2019 Week 8 - That's What Cheese Said

Big plays are the talk of the locker room this week as both running backs make their contributions to a 31-24 victory on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Packers remain atop the NFC North at 7-1 with a 31-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, keeping them in front of the division with a one-game lead over the Minnesota Vikings. Fittingly enough, the Vikings take on the Chiefs themselves next weekend when the Packers travel west to face off against the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Even without Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs gave the Packers all they had for a full 60 minutes. 

“That was a really good football game. Hard fought. We traded a lot of punches,” said Head Coach Matt LaFleur. “I thought both teams were really deserving of that game.”

Another week, another impressive performance from future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While the Packers are optimistic star wide receiver Davante Adams might find his way back into the lineup next week, plenty of guys have filled in admirably in the passing game in his absence. 

None, however, did more than running back Aaron Jones who had 226 total yards on the night and two receiving touchdowns. Jones tallied 67 yards on the ground with a 5.2 yard average and added a whopping 159 yards through the air on only seven receptions. 

“He is an explosive weapon,” said LaFleur. “You don’t find too many running backs that can go out there and produce like that. He’s dynamic as a runner, as a receiver, as a pass protector. I think he’s a complete back.”

Rodgers was also quick to praise his running back, citing the unique skill set he has and the trust the offense has in him to produce when called upon. 

“I don’t remember a guy running a slant-and-go for a 50-yard gain,” he said. “We’re over there talking on the sidelines about how we want to close that game out on third-and-five, and the consensus was ‘let’s throw it to Jonesey.’ That says a lot about the kind of player he is.”

Rodgers made sure to also give credit to Jones’ backfield complement Jamaal Williams who made a highlight reel touchdown grab in the end zone. 

“It’s a different skill set we’re utilizing with those guys,” Rodgers said of Jones and Williams, “and it’s fun to watch.”

The pair of running backs combined for all four of the team’s touchdowns on the evening, with Jones scoring both of his through the air and Williams splitting his two between the ground game and the receiving game. 

His touchdown reception, however, might be the most impressive play of the season. When asked about that touchdown pass to Williams, Rodgers was all smiles. 

“As I rolled to the right there I saw Jimmy, and I saw somebody wrapping behind him. I was actually throwing a ball that I thought maybe Jimmy could go up and get if he wanted to and if he didn’t, the guy behind him might be able to get,” said Rodgers. 

“Luckily the guy behind him got it,” he finished with a smirk. 

Tight end Jimmy Graham himself was also blown away by the seemingly improbable touchdown reception.

“Unbelievable play,” said Graham of the Rodgers-to-Williams TD. “He has such an ability to create, and to make a throw like that while he’s getting tackled is truly amazing.”

LaFleur thought the ball was simply being thrown away out of the back of the end zone. 

“That was one of the best, if not the best, pass I’ve ever seen live in person. That was incredible. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Credit to Jamaal, man. He kept working for him. It was just one of those plays that kind of leaves you speechless.”

Williams himself remained level-headed about the entire thing, despite enjoying the idea that the play would be on highlight reels for years to come.

“That play wouldn’t mean nothing if we would have lost,” he said. “So I’m just grateful that we came with the W, our team happy, we go home and we get ready for next week.”

That sentiment is shared throughout the locker room, with players acknowledging the bonds that keep them motivated to play for one another and do their part once they step on the field. 

“Guys were just doing their 1/11th and it just benefitted us at the end of the night,” said Preston Smith.

Fellow Smith, Za’Darius, had the team’s only two sacks of the night, but both Smiths made sure to give a big shout out to defensive lineman Tyler Lancaster for forcing a fumble and getting the ball back for the offense in a short yardage situation.

No one is fazed by the way the Chiefs played Sunday night, as everyone is well aware of the talent within that Kansas City locker room.  

“This is the NFL. There’s a lot of great teams in this league,” said Preston. “You’re going to face some adversity but you’ve gotta come together and you fight through it, do it together. That’s what we did tonight. We did it as a team.”

“We had moments of adversity, and this team just finds a way to win,” agreed Graham. “We’re just going to keep building.”

This Packers team feels different than it has in recent years, and a lot of that is due to the fact that Green Bay is finding ways to seal close games. That hasn’t been lost on the quarterback. 

