Don Barclay: This one-man dumpster fire was no match for nose tackle Chris Baker and had to continually resort to grabbing whatever part of his uniform he could latch onto in order to keep him from collapsing the pocket.
Barclay’s desperate pulldown on Cullen Jenkins wiped out a Rodgers-to-Ty Montgomery touchdown pass in the second quarter that No. 12 quickly made up for on the very next play with a 13-yard scoring pass to Jordy Nelson.
The fact that Rodgers was constantly running for cover finally forced McCarthy to replace the struggling guard with Spriggs, who looked like a Hall-of-Famer compared to his heavy-footed fellow lineman.
One can argue that Barclay is the worst player on the roster given the rarity with which he makes even the slightest positive contribution. It’s time to move on from the fifth-year pro since he has nothing left to give.
Linsley is a heady blocker, but lacks any kind of explosiveness off the snap and isn’t blessed with the agility to make plays at the second level.
The 301-pound trenchman was exposed on the second play of the game with the 325-pound Baker getting around by utilizing his sheer quickness on a play that resulted in a 1-yard loss for Starks.
Jeff Janis: The mistake-prone Janis mishandled a punt in the third quarter and then waited for it to go out of bounds at the risk of the kicking team recovering the fumble. Luckily for him, Richard Rodgers recovered the football.
The Janis judgment error put his team in the tough spot of starting their drive at their own 2 yard line.
It’s come to the point where the first things that come to mind when you hear Janis’ name are his mental lapses.
Joe Thomas: One of the defense’s pleasant surprises during the early part of the season seems to be running out of gas. Thomas was particularly vulnerable in pass coverage where Jordan Reed put a move on the inside linebacker in space and converted a 2nd-and-5 at the end of the first half.
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Three plays later, Thomas showed his warts in defending the run by getting totally decleated by backup tight end Vernon Davis, who served as the lead blocker for (Rob) Kelley who hit pay dirt from 10 yards away.
A 53-yard Cousins-to-Jamison Crowder completion with a little over four minutes left in the fourth quarter saw Thomas get torched on the mismatch during a curious play which called for a safety blitz while the helpless 230-pound defender was essentially left on an island.
This was easily Thomas’ worst game of the year.
Clay Matthews: A reeling Packers squad needed their tone-setter to be great, but CM3 was a non-factor that was kept in check throughout the contest by backup left tackle Ty Nsekhe.
In addition to failing to provide any impact plays as a pass rusher, Matthews was also unable to properly set the edge on a 18-yard (Rob) Kelley run by leaving the stout back a cutback lane that he exploited for a big gain.
Claymaker looks like just another guy out there and it’s fair to speculate if he’s playing at well under 100-percent capacity.
Micah Hyde: The versatile defensive back is in the middle of a disastrous campaign that has seen him give up big plays on a weekly basis.
Hyde apologists point out that due to several injuries in the secondary, the former Big-Ten standout is being asked to play a lot of reps as a slot corner instead of lining up as a safety, which is exposing him to more difficult matchups.
Yet the pride of Fostoria, OH was also getting regularly beaten when he was being asked to cover tight ends as a pure safety earlier in the season (see Week-3 game versus Eric Ebron).
Opposing quarterbacks are consistently keying in on Hyde just as Cousins did on Washington’s first score by finding an open Jackson on a 17-yard post route that No. 33 had no chance on.
Hyde didn’t fare any better when covering (Jordan ) Reed who faked going inside, cut back in and then proceeded to ran past his disoriented cover man for 26 yards.
The veteran defensive back similarly struggled in run support by getting blocked out of the play on a 6-yard surge on 1st and 10 during an 11-play, 81-yard drive that put the Redskins ahead 35-24.
Hyde’s instincts are not there for him this year, as he’s been constantly late in reacting to the action in front of him.
Ladarius Gunter: After making some strides as a starting cornerback—the Thursday-night game versus Chicago immediately comes to mind—the young cover man seems to be going backwards.
For much of the game, Capers seemed content to let Gunter play plenty of off-man coverage to keep his opponents in front of him.
But the Redskins challenged the tall corner deep by running (Pierre) Garcon right at him on a 70-yard touchdown. What made this play so egregious is the fact that the Washington receiver is by and large a possession guy that does nothing but run underneath routes for the most part.
Not only does Gunter lack speed, it appears as if he is completely devoid of any second gear the further he runs downfield, which makes him a liability on deep balls. It was pretty obvious that head coach Jay Gruden and his staff did his homework on that.
Quinten Rollins: Unlike Gunter, at no point this season has Rollins shown the ability to be a reliable defender on the back end.
Thompson probably needs to take a hit here for selecting the former basketball player in the second round back in 2015. Though the 5-foot-11 defensive back has impressive physical tools, he is proving to be utterly deficient in pure cover skills and overall technique.
Rollins showed no semblance of balance or deep speed in defending (Jamison) Crowder in man coverage on a 49-yard touchdown.
Maybe Rollins should move to safety and focus solely on covering tight ends or, better yet, he can maybe try to make a better effort of running harder on game day. Keep an eye on him next time and notice how he often jogs through plays that he isn’t directly involved in.