When a quarterback has a pass catcher secure every throw targeted to him, sound strategy dictates that you keep throwing him the football. That strategy didn’t pigeon hole Aaron Roger’s options on Monday night as TE Robert Tonyan, RB Jamaal Williams and RB Aaron Jones combined for 19 completions on 19 targets. Those 19 targets produced 233 yards and 4 touchdown catches in the victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Robert Tonyan had his biggest day as a pro, 3 touchdowns on 6 receptions for 98 yards. Williams complimented Tonyan with 95 yards on 8 receptions, including a beautiful high point catch down the sideline with a defender cutting his legs out as he hauled it in for a gain of 29, the longest catch of the night for the Packers.
While the Williams, Jones and Tonyan trio received most of the post game glory, the unsung WR unit did some dirty work. Valdes-Scantling caught multiple passes to keep the chains moving on third down. Darrius Sheppard caught a critical third and seven pass for a first down and narrowly missed a touchdown catch when officials ruled him down inside the one yard line on a play that looked very close on replay. Malik Taylor has a nice introduction to the Packers 2020 offensive machine with a catch and run on fourth down to keep a drive alive. Atlanta did a decent job of containing the Packers run game but their inexperienced secondary had no answer for the Rogers and Company air assault. In total, Rogers threw 33 times completing 27 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns. The Packers offense leads the league in points scored. Rogers’ passer rating for the game was 147.5. The Packers fourth victory also was their fourth game without a turnover, they are now the only team in the NFL without a turnover.
Packer coach Matt LaFleur must be given credit for a game plan focused on targeting his most reliable playmakers and making it work. The Packers started two inexperienced receivers. While they were not the focus of the game plan their limited successful touches combined with more healing time for Devante Adams and other injured starters may pay double dividends down the road this season. The end of the game TV feed showed Aaron Rogers as happy as Packer fans have ever seen him on a football field. Let’s hope he is still smiling like that in February.