On the third and final scoring, the Green Bay Packers were just adding insurance here by going up 24-6 on an Aaron Jones touchdown reception. The drive started with favorable field position at the Rams’ 35-yard line after a 17-yard Kiesean Nixon punt return and a 15-yard facemask penalty on the Los Angeles Rams on that play.
The drive featured a dose of Aaron Jones capped off with his 7-yard touchdown pass and before that, a 14-yard reception by Mercedes Lewis off of play action.
Situation: 3rd quarter, drive start 5:33 at the LA 35
1st play, 1st and 10
The drive started off with a simple mid zone run by Jones for 9 yards.
The mid zone is a zone running concept that is designed to be an inside run as opposed to the wide zone which tries to get to the edge. On the mid zone, the flow is more horizontal than inside zone, however, due to the reads of the running back.
The landmark to get to is the inside hip of the tackle rather than the outside leg of the tight end.
Since the play-side tackle kicks out rather than reaches, this moves the reads to the first two interior defensive linemen rather than the end man of the line of scrimmage and the first interior lineman.
Jones hits the lane outside the first interior defensive tackle due to the two defensive tackles crashing down inside hard. He gained nine yards.
The second and third plays of the drive were runs by Jones where he gained five total yards, picked up the first down with a two-yard gain, and then set them up on 2nd-and-7 with a three-yard gain.
4th play, 2nd-and-7 @ LA 21, 3:30 remaining
On 2nd-and-7, the Packers called a play-action naked rollout from under center. The Packers, like all Shanahan tree offenses, only primarily do two things under center: run the ball and play action passing.
The play is a simple play action naked rollout that sells outside zone one way while the quarterback executes the keeper and looks for a series of routes that flood the other side of the field, first with a corner route, then a deep crosser, a flat route, and a late down flat check down.
The defense is playing “Tite Will-6,” a cover-6 hybrid coverage cover-2 to the declared weak side (the offense’s left) and quarters coverage to the passing strength (the offense’s two tight end side plus the detached third receiver out wide. The quarters safety plays curl to post responsibility since the #2 receiver is on the end of the line of scrimmage.
The routes are blanketed as the safety comes down to the curl zone. Rodgers keeps moving to the sideline looking for a receiver until he finds Mercedes Lewis as the late-down flat option over the middle of the field. Lewis rumbles to a 14-yard gain down to the 7-yard line.
On first and goal from the 7-yard line, Rodgers threw an incomplete pass to the left to set up 2nd and 7.
Touchdown play, 2nd and goal @ LA 7
The play call is an inside zone with a run-pass option tagged to it with Jones on the swing route out to the left.
On this RPO, Rodgers reads the leverage of the defense out to the left. The corner out to the left is playing seven yards off the receiver and the overhang defender bumping out with the motion is blocked by Watson on the edge. Rodgers is also likely reading the defensive end to that side to see if he follows the swing or stays with the inside run.
The defensive end stays with the run in the box and the offense has good leverage to the outside with the off-coverage corner and the overhang defender being blocked by Watson. Jones is able to catch the pass and quickly get upfield and dive for the end zone for the touchdown.
The Packers' offense has been much more efficient since Watson’s breakout started and since week 10 they have the 3rd most efficient offense per Football Outsiders DVOA. They are hitting on all cylinders as of late minus a bump in the road versus Philadelphia and they are going to need that efficiency if they hope to sneak into the playoffs, which is still in play. On to Miami this Christmas Day.