On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers lost 31-26 to the Indianapolis Colts, and one of the common themes of the season continued to rear its ugly head through three quarters. The Packers faced a heavy dose of man coverage, and failed to make any significant progress in the passing game until the fourth quarter.
In fact, Aaron Rodgers’ passing numbers show just how abysmal the passing game was until very late in the game. On the Packers’ final two drives, Rodgers was 10 of 12 for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Prior to that, he had been 16 of 31 for 178 yards, one score, and one interception.
Rodgers’ completion percentage to his highest-targeted receivers accentuated the problem. He was just 7 of 13 on passes to Jordy Nelson, 6 of 10 to Richard Rodgers, and 4 of 8 to Davante Adams. Could Geronimo Allison or Trevor Davis have performed better if given more snaps? We may never know.
Here’s how all the snaps broke down this week.
LT David Bakhtiari 69, LG Lane Taylor 69, C Corey Linsley 69, RG T.J. Lang 69, RT Bryan Bulaga 69
Thankfully, the offensive line didn’t have to miss a beat with JC Tretter suffering a sprained MCL; Corey Linsley returned at the perfect time and he played every snap of the game. In fact, each member of the starting five played every snap on offense.
QB Aaron Rodgers 69, RB Ty Montgomery 31, FB Aaron Ripkowski 22, RB Don Jackson 13
Once again, Ripkowski got a significant number of snaps as Rodgers’ personal protector in shotgun formations. He also added two rushes for four yards and one catch for three yards. Montgomery was again the team’s primary running back, though he only carried the ball seven times. His first carry, on the Packers’ first drive, went for 24, and he averaged 7.6 yards per rush.
WR Davante Adams 66, WR Jordy Nelson 63, TE Richard Rodgers 49, WR Jeff Janis 44, WR Randall Cobb 23, TE Justin Perillo 22, WR Geronimo Allison 7, WR Trevor Davis 5
The Packers played Cobb on exactly one-third of the team’s snaps, a sign that they wanted to conserve his workload due to his hamstring injury. Instead, Janis was on the field for nearly two-thirds of the game, essentially taking the snaps that Cobb didn’t when the team went with three receivers. However, Janis only was targeted twice, catching a single pass for 25 yards.
Also puzzling was the extensive use of Richard Rodgers, though he did catch 6 of 10 targets for 64 yards, and the lack of snaps for Allison and Davis. The two rookie receivers combined for one target and no receptions.
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 68, S Morgan Burnett 68, CB LaDarius Gunter 68, CB Quinten Rollins 62, S/CB Micah Hyde 53, S Kentrell Brice 24, S Marwin Evans 2
On defense, the Packers had to deal with Hyde suffering an injury late, which forced Kentrell Brice into the game as the nickel back in his place. Brice committed one penalty and generally looked much less comfortable there than at his normal strong safety position. Otherwise, there were no significant surprises since Rollins played and Goodson was held out of the game due to his concussion.
Blake Martinez 55, Jake Ryan 55, Joe Thomas 13
Thomas continues to see less and less playing time, even though the Packers have been playing against teams with strong passing games and receiving threats. At this point, it seems like he is on the field only when the Packers line up in the dime package with a single inside linebacker, while Martinez and Ryan remain the two nickel linebackers.
Ryan had a decent day on the stat sheet, posting 11 tackles (one for loss), a quarterback hit, and a pass defense. Thomas made three solo tackles.
Julius Peppers 50, Nick Perry 50, Datone Jones 46, Kyler Fackrell 14
Not having Clay Matthews meant that Peppers and Jones carried a heavier load this week. Neither one was particularly effective, as they each made a single assisted tackle. Perry was better, with four total tackles, a half-sack, and another quarterback hit. Fackrell had three tackles in his 14 snaps. Meanwhile, Jayrone Elliott was nowhere to be found when the team lined up on defense.
Mike Daniels 41, Letroy Guion 35, Kenny Clark 22, Mike Pennel 17, Dean Lowry 5
Daniels got about 60% of the teams snaps, which has been a pretty consistent number in recent weeks. There were no significant surprises here - Daniels and Pennel each recorded a hit on Andrew Luck, but they combined for just a single tackle, credited to Daniels. Guion was active again in the run game with three tackles.