Game Changing Play of the Week: Allen Lazard's First Career Touchdown Brings Packers Within a Field Goal

The Packers needed someone in the wide receiving corps to step up big time in the fourth quarter on Monday night against Detroit. But I'm not sure anyone thought it would be Allen Lazard.

Lazard entered Monday with one career reception for seven yards, but he finished the game as the Packers' leading receiver on the night, despite getting just one quarter of play. His biggest play ended up being this week's Game Changing Play of the Week, a great touchdown grab on an absolutely beautiful pass by Aaron Rodgers that brought the Packers within just two points, setting them up for a game-winning field goal.

The play

You can tell that Rodgers is looking underneath first, presumably hoping to just move the chains, but he's unable to find anyone open. Only after surveying his crossing routes does he look down deep to Lazard.

This is some classic Aaron Rodgers dime dropping material right here, the kind of pass that hardly anyone else in the NFL is able to make.

Lazard was blanketed here, but Rodgers had enough confidence in him to throw this pass on a crucial third down situation whlie the team was down two scores and in desperate need of points. If this pass isn't completed, the Packers aren't exactly in easy field goal range, so there's a big risk associated with throwing this football.

Rodgers comes up big here. Take a look from another angle.

The skill level associated iwth the throw cannot be understated. But let's not forget the catch, either. Lazard is in blanket coverage here, so the margin for error is almost zero. Lazard has the presence of mind to locate and secure the football and make sure he holds on to it after going to the ground. Just a beautiful play all around. And it couldn't have come at a time of greater need.

Allen Lazard

So what happens with Lazard from here?

One has to think he's going to start getting more playing time on offense after what he put on tape in the fourth quarter. Geronimo Allison has been having an awful season, Marquez Valdes-Scantling has yet to show consistency and Jake Kumerow and Darius Shepherd have done nothing at all on offense, so there's no reason not to give Lazard more chances after what he showed on Monday night. 

That being said, it's probably important to temper expectations. Is Lazard suddenly going to be "the answer" at the second wide receiver spot that has been the subject of so much Twitter consternation so far this year? The chances are slim, though anything could happen. 

Still, Lazard was a more than welcome surprise for the Packers at a time when someone aboslutely had to step up. Hopefully he can keep the momentum going heading into this weekend against Oakland. 

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Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Comments (25)

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Guam's picture

October 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm

The state of the Packer WR corps behind Adams is not good. MVS flashes, but is inconsistent. Allison has not been productive this year for reasons I don't understand as he has been productive in prior years. Kumerow and Shepard have been invisible. I am okay with MVS as he is still learning (remember D. Adams in his second year) and shows potential, but the other three are worrisome. If Lazard is not the answer (and it is a big reach to expect him to be the answer as a UDFA in his rookie year) Gute needs to do something soon.

Can ESB be activated from IR this year or is he done? I thought his injury was not that severe, but being put on IR during TC may have different rules than during the season.

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Samson's picture

October 15, 2019 at 11:12 pm

Nice to see someone (anyone) step up at WR. GB would have seen loss #2 of the season w/out Lazard's emergence just in time. --- We'll find out soon enough if he's the best of the lot after Adams.

However, I'm still thinking Gute has a plan that's unknown at this time to strengthen the WR position...Hell, Davante Adams availability is still unknown... I still think some kind of trade is in the works... Gute has to be all in after a strong 5-1 start.... Can't let the WR position spoil a promising start to the season.

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stockholder's picture

October 15, 2019 at 11:21 pm

LeFluer has a chance to play the hot hand here. Making Lazard wait for his chance, is death to a WR. Lazard needs to happen. This offense needs help now. The screams for a trade are real. Lazard showed some very positive things Monday. Uniting the offense was obvious. Don't hold him back now.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

October 16, 2019 at 06:34 am

Stock,
Will 2nd your thoughts about Lazard.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

October 15, 2019 at 11:34 pm

Very unfortunate ESB was put on IR. Truly believed he was set for a breakout season.

