Matt LaFleur and Green Bay Packers dominate NFC North at historic level

From 1982 to 1992, then-Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka went 58-25 against his opponents in NFC Central – a winning percentage of 0.699.

Bud Grant of Minnesota was 80-36-3 against the Central in 1967-83 and 1985 (.688). And Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy was 51-23-2 against NFC North from 2006 to 2018 (.684).

These are the three best winning percentages in NFC Central / North since the NFL went from two conferences to a division game in 1967.

Check that, those were the three best winning percentages.

Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur has coached just 14 division games since taking control of the Packers in 2019. LaFleur is a remarkable 13-1, however, in those games and his .929 winning percentage eclipses them. legendary coaches who have been through this rugged division.

LaFleur will look to add to his divisional dominance when the Packers (8-2) travel to Minnesota (4-5) at noon on Sunday.

“I think that’s a credit to everyone in this building, from top to bottom,” said LaFleur. “It’s a credit to (Team President) Mark (Murphy) and (Executive Vice President) Russ (Ball) and (GM Brian Gutekunst) and their staff and certainly our coaching staff. and our players. It’s a collective effort so these guys bring it every day and really appreciate everyone in this organization.

LaFleur and Steve Mariucci of San Francisco (1997-98) are tied for best record in their first 14 division games. Mariucci eventually improved his score against NFC West to 16-1, before suddenly losing four straight games in the division in 1999.

LaFleur could overtake Mariucci for the best start in 18 games if Green Bay wins its last four games against NFC North teams this season.

“These games are almost twice as meaningful because if you can win it’s obviously double,” LaFleur said of the division games. “You make this other team lose. We have put a lot of emphasis on the importance of the North.

And it is shown.

McCarthy owned the North for a decade, leading the Packers to six division titles between 2007 and 2016. Green Bay fell to third in the North in 2017-18, however, largely due to a divisional record of 3-8-1 (0.292).

Surprisingly, however, LaFleur and the Packers have rebounded quickly and are playing at an all-time high since his arrival. Under LaFleur, Green Bay is 5-0 against Chicago and Detroit and 3-1 against Minnesota.

The Packers went 6-0 against the division in 2019, but their average winning margin was only 6.2 points. They also had three wins by five points, or less.

Green Bay was 5-1 against the North in 2020, and those five wins averaged 14.4 points. The only flaw was a 28-22 home loss to Minnesota in which Vikings running back Dalvin Cook had 163 rushing yards and four total TDs.

In 2021, Green Bay is 2-0 and their average margin of victory is 14.0.

“Playing (quarterback Aaron) Rodgers twice a year is never fun and he has good people around him,” Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said this week. “They are well trained. They have improved a lot defensively this year. I understand the fans, and they’re right next door and everything, and it’s a great rivalry. But it’s also a division game, and they’ve been the division chiefs for many years.

Zimmer is one of the few NFC North coaches in recent years to have a consistent level of success against Green Bay. Zimmer is 6-7-1 against the Packers since hiring Minnesota in 2014 – 5-4-1 against McCarthy and 1-3 against LaFleur.

Zimmer has always had a wrinkle or two for Rodgers, which has helped Minnesota stay in the series.

“Every time we play them they present something new,” Rodgers said. “Help that they’ve had a lot of the same guys over the years… so they can throw a number of different things at you and they still have a special ride on stuff they’ve done on tape or against us in the past,” so Coach Zim is a great coach, and he always has something special for us.

The Packers have something special for the rest of NFC North, however. And a victory in Minnesota on Sunday would essentially lock in Green Bay’s third straight divisional title and eighth since 2011.

If Green Bay beats Minnesota, their lead in the NFC North would increase to 4.5 games over the Vikings with just six to go. And LaFleur’s dominance in the division would continue.

“I imagine it will be a very close game,” said LaFleur. “And we’re going to have to do our best to win on the road.”

And to continue their stranglehold on the NFC North.

Source link

About Christopher Taylor

Check Also

University of Wisconsin – Green Bay: applications are now open for 2022 research in the rotunda

The 18th Annual Rotunda Search will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in the …