Perhaps it was the game situation — holding a lead for most of the game — or perhaps it was Aaron Jones’ return to full strength. Whatever the reason, the Green Bay Packers rolled out their 12 personnel package on offense on Sunday with much more regularity than in recent weeks, as the team ran the football exceptionally well against the Los Angeles Rams in a 20-3 victory.
That package — one running back and two tight ends, along with two wide receivers — was a winner for Green Bay as they racked up 187 yards on 36 non-kneel down carries in the game. 20 of those rushing attempts came from Aaron Jones, as the team clearly made a point of getting him the football early and often on a relatively wet, sloppy surface at Lambeau Field.
That offensive balance also helped Jordan Love find open receivers more regularly, as he posted a personal-best in completion percentage and had one of his best single-game performances from a statistical perspective. However, while it was a step in the right direction, there are still plenty of issues to work on for Love and the offense moving forward.
Here’s a look at the playing time from Sunday.
OFFENSE (72 total snaps)
Jordan Love 72
Love had one of his best games as a passer, statistically speaking, on Sunday as he set a career-high in single-game completion percentage. His 20-for-26 line put him at 77%, and his passer rating of 115.5 was his best since week one.
There were still a few concerning issues, however, including his proclivity to hold the football too long. Love took four sacks on the day, most of which were due to hi not getting the ball out rather than poor blocking up front. Still, it was a good step forward for him after a rough stretch, and it was the first game since week two that he did not commit a turnover.
Aaron Jones 41, AJ Dillon 29, Emanuel Wilson 8
The Packers clearly feel that Jones is back to being 100 percent, as they spammed him with carries early and often. He finished the first half with 14 total touches and eventually hit the 20-carry mark for the first time since last November against the Cowboys. He did not reach 4 yards per carry, finishing with a 3.7 average, but the workload was encouraging and the offense as a whole looked much smoother and more cohesive with him running the football.
Meanwhile, Dillon had a solid day as a change of pace back, picking up 40 yards on nine carries. Wilson came on in garbage time and ripped off a 31-yard gain, the longest rush of the day for the Packers, and finished with 43 yards on four carries.
Romeo Doubs 62, Christian Watson 56, Jayden Reed 28, Dontayvion Wicks 23, Malik Heath 7
The Packers were almost entirely running 11 personnel last week against the Minnesota Vikings, but they were in 12 personnel much more frequently this Sunday. That meant fewer snaps for Reed in the slot, as his snap count was cut almost in half. Reed still had four touches — three catches for 19 yards and a 21-yard rush — but his role was diminished significantly.
A week after targeting Doubs and Watson a combined 17 times, Love attempted just five total passes to the two top receivers, with Doubs catching all three targets for 36 yards and Watson hauling in one of two, a 37-yard gain. That play saw him come down with a contested catch (finally!) but he came down awkwardly and was evaluated for multiple injuries afterwards.
Wicks, on the other hand, saw a similar snap share to last week but got four targets, catching all four for 49 yards. He did fumble on the first play from scrimmage of the third quarter, but that was a tough play — he was stretching for a first down and the ground caused the fumble, but because no defender was near him, the fumble held up as a turnover. Still, it was encouraging to see Love targeting him more frequently, as he continues to get open regularly.
Finally, it was notable that Samori Touré was a healthy scratch for this game, in favor of Heath (who dropped his only target).
Luke Musgrave 60, Tucker Kraft 28, Josiah Deguara 13, Ben Sims 5
As noted above, the Packers used a heavier dose of 12 personnel, with Kraft getting into the mix more. His snaps jumped from 19 last week to 28 on Sunday, getting looks both in-line and as a wing player.
Meanwhile, Musgrave scored the first touchdown of his career, taking a beautiful play for a 20-yard catch-and-run score. He also hauled in a big 25-yard catch earlier in the second half and finished with three catches for 51 yards and the score.
Josh Myers 72, Zach Tom 72, Jon Runyan 65, Elgton Jenkins 64, Rasheed Walker 37, Yosh Nijman 35, Sean Rhyan 15
The Packers’ line got a bit of a shakeup at times on Sunday. Nijman had to leave with an injury near halftime, which led to Walker playing the remainder of the game. Earlier, Runyan sat for a series as Rhyan got his first significant playing time, and Rhyan later came on at left guard for Jenkins when the game was out of reach. Notably, Rhyan looked solid in those brief spells of playing time, a good sign for a player who has had few of those in his young career.
DEFENSE (58 total snaps)
T.J. Slaton 36, Devonte Wyatt 34, Karl Brooks 23, Kenny Clark 15, Colby Wooden 15
The Packers’ most concerning injury of the day was to Clark, who suffered a shoulder injury and headed to the locker room on a cart. He is expected to be day-to-day, however, a good sign given the initial worry about his status. That led to more snaps for Wyatt and Brooks, and the latter stepped up with a pair of pass breakups at the line of scrimmage and some nice work against the run.
Preston Smith 38, Rashan Gary 36, Kingsley Enagbare 22, Lukas Van Ness 20
The Packers’ usual 65/35 ratio of starters’ to backups’ reps continued this week. Each of these four players had a flash play or two; Gary had a sack that he negated with an offsides penalty, but he did have two hits on QB Brett Rypien. Smith broke up a pass at the line of scrimmage, while each of Enagbare and Van Ness had TFLs in the run game.
De’Vondre Campbell 58, Isaiah McDuffie 54, Eric Wilson 4
With Quay Walker scratched due to injury, McDuffie played very well in his place as he picked up a pair of TFLs against the run. The Packers continue to use Wilson as a coverage linebacker in his place on 3rd-and-long, but McDuffie and Campbell largely held up well, with Campbell recovering a fumble.
Anthony Johnson, Jr. 58, Jonathan Owens 58, Dallin Leavitt 2, Innis Gaines 1
That fumble came from Owens, who strip-sacked Rypien on a blitz after the quarterback had trouble with a snap. Leavitt and Gaines got a few snaps when the Packers were in nickel, with Keisean Nixon sitting briefly due to an injury. Johnson delivered a turnover as well in his first start, hauling in a tipped interception in the fourth quarter while also breaking up another pass earlier in the game for a very solid debut performance.
Jaire Alexander 58, Carrington Valentine 58, Keisean Nixon 48
No Rasul Douglas (traded) or Eric Stokes (injured reserve) meant that Valentine got another start, and the rookie delivered. He did not allow a completion into his coverage, breaking up three passes and also earning an offensive pass interference call and playing well in run support. It was an excellent performance from the rookie, who will need to continue that level of play moving forward.
Alexander still does not look 100%, but he managed to make a great play on the football to tip it to Johnson for an interception in the fourth quarter. His stat line was a big one, though, with seven solo tackles, a TFL, and two pass breakups. Nixon also played solidly in the slot against the likes of Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua, and picked up five solo tackles of his own while adding a 51-yard kickoff return and a 15-yard punt return.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Wilson 17, Deguara 16, Leavitt 15, Corey Ballentine 14, McDuffie 14, Kristian Welch 13, Enagbare 11, Anders Carlson 10, Kraft 10