On Monday night, the Green Bay Packers had their first opportunity to take the field after their bye week and show off new wrinkles on both sides of the football.
As far as we could tell, there were none.
Against the Detroit Lions, the Packers continued to line up in their typical 11 personnel on offense — one running back and one tight end with three wide receivers. On defense, the Nitro personnel grouping continues to be the team’s base, featuring five defensive backs in addition to Josh Jones playing inside linebacker. If there was any additional self-scouting that was performed during the bye, it certainly did not show up in these alignments.
Two notable injuries forced backups into big roles once again on Monday, with both right tackle Bryan Bulaga and safety Morgan Burnett being banged up.
Here’s how the playing time broke down on offense and defense on Monday.
OFFENSE (59 plays)
LT David Bakhtiari 59, LG Lane Taylor 59, C Corey Linsley 59, RG Jahri Evans 59, RT Bryan Bulaga 42, RT Justin McCray 17
The Packers got their starting offensive line back in time to see a starter go down with an injury once again. That was Bryan Bulaga, who missed much of the fourth quarter with what sounds like a very serious knee injury. McCray took over late in the game and will presumably be the starter at the position moving forward should Bulaga indeed miss any significant time.
Ty Montgomery 24, Aaron Jones 20, Jamaal Williams 9, Aaron Ripkowski 3
Montgomery outsnapped Jones, a surprise given the rookie’s productive and impressive performances over the past few games. The team didn’t bother trying to establish the run much, however, with the three tailbacks combining for just ten carries. They also were minimal factors as receivers, with Jones catching two of five targets for minus-one yard, Montgomery catching one pass for 18, and Ripkowski with one reception for nine.
Davante Adams 56, Jordy Nelson 49, Randall Cobb 49, Geronimo Allison 17, Trevor Davis 6
As usual, the Packers used their top three receivers predominantly with the team in 11 personnel, with Allison spelling some of the top three on a few occasions. The numbers total out to 177 snaps, which is an average of exactly three wideouts on the field per play.
Richard Rodgers 33, Lance Kendricks 29
For the first time all year, Rodgers played more than 50% of the team’s snaps, with Kendricks just a bit behind. The two were used on just a couple of occasions on the field at the same time, but the team largely just lined up a single tight end in 11 personnel.
DEFENSE (68 plays)
Mike Daniels 52, Kenny Clark 51, Dean Lowry 29, Montravius Adams 18
It was another quiet day on the stat sheet for the Packers’ linemen, but Daniels and Clark continue to do the dirty work up front to allow the linebackers to clean up behind them. They combined for just five total tackles, but Daniels did have two hurries of Lions QB Matthew Stafford, according to Pro Football Focus.
Adams took the snaps that would normally have gone to Quinton Dial, thanks to the veteran’s injury keeping him inactive. Lowry added a half-sack as well.
Clay Matthews 42, Nick Perry 38, Kyler Fackrell 27, Vince Biegel 19, Chris Odom 11
Biegel made his NFL debut, recording two tackles on defense in 19 snaps and one on special teams in 11 plays. Expect him to start taking over Fackrell’s snaps in short order, as Fackrell continues to underwhelm (at best). Perry had a half-sack, sharing it with Lowry, but both he and Matthews continue to be inconsistent factors in rushing the passer.
Blake Martinez 68, Josh Jones 68, Jake Ryan 18
Once again, Martinez racked up double-digit tackles, with eight solo tackles and two assists. Both Martinez and Ryan forced fumbles in this game as well. Pro Football Focus credited Martinez with a whopping seven stops against the run, and he assuredly owes Daniels and Clark kudos again for helping to keep him clean. Jones played primarily Nitro linebacker as usual, adding eight tackles (including one for a loss) before Morgan Burnett’s injury. He did move back to safety for a while when Burnett was out, which brought Ryan onto the field.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 68, Morgan Burnett 43, Marwin Evans 10
As usual, Clinton-Dix played every snap. Burnett lined up primarily at the conventional strong safety spot, but his injury forced Evans and Josh Jones into that position at times. When he was out there, however, Burnett recorded five total tackles, two of them for losses.
Davon House 68, Kevin King 63, Damarious Randall 52, Josh Hawkins 2, Lenzy Pipkins 1
In a clear sign of the Packers’ preferred alignment, House and King played almost the entirety of the game on the boundary with Randall in the slot. King had the only pass breakup of the day, and he performed reasonably well when matched up with Marvin Jones. PFF indicates that King allowed just one catch on four targets when targeting Jones, who had a big day overall (7 catches, 107 yards, 2 TDs). House had a tough day, getting beaten for a touchdown and some big plays.