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Grading the Pack - Week 2 (Offense)

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Grading the Pack - Week 2 (Offense)

As soon as Green Bay announced that David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga were both going to be inactive for this game, the expectations for the offense decreased significantly. Starting Kyle Murphy and Justin McCray at left and right tackles respectively was going to handicap an offense that needed to find some rhythm early on. While neither Murphy or McCray played terribly, the changes forced McCarthy to try and run shorter pass concepts and Atlanta quickly caught on.

Much like the defensive grades, the numbers on offense were buoyed by Atlanta taking their foot off the gas. Once Atlanta opened the 2nd half with the fumble recovery for a touchdown, Atlanta began to ease off and start trading yardage for time. Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Martellus Bennett were three players specifically who saw ratings increases once the game was pretty much in hand for Atlanta.

While the offensive performance may not have looked great overall, I’m of the belief that Green Bay was absolutely robbed of two significant plays on the pick play calls. If you watch the first one closely, not only was it within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage (a legal play) but the man who was “picked” wasn’t even going to cover Cobb; he made a play on Bennett believing the ball was going to him.

On the second pick play, Allison began running up field prior to contact being made and should not have been called for a penalty. The first play was the most damning. Green Bay would have had the ball at midfield, looking to score points before half and instead Atlanta ends up with seven. While I’m not sure either call would have changed the outcome of the game, it does help to explain some of the better grades on offense overall.

Top 3 Performers

Davante Adams +2.6
Randall Cobb +2.4
Corey Linsley +1.65

Bottom 3 Performers

Lance Kendricks -1.25
Aaron Ripkowski -0.8
Kyle Murphy -0.75

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers +1.45

This was a fairly normal game for Aaron Rodgers save for a few decisions that Rodgers normally doesn’t make. The fumble to open the 2nd half was his most egregious error of the day and one he took responsibility for after the game. He also had a near pick on a quick slant to Martellus Bennett and the interception on an attempt to Allison before the end of the half. While I felt Geronimo Allison was more to blame than Rodgers for the interception, it was still an ill-advised decision and throw at that time in the game.

On the flip side, the throw to Davante Adams for the touchdown was a thing of beauty and overall Rodgers kept an injury riddled unit together as much as he could. Being without Bakhtiari and Bulaga and then losing Nelson early was no easy task to overcome. If a few penalties and play calls go just a little bit different Green Bay wasn’t far off from putting more points on Atlanta.

Running Back

Ty Montgomery +1.1
Jamaal Williams +0.1
Aaron Ripkowski -0.8

The thing that impresses me most about Montgomery is how he finishes runs. For a converted wide receiver he sure enjoys the contact and finishes with power. Green Bay used Montgomery as a receiver quite a bit in this game as well but he was almost always running a short flat and not a primary receiver on the route. He continues to be a major threat in the screen game.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams +2.6
Randall Cobb +2.4
Trevor Davis +0.2
Jeff Janis +0.0
Jordy Nelson -0.1
Geronimo Allison -0.4

While Adams graded out better, Cobb was my MVP of the offense because he was the one constant throughout the game even when Green Bay was struggling. Let’s hope the injury to Cobb isn’t serious because he’s started out the season in terrific form and he’s running the best routes of his entire career.

Adams meanwhile continue his ascent as a playmaker and should be looked at more as the number one option in the pass game. Adams is the most consistently open receiver on the team and it’s only a matter of time before the ball starts finding him more often.

Tight End

Richard Rodgers +0.4
Martellus Bennett -0.2
Lance Kendricks -1.25

As I wrote last week, I continue to be less than impressed with the duo of Bennett and Kendricks. Bennett’s routes have been borderline lazy and his blocking has been markedly inconsistent. In this game he had multiple drops while he and Rodgers struggled to gain any rhythm together. One area in which Bennett has shined has been in pass protection when staying in to block or chipping edge rushers. Kendricks has yet to find any sort of role in this offense as he has struggled with run blocking and separating from defenders. Rodgers has looked better this year when given opportunities.

