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Packers Week 18 Snap Counts: Backup offense & front 7 comes on after halftime

To try to keep key players healthy, the Packers substituted en masse to start the third quarter on Sunday.

NFL: JAN 09 Packers at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers did not win on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but more importantly the team got a few injured players back into game action and suffered no huge injuries in the contest.

To ensure that was the case, many of the team’s key players sat out significant portions of the game. Several starters took a rest at halftime, with Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and the returning David Bakhtiari among them. On defense, the team gave lighter workloads to many of their players across the defensive front, including their starting edge rushers and nose tackle Kenny Clark.

Additionally, two players who were dealing with some nagging injury issues during the week were inactive for the game entirely, as running back Aaron Jones and inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell got a rest. All of those decisions led to a wider distribution of snaps on offense and defense than at any other point this season, as the Packers looked ahead to their playoff bye and their next game in the Divisional Playoffs. Here’s how the playing time broke down on Sunday afternoon.

OFFENSE (68 total plays)

Quarterbacks

Jordan Love 37, Aaron Rodgers 31

The Packers’ two quarterbacks split the game almost evenly, with Rodgers playing all but one snap (a kneel-down) in the first half. He threw two touchdowns in the game, both to Allen Lazard, finishing the day 14-of-18 for 138 yards. Rodgers’ passer rating of 135.6 was his fifth straight game over 110 and his 10th such game for the entire season, and should all but lock up his fourth MVP award.

Love came on after halftime and continued to play inconsistently. He delivered a handful of good balls, but was also under pressure frequently, due in part to changes on the interior of the offensive line. He would finish 10-for-17 for 134 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, both coming on potential comeback drives in the last two minutes of the game. The first pick was tipped at the line of scrimmage then popped up in the air by the targeted receiver, Amari Rodgers, while the second was behind the intended receiver due in part to Love taking a hit while he threw.

Running Backs

AJ Dillon 37, Patrick Taylor 31

Both Packers running backs in this game ran well, averaging at least 4.5 yards per carry. Taylor in particular impressed in his first substantial game action, scoring his first career touchdown on a one-yard plunge. He projects as a very solid #3 running back moving forward to combine with Dillon and Aaron Jones.

Wide Receivers

Equanimeous St. Brown 51, Juwann Winfree 44, Amari Rodgers 31, Davante Adams 22, Allen Lazard 21, Marquez Valdes-Scantling 15

The Packers rotated their wideout group a great deal early in the game, with Adams and Lazard cycling through early in the game. Adams got the Packers’ single-season receiving yard record, finishing with six catches for 55 yards, while Lazard had five grabs for 75 yards and two scores from Rodgers.

St. Brown was overshadowed by his brother on the Lions, Amon-Ra, catching just two balls for 22 yards. He got wide open on a deep post with the Packers fighting to get back in the game late, but Love couldn’t deliver an accurate pass due to pass rush, and the wideout was unable to haul in a contested catch.

Winfree caught three passes for 16 yards, but fumbled one of them. Rodgers caught one of three targets for five yards, with one of the incompletions leading to an interception.

The Packers’ lone notable injury came to MVS, who left in the first half with a back issue. He was listed as questionable to return, but was held out for the remainder of the game. Keep an eye out for updates on his status this week.

Tight Ends

Josiah Deguara 29, Tyler Davis 24, Marcedes Lewis 20, Dominique Dafney 15

The Packers got some explosiveness from their tight ends in this game, with Deguara getting the big highlight. He took a harmless-looking screen pass to the house for a 62-yard touchdown, assisted in a big way by Lucas Patrick erasing two Lions defenders with one block. He caught two other passes for just four yards. Dafney had a big play as well, taking a short pass for a 26-yard gain.

Offensive Linemen

Jon Runyan 68, Lucas Patrick 68, Dennis Kelly 68, Yosh Nijman 41, Royce Newman 36, Josh Myers 32, David Bakhtiari 27

The big news on the line in this game was the return of Bakhtiari and Myers, who started the game and played most of the first half. Bakh left a few plays before the half, going into the tent and reportedly dealing with some fatigue issues, but Nijman came on and didn’t miss a beat with the starters. Both he and Myers played well, and it looks like they should be in the starting lineup two weeks from now in the Divisional round.

Myers’ return kicked Patrick to right guard, where he replaced Newman in the starting lineup — with plenty of success. After the half, with Myers leaving the field, Patrick returned to center with Newman back at his normal right guard spot. But once again, Newman struggled to deal with stunts, giving up multiple pressures on Love.

DEFENSE (59 total plays)

Defensive Linemen

Tyler Lancaster 38, Dean Lowry 35, T.J. Slaton 33, Kenny Clark 28, Abdullah Anderson 15

Green Bay decided to give Kenny Clark a relatively light workload in this game, as he played his fewest snaps of any game this season that he did not leave early due to injury. Some of that was due to the starters coming off the field around the start of the fourth quarter, but they also seemed to rotate him off the field more frequently before that.

Lowry had a great game on Sunday, recording the Packers’ only sack of the game and getting a second tackle for loss in the game.

Outside Linebackers

Tipa Galeai 31, Jonathan Garvin 31, Rashan Gary 26, Preston Smith 26, Ladarius Hamilton 4

Although the Packers got modest production from their edge players in terms of box score production, the group largely seemed to play pretty well. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, the top four edges were the top four graded players overall on the Packers’ defense in this game.

Both Gary and Smith failed to register a sack, however, keeping both shy of double-digits and keeping Smith in particular from earning a substantial incentive.

Inside Linebackers

Krys Barnes 59, Oren Burks 32

With De’Vondre Campbell sitting out to give him a bit of a rest, Barnes and Burks were the only off-ball linebackers who saw the field. Barnes struggled mightily, however, despite leading the team in tackles with seven; he was particularly outmatched in coverage in ways that Campbell has not this season. Burks gave a game effort but also was picked on in the passing game a bit.

Safeties

Darnell Savage 59, Adrian Amos 38, Henry Black 21

With just three safeties active once again, the Packers had to keep Savage on the field for the entire game even when they brought in the backups. That brought Black on the field for Amos, but the unit as a whole struggled to deal with Amon-Ra St. Brown and the Lions’ trick plays. Amos and Savage each had five tackles with Black picking up three.

Cornerbacks

Eric Stokes 57, Rasul Douglas 45, Chandon Sullivan 41, Isaac Yiadom 14, Kevin King 11, Shemar Jean-Charles 5

It was a bit of a weird day for the cornerback group in this game, as the Packers did not really pull their starters, and even then not until very late. The Packers only took Douglas off the field for Yiadom, who was targeted immediately, and SJC got just a few snaps for Sullivan, while King continued to play as the dime back.

Much of the production that the Lions got in this game came on their trick plays, but the Packers had no answer for Amon-Ra St. Brown out of the slot. He was Detroit’s go-to option throughout the game and he ate up the interior of the field to the tune of 109 yards and a touchdown on eight catches.

SPECIAL TEAMS SNAP LEADERS

Black 25, Burks 25, Isaiah McDuffie 25, Yiadom 25, Jean-Charles 24, Davis 21, Galeai 17, Dafney 15, Amari Rodgers 11