On Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers used three, four, and five wide receivers extensively as they defeated the Chicago Bears 26-10. However, the way in which they did so was very different than in the past - a key component to the offense was the use of receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb at running back throughout the game.
In fact, the Packers lined up a true tailback on just eleven of the team’s 87 offensive snaps throughout the game, a sign of how the team will likely intend to replae the production from Eddie Lacy and James Starks.
Meanhwile, the fact that the team ran 87 snaps on offense shows just how dominant the team was in this game, even though the final score was just a two-possession difference. The Bears ran just 48 plays, and the Packers held the ball for a nearly 40-minute to 20-minute edge.
Here are how the snaps broke down.
LT David Bakhtiari 87, LG Lane Taylor 87, C JC Tretter 87, RT Bryan Bulaga 87, RG T.J. Lang 71, G/T Don Barclay 16, T Jason Spriggs 2
Barclay had to fill in for Lang for a few snaps after the starting right guard went out with an injury. Thankfully, however, he returned to the field in the second half. Once again, Spriggs lined up as a tight end on occasion, but he did so on fewer snaps than in the last few weeks.
QB Aaron Rodgers 87, FB Aaron Ripkowski 22, RB Don Jackson 6, RB Knile Davis 5
As mentioned earlier, the two Packers running backs barely saw the field at all. Jackson in particular was likely slated for a larger role on Thursday, but he injured his hand early in the game and was not seen again. Ripkowski lined up as both a traditional fullback as well as a shotgun back, and even took a carry or two from that formation.
Jordy Nelson 83, Randall Cobb 78, Davante Adams 70, Ty Montgomery 60, Jeff Janis 41, Trevor Davis 7
Richard Rodgers 47, Justin Perillo 14
The Packers averaged 3.9 wide receivers on the field for each play, but much of that was due to the heavy use of Cobb and Montgomery in the backfield. Each of the two players caught ten or eleven passes and carried the football at least five times; in particular, Montgomery had nine carries for 60 yards.
Adams had the best game of his career and was targeted a whopping 16 times - that’s 23% of the snaps he spent on the field.
CB Demetri Goodson 48, CB LaDarius Gunter 48, CB Micah Hyde 48, FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 48, SS Morgan Burnett 48, S Kentrell Brice 13
On defense, the Packers lined up exclusively in nickel or dime for the second time in three games - the same as they did against the Giants two weeks ago. However, this time it was a different set of starters, as Gunter and Goodson got the call with the top three options out.
Blake Martinez 35, Jake Ryan 31, Joe Thomas 17
For the second straight game, Martinez got the most snaps of any inside linebacker, out-counting Ryan by a narrow margin, while Thomas lined up significantly less. Martinez did record his first interception and led the team with five total tackles.
Nick Perry 35, Clay Matthews 27, Datone Jones 21, Julius Peppers 18, Kyler Fackrell 10, Jayrone Elliott 4
Perry also picked off a pass, and recorded the Packers’ only sack that was identified on video replay. Meanwhile, the rotation continued among the veterans.
Mike Daniels 22, Letroy Guion 16, Kenny Clark 15, Mike Pennel 11, Christian Ringo 9, Dean Lowry 4
Daniels’ snap count was less than 50% of the team’s total, in large part due to the bigger role that Clark and Pennel played. Pennel had one big pass deflection that landed in De Pere, while Clark made two big tackles back-to-back in the running game.