Offensive Line

Corey Linsley +1.65
Jahri Evans +1.60
Lane Taylor +0.6
Justin McCray -0.2
Kyle Murphy -0.75

This was really a solid effort from both Murphy and McCray. If you would have told me going in that combined they would have graded as a -0.95 I would have taken it without hesitation. For Murphy he’s a backup right tackle who found himself starting at left tackle and matching up against Vic Beasley. McCray’s a guard who had to make his first ever NFL start completely out of position. Their effort in this game should not go unnoticed even though they graded in the negative. Linsley was the anchor of the line in all phases and Jahri Evans put together another solid performance. Once Green Bay gets its starting tackles back the line should be quite formidable.

More on the offense from Michelle: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/green-and-bold-believe-what-the-first-half-offense-shows-you-255

How I Grade

  • Each player starts by getting a zero or neutral grade on a play. If they performed as expected on a play, their grade stays at zero.
  • For a slightly above or below average play, the player gets graded -0.1 or +0.1. The vast majority of grades on the vast majority of plays are graded -0.1, 0, or +0.1.
  • The highest and lowest grades on an individual play are +2.0 and -2.0 respectively. These would be large, game-changing plays.
  • I won’t grade a play negatively if I cannot tell which player was at fault.
  • Most of the time it’s impossible to tell the play, so I’m not grading on the execution of the play call as an NFL coach would.
  • The goal of this exercise is to grade every snap over the course of the season to get a long-term view of which performers are performing well and which are not meeting expectations. This is very similar to what Pro Football Focus tries to achieve. Is it perfect? No. But what you are getting is a consistent grader who is watching specifically Packer games and putting multiple hours into every week to breakdown film and assign grades.
  • Grades are for offense and defense only (including two point conversions). Special teams does not factor in.
  • Preseason does not have All-22 film which makes this exercise even more challenging than usual
  • Bigger plays in the game such as a 4th and 1 or a two-point conversion are weighted higher than say a normal 1st and 10 play to start the game.
  • Lastly, the grades do not necessarily reflect who the best players are on an overall basis. As an example, Morgan Burnett may grade almost two full points below Jermaine Whitehead. Does this mean that Whitehead is the superior player to Burnett? No. It means that given the opportunities each player was given, Whitehead performed at a higher level for this individual game.

Please feel free to ask questions or comment below!

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Steve Cheez's picture

RichRod the highest graded TE?
Who saw that coming?

Finwiz's picture

If you don't really know the play call, I'm not sure how you can grade whether a player did their assignment properly or not. Not sure how much this is worth when I really think about it?

SconnieSports's picture

Fin,

Watch that Aaron Ripkowski play above. I can tell with a pretty good degree of certainty that he was meant to run block. I can tell with an even greater degree of certainty that he did not in fact come close to doing anything that would resemble a run block. I can make a very educated grade based upon this information. Is my grade going to match how McCarthy and the coach’s grade? Of course not. Am I the be all end all for who is good on the Packers and who is not? Of course not. But I take a ridiculous amount of time to grade every player on every play (around 160 plays x 11 players per play) to take a stab at proving a grade on who is doing well and who may be struggling. I would certainly hope that those grades provide a level of value, especially over the course of a year.

Finwiz's picture

I understand your point, thanks. You can't know for sure in that instance if he was meant to "chip", and maybe just be a decoy after that. You can't know for positively sure without knowing the play. Normally I value this type of analysis greatly, although I'm sure the Packer coaching staff would take the same critical view of this type of thing. I'm just looking at it from their perspective.
He got in the way enough that the defender was not part of the play.

Denver's picture

Really disappointed with Bennett and Kendricks so far...still plenty of time, though.

Turophile's picture

This is why i love reading this stuff. If you are not paying attention, you might still assume Bennett and Kendricks are the field-tilters they were assumed to be before the season started. As Andrew indicates, they are not, at least not at this time. Bold calls, like grading Richard Rodgers above them can only be convincing when you have really looked at the tale of the tape.

