In the Green Bay Packers’ win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the team was once again forced to scramble at a critical position due to injuries. The secondary saw three different key players go down at different times, with two starters leaving the game and not returning.
That opened up more opportunities for the embattled Damarious Randall to exert his abilities. In total he performed pretty well, and made one of the biggest plays of the game with his pick-six early on in the fourth quarter.
On offense, Aaron Jones has been a revelation for the Packers, who suddenly appear to have a running game worthy of note.
Here’s how the playing time broke down on offense and defense in week five.
OFFENSE (60 plays)
Aaron Rodgers 60
Naturally, Aaron Rodgers took every snap in a competitive game. He finished the day 19/29 for 221 yards and three touchdowns, plus four carries for 32 yards on the ground.
LT Lane Taylor 60, LG Justin McCray 60, C Corey Linsley 60, RG Jahri Evans 60, RT Bryan Bulaga 60
It was the fifth different offensive line combination in five games for the Packers, but once again the starters were all able to play every snap. That is a huge step forward for Bulaga, who returned to the lineup after three games out. Taylor struggled early in the game, but was able to settle in for his second straight start at left tackle, this time with McCray next to him instead of Lucas Patrick.
Aaron Jones 53, Aaron Ripkowski 7, Jamaal Williams 2
Jones got a Ty Montgomery-like workload on Sunday barely ceding any snaps to Ripkowski or Williams. This was a bit of a surprise to this writer, who expected Williams to get more of a workload after practicing fully all week long.
Jones proved that he deserved it, though, with 125 yards on 19 carries, an impressive 6.6 yards-per-carry average. He also split out wide a few times and added one reception for nine yards.
Davante Adams 56, Jordy Nelson 49, Randall Cobb 47, Geronimo Allison 13
Ten days after Adams was concussed, he led all Packers receivers in targets, receptions and yards, as well as snaps. In fact, Adams was the only player with more than five targets, more than doubling any other player by seeing 11 passes thrown his way.
Nelson missed much of the final drive of the game with an unspecified injury, but said after the game that he expects to be fine moving forward. Allison replaced him on that series and pitched in with just a few snaps here and there throughout the game.
Martellus Bennett 49, Lance Kendricks 18, Richard Rodgers 6
The consistent split between the three tight ends continues, with around an 80/30/10 percent ratio once again. Bennett only saw three targets, but he caught all three for 53 yards, which included his best catch of the year — a leaping 33-yard gain. Kendricks and Rodgers each had one big reception as well, with Kendricks’ going for 4 yards and Rodgers’ for 16.
DEFENSE (74 plays)
Mike Daniels 51, Kenny Clark 51, Dean Lowry 29, Quinton Dial 27, Ricky Jean Francois 7
With the Packers looking to stop the run, they gave plenty of snaps to the defensive linemen. Daniels’ return helped, but he did not make quite the impact he is known for; there may be some lingering issues with his hip, or it may have been due to the Cowboys’ excellent interior linemen. Clark matched him in snaps, while Lowry and Dial were in a heavy rotation as well.
Lowry was the only lineman who registered a hit on Dak Prescott, while Clark had an impressive five tackles on the day.
Clay Matthews 67, Nick Perry 48, Kyler Fackrell 25, Ahmad Brooks 23
Matthews moved around a bit inside and out, but played most of the snaps in this game. He recorded five solo tackles, adding one tackle for loss and a big pass breakup on a great, clean hit on Jason Witten. Perry had the Packers’ only sack, a strip of Prescott on the final play of the first half. Brooks added a hit on Prescott, while Fackell was held off the stat sheet.
Blake Martinez 70, Jake Ryan 37
The Packers continued using Martinez as the primary inside linebacker, pairing him with a host of players including Ryan, Matthews, and Josh Jones. He has been a revelation this season, and led the team with 12 tackles while adding a pass breakup. Ryan was second no the team with seven tackles of his own.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 74, Morgan Burnett 47, Josh Jones 38, Kentrell Brice 28, Marwin Evans 3
Both Burnett and Brice were banged up during the game. Brice missed time early with an ankle issue before retuning, Burnett left with a hamstring issue in the fourth quarter, however, and did not return. His absence was probably a contributing factor in the Packers’ inability to slow down the Cowboys on their last drive in the fourth quarter, which ran nearly nine minutes off the clock.
Ha Ha played every snap this week after taking a few off against the Bears, while Jones only played about half of the team’s plays, moving around from safety to linebacker to the slot.
Damarious Randall 60, Davon House 58, Quinten Rollins 29, Josh Hawkins 25, Kevin King 16
King’s early injury put a damper on the secondary and forced Dom Capers and Joe Whitt to play it by ear at the cornerback position throughout the game. Combined with Burnett’s and Brice’s injuries, that forced them to play Rollins in the slot quite a bit in the second half, while Hawkins took some sporadic snaps on the outside with Randall moving inside on occasion. Rollins...was not good, getting burned on multiple occasions.
All told, the Packers gave up just 251 yards through the air on 36 attempts, fewer than seven yards per attempt.