2011 Packers 15-1 Record Didn’t Match The Team’s GPA


Packers Report Card
The 2011 Packers GPA didn’t match their 15-1 record.

I know the draft is over and OTAs are in full swing, but I need to revisit last season for a minute. If we judged the 2011 Packers the same way professors judge college students, what would be the Packers final grade point average?

Let’s go to the report card.

Offense: A
Aaron Rodgers was the MVP and the Packers scored whenever they needed to. This would have been an A+ if not for the sputtering performance in the playoff loss to the Giants.

Special Teams: B+
Mason Crosby had a career season and Randall Cobb took a couple kicks back for touchdowns. There were also very few moments where special teams coverage made me want to put my wife up in a hotel for the evening so I could destroy the house and go on a drunken rampage.

Defense: D-
No pass rush. Poor tackling. Giving up a ton of big plays. The only thing that prevented an F were forcing turnovers and doing a somewhat decent job of keeping teams out of the end zone at the end of drives (at least early in the season).

Grade Point Average: 2.67

An ‘A,’ a ‘B-plus,’ and a ‘D-minus.’ That doesn’t look so bad. Yes, the poor grade on defense stands out, but it’s not hard to envision a team with an ‘A’ offense and a ‘B-plus’ special teams going 15-1. The D-minus on defense really drags down the GPA, though. If I had told you that the 2011 Packers would have a GPA of 2.67, would you have guessed that they would finish 15-1?

Probably not.

Maybe if I have some time later this summer, I’ll run similar studies for the most dominant regular-season teams of the past 10 years and see where their GPAs end up. For now, I did a quick study of the last team to finish 15-1 in the NFC North: The 1998 Minnesota Vikings with a young Randy Moss, rejuvenated Randall Cunningham and an active defense led by the chicken-chasing John Randle.

I gave the ’98 Vikes an ‘A’ on offense, a ‘B-minus’ on defense and an ‘A-minus’ on special teams. That’s a 3.47 GPA.

Now, back to last season’s Packers. Let’s break down the team in specific position groups and see how the overall GPA changes.