The Packers shut down Justin Jefferson on Sunday.
Any literate person with access to either a newspaper or an internet connection could tell you that. The stats show Jefferson with just one catch for 15 yards, a pretty abysmal outing for an All-Pro caliber wide receiver.
But what amazes me is the extent to which we can see how they did it. Numerous high-quality analysts have taken apart the tape over the last few days, revealing exactly what the Packers did to keep Jefferson from tearing the game open as he did in Week 1.
The Athletic’s Nate Tice did a pretty thorough breakdown on Twitter, which you can read here, and I’ve also linked to a piece from Daniel Klassen of Football Outsiders below. But whoever you choose, just appreciate how amazing it is that we have access to this kind of analysis at all.
Technology, access, and smart people willing to work through the finer points of football have made the game more knowable than ever, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a football fan in the era we’re in. If nothing else, it helps me understand the tremendous skill and talent of the players we get to watch every week.
Klassen’s breakdown makes one thing clear: the Packers were going to make Jefferson work not just for every catch, but for every yard he ran.
Last week it was Jefferson. This week it’s Amon-Ra St. Brown.
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Sometimes you go whale watching and don’t see anything. Other times you see a once-in-a-lifetime gray whale birth. I think that’s called getting your money’s worth.