Ah it feels good to write a review of the offense on the first real week it has come together for them. This week the Packers found balance in their game plan and found the big play. Oh and Aaron Rodgers played angry and shredded one of the top rated defenses in the league. So this is going to be a pretty rosy report.
Review of the passing game...
Aaron Rodgers': 24/37 338 yards 6 TD's 0 Int's
Jordy Nelson: 9 receptions 121 yards 3 TD's
Randall Cobb: 7 receptions 102 yards
James Jones: 3 receptions 33 yards 2 TD's
It's hard to imagine a more complete game coming from a QB than the one Rodgers had on Sunday night. He stood tall in the pocket. He was effective outside the pocket. he threw the deep ball, the short ball, into traffic, and found the wide open receiver. Now this isn't perfect, he did miss James Jones early in the game on a sure fire touchdown....but other than that there weren't many mistakes on his part.
The receivers also turned in a strong performance. Drops continued to a smaller part, but most of the culprits who dropped passes also made many clutch grabs too. It's interesting to see who really is the number one receiver for the Packers right now. On one hand a strong case can be made for Nelson. He's probably Rodgers' favorite target of the bunch and seems to have a good mix of route running and running after the catch. Then again he does drop more balls than he should and has struggled to get open consistently this year.
Another strong candidate for the top target is Cobb. There is no denying that Cobb is becoming central part of the offense. He is also the most dynamic playmaker that Rodgers has to throw to. The dude is poetry in motion when he has the ball. Best of all is that he isimproving as a route runner and able to free himself from defenders while working the middle of the field. Throw in his flexibility by being able to line up in the backfield, run the ball, and make defenses pay with a screen pass and a very strong argument for the top receiver of the bunch is Cobb.
The most surprising guy of the bunch is got to be James Jones. Jones is coming off an offseason where he talked about getting no respect and one where it seemed most of the fan base wanted to trade him away. Now he is getting over some of his inconsistencies and turning into a very promising wide receiver. Heck, anytime you finish a three game stretch and can be compared to Don Hutson then you must be doing something right.
I would also be remiss if I didn't give a positive shout out to the offensive line. The Texanshave a pretty impressive pass rush, both along the interior line with J.J. Watt and along the outside with Brooks Reed. This week that pass rush was pretty well neutralized by Josh Sitton and company. Jeff Saturday was able to step up his game and Bryan Bulaga turned in another solid performance. The lone down spot was one ill timed penalty for Marshall Newhouse, but he also had a pretty solid game other than that holding penalty.
Review of the rushing game...
Alex Green 22 rushes for 65 yards
It's not flashy numbers, but Green did give a solid performance on Sunday night. Green was able to find some holes and turn in multiple runs of eight or nine yards. the Packers offensive line also got to give another performance showing that they can in fact run block.The most important part of the running game on Sunday night though was volume. After weeks of many here (including myself) pleading for Mike McCarthy and company to stick with the running game for a full four quarters, they finally did so and gave a back 20+ carries.Now all they have to do is start to be confident enough in the run to actually run it in short yardage situations....but baby steps people we are getting there.
Review of the return game
Kick returns: Randall Cobb - 3 returns 28 yard average 46 long
Punt returns: Randall Cobb - 3 returns 7 yard average 16 long
Cobb was able to give a nice long return just when the Packers needed it. I don't know how much more there is to say about the return performance than that right now.