Yes, the roughing the passer call on Clay Matthews was nonsense. The Green Bay Packers had plenty of opportunities to beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, however. They should have beat the Minnesota Vikings.
Mason Crosby could have made that field goal at the end of regulation. The Packers could have turned one of Crosby’s five field goal makes into a touchdown. The defense couldn’t have given up 22 points in the fourth quarter.
I suppose the silver lining is the Packers remain undefeated. A very unsatisfactory 1-0-1.
Let’s get on with it.
Running Game No Help
Per usual, Aaron Rodgers carried the Packers’ offense. This supposedly stout running game the Packers have this year was a no show for the second week in a row. In total, the Packers had just 98 yards rushing. The highlight was Ty Montgomery, who averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Naturally, he only got five carries. Jamaal Williams, for all of his upside in pass protection, hasn’t run the ball well this year. He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry on Sunday. He’s averaging a pedestrian 3.4 yards per carry on the season. The good news? Aaron Jones returns from suspension this week. The stupid news? Mike McCarthy probably won’t give him more than a few carries.
Offensive Line Woes
On several occasions I noted these guys getting blown up — Bryan Bulaga, Justin McCray, Lane Taylor. The line gave up four sacks and allowed Aaron Rodgers to be hit nine other times. Three of those sacks went to guys who you wouldn’t consider great players. They were Mackensie Alexander, Danielle Hunter and David Parry. These guys seemingly haven’t gelled yet, as McCarthy likes to say.
Graham Up, Cobb Down
The Bears made a concerted effort to take away Jimmy Graham in week 1. Randall Cobb went wild. This week was more or less the opposite. Graham came through with six catches for a team-leading 95 yards. Cobb had only four catches for 30 yards. Davante Adams was again solid, with eight for 64 and the only receiving touchdown. Geronimo Allison continues to impress as the team’s No. 3 receiver. He finished with six for 64. Again, Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the No. 4 receiver and he got his first NFL catch, although it only went for three yards. Also, it should be noted that Jordy Nelson has just five catches for 53 yards and no TDs for the Raiders this season. Moving on from Nelson appears to be the right move.
We wondered what the hell Brian Gutekunst was doing spending a fifth-round pick on a punter. So far, JK Scott looks like the real deal, though. That pick looks like a good investment. Scott pounded the ball on Sunday. His net average was 51.8 yards. He hit a long of 63, which came from deep in Packers’ territory and drove the Vikings back to their 19. As they say, flip the field. Scott has been doing that.
Clark Checks In
Kenny Clark didn’t start sacking the quarterback until the end of last season. Clark notched his first of the year on Sunday. He also added four tackles a QB hit and a pass defensed. Defensively, Clark was the highlight for me. Blake Martinez was a solid second, with a team-leading nine tackles. Interestingly, the Packers used a long list of defenders. Inside linebackers Korey Toomer and Antonio Morrison played roles. So did safety Jermaine Whitehead. Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell got his first action of the season. Lastly, in terms of the pass rush, Reggie Gilbert was the team’s best pass rusher on Sunday. He finished with three QB hits and a half a sack.