As we expected, the Green Bay Packers played the youth on the roster heavily against the Detroit Lions in week 17, to mixed effect. While the receiving corps saw some struggles, one rookie cornerback in particular showed that he belongs in the NFL even despite allowing a big play or two.
That corner is Lenzy Pipkins, and he showed that he should get a long look in OTAs and training camp next season as a key role player for the Packers’ defense. Pipkins played man coverage most of the day and was active around the line of scrimmage, both pressing receivers and helping out in run support. Hopefully the Packers have another good undrafted corner to lean on in the next few seasons.
Here’s the post-mortem on the 35-11 loss to Detroit, and stay tuned for our season snap count wrap-up in the coming days.
Offense (68 plays)
Brett Hundley 61, Joe Callahan 7
After Hundley’s mainly uninspiring performance — 14/24 for 172 yards, one touchdown, and two picks — Callahan came on in relief for the final drive with the Packers down three possessions. Callahan attempted a pass on all seven snaps, completing five but gaining just eleven yards.
LT David Bakhtiari 68, LG Lane Taylor 68, C Corey Linsley 68, RG Lucas Patrick 68, RT Justin McCray 68, Ulrick John 3
Hats off to Corey Linsley — he finished the season without missing a single offensive snap all year, and he was the only Packer to even play all 16 games. Lane Taylor missed one contest, the game against the Saints in week seven, while Bakhtiari continued his magnificent pass protection by allowing just a single hurry all game long. With a few of the NFC’s Pro Bowl tackles dealing with injuries, Bakhtiari should get an invite to the game, though we still argue that he should have been elected outright rather than being an alternate.
Patrick and McCray also played every snap on Sunday, but McCray showed some of his limitations as a tackle, having to deal with Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah had three sacks in the game, giving him six in his final two games and 12 for the season. All three of those sacks came on third downs, ending Packer drives when the game was still somewhat within reach.
Jamaal Williams 56, Aaron Ripkowski 10, Devante Mays 9
Williams continued to get a heavy workload, especially with Aaron Jones out for this game, but he still struggles in terms of his efficiency. He picked up just 82 yards on 22 carries, an average of 3.7 yards per rush. However, he did gain 27 yards on a screen pass, one of the few effective screens the Packers have called all season.
Mays had one carry for two yards and three receptions for a net gain of zero.
Randall Cobb 55, Michael Clark 47, Trevor Davis 39, Jeff Janis 30, Geronimo Allison 22
Cobb was the Packers’ leading receiver, drawing six targets and catching four passes for 45 yards and the team’s only touchdown. Davis made the biggest play, however, going up for a great leaping catch that gained 29 yards. He caught all three targets for 56 yards.
Clark had a rough game statistically, with just one reception for five yards on five targets. Meanwhile, Allison — who missed practices during the week with an illness — suffered a finger injury and left the game.
Lance Kendricks 58, Emanuel Byrd 11
The Packers’ quarterbacks didn’t throw a single pass to Kendricks, but Byrd picked up a pair of receptions, including a 29-yard catch-and-run from Hundley early in the second half.
Defense (58 plays)
Kenny Clark 41, Mike Daniels 31, Dean Lowry 26, Quinton Dial 18, Montravius Adams 9
Once again, the Packers’ front line did great work against the run, as Detroit did not have a carry longer than ten yards and averaged just 2.2 yards per carry. Daniels added a sack of Matthew Stafford, giving him five on the season after two straight years with four sacks.
Reggie Gilbert 40, Kyler Fackrell 23, Clay Matthews 23, Ahmad Brooks 19, Vince Biegel 11
Matthews and Brooks got the start, but gave way to the younger players when the game began to get out of reach. Still, Matthews had an excellent game, particularly for playing just 23 snaps; he had a sack on Stafford and hit the QB three times, while also adding another tackle for loss. Fackrell had a TFL of his own, but there was little else to be excited about from the rest of the group.
Blake Martinez 58, Jake Ryan 48
Martinez will finish the season well over the 90% mark for total defensive snaps, a number that we will check in the coming days. He was solid for most of the game once again, posting six tackles (one for loss) and breaking up a pair of passes — including one with his back.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 58, Morgan Burnett 58, Josh Jones 52, Jermaine Whitehead 10
As usual, the Packers rolled with their three-safety look for most of the game. Clinton-Dix had just a single tackle on the day and got brutally stiff-armed by Kenny Golladay for a touchdown. Burnett had five tackles while Jones added three tackles and a pass breakup. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones did not allow a single completion in coverage on the day, a nice step forward for him.
Lenzy Pipkins 52, Josh Hawkins 33, Davon House 28
The Packers decided to give Pipkins the start opposite House, and he responded with five tackles and a pass breakup. Pipkins looks to be a willing tackler and had a decent day in coverage, and he looks to have a leg up on a roster spot for next season. He did allow a big reception by Kenny Golladay, but that was the play that was reviewed and found to be a ridiculous individual effort as Pipkins actually had very good coverage on the play. House’s final performance of the year might be his final game as a Packer (again) as his contract is up. He was injured on Golden Tate’s 71-yard touchdown and did not return.