On Saturday, Green Bay Packers’ fans saw something they hadn’t seen much of all year: the deep ball.
All five Green Bay touchdowns were aided by long passes. The team’s first touchdown was helped along by a 21-yard pass to Jordy Nelson. The second TD featured Jordy’s 48-yard catch, and culminated in a 20-yard TD catch by Davante Adams. Another long throw, a 33-yarder once again to Jordy, led to the third TD. Geronimo Allison’s 32-yard catch aided the fourth TD. The team’s final TD followed a 30-yard heave to Jared Cook.
That’s six passes of 20 or more yards. Throw in the 19-yarder to Adams and a 15-yarder to Allison, and you have 186 yards on eight throws – amounting to over half of Green Bay’s 348 yards on offense on the day.
In this season’s first 13 games, Aaron Rodgers averaged over 8 yards per pass attempt only twice. In the past three games, however, he’s averaged 10.7 (Seattle), 8.1 (Chicago) and most recently 9.1. When the eagle spreads his wings, this team soars!
With that kind of aerial bombardment, the Packers were able to handily win, even though the Vikings had two minutes more in time of possession, more first downs (22-19), more than double the rushing yardage (93-40), and almost 100 more total yards of offense (446-348). Minnesota ran 74 offensive plays, while the Packers had only 58, and that was with a two turnover advantage.
The Packers clearly came into the game with a plan to expose the Vikings’ deep secondary, and Nelson and his mates executed it nicely. Rodgers displayed accuracy on these throws that hasn’t been shown since 2014. I give the coaching staff an A+ for preparing an excellent offensive game plan.
As the postseason nears, Rodgers and his revived deep passing attack should make the other top teams in the league wary – and it’s enough to have fans dreaming big dreams!