As the NFC and AFC Championship games will play out this weekend, a final look back at the 2012 Green Bay Packers will put a cap on a season that was filled with ups and downs for the team.
The Packers won their second consecutive NFC North title in 2012, the first time Green Bay won its division in two straight years since the club captured three consecutive NFC North crowns from 2002-04. Green Bay finished the regular season with an 11-5 mark (.688), the fourth straight double-digit win season for the Packers. That matched the franchise record that was recorded three other times (1929-32, 1995-98, 2001-04). The Packers and the Patriots are the only teams in the league to post 10-plus wins each of the last four seasons (2009-12).
After getting off to a 2-3 start this season, the Packers would go on to win nine of their next 10 contests. It was the second-best mark in the league over that span behind only the Denver Broncos’ 10-0 record. Green Bay finished with a 5-1 record in NFC North games this season, the seventh straight campaign that the Packers posted a winning record in the division. New England is the only other team in the NFL to accomplish that feat over the past seven seasons (2006-12).
The Packers won their first five NFC North contests this season to bring their regular-season winning streak in the division to 12 games. That set a franchise record and tied the longest divisional streak in the league since realignment in 2002 (see page 2 for more).
Green Bay ranked No. 5 in the league in scoring with an average of 28.9 points per game. It was the sixth straight season that the Packers finished in the top 10 in the league in scoring offense, with New England the only other team in the league to do so over that span (2007-12).
The Packers were tied for No. 2 in the league in fewest giveaways with 16 this season, which was also tied for the second-fewest turnovers in a season in franchise history (also 16 in 2009).
Green Bay’s offense ranked No. 3 in the league in red-zone efficiency with a 68.1 touchdown percentage and led the league in scoring outside the red zone for the second straight season with 155 points.
The Packers ranked No. 11 in the NFL in overall defense (336.8 ypg), No. 11 in pass defense (218.3 ypg), No. 4 in sacks (47), No. 4 in opponent passer rating (76.8) and tied for No. 8 in interceptions (18). Green Bay gave up 20 or fewer points in eight of its final 10 games to help propel it to a No. 11 ranking in scoring defense at 21.0 points per
game. It marked the third time in the last four seasons that the Packers finished the season ranked No. 11 in the league or better in the category.
Green Bay’s special teams helped the club finish No. 4 in the league in average starting field position (31.2) and No. 8 in the NFL in average opponent starting field position (26.1). It marked the second consecutive season that the Packers ranked in the top 10 in the league in both categories.
The Packers ranked No. 5 in the league in opponent punt return average (7.5) and allowed just 179 punt return yards in 2012 (No. 3 in the NFL), the second fewest allowed by Green Bay since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1976 (113 in 2007).
Now that the pain of last weekend's loss to the 49ers has started to wear off for most Packers fans, looking back at the numbers the Packers did have another tremendous season. Looking ahead, the future of the Packers defense and its leader Dom Capers, the NFL Draft and free agency loom as the most exciting upcoming decisions for Green Bay in the next few weeks and months.