The Green Bay Packers were able to come away with a 30-28 victory over the San Fransisco 49ers in a Sunday night thriller.
Matt LaFleur deserves some credit for having this team ready to play from the jump. The Packers played with energy and fought hard for 60 minutes. Given the circumstances the Packers were forced to overcome, I’d rank this towards the top of coach LaFleur’s top regular season wins.
The game-plan was solid, well executed, and most importantly they didn’t crumble despite the questionable officiating.
Soon enough teams are going to learn. You just can’t leave any time on the clock for Aaron Rodgers, but I digress. These are my takeaways from the victory over San Fransisco.
Aaron Rodgers targeted Davante Adams a lot… and I mean a lot
Davante Adams would finish the game with 12 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown — on 18 targets. Aaron looked for Davante on more than half of his pass attempts, in fact no other offensive player would receive more than four targets.
There is no easier offense for Green Bay than Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams playing their two-man game. And while you’d like to see a more even distribution, it’s hard to argue with the results. The team was playing with a patched-up offensive line, so getting the ball out quick was of the utmost importance. All in all, these two showed why they’re the best in the business at their positions. Adams’ price tag continues to go up with every passing week.
Side note: Adams is on pace for 193 targets — talk about volume.
Despite putting a band aid on a bullet hole, the offensive line played well
The Packers entered the game without their top two offensive linemen, and instead would be starting a left tackle making his first start, a second-year left guard with one other start, two rookie linemen, and Billy Turner — not ideal. The outcome, however, was incredibly encouraging.
Yosh Nijman had a rough start to the game but ultimately was able to settle in and with help from Marcedes Lewis on passing downs, was able to prevent Nick Bosa from making a noticeable impact, which is a win in my books.
Rookie center Josh Myers turned in another strong performance, this time against a stellar defensive line. He paved the way on some nice runs and held up in pass protection. He’s no Corey Linsley just yet, but the transition has gone quite smoothly and without many hiccups.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jon Runyan turning in another strong performance in just his second career start. While not the most physically gifted player, Runyan plays with tremendous effort and refuses to give up on a play. He’s firmly thrown his hat in the ring to be considered as a starter even when the offensive line room gets healthy.
Give Adam Stenavich credit for having his boys ready to play.
De’Vondre Campbell has been an upgrade at inside linebacker
I want to make it clear, I don’t think De’Vondre Campbell is playing like a Pro Bowler by any means, but the free-agent signing has definitely been a difference maker. Green Bay has gotten such poor production from their inside linebackers in recent years, that even adequate play from the position stands out.
He’s been physical, a sound tackler, played fast and held up decent in coverage — hard to ask for more than that. One thing is for certain, he’s been an upgrade at the position relative to recent years. This has proved to be a solid signing thus far.
Eric Stokes looked sharp
Packers fans don’t have to worry about Kevin King stealing back snaps from the rookie first-round pick. Stokes played all 70 defensive snaps and San Fransisco clearly decided they were going to test him. Stokes was targeted 10 times and only allowed three receptions for 27 yards (yes, one of them was a touchdown). He also had three pass breakups.
There were a few rookie moments, but that’s to be expected. He didn’t allow any long completions and never looked outmatched. The first-round pick was a little more handsy than you’d like to see but that’s something that’ll improve as he gains more experience.
Take it with a grain of salt, but Eric Stokes has currently allowed the second-lowest completion percentage by a CB (30 percent). No matter which way you slice it, these are encouraging signs from the high-upside corner.
Mason Crosby has ice in his veins
Game on the line, there are few players I’d rather have attempting a game-winning field goal than Mason Crosby.
The old timer was called upon and promptly called game.