The Green Bay Packers lost to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night, dropping a 17-13 decision that saw the team’s offense struggle mightily. Jordan Love’s three interceptions were a career-high, and they came against a Raiders defense that had forced just a single turnover through their first four games of the season.
But although the Packers’ offense struggled, the defense largely put together a decent performance, holding the Raiders to just 17 points — with three of those coming off a big stand after one of Love’s picks set up the Raiders inside the red zone. Perhaps more impressive is that the defense did so without a pair of starters.
Both linebacker Quay Walker and safety Darnell Savage were knocked out of the game in the second quarter, Walker injuring his knee and Savage his calf. The two absences were notable in the second half, with Eric Wilson replacing Walker and Jonathan Owens coming on for Savage.
With the Packers having a bye week coming up, the two will have some extra time to recover and hopefully get back on the field in time for the Packers’ next game against the Denver Broncos. For now, let’s look back at the playing time from Monday’s loss.
OFFENSE (58 total snaps)
Jordan Love 58
Love had, without question, his worst game as a starter, as he was disappointing by any metric. He now has three straight games with a passer rating below 70, and has only completed over 60 percent of his passes in one of five games so far this season. After throwing for six TDs and no interceptions over the first two games of the season, he has two touchdowns against six picks in the last three and he needs to find some sort of rhythm and improved accuracy — particularly on deep passes.
We’ll dive more into Love’s recent struggles as this week goes on.
AJ Dillon 37, Patrick Taylor 21, Emanuel Wilson 1
With no Aaron Jones again, the Packers decided to try to make this an AJ Dillon game, at least early on. They were somewhat more effective than in the last few games, however, in part because they were calling inside zone and stretch run plays that play more to his strengths as a straight-ahead power runner.
Dillon had by far his best game of the season, picking up 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but it still took him 20 carries to do so, leaving him with an average of just 3.8 yards per carry on the day. He is now up to 3.0 on the season. Meanwhile, Taylor was again the back on the field in passing and late-game situations, while Wilson’s only snap came in the pony package with Taylor. That play saw Taylor motion from split wide into the backfield, take a handfoff from Love in the shotgun, and get immediately blown up behind the line of scrimmage. All told, Taylor had two carries for two yards and two catches on five pass targets for five more yards.
Romeo Doubs 50, Christian Watson 49, Jayden Reed 29, Dontayvion Wicks 13, Samori Touré 3
The Packers seem to have their top two receivers back on a full workload, so this type of snap breakdown is likely to continue moving forward unless Wicks eats up a few more snaps. Still, Doubs and Watson were inefficient with their targets, even despite Watson’s 77-yard catch-and-run (a would-be touchdown if not for a horse-collar tackle). the two combined for four catches and 95 yards on 11 targets,
Luke Musgrave 40, Tucker Kraft 23, Josiah Deguara 15, Ben Sims 9
Love targeted Musgrave frequently in this game, and he has been asked to pick up significant yards after the catch on short passes. Unfortunately, that is not a major strength of his game, but he managed six catches on 7 targets for 34 yards in the contest. He, Deguara (one catch for 19 yards) and Sims (one catch for 12) were actually the team’s three leading receivers at halftime.
Notable is that Kraft saw his first significant increase in snaps this week; he previously had a high of 13 snaps in weeks 1 and 4.
Rasheed Walker 58, Elgton Jenkins 58, Josh Myers 58, Jon Runyan, Jr. 58, Zach Tom 58
The Packers’ best remaining five offensive linemen all took the field on Monday night, but they had no answers for the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby, who dominated the front all game long. This unit as a whole simply must play better to give Jordan Love a better chance to post improved performances after the bye; he only took two sacks in the game (one that was effectively no gain on a scramble), but still was affected too frequently by the pass rush.
DEFENSE (64 total snaps)
Kenny Clark 47, T.J. Slaton 37, Devonte Wyatt 33, Karl Brooks 19, Colby Wooden 16
Clark continues to play around 50 snaps per game on defense, and he has typically been in the 65 to 80% range. Interestingly, he has come in on field goal block units as well over the past three weeks, logging 5, 7, and 6 snaps in weeks 3, 4, and 5 respectively, to add to his workload. He flashed early, looking disruptive and taking down Jimmy Garoppolo for an early sack, and finished the game with five total tackles.
Green Bay continues to use Slaton and Wyatt as the other two linemen, with the two rotating in nickel packages depending on the down and distance. Wyatt helped contribute to a sack later in the game as well. The two rookies got only rotational play and generally were not noticeable in either a positive or negative light.
Preston Smith 43, Rashan Gary 30, JJ Enagbare 29, Lukas Van Ness 26
The Packers’ edge group recorded three sacks on the day, one each from Smith, Gary and Enagbare. Gary’s and Smith’s came on key third downs to shut down Raiders drives, with Smith’s being his first of the season. Enagbare officially got a sack on Josh Jacobs, who took a pitch and was looking to throw the football before he was taken down quickly on the edge. He had a second TFL as well, staying home well on the edge to blow up a run play.
Isaiah McDuffie 61, Eric Wilson 43, Quay Walker 17
The Packers were already without De’Vondre Campbell, but then saw Walker go down with a knee injury early in the second quarter and get ruled out for the game. That resulted in Wilson coming on as the second off-ball linebacker and in general, he seemed to acquit himself reasonably well. The run defense still held Josh Jacobs to less than 4 yards per carry, and perhaps the biggest issue was not having the usual defensive playcaller on the field; that may have led to some issues in communication, particularly on a play where the Packers were in a cover-3 look that allowed Davante Adams an easy 21-yard completion with Preston Smith and McDuffie in zone coverage around him.
Rudy Ford 64, Darnell Savage 36, Jonathan Owens 31, Dallin Leavitt 2
Likewise, Savage left the game in the second quarter, coming up limping after trying (and failing) to jump a route and make an interception. His injury is reportedly to his calf, though he came up holding his hamstring, but his absence resulted in significant snaps for Owens in his place.
Still, the safeties were not a significant problem in this game either. The Packers gave up only three completions of more than 10 air yards in the contest, with Garoppolo doing most of his work within about seven yards of the line of scrimmage. Ford even recorded an interception in his second straight game, and led the secondary with nine total tackles.
Jaire Alexander 64, Rasul Douglas 64, Keisean Nixon 42
The Packers’ biggest challenge in the game was not Davante Adams, but rather slot receiver Jakobi Meyers, who led the Raiders with 7 catches, 75 yards, and a touchdown. He was consistently open over the middle, including on one play where Nixon misread his route near the goal line and failed to jump it properly, drawing the ire of Rasul Douglas.
In all, the Packers’ secondary did a very good job limiting Davante Adams’ impact on the game, as he had just one target through nearly 40 minutes of game time and finished with 45 yards on 4 catches. Douglas in particular had a very good performance, breaking up a pair of passes.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Leavitt 20, Wilson 20, Deguara 18, Owens 16, McDuffie 15, Kristian Welch 15, Nixon 14, Enagbare 13, Corey Ballentine 12, Carrington Valentine 11
The big shout-out on special teams this week goes to offensive lineman Yosh Nijman, who has been in on field goal block units the last few weeks. Nijman got his 6-foot-9 frame up and got a hand on Daniel Carlson’s 53-yard attempt late in the first half for a successful block to keep the game within a touchdown at the break.