Very encouraged that the o line held up as well as it did. Maybe that was, in part, why they felt they could IR Spriggs.

Since '61's picture

Bennett has blocked well but when it comes to routes and receptions he may be suffering from getting his SB ring and his payday. Hopefully his body of work as a receiver begins to improve.
As for Kendricks, I'm not sure what is going on. Either he doesn't understand the offense or his role in it or both.
Fortunately for both we have plenty of football left.
Thanks, Since '61

flackcatcher's picture

Two games into a new season with a new team and a new system, this is what I thought would happen. Neither player is being lazy, but uncertain in their assignments so early in the season. (I am really trying to hold back on another rant about short training camp, and the damn CBA) Frankly, I'm impressed with Evans play at RG. Coming in with a new team, QB, system, then thrown a FA rookie on his outside last week, he has been very steady. As you say Since 61 .."we have plenty of football left". We fans are just going to have to be patience.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I had the flu and missed the 4th quarter. These grades shock me. A lot of players must have padded their stats in garbage time.

Tarynfor12's picture

Garbage time is when some of our players do their ( ahem ) best play. : )

The TKstinator's picture

I don't disagree, BUT, I think this is common for a lot of players in one-sided games.

Tundraboy's picture

Anything positive to add? Anything? Your as predictable as Cow.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I've been high on Lowry, Josh Jones (my draft crush), Fackrell and Rollins. I'm going 2-1-1 there so far, but I still like Fackrell's potential. Loved the pick up of Brooks. I'd really like to see Aaron Jones get some snaps. Looks like he can do many of the things Monty does. Murphy was maybe my favorite pick last year: he doesn't have the ceiling of Spriggs, but the floor is way higher. I agreed with the M. Adams pick because he has tons of talent.

Bennett has been around a long time. I'm surprised he is coming along so slowly. Still think he and Kendricks are going to be able to do the things that had me gushing about the offense: run or pass out of the same personnel grouping with equal effectiveness, forcing the defense to substitute and thus commit to stopping one or the other.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, Just got back from GV Ranch. Looked for you, but didn't see anyone named Taryn. I've got Oakland -3. Not Crazy about it but I have it. I think it might go up. Hope I'm the right way??
LVT

Tundraboy's picture

Deleted

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, Just got back from GV Ranch. Looked for you, but didn't see anyone named Taryn. I've got Oakland -3. Not Crazy about it but I have it. I think it might go up. Hope I'm the right way??
LVT

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Sorry for the double post.
LVT

The TKstinator's picture

Not as sorry as I am! I will NEVER get back the time I wasted reading the second one. ~~~
I bet you didn't think of it that way.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

The TKstinator, How much is your Time Worth?, $9 - $10 an Hr. I don't think you know what the word "bet" means. Sorry if I wasted your time, but try & have a Nice Day anyway.
LVT

The TKstinator's picture

C'Mon, LVT!! I was yanking your chain!
These here marks "~~~" denote sarcasm. I was even gonna ask, "See what I did there with the word 'bet'?"
There should be absolutely no TK urine in your cornflakes, man! At least, none intended.
And don't you go inflating my hourly rate either, you scoundrel! I'll not have you cast such aspersions round these parts!

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

The TKstinator, Well, I APPOLOGIZE. I took it all together the other way. Sorry, I hope you can accept my apology. I guess I don't know you. I take back what I said, & hope we can be friends. I'll know better if there is a next time. I am Sorry. I mean it!! No Excuses, but maybe I had too much Champagne this morning. I Do Apologize. Hope you accept it. I think I'm Drinking Too Much or Not Enough. I Am Sorry!!
LVT

The TKstinator's picture

Hey no prob amigo, no biggie. It's all good.
So is vodka with cranberry!

mrtundra's picture

Bennett might as well of stayed in the locker room the first half of the Atlanta game. He only started to turn things around in the second half, but by then it was too late to matter. Kendricks is under utilized. In the preseason he seemed to be good for up to nine yards per reception. Rodgers needs to throw to him more often or use him as a safety valve when the pass protection breaks down. It seems Rodgers only has eyes for Bennett, though. DickRod had better hands than either Bennett or Kendricks in that game.

