As we did last week, let's look back at a few of the stats from this week's Green Bay Packers win over the New York Jets to see how we can illustrate the results of the game through the numbers. A few categories stuck out to us this week, whether on their own or in comparison to the game against the Seahawks a week ago.
Pressuring Aaron Rodgers
It's worth noting that the Seahawks and Jets have very different tendencies when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. Seattle tends to sit back in coverage and allow their talented front four to rush the passer, only rarely sending blitzes. The Jets and Rex Ryan, on the other hand, are far more likely to use exotic blitz packages to get to the quarterback. When you look at the breakdown, there's no question about which strategy caused Aaron Rodgers to struggle more.
In week one, the Seahawks blitzed only three times on Packers passes, and on those plays Rodgers completed two of three passes for 24 yards with no sacks. When they actually got pressure (eight times), they did so mostly without blitzing. On those plays, they brought Rodgers down three times, forcing him to complete only two of five passes for 18 yards - a sign that he was unable to find a receiver quickly due to a full complement of players in coverage.
The Jets, on the other hand, were frequently bringing extra rushers on blitzes yesterday (16 times), and while they did pressure Rodgers more overall (17 passes), Aaron was able to beat that pressure and find gaps in the secondary to exploit. QB12 was 9 of 15 for 102 yards and a score against the blitz on Sunday. As we've seen time and time again, sending extra men after Rodgers is not the best way to beat him; defenses are more effective against him when they can sit seven men back in coverage and find a way to get pressure with just three or four rushers.
Remember a week ago, when the Packers missed 18 tackles? They only missed three this week, with one each charged to Jamari Lattimore, Morgan Burnett, and Datone Jones. The offense did not force as many misses from the opponents' defense as they did against Seattle (seven for the Jets), but a much more reliable performance from the defense overall was a big reason for their ability to hold New York to only a field goal in the second half.
If you noticed Davante Adams appeared to take over as the number three wide receiver this week, you're right - he played 37 snaps compared to 25 for Jarrett Boykin. Rodgers and Boykin couldn't get on the same page this week, as they completed only one of three targets, while Adams caught five of his six passes for 50 yards.
Eddie Lacy and the run game got little action early on, but James Starks and DuJuan Harris combined for only twelve plays and no carries. Harris got the only touch on offense of the two, with an 11-yard catch-and-run on the two-minute drive at the end of the first half.
At tight end, Richard Rodgers and Andrew Quarless split time almost evenly, with the rookie getting 34 snaps to Quarless' 38. Brandon Bostick was used on special teams only, presumably as the team works him back into the lineup gradually.
On defense, the Packers clearly used a lot of 4-3 looks in the first half, as Julius Peppers played 47 snaps and Mike Neal got 59 total. Those two were used as ends while Letroy Guion and Mike Daniels played tackle. The team switched that up in the second half (with great success).
Also notable was Casey Hayward's complete absence from the gameplan this week, as he did not play a single down on defense. Davon House (30 plays) entered as the nickel back in this game, shifting Tramon Williams into the slot. Even when Micah Hyde (22) had to sit out late in the game, it was Jarrett Bush (5 snaps) instead of Hayward coming on in the dime package
Mike Daniels Was a Stud
This pretty much sums up the day that Daniels had, and the start to the year that he's had over two games:
@ByRyanWood Up to 9 run stops on the year. Most of any 3-4 DE— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 15, 2014
After adding a sack to his stat line this week, Diesel is most definitely backing up his big talk from this summer.
A.J. Hawk Helmet Losses
After not noticing any last week against Seattle, my unofficial count sits at three this week (which Cheesehead TV and a few others confirmed on Twitter).
Thanks to Pro Football Focus for many of these statistics, including missed tackles, snap counts, and pressure numbers.