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Jaylee's picture

October 16, 2019 at 04:37 am

Yeah I agree, if ESB followed his rookie trajectory he probably would be #2 on the depth chart behind Davante this season, he was significantly better than MVS last season.

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Mojo's picture

October 15, 2019 at 11:57 pm

The case to add an outside WR is overblown. First anyone brought in would have to gain ARods trust without little time together, Second and more importantly, the Packers are going to the backs and TE's much more and are sustaining drives. It's a good thing Rodgers is spreading it around and he should be able to do it with what he already has.

I though GB moved the ball very well last night and the only thing holding them back from scoring in the 30's were there own mistakes. I'm all for Rodgers becoming more of a game manager until Adams comes back.

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Minniman's picture

October 16, 2019 at 03:33 am

Some good point Mojo, but with still 10 weeks left in the regular season there's plenty of time to prepare that player for a SB run.

My original thoughts were that GB should bolster that position however I would always consider the cost - it would certainly need to be a block-buster acquisition to use a high draft pick on......... time is running out on Rodgers and this could be like 2010 where they make a run that "year earlier" than anticipated.

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dark42's picture

October 16, 2019 at 04:54 am

I tend to agree.

If trust were an issue, does Rodgers throw that ball to Lazard on a critical 3rd down? Maybe I'm overly optimistic but seems that Rodgers is more inclined to throw those 50/50 balls now than in years past. And I like that RBs and TEs (not named Jimmy Graham) are more involved in the passing game.

Another point is that many were ready to throw in the towel on Adams in his second year when he struggled. We've seen Allison play better than he has lately. Hopefully he, Kumerow, Shepherd, MVS, and ESB have better days ahead. Personally, I'd be happy to let this season play out and see where we are at the end. :)

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fastmoving's picture

October 16, 2019 at 01:59 am

Year, the WR case is way overblown, but somehow people like that topic and twist it around, against any logic.

Even if it would be nice to have ESB. But even without him, MVS is a good enought (he had 2 catches on two targets and was open all night) Nr.2 and Lazard may getting better too.
Behind that we have a RB with good hands, the TEs and maybe Kumerow finds his spot also.

Dont know why the talk is about the WRs, we go where AR goes anyway. But you can blame "the weapons", they are there. No need at all to do something at the receiving corps.

Getting a little tired to mention it, but even Davis, our Nr.7?, seems to make an impact with someone else.

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Minniman's picture

October 16, 2019 at 03:11 am

Getting a little tired to mention it, but even Davis, our Nr.7?, seems to make an impact with someone else.

Not being petulant here but I guess we will get a good look at that this coming week when GB plays Oakland

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lecko's picture

October 16, 2019 at 02:14 am

I think this is a type of play that was often tried in the last McMcarthy years. As it says these are low percentage plays (18 % it says here) and Packers were doing it often with many misses. I could hardly watch Aaron last 2 years with all all the easy throws being ignored and just waiting for big play. Some of it was on him but I still think McCarthys philosophy supported it, I dont think Aaron would play it despite Mccarty. This year is different,epsecially after Davante is out. He is checking big play but often taking 5 or 10 yarders and spreading the ball to many receivers. And the results are very good, the offense is moving the ball .and scoring.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

October 16, 2019 at 03:11 am

Allen Lazard has proven he deserves more snaps with his performances in the Lions game. He seems to have a chemistry with Rodgers and has good hands and great concentration. He is a physical, high energy, receiver that stepped in and made plays when needed. Only time will tell if he can step up and be a reliable go to receiver. But he has definitely shown he has the skills, energy, and competitive desire to be given more chances to be successful. I would expect to see more of him in the next contest. Maybe he can be the #2 or #3 receiver the Packers need. Won't know until he is given the opportunities to prove himself. He certainly made an impact in the Lions game.

