The Green Bay Packers dominated the second and third quarters of Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, scoring touchdowns on three of four drives in that period to pull away for a 24-12 victory. Those periods, along with a long drive that ate up nearly nine minutes to end the game in the fourth quarter, proved to be the difference as the Packers dominated time of possession en route to a win.
All told, the Packers had the football for just over 37 minutes of game time, and that was reflected in the snap differential between the two teams. Green Bay ran 71 plays on offense to the Rams’ 45, putting together four drives of double-digit plays to just one for Los Angeles.
Thanks to an efficient running game and Aaron Rodgers’ solid play on short and intermediate passes, the Packers were able to comfortably advance to 6-8 and keep their postseason hopes alive. Here’s how the individual snap counts break down.
OFFENSE (71 total plays)
Aaron Rodgers 71
Rodgers still has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game this season, but it was not necessary on Monday night with the success of the Packers’ running game. Rodgers finished the night 22-for-30 passing, totaling 229 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a passer rating of 92.2.
He was largely accurate and effective on short and intermediate passes in the contest, with no completions longer than 25 yards but a handful in the 5-to-15 yard range. He generally threw to the left side of the field or over the middle, generally avoiding the right side. The one interception was a bad throw as well as a miscommunication with Allen Lazard, who slowed down to avoid running directly into safety Taylor Rapp. Rodgers threw the ball deep instead, right into Rapp’s hands for what would have been a contested catch at best even if Lazard had continued to run his route downfield at full speed.
Aaron Jones 40, AJ Dillon 26, Patrick Taylor 9
The Packers got nearly 200 yards combined from Jones and Dillon in this game, with each of them pitching in with at least 35 yards receiving in addition to their rushing contributions. While Dillon got much of the early work and the goal-line carries, he was pulled in the second half for a concussion evaluation, yielding the rest of the carries to Jones and Taylor.
All told, the top two had 35 touches in the game and totaled 197 yards plus three touchdowns, a great day for the tandem against a shorthanded Rams defense.
Allen Lazard 67, Christian Watson 62, Randall Cobb 29, Romeo Doubs 23, Samori Touré 2
This game was the first chance to see what Watson and Doubs could do together since Watson’s breakout a month ago, and the gameplan gave a glimpse of how they will be used in tandem moving forward. Doubs played the role of possession receiver, picking up first downs on some quick outs and getting open in the middle of the field using his route-running skills. Meanwhile, Watson was more active overall, blocking all over the field in the run game and stretching the defense horizontally with his speed.
The two combined for nine catches on 11 targets, totaling 101 yards on the day. But for now, the Packers look content to keep using Watson and Lazard as their two primary receivers in 12 and 21 personnel, with Doubs coming on as the third receiver when the team lines up in 11.
Lazard was largely a non-factor as a receiver, catching just one pass for seven yards, and it was instead Cobb who stepped up as a crunch-time option, with two of his three catches going for third-down conversions.
Robert Tonyan 37, Marcedes Lewis 29, Josiah Deguara 20, Tyler Davis 11
The Packers’ tight ends still have not been a factor in the passing game nearly all season, as the group combined for three targets, two catches, and 18 yards. Still, Lewis provides his usual steady blocking presence while Deguara continues to be an excellent blocker on split-zone plays.
Zach Tom 71, Elgton Jenkins 71, Josh Myers 71, Jon Runyan, Jr. 71, Yosh Nijman 71
The Packers’ line held up largely well in this game, even despite allowing three sacks on Rodgers. At least one or two those could be credited to Rodgers himself, and the group did another admirable job moving the Rams’ front in the run game. Tom continues to develop and played well in this game with plenty of time to prepare as the team’s starter at left tackle.
DEFENSE (45 total plays)
Kenny Clark 32, Jarran Reed 28, Dean Lowry 11, T.J. Slaton 10, Devonte Wyatt 9
The Packers lined up in nickel on 44 of 45 snaps in this game, with just one snap in dime and none in base. That left a total of just 90 snaps for defensive linemen, with Clark and Reed each getting the bulk of them. Clark in particular had a nice game back off the bye, being disruptive and recording both a QB hit and a tackle for loss. Reed’s biggest play was drawing a holding penalty, but otherwise he remains largely quiet.
One constant point of confusion for Packers fans is why Wyatt continues to be held back on gamedays. He made two big plays on back-to-back snaps, first a stop for no gain on a run and then a half-sack that he split with Justin Hollins when he helped track Baker Mayfield down in the open field. That play showed Wyatt’s athletic ability, as he was able to catch up to the scrambling quarterback while running parallel to the line of scrimmage. That will go down as Wyatt’s first sack play of his career. Meanwhile, Slaton had two tackles in his brief action, which largely game paired up with Lowry on the line.
Preston Smith 33, J.J. Enagbare 31, Justin Hollins 26
Notable in the OLB rotation in this game is the absence of Jonathan Garvin, as the Packers went with a three-man rotation on the edge on Monday night. Each of these three players showed up in the sack column of the box score, with two for Smith, one for Enagbare, and a half-sack for Hollins. Smith’s game was a big one as Primetime Preston picked up a total of four hits on Mayfield.
De’Vondre Campbell 45, Quay Walker 43, Isaiah McDuffie 1
The Packers oddly put McDuffie on the field for one play early in the game, but aside from that it remained Campbell and Walker manning the middle throughout the contest. Walker’s five tackles finished one off the team-high, and he filled the stat sheet with a sack/fumble and a pair of pass breakups as well. Walker certainly made some big plays, adding a great two-yard TFL on Cam Akers, but he also was picked on a bit in the run game on a few plays designed to take advantage of him — one third-down run comes to mind in particular when he got sucked inside rather than bouncing out to take away the edge.
Campbell continued to play just okay football in this game, and was driven back by Akers on at least a couple of occasions rather than stopping the running back in the hole. He finished the day with four tackles, tying his lowest mark in a full game all season.
Adrian Amos 45, Rudy Ford 45, Darnell Savage 1
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Packers used Savage on just a single play in this game, the team’s only dime snap of the night. That came on a 3rd-and-15 early in the game, and Savage had to make the tackle after a 17-yard gain to Van Jefferson. Otherwise, it was exclusively Amos and Ford, with the biggest play coming from Amos on a slicing tackle for loss on a jet sweep. He had a few nice moments in the first half, but his speed in the open field appears to have abandoned him at this point in his career.
Jaire Alexander 45, Rasul Douglas 45, Keisean Nixon 45
The cornerback trio lined up on every defensive snap of the game, with Nixon playing as the nickel back throughout in addition to his impressive duties as a return man. Douglas finished the day with six total tackles to lead the team, and he added the Packers’ only turnover on an ill-advised interception by Mayfield. Alexander was largely quiet, as the Rams were loath to throw his way.
Nixon’s big plays of course came on special teams, where he had two punt returns for 36 yards and three kickoff returns for 95 yards, including a 52-yarder. That also does not include another 47-yard return that was wiped out by a holding penalty on Garvin. Nixon now ranks second in the NFL among qualifying return men in kickoff return average at 25.4 yards per return, trailing only Minnesota’s Kene Nwangwu (26.0).
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Tyler Davis 18, Dallin Leavitt 17, Corey Ballantine 14, Innis Gaines 14, Isaiah McDuffie 14, Eric Wilson 14, Keisean Nixon 12