There was nothing pretty about that one, but the Green Bay Packers are 2-1 after a 27-24 overtime victory over the winless Cincinnati Bengals.
The Packers have the distinction of giving up the first touchdown the Bengals have scored this season. Actually, the first three. Cincinnati had scored but nine points coming into Sunday. Apparently, Dom Capers threw out the bend but don’t break defense and employed the bend and break defense this week.
Nonetheless, the Packers were saddled with a cornucopia of injuries on Sunday and they prevailed anyway, so we’ll try not to dwell on the negative.
Here are the fast five.
The rookie getting all the hype coming into this game — including from us — was cornerback Kevin King. He didn’t have a great game. Fellow second-round pick, safety Josh Jones, did, however. Look at this line — 12 tackles, 11 solo, three for loss, two sacks and two QB hits. I can’t see this guy not being on the field for the rest of the season. Kentrell Brice was out, Marwin Evans was just okay. While Morgan Burnett has been solid this year, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been garbage. Jones and Burnett might be the best safeties the Packers have. Oh, and the plays Jones made weren’t just plays that filled in a stat line. They were impactful.
#Packers rookie Josh Jones: 2 third-down sacks, made third-down tackle in OT to force a punt. Game-changer.
That’s right. I’m singling guys out left and right here. Blake Martinez wasn’t impactful during his rookie season. He’s making his presence known this year. Martinez had 11 tackles, including one for a loss on Sunday. Martinez leads the team in tackles, as a decent inside linebacker should. Sunday might have been the best game he’s played to date. We’ll be looking for more from Martinez, as it appears he’s made the proverbial second-year jump.
Allison and Kendricks
The Green Bay Packers’ offense, as stout as it is, isn’t a regular on the big-play circuit. And when there are big plays, it’s typically Jordy Nelson who’s making them. Nelson was held mostly in check on Sunday (6 for 52), other than the two touchdowns he contributed. The big plays came from two unexpected sources — second-year receiver Geronimo Allison and free-agent signing and No. 2 tight end, Lance Kendricks. Allison went for 72 yards to set up the game-winning score. Kendricks went for 56 to open the second half and set up a touchdown. He also caught a TD and then threw up the Wisconsin W after he did his Lambeau Leap. Just tremendous.
How About Some Run Blocking?
Ty Montgomery doesn’t have great numbers on the season running the football. He’s averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. Typically, something like that would get you benched, but that average has nothing to do with Ty Montgomery. Seemingly every time that guy touches the ball, there are three guys right on top of him immediately. He’s actually breaking tackles or dragging guys three yards downfield. Clearly, the Packers only give a crap about their linemen keeping Aaron Rodgers off the dirt, but perhaps they should put a little more emphasis on run blocking. If Montgomery could actually get a head of steam and not be met at or behind the line on every run, he’d be a hell of a running back. Hell, he already is a hell of a running back, but he’s just not getting any help from the guys up front.
And Finally, Aaron Rodgers
First, a milestone for Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. He’s now beaten every NFL team except the one he plays for. Second, Rodgers now has six touchdowns and three interceptions on the season. The one he threw on Sunday was a pick-six. That actually should have been the second pix-six for him on the year, but the one against Seattle was wiped out by a penalty away from the play. Six touchdowns and three picks are not very Aaron-Rodgers-like numbers. Perhaps Rodgers is being more aggressive. That’s something we’ve criticized him for in the past — just won’t throw the ball into a tight window. Frankly, I don’t care about Rodgers’ interception numbers, as long as the Packers win. I would prefer a more aggressive Rodgers, because we all know he can make all the throws. However, I think some of these miscues have just been bad plays or bad decisions. Favreian, almost.