After the dust settled on the Packers’ 31-28 victory, Ford’s game stood out as one of the key reasons why the team was able to get back in the win column. His two first-half interceptions set up the Packers’ first two touchdowns of the game, including one that bailed out the offense after a fumble at their own 10-yard line with Dallas already up 7-0.
Ford played a major role in this game largely as a knock-on effect of Eric Stokes’ injury. The Packers’ cornerback is likely out for the season, forcing Rasul Douglas to move from the slot to the boundary. That opened up the slot for Darnell Savage, which pushed Ford into the lineup in a prominent role, as he was on the field for about 75 percent of the defensive snaps.
That’s not bad for a guy who the Packers claimed off waivers from the Jaguars after final cuts.
Here’s how the rest of the playing time broke down on Sunday.
OFFENSE (64 total plays)
Aaron Rodgers 64
In the first half, Rodgers attempted just six passes, with four completions. The two balls that fell incomplete were both drops by rookie Christian Watson, but the receiver delivered a 58-yard catch for Rodgers’ first designed deep-ball touchdown of the year.
By the end of the game, Rodgers’ stat line finished at 14-of-20 for 224 yards and three touchdowns. That was good for a passer rating of 146.7, his highest of any game this season by a fair margin, and it was also his first game with greater than 10 yards per attempt in 2022.
Aaron Jones 45, AJ Dillon 24
While Rodgers was remarkably efficient on Sunday, it was due at least in part to the tough running of Jones and Dillon. Each of the backs averaged five or more yards per carry, with Jones going 24-for-138 and Dillon 13-for-65. The players combined for 18 carries in the first half alone as the Packers got them going early against Dallas’ questionable run defense.
Allen Lazard 63, Christian Watson 54, Sammy Watkins 21, Samori Touré 12, Amari Rodgers 6
For perhaps the first time all season, Watson made it through a full game with no limitations, even though he had to leave at one point for a few snaps after getting stepped on. But this is unequivocally his breakout game, as he caught four of eight targets for 107 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to bring the Packers back from down 28-14.
While Watson was the star, Lazard also came through in overtime with one of the biggest plays of the game, a 36-yard catch-and-run on a slant on 3rd-and-1. That set the Packers up well inside field goal range for the game-winner, which came after the team picked up some additional yards to make for an even easier kick.
Give some credit to Watkins, too, as he caught all three of his targets for 47 yards. That included a massive 23-yard gain on a 2nd-and-22 on the opening drive of the third quarter, and although that drive did not result in a score, it helped get the Packers in good field position to pin the Cowboys deep with a punt.
Robert Tonyan 41, Marcedes Lewis 37, Josiah Deguara 13, Tyler Davis 4
With the Packers running the ball for most of the game, the tight ends were an afterthought as receivers. Tonyan and Lewis each had just one target and one reception, season-lows for Tonyan who had caught at least two passes in every game and was leading the team in receptions coming in. Still, the group did good work on the ground, helping pave the way for the Packers’ 200-yard rushing day.
David Bakhtiari 64, Elgton Jenkins 64, Josh Myers 64, Jon Runyan, Jr. 64, Yosh Nijman 64
The Packers got a full-game performance from their line on Sunday, which largely held up well with the Cowboys having no dominant players on the interior. They also kept Micah Parsons from having a major impact on the game, while allowing just two sacks on Rodgers — one by DeMarcus Lawrence that forced a fumble deep in Packers territory (that one can be charged to Jenkins) and another by Sam Williams on a third down.
DEFENSE (83 total plays)
Kenny Clark 64, Jarran Reed 57, Dean Lowry 39, T.J. Slaton 21, Devonte Wyatt 14
It has been tough sledding for Clark in recent weeks, but he finally got back in the sack column with one on Dak Prescott on Sunday afternoon. That was his third of the year and hopefully portends good things, as they have often come in bunches for him throughout his career.
Reed had his best game as a Packers in terms of pass rush, recording three hits on Prescott including one on the Cowboys’ overtime 4th-down attempt. Meanwhile, Lowry tied Clark for the lead among down linemen with four total tackles.
Preston Smith 71, J.J. Enagbare 62, Jonathan Garvin 28, Ladarius Hamilton 5
With Rashan Gary out for the year, Enagbare took over as the starter opposite Smith. He remains raw, but at least had a few flashes here and there, recording five tackles and a QB hit. Smith had one hit on Prescott as well to force an incomplete pass on third down and added a pair of tackles. Garvin had an excellent play to snuff out a bootleg and knock Prescott’s pass down for an incompletion.
Quay Walker 83, Isaiah McDuffie 68
De’Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes were out on Sunday, and the Packers rolled with Walker and McDuffie. Technically McDuffie did not start, as Green Bay started in their “penny” front with a single inside linebacker, but he did lead the team in tackles with 12 and added another on special teams. Walker finished the day with 8 tackles, one for a loss, and added a pass breakup. He had his issues again with fitting the run, but continues to look good when making plays in space.
Adrian Amos 83, Darnell Savage 83, Rudy Ford 63
The biggest change for the Packers’ defense was in the secondary, where the team moved Savage into the slot in nickel and dime alignments and played Ford as a deep safety. The move paid immediate dividends, with Savage recording 8 tackles and a pass breakup. However, it was Ford who had the big highlights, intercepting Prescott twice by jumping up throws over the middle.
Meanwhile, Amos recorded 9 total tackles, including a stat-sheet sack when he ran Prescott out of bounds after a scramble to avoid the Packers’ pass rush.
Jaire Alexander 83, Rasul Douglas 83, Corey Ballantine 4, Keisean Nixon 2
The Ford/Savage moves came as a result of Eric Stokes’ absence, which pushed Douglas back to the boundary and created the need in the slot. The snaps for Ballantine, who was just promoted to the 53, and Nixon show that the team was in dime very rarely, only going there at the very end of each half.
In this game, Alexander was targeted fairly frequently, with top target Ceedee Lamb lining up all over. Lamb finished the day with 10 catches, 150 yards, and two scores, while Alexander ended the day with nine total tackles, one short of his career high, and a pass breakup. Douglas had just two tackles on the day along with a single defensive holding penalty.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Tyler Davis 26, Josiah Deguara 20, Dallin Leavitt 20, Eric Wilson 20, Jonathan Abram 17, Tariq Carpenter 14