“Well, we’re playing a lot better,” Rodgers said of the team already surpassing its 2018 win total through eight games. “Last year we couldn’t win a game on the road. This year we’ve won in Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City. That’s three pretty tough places to play.”

When asked about his team’s 7-1 record, LaFleur offered just about the same line he does every week. “It feels really good, but again, it’s short-lived in this league so we’ve gotta hit the reset button one more time and get ready for a west coast trip to play the Chargers.”

Even though half the season is already behind them, the Packers understand they still aren’t playing their best football. 

“I think we’ve found a way to win. It hasn’t been the prettiest the entire time. There’s been some pretty moments though,” said Rodgers. 

Those pretty moments occur when the offense and defense are on the same page, understanding what’s needed from both sides to leave with a win. 

“At some point we’re going to need to put it all together,” said Rodgers of the performances on offense and defense. “It’s been complementary football I think. When they’ve needed us to close a game out or score and take the lead again, we’ve done it. When we’ve needed a stop, they’ve gotten big stops for us.”

The Packers will have a great opportunity to keep making progress on both sides of the ball when they play the Chargers on Sunday. Gaining Darnell Savage made a difference in the secondary, and now the hope is that Adams will be able to return and contribute immediately on offense. 

It’s onto L.A for Green Bay’s fourth road game of the season. There are plenty of records to like, including 3-0 in the division and 3-0 on the road, but the most important one to LaFleur remains ending each game 1-0. 

 

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 (19)

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mamasboy's picture

October 29, 2019 at 03:21 pm

Is everyone praying for a speedy recovery for Mahomes? Moore now has tape for the Vikings to look at.

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Minniman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 03:44 am

Agree on both fronts

1) As Rodgers proved on Sunday - who doesn't like seeing sporting greatness on display..... that throw was sublime!

2) Chiefs had 10 full days to prepare for the Packers. Vikings are the benefactor of that by way of knowing that Kansas are going to play quick release..... question is if they believe in their secondary enough to play man coverage and allow rushes of the passer

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hodge555's picture

October 29, 2019 at 03:48 pm

Mahomes looks like he was itching to play on the sideline and he looked quite mobile before the game so I'm expecting he'll be playing vs the Vikings, and I'm not upset about that possibility at all :-)

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Lare's picture

October 29, 2019 at 03:53 pm

That must have been a few of the 200 times he was shown on the television cameras during the game.

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Lare's picture

October 29, 2019 at 03:51 pm

Although Rodgers certainly gets credit for making the throws on Sunday, credit should also go to guys like Williams and Kumerow for making fantastic catches.

The Packers have a lot of things going their way so far this season. Hope it keeps up, they’re fun to watch again.

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Minniman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 03:51 am

Lare, the willingness and diligence on blocking assignments has impressed me too. The beauty of not having a prima dona on the team is that no-one feels above doing the dirty work...... and it's paying dividends.

......Lets face it, outside of the RB's (who are just now getting cred) this isn't an offense where the receiving corps that scares teams, and they certainly aren't flamboyant or polished, but they play like their careers are on the line and over-achieve as a unit as a result.

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madtowndan's picture

October 29, 2019 at 03:57 pm

Personally, with all the garbage I've seen Viking "fans" post on other websites this week, I honestly hope that Mahomes sits again and KC kicks the crap out of the Vikings with Moore at the helm. That would be ideal, but it still won't shut up the followers of that JV team to the west.

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 29, 2019 at 04:41 pm

I read Mahomes will be out for another week, but who knows, maybe he plays against the Viqueens. If not, I hope the Chiefs get back the other 5 missing starters that didn't play on Sunday.

The Queens didn't look all that impressive against Washington in the dome last week. They should lose on the road to KC.

I'll be at the game Sunday watching the Packers beat the Chargers. A two game lead on Minnesota will be nice (plus tiebreaker)

Looks like the trade deadline is over with no additions for the Pack. Getting Adams and Greene back will be big additions to our 7-1 team. Jace and Campbell also.

It may be all we need. Go Pack

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2019 at 06:58 pm

This report says the Packers had interest in Jets WR Robby Anderson, but that they were looking for a 2nd or 3rd round pick in return.

