Big plays – and especially big hits – are not only a fan favorite, they capture the attention of the coaching staff as well. Going into the Raiders game, several players trying to make the Green Bay Packers’ final roster or move up the depth chart, have already drawn favorable attention for standout plays against the Browns.
The Packers registered few big plays on offense. Instead, it was the Browns who had the longest pass play – 49 yards to Terrelle Pryor – and also the longest run, a 27-yarder by Raheem Mostert. Those plays accounted for close to half of the Browns’ offensive yardage.
There were two offensive plays and one special teams play that stood out for the Packers. The first was as early run up the middle in which Eddie Lacy – looking like the Lacy of 2013 and 2014 – bulldozed his way up the gut through three or four tacklers for 11 yards.
The next was a nifty scramble by quarterback Marquise Williams that picked up 18 yards. It was one of several plays that showcased his running ability.
Finally, near game’s end, returner Jared Abbrederis ran back a free kick for 36 yards. While the yardage was not eye-popping, Abbrederis put on an assortment of moves as he weaved his way through much of the Browns’ kick return unit.
The biggest defensive play had to be the pretty diving interception by safety Micah Hyde on the Packers’ 1-yard line, ending the Browns’ opening drive.
The Green Bay defense did register several hard tackles in holding the Browns to just 172 yards of offense.
In the second quarter, defensive linemen Christian Ringo violently sacked the Browns’ quarterback, a great effort that also resulted in a safety. Rookie linebacker Kyler Fackerell and Datone Jones also contributed impressive sacks.
Linebacker Joe Thomas had the best hit on a running back, driving Isaiah Crowell backwards for a 2-yard loss.
In the secondary, the most memorable hit was undoubtedly the third quarter blows struck by defensive backs Warren Gatewood and Demitri Goodson on QB Austin Davis, while scrambling to reach the first down marker.
Mason Crosby deserves mention too. Two 54-yard field goals, both down the middle and with plenty of distance.
Thursday evening’s game against the Raiders will be far from a “meaningless” exercise for several of the 90 players currently on the Packers’ roster.
For those who are on the bubble, delivering a big play – or generating a big hit – could make all the difference in their football careers.