The Packers (Still) Aren't Getting Their Hands on the Football

We've been tracking our custom Ballhawks stat all season, but we haven't had a lot to track because the Packers don't like to get their hands on the football.

However, something interesting happened this week. After Damarious Randall's performance on Sunday, in which he had one interception and another pass defensed, he is the first person on the Packers this year to total ten ballhawks. That’s good, but still a bit frustrating, for reasons you should be able to understand by looking at the updated listing of the top ballhawks on the Packers.

To wit: as of this week, only three of the top six players in total ballhawks are defensive backs, and none of them are putting up particularly strong numbers.

Why is that significant? Well at least two of the players near the top for the Packers this year are there because they’re racking up sacks. That is the ballhawk statistic that I care about the least. We’ve got other stats toat measure what guys are doing as far as rushing the passer and getting to the ball that way.

What we want is guys getting their actual hands on the football. It shouldn't be the guys that are getting sacks that are getting to the top of this metric. We shouldn't be seeing Nick Perry near the top unless he's having a real lights out year with double digit sacks. We should see guys Damarious Randall and Davon House and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix really pushing the top of that chart and they're just not.

Clinton-Dix will go weeks at a time without ever getting his hands on the ball, although he has improved recently. It's just really disappointing to see.

Is this something that's going to improve over the rest of the season? Probably not, but I am hopeful that guys like Kevin King and Josh Jones and maybe even Josh Hawkins can get to that level in the future. All three of them have shown they can do it at times. Now they just have to do it a little bit more consistently.

This post is an adapted transcription from the most recent episode of Blue 58, a Packers podcast from The Power Sweep. Listen to the full episode below.