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2019/10/jets-unlikely-to-trade-robby-a...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 29, 2019 at 09:48 pm

Anderson would be a FA in 2020. Sportrac suggests his market value for 2020 at $11.7M AAV. I don't see many ways to fit that into the Packers' calculus.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

October 30, 2019 at 04:56 am

I'm looking forward to seeing Sternberger integrated into this offense. I have a feeling it will be more and more each week with specific plays designed to get him involved. The kid is really talented, can catch, run, and could be a pretty interesting addition for a guy like MLF to utilize into the offense more and more.

He may not have been playing but he's been around the team with a chance to soak up the playbook. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see him have a big game or two down the stretch.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

October 29, 2019 at 06:21 pm

Believe the Pack has been blessed with good health so far this year. Topic not often mentioned. Only significant injury was to Adam's and the Pack has flourished minimizing his loss. Savage missed couple games. Fingers crossed good health continues.

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Cubbygold's picture

October 29, 2019 at 06:27 pm

It feels weird to be on the healthy side for once. Guess it was bound to happen eventually, but I think it has lots to do with the type of players drafted and brought in during FA. GB was too willing to take a flyer on guys with injury concerns in the past. The smiths and amos were attractive because of their skillset and their ability to stay on the field

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4thand1's picture

October 29, 2019 at 07:07 pm

I honestly thought Adams injury would cost the Pack a couple of games. AR has been dropping dimes on covered receivers and the WR's are making good contested catches. Jonsey is getting wide open though and AR is loving it. AJ runs to daylight.

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Minniman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 03:59 am

I think that there's quite a few players playing hurt and putting it on the line.

I saw one play where Bulaga got beat around the outside by Emmanuel Ogbah who then sacked Rodgers. Not judging Ogbah, but if Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Danielle Hunter can't bull-rush a healthy Bulaga, then something isn't right with Bulaga when Ogbah can.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2019 at 08:40 pm

Packers release Shepherd and Bayliss.

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Sureshot's picture

October 29, 2019 at 09:37 pm

I was expecting it for Shepherd.
Non factor as a WR, especially if compared to Lazard, and poor decisions in the return game.

Anyway, we really need to improve the special teams before the playoffs. Maybe it's the first step...

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4thand10's picture

October 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm

I just had seen that. They also signed Tramon Smith. Im half expecting smith will do the returns and maybe well see some Ryan Grant. Someone might be coming of the injury list. Pretty proactive by Gute. Sheppard was one of those bubble preseason guys i thought might be able to make the leap...but it just didnt happen. Seems like Baylis has been on and off the practice squad to not working to resigned, the off again. Been a roller coaster for him i bet.

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Bure9620's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:07 am

I see several people saying we should have traded for a receiver and also some disappointed with MVS as though he would become the new #1 receiver in DA's absence. I never expected MVS to be a "volume" pass catcher. That is not what he is. He is a field stretcher that keeps the defense honest and opens the middle of the field, which is needed in this offense. Never expected him to be targeted more than 4-6 times per game. That is what he is at this stage in his career. Frankly, when DA is back the target distribution should look something like this moving forward.

1) Adams (by a wide margin)
2) Jones
3) Lazard
4) Jamal Williams
5) MVS
6) Graham (RZ target only or scramble drill)
7) Vitale
8) Kumerow
9) Lewis/Tonyan/Sternberger whomever had more snaps

I have been thoroughly unimpressed with Allison this year. He has been slow and lumbering out of his breaks, very little separation. Drops balls. He looks to have regressed. He provides some value in the RZ but not enough. With Adams out this was an opportunity for G-MO to really shine but he is rarely open at all, and I notice Rodgers looking off him now and ignoring him. I don't see a place for him in this offense. In my eyes he has been passed by Lazard, Kumerow and MVS as all are more consistent. I would consider releasing him as I find Ryan Grant to be a more viable option at this point.

I am continually impressed by Lazard, he uses his body well, clean routes, gets open, he is physical, can gain yac yards and the kid can block in the running/wr screen game!! This is why he led receivers in snap counts last week. As the self proclaimed Lazard truther this summer, I told you so!!!

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