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Grading the Pack - Week 5 (Offense)

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Grading the Pack - Week 5 (Offense)

A thrilling last second comeback, an MVP-caliber performance by Aaron Rodgers, another breakout performance by Davante Adams, the uncovering of a hidden gem in Aaron Jones, signs of life from Martellus Bennett and gutty performances from Lane Taylor & Justin McCray… this game had a little bit of everything.

This game starts and ends with the performance of Aaron Rodgers. He was an assassin. Remember when people questioned his leadership and whether or not he could perform in the clutch? This game was vintage Rodgers. Of course he had help and the emergence of Aaron Jones may end up actually being the bigger story from this game. Jones was phenomenal as well and has earned himself a much larger role in the offense, even when Montgomery comes back.

If Green Bay’s offense can continue to perform like this, they can hang with anybody, anywhere.

Top 3 Performers

Aaron Rodgers +7.35
Aaron Jones +3.75
Davante Adams +2.70

Bottom 3 Performers

Bryan Bulaga -1.70
Lane Taylor -0.65
Justin McCray -0.50

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers +7.35

As mentioned above, Rodgers was fantastic. He was decisive, made smart decisions, and was accurate with the football. Outside of a poor throw on a 2-point conversion and one instance where he held the ball a bit too long, he was basically perfect. If Rodgers goes on to win an MVP, this will be a performance that people look back on as having really started his candidacy.

More on Rodgers from Michelle: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/green-and-bold-forget-it-the-rules-dont-apply-to-aaron-rodgers-243

Even more on Rodgers from Cory: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/corys-corner-dont-take-aaron-rodgers-for-granted-154

Running Back

Aaron Jones +3.75
Aaron Ripkowski +0.15
Jamaal Williams +0.1

The grade for Aaron Jones matched the numbers and the hype. He certainly looks like the real deal. Jones displayed phenomenal vision and footwork and had a rare blend of patience and decisiveness. When you watch Jamaal Williams run you will see him want to hit the hole before the hole has even opened. Jones is much more patient and in rhythm with the offensive line. When he finds the hole, however, there is no looking back. Jones also showed the ability to both make defenders miss and put his head down and gain extra yardage the hard way. He has a chance to be special.

More on Jones from David: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/jones-makes-instant-case-for-larger-role-in-packers-offense-118

Even more on Jones from Zach: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/rookie-rb-aaron-jones-lights-way-to-potent-packers-rushing-attack-712

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams +2.7
Jordy Nelson +1.0
Randall Cobb +0.45
Geronimo Allison -0.1

It’s really amazing that not only was Davante Adams able to play in this game but that he was able to play at such a high level. Rodgers was looking to Adams early and often and Adams paid his trust off with a big day offensively. With Jordy Nelson out during the biggest drive of the game, the offense didn’t show even the slightest sign of slowing down. I say with full confidence that Adams is the new WR1 in Green Bay.

Tight End

Martellus Bennett +0.75
Richard Rodgers +0.3
Lance Kendricks -0.15

We finally got a little glimpse of what Martellus Bennett could provide in the receiving game this week. Bennett was able to get a bit more separation and made the big time catch from Rodgers as Aaron rolled out and found Bennett streaking down the sideline. You can see that Rodgers is starting to trust Bennett and understand that even when Bennett is covered he’s open. Once that trust is established we will see Bennett be much more involved in the pass game.

Offensive Line

Jahri Evans +1.75
Corey Linsley +0.8
Justin McCray -0.5
Lane Taylor -0.65
Bryan Bulaga -1.70

Corey Linsley had a really off day snapping the ball, accumulating a handful of low snaps throughout the course of the game. Meanwhile Bryan Bulaga really struggled, especially with bull rushes. He was consistently knocked backwards into the path of the quarterback. Taylor started poorly but got better as the game went on while Linsley was the opposite. The fact that Taylor and McCray were able to hold down the left side of the line with Bakhtiari is still a true testament to their work ethic blocking ability.

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!

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

That really was an MVP performance by Rodgers. He looked a whole level above the competition.

davy jones's picture

I wouldn't say Bennett was exactly " Streaking"
:)

Denver's picture

So, does Linsley get dinged for the bad snaps in your grading system, Andy? I guess I can see where a bad snap still led to a good block by him, but I didn't see many of those either. Seemed like he had an off day against a pretty good DLineman.
Taylor sure is making it easier to see Sitton in a Bears uni (and Lang in a Lions jersey).

SconnieSports's picture

Denver, great question and thanks for reading!

He absolutely gets graded lower due to poor snaps, specifically egregious ones that hurt the timing of the play.

For ease of understanding, if it happens in the game, its probably gradable! : )

-Andy-

Nick Perry's picture

"When you watch Jamaal Williams run you will see him want to hit the hole before the hole has even opened. "

Andy says Williams running style at the moment in a much nicer way than I do.... When I watch Williams he just runs up his Linemen's rear end.

I absolutely LOVE Jones and believe he can run like this against pretty much anyone. Give him a crease and he'll get to it because of his quickness and decisiveness.

Rodgers...WOW!! Need I say more?

Off-Topic..... Has ANYBODY been watching what Jim Schwartz has done with the Eagles defense? I wanted the Packers to bring him in when he left Buffalo after Rex was fired. Forget the fact the Packers ran a 3-4 and he would have switched them to a 4-3, the Packers could make that switch just fine. Matter of Fact Daniels would be another Aaron Donald in a 4-3 defense, ESPECIALLY under Schwartz.

flackcatcher's picture

Division teams have not seen Schwartz's scheme. Now they will have video on his defense. Should be a different story second time around. I never thought Schwartz should be blamed, Rex seemed to be determined to put his best players out of position in his defense. Strange dude. As always it comes down to who is on the field. Philly D is a flat out good. They were even before they hired Schwartz. If they stay healthily (this is the NFL after all) they could be an elite defense this year.

Junglebob's picture

Aaron Jones is definitely the game changer in this game.. and i see more to come !! .. A great mix in the game plan !! .. something we've needed for a long time !! .. GO PACK GO !! :)

RobinsonDavis's picture

Thank you Andy for using the appropriate terms for Jones in this game....Vision and patience. Those back door cuts will keep defenses honest, and open up more opportunities for both the inside run game and passing game as well. Very impressive!

Williams disappoints me, reminds me a little of Dickerson's running style, but lacks patience as Andrew stated. Remember the toss sweep that Dickerson used to chew people up with? He would be patient, then spot a hole and.....zoom! Williams needs to watch the film of some of the great backs....exception, Barry Sanders. Still don't know how to explain what he did!

badaxed's picture

this is an old article but a good one on the packers offense: http://grantland.com/features/aaron-rodgers-mike-mccarthy-green-bay-pack...

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