Grading the Pack - Week 4 (Offense)

Green Bay went into week four of the NFL season down its top five offensive tackles and had to start four guards and a center against a very solid Chicago front seven. To say this was a disadvantage would be a tremendous understatement. Not only were these players playing out of position, three of the five starters were undrafted free agents. On the left side of the line you had Lane Taylor playing for his first time ever at left tackle and Lucas Patrick playing his first ever regular season snaps at left guard.

Overall the offensive line didn’t have the most spectacular day in the world and in fact graded out as a -1.85 overall. All of that being said, Mike McCarthy was absolutely correct in stating that the offensive line earned the game ball for its overall performance. If you would have said going in that they would have graded slightly below average, with that offensive line, I would have taken that result without thinking twice. Outside of Corey Linsley, there may not be a ton of great grades for the offensive line, but they deserve a tremendous amount of credit for Green Bay winning their third game of the season.

Top 3 Performers

Aaron Rodgers +2.10
Corey Linsley +1.35
Jordy Nelson +1.05

Bottom 3 Performers

Jahri Evans -1.90
Aaron Ripkowski -1.15
Justin McCray -0.9

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers +2.1
Brett Hundley +0.1

The offense as a whole didn’t have a ton of wow plays in this game, but they were efficient and took what the defense and the game as a whole gave to them. This was evidenced by the play of Aaron Rodgers throughout the game. Rodgers was calm, accurate, and didn’t push the issue. Rodgers let the game come to him and it paid off big.

Running Back

Aaron Jones +0.8
Ty Montgomery +0.4
Jamaal Williams -0.4
Aaron Ripkowski -1.15

I really liked what I saw out of Aaron Jones, especially for a player who was unexpectedly thrust into a leading role with the injuries to Montgomery and Williams. Even on a wet turf, Jones looked quick and showed the ability to make quick, decisive cuts. On the flip side Aaron Ripkowski really continued to struggle and absolutely has to lead the league in putting his head down and whiffing on defenders entirely.

More on Ty Montgomery from Michelle: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/green-and-bold-ty-montgomery-is-changing-packers-offense-210

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson +1.05
Davante Adams +0.4
Randall Cobb +0.35
Trevor Davis +0.1
Jeff Janis +0.0
Geronimo Allison -0.1

The big story at the wide receiver position was the injury to Davante Adams. Thankfully it looks like he’s going to be just fine, but it’s obviously scary anytime you see a hit like that. Jordy had a couple of uncharacteristic drops in this game, but he continues to find ways to put six on the board in the red zone.

Tight End

Martellus Bennett +0.55
Richard Rodgers +0.1
Lance Kendricks +0.0

This was the best performance to date for Bennett and the tight ends. All three tight ends were asked to help out as blockers and all three were able to assist the tackles to keep Rodgers as clean as possible. For some odd reason Bennett received a bunch of quick passes that required him to make an immediate move in the open field, something that doesn’t seem to play to his strengths. He was immediately stopped on each of these occasions.

Offensive Line

Corey Linsley +1.35
Lucas Patrick +0.1
Lane Taylor -0.5
Justin McCray -0.9
Jahri Evans -1.9

As mentioned above this group put together a solid effort from start to finish. There were absolutely some hiccups along the way, including Lane Taylor pass blocking on a run play, but overall the effort that these five put forth was huge. Green Bay could have really went conservative and vanilla in their game plan but they trusted their linemen to make plays and they paid off the trust their coaches had in them. It was certainly disappointing to see Jahri Evans to be the player who held the line back the most, but with all the movement on the line, it’s tough for anyone to get into any sort of rhythm. Anyone except Corey Linsley of course who is unquestionably putting together a Pro Bowl caliber season so far.

To find an updated, running total of the grades throughout the season, click here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-regular-season-totals-454

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!

__________________________

Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and appears weekly on 107.5 The Fan in Green Bay to breakdown film. This past season he was an analyst on Green Bay Nation on WFRV TV in Green Bay. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder; follow him on Twitter at @sconniesports.

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Comments (6)

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A Pickled Packer's picture

October 05, 2017 at 06:23 pm

If Ripokowski keeps grading this poorly I'm wondering if they bring in Kerridge, the other fullback. He had a good training camp.

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Turophile's picture

October 06, 2017 at 04:28 am

Kerridge certainly impressed in TC. If he is coming back from his injury, which didn't seem serious, Ripkowski could be starting to look over his shoulder.

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Duneslick's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:06 pm

Kerridge went on IR and was released with an injury settlement

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:06 pm

Hope TT signs Linsley, long term, by the end of this year

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:33 pm

I have a bad feeling the same O-line from last week will start again this week ( hope im wrong). If so,Need to shore up the right side against Lawrence. Keep Bennett in a lot.

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Turophile's picture

October 06, 2017 at 11:14 am

I did wonder if the Packers were going to choose Tretter over Linsley, before the decision happened, because Tretter had such versatility, and he was a smart dude (from Cornell university).

Perhaps Andrew's comments are beginning to show why they picked Linsley, who was always seemed tick stronger than Tretter, was the favoured guy.

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