The Green Bay Packers are 5-1 and in first place in the NFC North entering Week 7 thanks to an impressive five-game win streak.
The disaster of Week 1 must be considered an anomaly. The Packers have rebounded well, creating three wins of at least 10 points and two walk-off wins on game-winning field goals from Mason Crosby.
Here are some positive trends emerging from the Packers’ win streak:
Dominant RB duo
Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (28).
Over the last three games, running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon have created 553 total yards and two scores. Feeding the ball to the dynamic duo looks like an increasingly important part of the Packers’ identity on offense. Both are creating explosive runs, and both can produce easy yards in the passing game. Since Week 1, the Packers have rushed for more yards in each consecutive week, with 154 on Sunday against the Bears representing a new season-high.
Green Bay Packers inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (59).
The Packers lost the turnover battle 3-0 in Week 1. Since then, the Packers have won the turnover battle in five straight games and are plus-seven (second-best in NFL) in turnovers. The offense has an NFL-low two giveaways in the last five games, while the defense has nine total takeaways (fifth-most) and at least one takeaway in all five games. The Packers are 24-0 under coach Matt LaFleur when winning the turnover battle.
Three difference-makers emerge on defense
(AP Photo/David Banks)
Where would the Packers defense be without Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary and De’Vondre Campbell? The three front-seven defenders are the glue holding a banged-up defense together. Together, Clark, Gary and Campbell have combined for 49 pressures, 45 stops and four turnover plays, per Pro Football Focus. The Packers got run over in Week 1, but the defense has allowed the ninth-fewest points, the seventh-lowest passer rating and the 11th-fewest rushing yards in the NFL over the last five games.
Overcoming slow starts
Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK
The Saints raced out to a 17-0 lead in Week 1, and the Packers never really mounted a response. Matt LaFleur’s team is still starting slow, but the Packers are bouncing back better and overcoming poor starts. In four of the last five games, the Packers fell behind in the first quarter – including three 7-0 deficits – but came back and won all four games. In the four games – vs. Lions, vs. Steelers, at Bengals and at Bears – the Packers outscored their opponents 84-20 in the third and fourth quarters.
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Davante Adams caught only five passes for 56 yards in Week 1. Over the last five games, Adams has produced 41 catches and an NFL-high 612 yards. The Packers have done a much better job finding ways to get Adams open against double teams and two-deep coverage. The team considers any passing play of at least 16 yards to be an explosive play, and Adams has 15 catches of at least 16 yards since Week 1, including 11 over 20 and three over 40.
Play of Aaron Rodgers
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Week 1 was one of the worst performances of Aaron Rodgers’ career, but he’s been mostly excellent since. Over the last five games, the reigning NFL MVP has 12 touchdown passes, two rushing touchdowns and just one interception. He’s completing almost 70 percent of his passes and averaging over 8.0 yards per attempt. His passer rating was 36.8 in Week 1. It’s 116.6 since. He wasn’t decisive in the opener but he certainly has been over the last five games.
Patchwork offensive line
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)
This might be the most impressive trend of them all. Overall, the Packers are fifth in ESPN’s pass-block win rate through the first six games. All-Pro center Corey Linsley is gone, All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari hasn’t played, and Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins has missed three games. The offensive line wasn’t a major issue in Week 1, but they’ve been more than good enough – despite never-ending injuries – over the last five games. In fact, the Packers are averaging a little over 28 points a game despite facing several impressive defensive fronts over this win streak. The play of backups, including Yosh Nijman and Lucas Patrick, has kept the Packers offense rolling.