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Packers Week 5 Snap Counts: MVS & St. Brown get big roles, but Aaron Jones still lags

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The Green Bay coaching staff played rookies out of necessity this week and appear entirely unwilling to let their most explosive back loose.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In the Green Bay Packers’ 31-23 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, a couple of storylines emerged from the breakdown of playing time. The first is a battle that Packers fans have been waging with the team’s head coach, who appears entirely unwilling to give in and give running back Aaron Jones the lion’s share of the snaps in the backfield.

Yet again, Jones led the team in rushing yardage and per-carry average, but he finished with the lowest snap total of the team’s three backs. This week he got just 22 snaps despite the offense running a whopping 81 plays! Yes, the Packers got down big in the first half, but why wasn’t the team putting his receiving skills to better use in this game? That’s a question only Mike McCarthy and his staff can answer, and they seem entirely unwilling to do so.

Meanwhile, a pair of rookie wide receivers got extended playing time. It’s perfectly clear where the team’s three rookie wideouts sit in terms of their hierarchy on offense: Marquez Valdes-Scantling leads, followed by Equanimeous St. Brown with J’Mon Moore bringing up the rear. That might have been a bit of a surprise, as St. Brown had been inactive in previous weeks while Moore was suited up. However, Moore contributes some snaps on special teams, unlike St. Brown, which likely is the reason he was active when the team’s veterans were still able to play in previous weeks.

Here’s a look at the playing time from Sunday’s game.

OFFENSE (81 plays)

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers 81

Although Rodgers posted only his second game with a passer rating over 100 this year (and his first since week one), it is worth noting that he did not look sharp in this contest. Sure, 442 yards and three touchdowns makes for great fantasy numbers, but that got a big boost from a 54-yard catch-and-run with 20 seconds left on the clock. If not for that play, Rodgers’ yards per attempt drops from a very solid 8.50 to a more average 7.61. He missed open receivers and probably should have completed more than the 61.5% of passes he hit on.

Running Backs

Jamaal Williams 33, Ty Montgomery 29, Aaron Jones 22

Cur up the screams from Packers fans for Jones’ workload, particularly because A: he only got seven carries in the game and B: every one of those carries came in the first half. I’ve certainly heard enough excuses from Mike McCarthy about how it’s not just stats that decide who plays, and I know I’m not alone in that.

As for Williams, he did have 5.5 yards per carry on six carries and added two catches on four targets for 19 yards. Montgomery was 4-for-15 on the ground with one 23-yard reception on three targets.

Wide Receivers

Marquez Valdes-Scantling 77, Davante Adams 71, Equanimeous St. Brown 60, J’Mon Moore 14

Adams started the game slowly, with just two targets — both catches — in the first half (though they did go for 30 and 22 yards). In the second half, Rodgers began feeding him the football though, as he caught seven of ten targets after the break and finished the day with 154 yards and a touchdown.

With Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison inactive, Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown got the start in the Packers’ 11 package. MVS got double-digit targets, turning his ten into seven catches for 68 yards and his first touchdown. EQ caught three of five balls, with his biggest play coming on that great 54-yard catch-and-run near the end of the game. Moore was not targeted in the game but pitched in eight special teams snaps.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham 66, Lance Kendricks 18, Marcedes Lewis 12, Robert Tonyan 3

Packers fans finally got their first sight of Big Bob Tonyan on offense, though it was only for a few snaps and no targets in the passing game. Instead, Graham was a workhorse, seeing 11 targets and catching six passes for 76 yards. Lewis continues to largely be an afterthought, however, and the 12 package that had us at APC so excited throughout the offseason continues to stay hidden. Kendricks pitched in with two catches for eight yards including a short touchdown.

Offensive Linemen

David Bakhtiari 81, Lane Taylor 81, Corey Linsley 81, Byron Bell 81, Bryan Bulaga 81

Opening-week starter Justin McCray suited up for the game but did not see the field, as Bell has largely played well during McCray’s injury absence. Thankfully the entire starting line stayed intact once again.

DEFENSE (62 plays)

Defensive Linemen

Kenny Clark 57, Mike Daniels 49, Dean Lowry 42, Montravius Adams 1

It’s uncommon these days for a nose tackle to see well over 90% of a team’s defensive snaps, but that’s where the Packers are with Clark. He made a pair of tackles, including one for loss, and added a hit on Matthew Stafford for good measure. Daniels had the same stat line minus the TFL, while Lowry had three tackles.

Outside Linebackers

Clay Matthews 44, Nick Perry 35, Reggie Gilbert 31, Kyler Fackrell 25

The Packers didn’t get much pass rush from the edge this week, with no quarterback hits coming from this group. Gilbert led with three solo tackles and an assist, while Perry had two and one respectively. Fackrell and Matthews each added a single assist on the day.

Inside Linebackers

Blake Martinez 62, Oren Burks 25, Antonio Morrison 18

Martinez was active all over in this game, finishing with five total tackles including a pair of sacks on Stafford. Meanwhile, all three of these players had at least four tackles, with Burks tallying four and Morrison five of his own in lesser playing time.

Safeties

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 62, Kentrell Brice 61, Josh Jones 4

The Packers had three sacks on the day, and Clinton-Dix had the third after Martinez’s two. Brice added a pass breakup and three solo stops while Jones continues to be mysteriously absent from the team’s defensive game plan — even despite Jermaine Whitehead’s injury.

Cornerbacks

Tramon Williams 61, Kevin King 51, Josh Jackson 47, Tony Brown 7

King left the game with a nasty cut on his jaw, but he was the player who supposedly touched a Lions punt early in the game in one of the league’s most laughable calls this season. He finished the game with four solo tackles, leading his position group. Williams was next with three, while Jackson and Brown each had a single pass breakup (to go with a pair of tackles for Jackson).