide WR1 to put up like 1,100 yards and double digit TDs or the "by committee" approach will get us to where we need to be...it is perhaps comforting to know BOTH approaches have proven to find the ultimate success in very recent seasons.

Here's to either having a 2,000 yard WR1 and a Super Bowl trophy OR not having a single 600 yard receiver and a Super Bowl trophy....either way we ALL will be SMILING!
Very interesting analysis, and a lot of work. Thanks!

Yardage is certainly important. But I think the number of TDs is the most relevant metric. Didn't Tonyan score 11 TDs in 2020? I don't remember his yardage.

My point is that the Packers have been very good with their offense between the 20s. I don't have stats, but it seems they break down in the red zone. They need a receiver, or RB, who can operate on a shortened field. What good is it if a receiver has a 150 yard game but no points, or at best FGs. FGs don't win games.

They need a "money player" who cam smell blood inside the 20. They also need Rodgers because it seems he has been less than stellar inside the 20. The discussion and comparisons around yardage are important. The discussion about TDs and wins is also important. I have no idea how to measure that, but I'm guessing some people can pull the info together quickly.

Thanks again Ty. Very interesting discussion.
 

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Very interesting analysis, and a lot of work. Thanks!

Yardage is certainly important. But I think the number of TDs is the most relevant metric. Didn't Tonyan score 11 TDs in 2020? I don't remember his yardage.

My point is that the Packers have been very good with their offense between the 20s. I don't have stats, but it seems they break down in the red zone. They need a receiver, or RB, who can operate on a shortened field. What good is it if a receiver has a 150 yard game but no points, or at best FGs. FGs don't win games.

They need a "money player" who cam smell blood inside the 20. They also need Rodgers because it seems he has been less than stellar inside the 20. The discussion and comparisons around yardage are important. The discussion about TDs and wins is also important. I have no idea how to measure that, but I'm guessing some people can pull the info together quickly.

Thanks again Ty. Very interesting discussion.
Red zone scoring, TD's only:
2018 -- 14th @ 61%
2019 -- 2nd @ 68%. [The previous years 61% would have been top 10]
2020 -- FIRST @ 77%
2021 -- 18th @ 58%. [first place was 66%]

Majority of teams reach the end zone about 1/2 --> 2/3 time. I don't know if this stat is just 1st downs in red zones or a FG at fourth and 3 at the 19 which means they reached the red zone on a third down play.
 

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