After failing to pull off the upset on the road against the New York Giants Sunday, the Green Bay Packers have now lost three straight games. Now 5-5, things are looking a little dire in Green Bay without their MVP quarterback.
Considering the Packers recent struggles, I thought it would be an appropriate time to celebrate the Packers’ top performers of week eleven’s loss to maybe lift our spirits a little bit on this dreary Monday.
Tramon Williams – Williams has had his fair share of struggles this season. He’s missed tackles, been a step behind in coverage, and hasn’t forced the turnovers he was once known for in years past. On Sunday when the Giants offense was knocking on the door and ready to go up two scores before half, Williams picked off Eli Manning in the red zone. After not having an interception in nearly a season and a half, Williams made the splash play the Packers defense has been lacking this season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Williams also played more physical in both defending the run and tackling in the open field. The veteran defensive back flew all over the field, recorded eight tackles, and played tight coverage against a talented Giants receiving corps.
Packers Pass Rush - The Packers got consistent pressure on Manning throughout the game, finishing with four sacks. Having a club-less Clay Matthews helped. He had a crucial sack on a third-and-seven early in the fourth quarter that led to a Giants punt deep in their own territory. Linebackers Brad Jones, A.J. Hawk, and Mike Neal also tallied sacks in the game, and defensive linemen, Datone Jones and Mike Daniels, got consistent push up the middle of the pocket. The Packers have needed to rejuvenated their pass rush after it has trailed off the past several weeks, and Sunday’s performance is something the unit can build off of going forward.
Packers Receivers - The Packers offense was inconsistent on Sunday, but without Aaron Rodgers in the lineup, Green Bay’s receivers was the one group that consistently stepped up and made big catch after catch in the game.
Jordy Nelson led the group with eight catches for 117 yards and a 14.6 receiving average. There perhaps wasn’t a more impressive catch in the game than Nelson’s 29-yard fingertip catch down the deep right sideline early in the third quarter. With tough catches like this Nelson continues to prove he’s one of the most dependable receivers in the league.
Jarrett Boykin also had a big day with six catches for 91 yards, including a 52-yard reception that got Green Bay in the red zone to set up their only touchdown of the game. Similarly, James Jones‘s 45-yard reception early in the second quarter set up the Packers’ first score of the game. The Packers were able to convert every deep ball they threw in the game, and this was in large part due to the great catches on the field by the Packers receivers.
On a day were Green Bay struggled in most facets of the game, the Packers receivers were one bright spot in a tough loss.
David Bakhtiari – The Packers rookie left tackle did not surrender a single sack or pressure against one of the premiere pass rushers in the league. Jason Pierre-Paul‘s pick-six was the biggest play of the game, but that was not Bakhtiari’s fault. During a time the Packers don’t have a lot to hang their hat on, they are steadily turning a fourth-round pick into their left tackle of the future.