Point Packer's picture

The whole Bennett/Kendricks over Cook deal doesn't look so "genius" now does it? Cook is on pace for 72 catches. Bennett is on pace for half as many drops. Debatable as to why Kendricks is even on the team. Makes one long for the days when Richie Rodgers was the primary TE. At least he can catch the ball. Homers were creaming their pants about the "ultimate double TE set". Best since Jackson and Chmura. I'd rather GB just resigned Cook.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Point Packer, I'm glad someone on here knows a Good Football Player when he see's one. You are 100% Correct. I posted it the other day. We should have Resigned Cook. He was a Great Receiver. I also said Bennett reminds me already of Findley. It looks to me like he couldn't catch a cold if he tried.
LVT

The TKstinator's picture

Oh, come on now! I'm sure he's caught several colds. You're being cruel, unusual, and harsh. ~~~

Oppy's picture

It will be fun to revisit comments like this one (made in week 2) at the end of the regular season.

Point Packer's picture

Yes it will.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Now that I've had time to look at these grades and the grades from Seattle and get some kind of a framework, I find them not so shocking.

Against Seattle (where we were hardly a juggernaut), the offense's aggregate grade was +21.25, but against Atlanta is dropped to +8.80. Against Seattle the defense as a whole graded out at +7.20, but slipped to -0.1 against Atlanta.

The QB is providing .0360 pts/snap (5.7).
WRs are providing .02477 pts/snap. (10.55)
RBs are providing .0180 pts/snap. (3.35)
The OL is providing .0132 pts/snap. (10.40)
TEs are providing .0003 pts/snap. (0.05)

Edge provides .0284 pts/snap. (6.45)
LBs provides .0123 pts/snap. (2.80)
DL provides .0104 pts/snap. (2.25)
CB provides -0.0058 pts/snap. (-1.75)
S provides -0.0080 pts/snap. (-1.65)

INDIVIDUALLY:

WR: Adams (5.2), Cobb (4.4), Nelson (1.05), Davis (.3), Allison (-0.4). 10.55 total.
RB: Ty (3.75), Williams (.35), Rip (-0.75).
TE: RR (.6), Bennett (.3), Kendricks (-1.65)
OL: Evans (3.65), Bakh (2.5), Linsley (2.2), Taylor (1.8), Murphy (.45), McCray (-0.2).

Edge: Perry (4.05), CM3 (1.95), Fackrell (.45)
ILB: Burnett (1.15), Ryan (.9), Blake (.45), Thomas (.3)
DL: Daniels (3.05), Clark (.1), Dial (-0.35), Lowry (-0.45)
CB: King (2.0), Davon (-0.35), DR (-1.55), Q (-1.85)
S: Josh Jones (.8), Clinton Dix (-0.3), Brice (-2.35).

We have a small sample size and context issues to consider. Surely the return of Bakh and Bulaga will greatly improve the pts/snap grade of the OL, and probably the WRs as well. I think the new TEs will come around - there's tons of room for improvement there from proven NFL players. Ditto for Dix at safety, who is playing about as well as House is in reasonably similar amounts of snaps, according to these grades. Ty is fine, and I believe that MM will find ways to improve Ty's productivity and that of the other RBs. I did not expect the DL to be Daniels and a bunch of JAGs. We will see, but I expected Clark and Lowry to look pretty good this year. Looks like we are going to see what King and Jones can do, along with Brooks, and I hope some other 2nd and 3rd year players step up. Edit: GB is averaging 2.03 DL on the field per snap. That is very similar to 2016, if you include the snaps played at DL by Datone and Peppers.

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