2019 Week 7 - That's What Cheese Said

The Packers put up a season-best 42 points against Oakland, riding a perfect passer rating from Aaron Rodgers. Young players on offense stepped up, and the defense relied on a "bend don't break" mentality to keep points off the board for the Raiders. 

The Packers put up their best offensive performance of the season against the Raiders, winning convincingly 42-24. Leading the charge was future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers who had the first perfect passer rating (158.3) in franchise history. Rodgers completed 25/31 passes for 429 yards and threw for five touchdowns, rushing for an additional score himself. Consider the fact that on the day, Rodgers had an equal number of touchdowns and incomplete passes. 

“To account for six touchdowns in the National Football League, it’s tough to do,” said Head Coach Matt LaFleur of his quarterback. 

Rodgers now sits at 351 career passing touchdowns (9th all-time), and became the fastest quarterback to 350 touchdowns (172 games), surpassing Drew Brees who hit 350 in 180 games.  

“I still don’t understand how they put that rating together, but it does sound pretty good,” said Rodgers with a smile about his perfect passer rating. 

Numerous players on offense acknowledged the way the offense has been finding its way throughout the season, putting up 481 total yards on the day. 

“We’ve definitely kind of turned that corner in terms of clicking as an offense,” said fullback Danny Vitale. “We’ve just really harped on playing a four-quarter game.” 

That offense spread the ball out to eight different pass catchers, with running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams catching a pair of touchdowns, tight end Jimmy Graham snagging his third touchdown of the season, and receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow contributing their own scores on the day.

“We’ve got depth and we all can play,” Valdes-Scantling said of the wide receivers group. He had two receptions for 133 yards to go along with his touchdown against Oakland. 

“We scored on six of our eight possessions. That was needed today,” said Rodgers. He also acknowledged Graham specifically and the day he had for the offense, catching four receptions for 65 yards including the TD. His third touchdown of the season already puts him over his touchdown total from 2018 when he had two scores all season. 

Valdes-Scantling and Allison were both game time decisions for Green Bay, so it was obvious going into the week that there would be big opportunities available for the younger players on the roster. 

“To answer the question for all the haters out there who are saying we don’t have receiver depth, I mean you have guys like MVS, Gmo, Jake, Lazard stepping up like crazy. I mean, Shep’s out there. So I think we answered a lot of questions out there right now,” said Vitale. 

Kumerow (2 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD), Lazard (3 receptions, 42 yards) and Vitale himself (2 receptions, 43 yards) all made plays for the offense when called upon.

“As long as they have to worry about everybody on the field and not just one or two people, I feel like it just makes us a more versatile offense,” said Jamaal Williams. 

Rodgers acknowledged how the offense is finding different ways to score points, with some games focusing on the run game and other games relying on a pass-heavy air attack. 

“When you learn how to win in different ways, then you become a much more dangerous offense because you just have so many more things you can throw at a defense,” Rodgers said.

All eight pass catchers (Valdes-Scantling, Allison, Lazard, Kumerow, Jones, Williams, Graham, Vitale) had over 25 yards through the air, demonstrating just how efficient Rodgers was getting the ball out of his hands without star receiver Davante Adams in the lineup for another week. 

“This is something that we’re ready for,” said Kumerow of the wide receivers, describing the “next man up” mentality shared in the locker room. 

“I thought our receivers stepped up and made some big plays,” added LaFleur at his post-game presser. 

“All in all though, I think we’re starting to learn our players a little bit better. What they do really well, I think the communication has been on point between coaches and players,” said LaFleur. “Today it came together.”

Defensively, however, the Packers allowed 484 yards on the day, but only gave up 24 total points. 

“We don’t fold. They’re going to make plays every now and then,” said cornerback Kevin King at his locker. King had an interception in the end zone against Oakland, his third of the season.

“That ball is finding him and you can’t coach that,” fellow corner Jaire Alexander said of King’s interception total this season. “Kevin’s around the ball, he’s just going to keep making plays. That’s nothing new.”