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Minniman's picture

October 16, 2019 at 03:22 am

With film on him now opposing DC's will start to do their homework on him - so best not to expect an instant Jerry Rice...........although he did acquit himself well in tight coverage (and Justin Coleman is no slouch).

With 2 more weeks in the trade window Gute still has a sliver of time to work out if he needs to hit the panic button.

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dark42's picture

October 16, 2019 at 05:03 am

Lazard is a big boy, big target, and catches with his hands. I was surprised it took this long to get him on the field - a play here and there doesn't allow a WR to get into any kind of groove. Especially loved how Rodgers went right back to him after a pass to him was defended. Definitely deserves some playing time to prove or disprove himself on the field. :)

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dark42's picture

October 16, 2019 at 04:41 am

Here's hoping this is the first of many, many great plays by Lazard in a Packers uniform. :)

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Lphill's picture

October 16, 2019 at 05:35 am

When Adams is back keep him in the slot , Lazzard should be deep routes and Lewis tight end, mix in Vitale and A Jones and that’s a pretty decent group.

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edp1959's picture

October 16, 2019 at 05:55 am

But we were told by some of the so called experts on here that #12 is done and he can't make these throws anymore. The throw he made to MVS was just as good. Are we now to believe that maybe these "experts" don't know as much as they think they do?

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Are these the same experts that downplayed the problem with the packer WRs?

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Djanko's picture

October 16, 2019 at 05:59 am

It's unfortunate that we used the 12 pick on GARY (real think it's a miss). we could have had any WR in the 2019 draft. Only time will tell, but we sure need some additional help at WR. Our WR team speed is really lacking with the exception of MVS. Maybe Gute will make a move prior to the trade deadline.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

October 16, 2019 at 07:16 am

Good to see Lazard step up. He was one of the players that really stood out to me when I was at training camp. With all the talk about trading for a WR, does anyone know who might be available?

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Rustyweezee's picture

October 16, 2019 at 07:23 am

While Lazard seems to have broken out, it may be better to temper expectations. The other Packers receivers weren't having any success, the Lions were able to keep them covered because they had the defensive plan and the personnel to carry it out. Lazard was a change-up. While I haven't been high on contested catch receivers, on Monday night Lazard was just what the Packers needed, maybe because the Lions' DB's weren't a good match up for him. It was a great break out performance for Lazard, but there's no guarantee that he can re-create that in the upcoming games. While Detroit may have not had a DB to cover a large receiver who can box out, leap and catch, there may be a strong 6'3" CB on an opponent, or a quick one with a 40" vert who can defend a high point pass. So I hope Lazard can be the play maker we all thought the Packers needed. I thought they'd try to make a TE out of him, but if Monday night is any indication, I may have to admit a contested catch WR can be not only an asset, but vital on occasion.

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jamesmartins's picture

October 16, 2019 at 08:05 am

I wonder why it took so long for the staff to give Lazard a chance.
I mean, the staff wasn't supposed to evaluate performance? In just a few snaps you can see that he is clearly better than Kumerow.
Rodgers needed to ask for him.
It made me question the WR coach...

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Houndog's picture

October 16, 2019 at 08:34 am

Having not seen any pre-season games I had read about but not seen Lazard. Now I see what had fans so excited, the kid had a great game. And, if Rodgers was indeed lobbying for him that can't be a bad sign, there must be something there.
I read a lot of the cautious fans saying "we'll see, he was an undrafted free agent for a reason" and I can't argue with that. But let's not forget, Tramon Williams was an undrafted free agent, Donald Driver a 7th round pick (one step up from UFA) and Don (the Majik Man) Majkowski was a 10th round pick. Some of these guys CAN play, here's hoping Lazard is one of them.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 16, 2019 at 12:50 pm

It is to easy to read Rodgers asking for Lazard as only positive. I can just as soon be Rodgers pointing out that there was ZERO production from Wrs outside 1 MVS sighting.

Someone said MVS was open all game. MVS missed most of the game. Nobody was open all game. It was pretty bad.

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