Rodgers leads Packers pursuit of perfection

US Presswire

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers put their perfect season on the line vs the Raiders on Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers pursuit of perfection continues Sunday afternoon when they host the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field. The Packers are the ninth team in NFL history to win its first 12 games of the season. Four of the eight previous teams went on to win the NFL championship, including the 1998 Broncos, who were the only one of the eight teams that was the defending Super Bowl champion.

Defending Super Bowl Champions
To Win 1st 12 Games

The Packers overall win streak extends to last season, as they seek their 19th straight win (including playoffs) on Sunday. That would be the second-longest win streak in NFL history behind the 2003-04 Patriots, who won 21 straight games.

The Packers perfect start has been fueled by the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Green Bay’s 420 points are the fifth-most by a team through 12 games in the Super Bowl era. They have also been the most efficient-scoring team in the league with an NFL-best 34.6 percent of their offensive drives resulting in touchdowns this season.

As director of this prolific offense, Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league and in the midst of a historic season. His Total QBR of 87.0 is nearly eight points better than the second-highest player, Drew Brees (79.5), and it's the highest through 12 games of any player since 2008. Rodgers is also ahead of Tom Brady's great 2007 season, when Brady's Total QBR through 12 games stood at 84.8.

Aaron Rodgers

RodgersOne reason for Rodgers’ success this season is his unparalleled accuracy on deep throws. He has completed an NFL-best 64.1 percent of his passes on throws more than 20 yards downfield, which would be the best single-season mark on such throws in the last four year.

With 37 passing touchdowns and 3,844 passing yards, Rodgers is also on pace to throw the second-most touchdowns in a season in NFL history (49), and (along with Tom Brady and Brees) to break the single-season yardage mark of 5,084, set by Dan Marino in 1984.

The weakest link during the Packers dominant season has been their defense. They are allowing 398 yards per game, which ranks second-to-last in the NFL. No team has ever reached the Super Bowl after allowing more than 360 yards per game in the regular season.

Packers Defense This Season

However, Green Bay's defense could be characterized as a “bend but don’t break” unit. The Packers are allowing only 21.8 points per game, slightly better than the NFL average of 21.9. They have thrived on their ability to create turnovers, with the second-most takeaways in the NFL (27).

What’s on the line for the Packers over the next four weeks? Green Bay seeks to be the fifth team in NFL history to run the regular-season table, joining the 2007 Patriots, 1972 Dolphins, 1942 Bears and 1934 Bears. However, only one of those teams, the 1972 Dolphins, won the league championship.

Ten thousand computer simulations of the regular season's final four weeks give the Packers a 48 percent chance of finishing the regular season 16-0. The team with the best chance to beat Green Bay is the Raiders, who have a 20.5 percent chance of upsetting the Packers on Sunday.