Safety Adrian Amos acknowledged the importance of red zone turnovers made by both King and Blake Martinez. “Red zone turnovers are big. You’re taking away their points. That’s how you swing the momentum.”

When asked about Preston Smith’s hustle to prevent a touchdown against Oakland, and Alexander’s hustle against the Lions last week to prevent a touchdown, Amos smiled. “When we go back and watch film, we wanna see who fast.”

While the Packers came out victorious against the Raiders, the team still gave up plenty of yards both through the air and on the ground. The defense also failed to tally a single sack against Derek Carr. 

“When you get a win it’s always enough,” King said when asked if a “bend don’t break” mentality works when the opposing team puts up over 450 yards of offense. 

“It’s the National Football League. We work on wins and losses. We’ll fix everything else next week. But we got out with a W.”

At the podium after the game, Rodgers was asked if 6-1 was too early to start talking about playoff seeding, since early in the offseason Rodgers had emphasized the importance of playing home playoff games in January.

“I happen to agree with what Mike [McCarthy] used to say about getting to 10 wins and then start talking about it,” said Rodgers, adding that the team still has over half its season left to play. 

He also acknowledged the daunting stretch the Packers are currently in the middle of, citing how Green Bay played two straight teams coming off bye weeks before now traveling to face a hot Kansas City team enjoying a mini-bye after a Thursday Night Football matchup. 

“This is the toughest part of our schedule I think, from a pure scheduling standpoint,” he said. 

“Whether you have six days or two weeks, you have to show up on Sunday and play your best ball,” added LaFleur at his own presser. “Like I said, we’re trying to go 1-0 every week, and I think that’s the mindset and the mentality we need to have in order for us to get to where we want to go.”

The 6-1 Packers will now travel for four of the next five games, with the 5-2 Chiefs (minus Pat Mahomes) and Sunday Night Football next on the schedule. With a tough stretch looming, the vibe surrounding the team remains electric. 

“Shoot, my daughter is only one-and-a-half but she knows ‘Go Pack Go,’” said Williams smiling. “I really just love this team and how we’re playing. We’re just having fun out there.”

 

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and a podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (10)

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Lare's picture

October 22, 2019 at 04:57 pm

It's great to see the offense starting to gel, but as they say "defense wins championships". It would be nice to see the Packers doing a little less "bending" at some point. Opposing offenses will continue to attack the middle of the field until they show they can stop it.

That said, 6-1 is much better than anyone expected the Packers to be at this point.

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

October 22, 2019 at 06:18 pm

I think having Savage back would help re: the middle, but unless Burks really comes on & can cover well and defend the run they'll have to wait until next year to fix that weakness on D. When they play against great RBs/run blocking OLs Goodson gets a lot of snaps & he doesn't cover well. IMO Martinez has regressed the last couple of games too.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 22, 2019 at 07:11 pm

I disagree with Vitale and agree with the "haters." There is absolutely NOT enough quality WR depth. A veteran other than Davante has been needed for weeks if not months. MLF and ARod would say that is ol' ded-legs Graham. I would counter by saying that Graham should not have been signed in the first place, or at least been cut before this year. He is no longer even an average NFL starter. GMo has been below average. MVS is not consistent yet. Kumerow, Shepherd are JAGs. Grant has been cut by several teams for a reason. Lazard - we'll see.

The QB is making JAGs or worse look good. We can get by with that. Against the Raiders. How about against a team with a good passing defense and an offense to pair with it? Methinks it would get more than a little dicey.

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Bure9620's picture

October 22, 2019 at 08:56 pm

The Packers have invested their resources into O-Line, defense and obviously QB. There was enough to pay DA and Jimmy Graham but after that it is young players. I have to say, with a veteran QB, I would rather have elite pass protection than several high level receivers. With protection, you can scheme WRs open. Much more difficult to hide an overmatched tackle against an elite pass rusher. 3-0 without Adams. I love DA but the production has been there without him. Aaron should share his perfect passer rating with his O-line because that insane protection is what allowed those completions and perfect rating.

