The Green Bay Packers had to do some last-minute adjusting on Sunday, as they deactivated a pair of their top wide receivers before their game with the Atlanta Falcons. Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery sat out, which dictated a different plan for the team’s wide receiver unit.
That plan involved the extensive use of the team’s five healthy receivers, including rookie Geronimo Allison. However, the biggest beneficiary in terms of playing time was third-year wideout Jeff Janis, who was on the field for all but four of the Packers’ offensive plays. He came through with a crucial touchdown as well, which gave Green Bay a lead in the fourth quarter. Of course, Janis’ score did not hold up, as the defense allowed the Falcons to drive down the field and take the lead back.
Here’s how the playing time broke down for the Packers, as we look at the snap counts from Sunday’s game. Numbers are provided by the NFL’s Game Stats and Information Service.
Perhaps it was a surprise that the Packers ran just 62 offensive plays on Sunday. It certainly seemed that for such a high-scoring game with so much passing, there should have been more snaps run, but there it is. Here’s the breakdown on offense.
LT David Bakhtiari 62, LG Lane Taylor 62, C JC Tretter 62, RT Bryan Bulaga 62, RG T.J. Lang 59, G Don Barclay 3, T Jason Spriggs 1
The only issue here was when Lang tweaked his hip on the Packers’ final touchdown drive of the game. However, he was able to return just three plays later, much to the relief of Packers fans who were getting nervous seeing Don Barclay on the field.
QB Aaron Rodgers 62, FB Aaron Ripkowski 32, RB Don Jackson 10, RB Knile Davis 8
The plan appears to have been clear - use Ty Montgomery as the primary running back and have Jackson and Davis work only on occasion. When Montgomery was listed as inactive, however, that shot that plan to hell and forced the Packers to line up Ripkowski often as the single back in a shotgun formation. The Packers also used Davante Adams extensively in Montgomery’s place out of the backfield.
WR Jordy Nelson 59, WR Davante Adams 58, WR Jeff Janis 58, WR Trevor Davis 36, TE Richard Rodgers 26, WR Geronimo Allison 19, TE Justin Perillo 3
The Packers led off the game in 12 personnel with Jackson, Rodgers, and Perillo all on the field, but Perillo only got two more snaps on offense the rest of the game. Instead, Adams was used heavily out of the backfield. Meanwhile, with Cobb out as well, Jeff Janis took nearly every snap on offense, often lining up in the slot. Trevor Davis also got his biggest workload of the year, paying off with a touchdown, while Allison made his debut and saw three targets for a score, a big 17-yard play down the sideline, and one drop.
As one would expect from the score, the total snap count for both teams was about equal. The Packers’ 8-minute scoring drive in the 4th quarter was nearly matched as the Falcons ran down 3:27 on their final series to give Green Bay just 31 seconds to work with.
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 63, S Morgan Burnett 63, S/CB Micah Hyde 62, CB Demetri Goodson 61, CB LaDarius Gunter 60, S Kentrell Brice 16, CB Josh Hawkins 1
As has been the case lately, the Packers used five or six defensive backs on nearly every play, with Hyde serving as the permanent nickel back and Burnett shifting to the slot in the dime. Brice had a nice game on defense, and contributed an outstanding tackle on running back Terron Ward just in front of the goal line.
All in all, Gunter did a very good job on Julio Jones, even considering Jones’ injury that limited him from the second quarter onward. Jones had just three catches on 5 targets for 29 yards. Instead, it was Mohamed Sanu who had the big game, as he was matched up on Goodson and on some interior defenders. Sanu went off for 9 catches, 84 yards, and the score that pulled the Falcons into a tie (and allowed them to take the lead on a PAT).
Jake Ryan 47, Blake Martinez 41, Joe Thomas 22
The inside backers will probably have a rough week watching tape. Both Ryan and Martinez were unimpressive at best on Sunday; Ryan seemed to struggle particularly in coverage and both players got beaten by Sanu at different times of the game. Martinez also whiffed on a tackle attempt when he tried to fill a hole in the run game, allowing Terron Ward to break free and rumble up the middle for 28 yards.
Nick Perry 50, Julius Peppers 46, Datone Jones 23, Kyler Fackrell 19, Jayrone Elliott 12
The Packers got little production out of their outside linebackers as well, with just one sack (Peppers) and two quarterback hits (Peppers, Jones). Jones would have landed a sack-fumble on Matt Ryan, but he and Fackrell jumped early and wiped out the play. Perry made just one tackle on the day, and was not the disruptive presence that he has been throughout this season.
Mike Daniels 38, Kenny Clark 25, Letroy Guion 25, Mike Pennel 13, Christian Ringo 3, Dean Lowry 2
As the season goes along, Clark is gradually getting worked into a bigger role, and this is the first time that he exceeded Guion’s snap count this season. Guion did flash at times against the run, getting excellent penetration on occasion and making a pair of tackles. Daniels did land a sack, his second of the year, and was active but not especially impactful for much of the game. All in all, the Packers’ pass rush was disappointing, landing just the two sacks (both on the same drive) and four hits on Ryan overall.
Davis finally had an opportunity to return some punts, as Matt Bosher booted his two kicks of 52 and 49 yards. Davis did not disappoint, taking one kick back 55 yards to set up his own touchdown reception late in the first half.
Speaking of punting, Jacob Schum had by far his best game as a Packer, at least in terms of gross average. He averaged 54.3 yards per punt, though one of those three kicks went for a touchback and the Packers allowed 18-yard and 10-yard returns on the other two. That dragged his net average down to 38.3 yards.