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Nuggetpalooza’s Pats schedule preview: Green Bay

09.01.10 at 10:54 am ET
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The Patriots host the Packers on Sunday night, Dec. 19, at 8:20 p.m.

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What The Packers Did Well Last Season:

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* – Valued the Ball: Green Bay committed just 16 turnovers last season, the fewest in the league:

16 – Green Bay Packers
17 – San Diego Chargers
19 – Dallas Cowboys

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* – Limited Opponents 1st Down Success: Only 39% of opponents’ first down plays gained 4 or more yards last season, the 2nd best mark in the league (NY Jets, 38%).

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* – Converted Third Downs: The Packers converted 47% of their third down tries last season, the 3rd highest percentage in the league (Indianapolis, 49%).

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* – Created Turnovers Near The Goal Line: Green Bay’s defense created an NFL-high 6 turnovers when their opponent was in a “goal to go” situation last season (4 interceptions and 2 fourth down stops).

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* – Passed Effectively Against Blitzes: Green Bay posted an NFL-best passer rating of 113 against blitzes in 2009 which included a completion percentage versus blitzes of 70% (2nd) and 7.97 yards per pass play (3rd).

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* – Allowed No Easy TD Runs: The Packers were one of only three teams (SF and Dallas were the others) that did not allow a TD run from outside the 10 yard line last season. Two teams (New England and Cincinnati) allowed one each.

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* – Struck Quickly: The Packers scored 10 touchdowns in four plays or less last season, 3rd most in the league behind only Philadelphia (13) and New Orleans (11).

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* – Created Turnovers Early In Possessions: Green Bay created a whopping 26 turnovers during the first four plays of opponent possessions last season, by far the most in the NFL:

26 – Green Bay Packers
20 – Philadelphia Eagles
18 – New Orleans Saints
18 – San Francisco 49ers

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* – Effective Offensively With A Short Field: All those quick turnovers led to an NFL-high 12 scoring drives of less than 30 yards and a total of 16 that were less than 40 yards, also tops in the league:

16 – New York Jets
14 – Baltimore Ravens
14 – Philadelphia Eagles

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What The Packers Did Poorly Last Season:

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* – Allowed Points After Turnovers: The Packers committed a league low 16 turnovers, but they allowed their opponents to cash them in for 70 points, an NFL-worst 4.4 points per turnover:

4.4 – Green Bay Packers
3.9 – San Francisco 49ers
3.8 – St. Louis Rams

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* – Struggled Stopping Third and Long: Green Bay allowed an NFL-high 23 conversions of 3rd and 10+ last season. Those came on 77 tries, for a 29.9% conversion rate, also the worst in the league.

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* – Gave Away 1st Downs Via Penalty: The Packers allowed 36 first downs via penalty in 2009, the most in the NFL:

36 – Green Bay Packers
35 – Philadelphia Eagles
34 – Baltimore Ravens
34 – Houston Texans

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* – Had Trouble Avoiding FG Range Sacks: Green Bay took 15 sacks when inside their opponents’ 30 yard line last season, a 10.4% sack rate, the 3rd highest sack rate in “inside 30″ situations in the league:

12.8% – Pittsburgh Steelers
11.0% – Oakland Raiders
10.4% – Green Bay Packers

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* – Poor Net Punting: Green Bay averaged only 34.1 net yards per punt in 2009, tied with New England for the lowest net average in the NFL. No other team was below 36.0. Part of the reason for the Packers’ poor net average was their inability to execute “coffin corner” punts. They put 15 balls inside the 20 yard line versus 10 touchbacks, just a 60% ratio, worst in the NFL. No other team was below 70%.

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Tomorrow:  New England’s November 14 opponent:  Pittsburgh.

Read More: Patriots schedule preview,
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