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Sol's picture

October 22, 2019 at 08:53 pm

Oh, how quickly we forget and are quick to comment. I remember just last year when we had defensive ends that had a hard time setting the edge and plays always seemed to go around them. I myself love how the Smiths set the edge and other teams are now using the middle of the field to get plays. That is a much easier fix and we have more players in the area to help get the job done. This I am sure can be fixed with the personal we have on the team. On the other hand, if you can’t set the edge the whole field comes into play and games becomes much deicer and harder to control. Bend but don’t break baby!

Unless we can get a player for a great bargain the trade deadline will come and go in Green Bay. We are in the driver’s seat 3-0 in conference 6-1 total and a great opportunity to make the playoffs. We did our homework in the draft and free agency and don’t need to turn in extra credit to get a good grade just to get into the final. Just work with what we have and maybe churn the bottom of the roster.

Was it just me, or did anyone else notice on MVS”s touch down how he was running away from everyone except Lazard. That my fine packer fans is youth, size, catch radius, speed and a QB that can breathe confidence into this young man. A diamond in the rough that we have the privilege of witnessing being turned into a fine gem before our very eyes this year. With a QB like Rodger’s he will be playoff ready by the end of the year. I am so glad we didn't go out and sign some other team's deva receiver and stood pat on our guys. Who knows maybe just maybe we are looking at a young Jerry Rice.

Go Pack

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stockholder's picture

October 22, 2019 at 09:04 pm

Keep two things in mind. The Smiths led the NfL in Sacks and Hurries,( pre raiders game). This defense still is very good. 2. The Offensive Line has been stupendous! A little patience always pays off.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 23, 2019 at 12:37 am

Sanu traded to the Patriots for a 2nd rounder - too rich for my blood.

Sanders traded to the 49ers a 3rd and 4th for a 5th rounder. Wish Gute had made that deal.

For all the woes Packer fans are singing abiut our WRs these are the same fans that were bragging about the WR depth in preseason. Which is what we've seen translate to the field. GMO had a few plays. MVS turnes 2 catches into 133 yards and a TD. Kumero had a big TD tightwalking the sideline. Lewis looks like he turned back father time in 2019. Lazzard made some plays.

Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams have both had a great year in the running and passing game. GB still has a lot of weapons the biggest being Aaron Rodgers. How can tou complain about the WR position after Rodgers had a perfect passer rating?

The offense starts slow and people criticize it. The defense slows down and gwts carried by the offense and people criticize them. RELAX and enjoy the Ws this is the most ballanced GB has been since 2010. Didn't matter that we couldn't stop Waller and barely slowed down Jacobs the Raiders couldn't touch Rodgers.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 23, 2019 at 04:14 am

I agree on Sanders. At that price pull the trigger, unless he has something cooking for a player at another position like ILB, DL or even the right TE.

As a note, I've decided to manually calculate pick em ranking while dropping one week that has a zero correct. Some folks have forgotten to make their picks for a week and dropped out. So, the full results will be posted and then I'll look at percentage correct while dropping one week that someone forgot about.

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Lphill's picture

October 23, 2019 at 05:32 am

Let’s hope the offense carries over from the Raiders game to the Chiefs, but hopefully the Defense steps up and quiets the critics including myself, no more chunk plays and or giving up 500 yards of offense regardless of the outcome.

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Spock's picture

October 23, 2019 at 07:50 am

Nice write up, Maggie. I especially loved the players quotes: “I still don’t understand how they put that rating together, but it does sound pretty good,” said Rodgers with a smile about his perfect passer rating." “Shoot, my daughter is only one-and-a-half but she knows ‘Go Pack Go,’” said Williams smiling. “I really just love this team and how we’re playing. We’re just having fun out there.” Nice work putting those all in. Hopefully, you'll have a lot more of these type quotes (and Packers' wins) going forward! :)

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