Green Bay Packers: Positives, negatives from Week 7

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 22: Aaron Jones
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 22: Aaron Jones /
GREEN BAY, WI – OCTOBER 22: David Onyemata
GREEN BAY, WI – OCTOBER 22: David Onyemata /

Green Bay Packers fans watched their team drop a second straight game last Sunday, losing to the New Orleans Saints in their first game without Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay Packers fans now understand the Brett Hundley experiment didn’t get off to the hottest of starts last Sunday, as the Packers fell to the Saints on Sunday to drop to 4-3 on the year.

After starting the year red hot with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have slumped into second place in the division and are beginning to see their season swirl down the drain.

The following are some positives and negatives from Week 7:

Positive: Aaron Jones

Finally, the Packers may have an answer at running back.

Ty Montgomery has been a disappointment thus far, and only carried the ball seven times against the Saints. Jones, after a tremendous game against the Cowboys, followed up that performance with another strong showing against the Saints.

Jones averaged nearly eight yards a carry, and put up 131 yards rushing against the Saints. The rookie still has a long way to go, but the Packers may finally, at long last, have an answer to their seemingly eternal void at running back.

With Mike McCarthy’s confidence in Brett Hundley still yet to be fully rexplored, Jones may get an increasing number of carries as Montgomery’s role in the offense continues to diminish.

GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix /

Negative: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Ha Ha Clinton Dix has always been a bit overrated across NFL circles, but the 24-year-old has been solid so far in his career, making the Pro Bowl a year ago (as an alternate).

This season has been a total mystery for the former Alabama star. Clinton-Dix has been absolutely awful against the run, consistently whiffing on tackles and taking poor pursuit angles.

Against the pass, Clinton-Dix hasn’t been much better.

One interception and just three passes defensed have made him one of the worst players on a terrible Packers defense. The Packers desperately need a more involved, instinctive Clinton-Dix who can disrupt plays at the line of scrimmage and actually cover a wide receiver once in a blue moon.

Positive: Justin McCray

Justin McCray is beginning to figure it out.

Numerous injuries up front have pushed McCray into the lineup, where he has performed decently. McCray went undrafted out of Central Florida in 2014, and even spent some time in the Arena Football League.

The third year pro has decent size at 6-3, 317 pounds, and has begun to show some progress in pass protection.

McCray has a long way to go before he plays himself into another contract, but the Packers have to be at least mildly encouraged by his recent play.

A player with so little experience could have been a disaster up-front, particularly with a shaky young quarterback in Brett Hundley, but McCray is progressing toward being a decent backup in the NFL.

Negative: Jake Ryan

Jake Ryan has disappeared from the Packers defense. As of a year ago, Ryan had developed into the team’s best run defender. A strong play-reader, Ryan’s ability to track down a ball carrier partially makes up for his total lack of athleticism.

This year, as Blake Martinez becomes the leader of the linebacker room, Ryan’s role has slipped dramatically.

Ryan left the game against the Saints with a migraine.

The Packers defense continues to be victimized by bizarre injuries that only make the unit even worse, but Ryan’s lack of involvement has been puzzling.

Ryan made 82 tackles in 2016, and so far this season, he has only made 25.

Positive: Damarious Randall

Damarious Randall has been a total bust since being drafted out of the first round by the Packers after they let Tramon Williams and Davon House go, and this season has mostly been the same story.

After being benched against the Chicago Bears, however, Randall has responded well.

Three interceptions in three games may be restoring his confidence, and the Packers may finally be getting some production from their high draft investment.

Randall has gotten two of those picks because of tipped balls that fell right into his lap, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

Against the Saints, however, Randall was in perfect position on a seam route and was able to intercept Drew Brees, a rarity for any defensive back.

Randall still hasn’t deserved a new contract with the Packers, but his recent play may just be changing the hearts of some of the Packers executives.

Green Bay Packers Negative: Ty Montgomery

Though Aaron Jones has been impressive, the Packers were still hoping for more out of Ty Montgomery.

Montgomery scored two touchdowns in his first two weeks, but since then he has been absolutely silent.

He did catch eight balls against the Bengals, but as the team’s starter at running back, the Packers haven’t gotten enough from their bell cow.

Going forward, the Packers will likely use Aaron Jones almost primarily in their backfield.

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Jamal Williams doesn’t seem to know how to avoid bodies in front of him, while Devante Mays has yet to carry the ball.

Jones is the guy moving forward for Green Bay, as much as Ty Montgomery doesn’t want to hear it.

Montgomery has been misused by his coaches, injured, and unproductive in his only season as the starter, making fans worry about his long-term standing with the team.