The Green Bay Packers’ offense continued to be a heavily three-wide unit in week two, and once again the starting trio occupied a vast majority of the offensive snaps. In fact, just 5.4% of the wide receiver snaps were taken by players other than Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams. The offense’s rhythm never seemed to get in sync, and it’s tough not to wonder what might have happened if a few of the team’s young receivers got some more significant action with the offense.
What’s holding Jared Abbrederis or Ty Montgomery back at this point? We frankly have no idea. It’s clear from the snap count that the team thinks that Davante Adams is the team’s best option as a third receiver, even if his stat line (7 targets, 3 catches, 26 yards, and one fumble lost) suggests otherwise.
Here’s a look at how the playing time was broken down on Sunday night in Minnesota.
LT David Bakhtiari 71, LG Lane Taylor 71, C JC Tretter 71, RT Bryan Bulaga 71, RG T.J. Lang 70, RG Don Barclay 1
Lang missed a single play (on which Don Barclay was beaten), but was back in for the rest of the game. No surprises here, thankfully.
QB Aaron Rodgers 71, RB Eddie Lacy 35, RB James Starks 30, FB Aaron Ripkowski 2
I joked on Twitter that we had a “FULLBACK ALERT” when Ripkowski took the field for his two snaps. Little did I know how apropos that was, as he didn’t see another snap on offense. Between Lacy and Starks, the team lined up with a tailback on the field for all but six snaps, which led to a few plays in the backfield for Randall Cobb. Lacy ran 12 times for 50 yards, while Starks picked up just three yards on 7 carries plus one catch for 16.
WR Randall Cobb 70, WR Jordy Nelson 68, WR Davante Adams 54, TE Jared Cook 46, TE Richard Rodgers 36, WR Jared Abbrederis 6, WR Trevor Davis 5
Notice anybody conspicuously absent from the offensive snap chart? That’s right, Ty Montgomery did not line up once on offense last night. Meanwhile, receivers not named Nelson, Cobb, or Adams got just 11 total snaps. Adams’ snap count dipped from over 90% last week to about 75%, but the result of that wasn’t getting the younger receivers chances; it was putting two tight ends on the field, as Cook saw 65% of the snaps while Rodgers was at about 50% as well.
Mike Daniels 42, Kenny Clark 38, Letroy Guion 8, Christian Ringo 6, Dean Lowry 6
As usual, take these snap counts with a grain of salt due to the usage of Datone Jones and Julius Peppers on the line as well. However, Guion’s injury early in the game thrust Clark into a much bigger role. All in all, he seemed to hold up well, recording a pair of tackles and a batted pass. He’ll need to do so again moving forward with the Packers unlikely to have Guion back for at least another week or two and Mike Pennel still on suspension for two more games.
Nick Perry 49, Clay Matthews 38, Datone Jones 34, Julius Peppers 27, Kyler Fackrell 7
Any question that Perry is the starter? I didn’t think so. He recorded a half-sack and was solid if unspectacular for much of the game. Meanwhile, Peppers looked more like his old self than he did in week one, coming up with 1.5 sacks, while Matthews had his second sack of the season. The surprise here was Matthews playing just 2/3 of the defensive snaps, but this continues to be a solid, deep group.
Jake Ryan 45, Blake Martinez 41, Joe Thomas 17
A week after Thomas took over the bulk of the dime duties, he was involved heavily early once again but less so overall due to the Packers’ limited use of the dime against the Vikings’ offense. There were some nice plays from both Ryan and Martinez in coverage, and each of the three players recorded a tackle for loss and at least 5 total tackles.
Cornerbacks: Damarious Randall 58, Quinten Rollins 41, LaDarius Gunter 35
Safeties: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 58, Morgan Burnett 45, Micah Hyde 34, Kentrell Brice 9
Of all the games to miss Sam Shields, this one was a good one in terms of the scheme, as the Packers used their nickel and dime packages less than usual, lessening the need for additional defensive backs. Of course, he would have been a big help in coverage on Stefon Diggs, as Randall was torched early and often by the second-year receiver. Hyde got plenty of work at both safety and cornerback, and he was banged up a bit, so his availability will be monitored moving forward. Morgan Burnett also suffered a hamstring injury that limited his snaps and got Brice on the field late in the game.
SPECIAL TEAMS (24)
The Packers had several players line up on more than half of their special teams snaps - Brice led the way with 20, while Aaron Ripkowski contributed 19 snaps and Joe Thomas was in on 18 plays. Hyde and Jeff Janis each took 15 snaps, with Gunter and Montgomery at 14 and Abbrederis in for 13.