The Green Bay Packers are officially 4-6 after a surprising win against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers at Lambeau Field. The 23-20 victory was a bittersweet one, as the game was marred by devastating injuries to players on both teams, including almost the entire Packers’ RB room. Let’s dive into the Packers’ winners and losers this week.
Winner: Carrington Valentine
With the DB room dwindling after the Rasul Douglas trade and nagging injuries to Jaire Alexander, rookie Carrington Valentine has stepped up the last couple weeks. During the first half of today’s game, Chargers WR Keenan Allen was targeted near the end zone on third down, and Valentine was all over him. Allen ended up dropping the pass, but had he caught it, Valentine would’ve kept him out of the endzone anyways. The Chargers were forced to settle for a FG. At his best this season, we’ve seen flashes reminiscent of a healthy Jaire. Valentine is an extremely physical player, and if he can continue to develop the discipline to keep that physicality in check, he can turn into a really special long-term player for this team.
Loser: Josh Myers
During the Packers’ first drive of the game, it looked like they were off to a hot start with quick passes and completions. And then they decided to run the ball. Josh Myers promptly fell flat on his face, and the run resulted in no gain. It was a pattern during this game, and has been a pattern all season; Myers just keeps getting beat. The Packers seem set on him as their center, and I don’t foresee this changing, as disappointing as it may be.
Winner: The Holy Trinity (Reed, Wicks, Doubs)
Rookie WR Jayden Reed is turning out to be everything the Packers wanted. Currently the team’s leading receiver through 10 games, Reed established today that he’s also a viable threat in the running game, something which may be much-needed as the Packers potentially move forward without RBs Aaron Jones and Emanuel Wilson. Reed caught 4 of 6 targets for 46 yards, and was the team’s leading rusher today with another 46 yards and a TD. He is going to be a key piece on offense for the foreseeable future, and I think this team can truly build around him.
Every second of every day, I am having an internal debate about whether Reed or fellow-rookie Dontayvion Wicks will be the WR1 of the future. As mentioned, Reed is the team’s leading receiver right now, but QB Jordan Love looks to be developing some insane chemistry with Wicks. When the team traded Davante Adams, they lost the luxury of having a player who seemed like he was able to get open on every play. Wicks has shown a great ability to create separation and, aside from a bad drop today, looked like he can be that guy moving forward. Wicks’ final statline was 3 catches on 5 targets, for a team-high 91 yards.
Romeo Doubs has developed into Jordan Love’s favorite target this season, by far. Doubs has been targeted 65 times this season, 14 more targets than the next pass catcher (Reed). There have been some accuracy issues by Love, as well as some drops by Doubs, but the connection has been strong as of late. Doubs finished the day with 5 catches on 6 targets for 53 yards and what ended up being the game-winning touchdown.
Winner: Tucker Kraft
The numbers won’t show it, but the Packers’ rookie TE had what I would consider his best game of the season thus far. He finished the day catching both of his targets for a total of 32 yards, and would’ve had a huge touchdown had it not been for a foot out of bounds. He gave an insane amount of effort on this play, and showed us exactly why the Packers drafted him. It’s been a slow season for him, but today was a bright spot, and I’m excited for the Packers’ TE duo of Musgrave and Kraft to continue to blossom.
Loser: Anders Carlson
The Chargers ended up beating themselves today, and Anders Carlson is very lucky for it. The rookie kicker missed a 53-yard FG attempt, as well as an extra point attempt. In a close game, you absolutely need to make your kicks. A 53-yard miss from a rookie is a bit more understandable, but not an extra point, and this isn’t the first missed XP this season by Carlson. With under five minutes left in the game, the Packers were down 4, and Carlson missed 4 points worth of kicks today. He’s very lucky this game didn’t have a different outcome.
Winner: The Packers’ 12th Man
I lost count, but the sun accounted for approximately 86 of the Chargers’ drops today (please do not fact check me).
Winner: Jordan Love
The Packers have finally snapped their streak with their first game of 300 or more passing yards in almost two years. This is Jordan Love’s first such game of his NFL career, and it will not be his last. Love had an admirable game, with 322 passing yards, 2 TDs, and a 67.5% completion rate. His rating on the day was 108.5.
The Packers have a short week ahead of them as they prepare to take on the Detroit Lions during the early game on Thanksgiving Day. After a tough loss to the Lions in Week 4, can the Packers even the score and win their first Thanksgiving game in 12 years?