In 2019, third year cornerback Kevin King has now equaled his career-high in games played. He suited up nine times for the Green Bay Packers as a rookie in 2017 and just six last season, but he has been active for every one of the team’s nine contests in 2019. However, on Sunday he appeared to be limited throughout the Packers’ 26-11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and he played just over a quarter of the team’s defensive snaps.
This surely was not the plan for coordinator Mike Pettine. King has been a starter all season long, and he has largely played well — and has made three critical fourth-quarter interceptions to boot. But in this game, he was frequently spotted on the sideline, and he said after the game that he was being kept on a snap count.
As a result, Tramon Williams played almost every snap on defense, while a pair of other young corners got some significant playing time to spell King. This could have been a game for Josh Jackson to get some run, but he ended up being a healthy scratch in favor of Tony Brown and Chandon Sullivan. Whatever King’s issue is, hopefully he can find a way to be back to full strength next week when the Packers host the Carolina Panthers.
Meanwhile, Davante Adams returned for Green Bay and led the team’s wideouts in snaps, a bit of a surprise with him coming off a turf toe injury. Adams had a light day in terms of his production, but that may have been due to the offense as a whole failing to ever get clicking.
Here’s how the playing time broke down.
OFFENSE (54 total plays)
Aaron Rodgers 54
With the Packers running just 18 plays in the first half and two of them ending in sacks, Rodgers never got into a rhythm early. He completed six of nine passes for just 35 yards before the break, eventually finishing the game 23-for-35 for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Aaron Jones 32, Jamaal Williams 24, Danny Vitale 4
By the time the Packers received the opening kickoff of the second half, they had just three first downs and were down 9-0. Another three-and-out on the first drive meant that there was practically no running game to speak of, and Jones had his least productive day overall on the season. He ran the ball eight times for 30 yards and caught just one of four targets for a loss of a yard.
Williams was the more effective receiver of the two backs on Sunday, catching all six of his targets for 39 yards and the Packers’ only touchdown. He added just two carries for 10 yards.
Davante Adams 45, Marquez Valdes-Scantling 37, Geronimo Allison 35, Allen Lazard 25, Jake Kumerow 13
MVS and Allison continue to disappoint given their significant playing time, and it’s fair to start wondering if Lazard should be earning more snaps as a #2 or #3. MVS was shut out on two targets, while Allison caught two balls for 21 yards. Meanwhile, Lazard hauled in three of four targets for 44 yards and looks like one of the team’s more consistent players at the position.
Adams made his return and Rodgers clearly tried to feed him the ball. However, his explosiveness does not appear to be all the way back to normal, as his seven receptions (on 11 targets) went for just 41 yards.
Jimmy Graham 35, Marcedes Lewis 19, Jace Sternberger 1
Graham’s average was abysmal in this game, as he brought in four passes for just 17 yards. He and Lewis were called upon to chip frequently, particularly in the second half, as the Chargers consistently got pressure with just four pass-rushers.
David Bakhtiari 71, Elgton Jenkins 71, Corey Linsley 71, Billy Turner 71, Bryan Bulaga 71
Speaking of the pass rush, the Chargers had their way with the Packers’ line. Rodgers was hit seven times officially, including three sacks, as Bakh, Bulaga, and Turner each gave up one.
DEFENSE (71 total plays)
Kenny Clark 55, Dean Lowry 41, Tyler Lancaster 29, Montravius Adams 24, Kingsley Keke 11
Is Clark’s heavy workload starting to show? He had four tackles and a hit on Philip Rivers in this game, but is seemingly being pushed around more easily than in years past. Lancaster received credit for a half-sack as he pushed the pocket from the middle and met Za’Darius Smith at the quarterback. Adams and Keke flashed at times, but did not significantly affect the game.
Za’Darius Smith 59, Preston Smith 59, Kyler Fackrell 24, Rashan Gary 18
The Smiths helped the Packers make some big red zone stops early on. Za’Darius finished with a half-sack, eight tackles, and two hits on Rivers, while Preston had seven tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss. Fackrell had a QB hit as well, but looks most comfortable as an off-ball linebacker in space. Gary had some nice reps, finishing with two tackles including one where he set a tremendous edge on a run play.
Blake Martinez 70, B.J. Goodson 13, Oren Burks 8
Martinez missed one snap after being shaken up a bit, but was back out there on the next play for the remainder of the game. However, his limitations are becoming obvious, as opposing offenses continue to target him in the passing game. He also is having trouble getting off blocks and getting to the line of scrimmage cleanly, and most of his 12 tackles in this game came a few yards down the field.
Goodson and Burks each rotated in a bit, but the Packers continue rolling with a safety at the other linebacker spot or in more of a 3-3-5 nickel alignment.
Adrian Amos 71, Darnell Savage 71, Will Redmond 22
That safety most often was Redmond, who played a bit and recorded one tackle. Amos and Savage had seven and six tackles respectively, but neither had a single play on the football.
Tramon Williams 69, Jaire Alexander 68, Chandon Sullivan 36, Kevin King 20, Tony Brown 19
Here is where things got particularly interesting on defense. King jumped on and off the field sporadically on Sunday, seemingly dealing with some sort of injury that left him limited to bursts of a few plays at a time. That left Williams and Brown to take the majority of the boundary corner snaps between them, while Sullivan came on as a primary slot corner when the team went to five or six defensive backs. The Packers failed to record a single pass defense, however, with the only play that was remotely close being a leaping interception attempt that Alexander could not haul in.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Oren Burks 25, Ty Summers 25, Tremon Smith 20, Tony Brown 18, Will Redmond 17, Allen Lazard 16