Patriots-Packers through a stats-based lens

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at Sunday's New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers game through a stats-based lens (via ESPN's Stats & Information):

1. Brady and Rodgers: QBR kings. This marks the first starting quarterback matchup of Tom Brady and the Patriots against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Since Week 4, Rodgers (91.2) and Brady (84.7) are first and second in Total QBR and both are 7-1 in that span.

2. Packers putting up big numbers at home. This will be a matchup of the top offenses, as the Patriots (32.5 avg.) and Packers (32.2 avg.) rank first and second in scoring this season. The Packers have scored 50-plus points in each of their last two home games, and are averaging an NFL-best 43.8 points per game at home this season. The Patriots have averaged 28.6 points per game on the road this season, third best in the NFL.

3. Teams take care of the ball. The Packers have committed a league-low eight turnovers this season while the Patriots have committed nine. Both Rodgers and Brady have been historically great protecting the ball. Rodgers' career 1.7 interception percentage is currently the best in NFL history, while Brady’s 2.0 percentage is second.

4. Patriots show bite as an underdog. New England is listed as underdogs for the fifth time this season. The Patriots have won each time by an average margin of 21.3 points.

  • vs. Bengals (plus-2.5) -- 43-17

  • at Bills (plus-1) -- 37-22

  • vs. Broncos (plus-3) -- 43-21

  • at Colts (plus-3) -- 42-20

5. Eight-game winning streak would match 2011. The Patriots have not won eight games in a row in a single season since 2011. That was also the last time the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl.

6. Brady not a frequent visitor to Lambeau Field. This is just Brady's second trip to Lambeau Field, with the first coming in 2006 when the Patriots recorded a 35-0 win. Brady is 2-1 in his career against the Packers. Brady lost his first start against them in 2002, throwing one touchdown and three interceptions. He has seven touchdowns and no interceptions against the Packers in his last two games against them.

7. TE stands for 'touchdown excellence.' The Patriots have scored a league-high 15 touchdowns by tight ends this season. The Packers have allowed only two touchdowns to tight ends this season, tied for second fewest in the NFL.

8. Blount and yards after contact. Running back LeGarrette Blount has averaged 2.9 yards per rush after initial contact this season, best in the NFL. The Packers have allowed an NFL-worst 2.0 yards per rush after contact this season. Meanwhile, Packers running back Eddie Lacy has been one of the NFL's best at yards after contact, averaging 2.32 yards.

9. Cornerbacks locking down on receivers. The Patriots rank second in completion percentage allowed to wide receivers this season and have been even better since Brandon Browner joined the lineup in Week 7. The Packers have an NFL-high 22 receiving touchdowns by wide receivers this season.

10. Hard to top Connolly's kickoff return. One of the key plays for the Patriots in their victory over the Packers in 2010 was a 71 yard kickoff return by offensive lineman Dan Connolly. The Patriots have had only three kickoff returns longer than Connolly’s since.

11. Tough to intercept Rodgers at home. Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home since Week 13 of the 2012 season. His 11 straight games and 322 consecutive passes without an interception at home are both NFL records, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

12. Protection has improved for Brady. The Patriots have done a better job of protecting Brady over the last seven games, which has led to more efficient passing.

Completion percentage

First 4 games: 59.1

Last 7 games: 67.9

Pressure percentage

First 4 games: 26.0

Last 7 games: 21.2


First 4 games: 9

Last 7 games: 5

Total QBR

First 4 games: 46.5

Last 7 games: 87.6