It’s a weird sentence to type for a team led by the most turnover averse quarterback in history. But through the start of the 2022 season, turnovers have been a major problem for the Packers offense. It was always expected that things would be a work in progress early on, but with Rodgers Green Bay has always been a team that didn’t beat itself. But through the first four games this season, the Packers have already turned the ball over seven times. For reference, they finished 2021 with a league low 13 giveaways in 17 games. Their -3 turnover differential is tied for 4th worst in the league, after finishing last season at +13.
Even in their wins, there’s at least one play you can point to that dramatically swung momentum to their opponents. After scoring 21 points in the second quarter against the Bears, the Packers started the second half by turning it over on a fumbled exchange between Rodgers and AJ Dillon, then having another drive stall after an errant snap hit Christian Watson as he was going in motion.
Against the Bucs, the Packers opened the game with two 10+ play TD drives, and were on the doorstep of another when Aaron Jones fumbled on the Tampa 2 yard line. This allowed the Bucs to hang around and have a chance to tie at the end of the game. Finally, we saw just last week where Rodgers’ pick-6 gave the Patriots a lead going into half, after New England had gained a total of 65 yards on their five previous offensive drives.
Rodgers himself said after that game, “this way of winning, I don’t think, is sustainable because it puts too much pressure on our defense.” And history shows he’s right. Studies have looked at the correlation between winning the turnover margin and winning games. They found that teams that won the turnover battle in a game win 70% of the time. Green Bay has yet to win the turnover margin in a single of their wins in 2022. And they are the only NFL team above .500 with a negative turnover differential. The other 10 teams have a combined record of 13-26-1, good for a winning percentage of 34%.
The Packers have done a good job creating explosive plays in both the run and passing game so far. But in order for them to take the next step and give them a chance to make a run in January, they’ll have to do a much better job of taking care of the ball.——————
Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.