Grading the Pack - Week 6 - 49ers Vs. Packers (Offense)

On Monday, Green Bay ran a total of 70 plays, for 521 yards, 405 passing yards, 116 rushing yards, and put up a total of 33 points in a win against the 49ers. On paper it was an impressive offensive performance that certainly deserved to get a win against a 1-4 49ers team that was without its starting quarterback.

As always, box scores can sometimes be deceiving. It’s not that this was a bad performance by any stretch of the imagination, it just lacked execution in the red zone and in key stretches in the middle of the game. Green Bay started strong and ended strong on offense, but became very stagnant during the middle portion of the game.

I huge part of that was the lack of a consistent running game. Green Bay got Aaron Jones going early but never kept it consistent. The play action that worked so well in the first few drives had no affect later in the game due to the lack of a running threat. Aaron Jones not being in the game certainly didn’t help either.

The offense was also hurt in the middle of the game by the absence of Bryan Bulaga. Bulaga’s injury forced starting guard Byron Bell to right tackle and Lucas Patrick to play at right guard. The offense didn’t look the same without Bulaga on the field and you could tell that Rodgers was dropping his eyes a bit quicker with 75 out.

Davante Adams was the star of this game and while his +3.05 grade is eye-opening, I also felt it was actually conservative. He was borderline uncoverable at times and had he been the primary target more often he could have easily gone for 200+ and three touchdowns.

Top 3 Offensive Players

Davante Adams +3.05
Aaron Rodgers +1.30
Jimmy Graham +0.60

Bottom 3 Offensive Players

Marcedes Lewis -0.80
Byron Bell -0.75
Lucas Patrick -0.60

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers +1.30

The offense’s grade as a whole pretty much mirrored Aaron Rodgers grade in this game. Aaron started strong and finished strong but missed some plays in the middle portion of the game. That said, he had a handful of vintage Aaron Rodgers plays that few, if any, quarterbacks in the NFL are making. His back shoulder pass to MVS was incredible, as was his entire last two series. Rodgers to Adams was unstoppable in the 4th quarter.

Running Back

Ty Montgomery +0.30
Aaron Jones +0.00
Jamaal Williams -0.15

It’s so blatantly obvious that the running backs are suffering due to lack of consistent playing time. A rotation might sound good in theory but the truth is that as soon as one of the running backs starts gaining a little momentum they are taken out and lose their rhythm. These running backs all run differently as well, which makes it harder on the offensive line. Montgomery runs with a bit more hesitancy, Williams runs pretty much north and south, while Jones is more likely to look for cutbacks. Each back needs to be blocked for a bit differently and you can just tell at times that it’s not gelling the way it could be. Green Bay would be wiser to stick with a running back for three to four series at a time rather than going with a random rotation that isn’t helping anyone.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams +3.05
J’Mon Moore +0.20
Marquez Valdes-Scantling +0.00
Equanimeous St. Brown -0.10

As mentioned above, Adams was incredible. His releases in this game show just exactly what he’s capable of and his release is as good as there is in the NFL. To make things more impressive is that he did it in the clutch. Green Bay was down seven late in the 4th quarter and Adams basically took over. He shows week after week why he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL.

The rookies played solid in this game and overall they continue to impress. It’s clear that none of them are quite as polished as the veterans on the team but their raw talent and athleticism take over. Moore only had the one catch but he was active downfield as a blocker and ran a couple of solid routes. MVS will struggle to uncover but the splash plays that he makes make him a player who needs to see the field even when Allison and Cobb are back.

Maybe the biggest thing to come out of this game is the trust that MVS & EQ potentially gained from QB1 after their impressive back-shoulder catches. Rodgers showed a ton of trust in both wide receivers, and they didn’t disappoint.

Tight End

Jimmy Graham +0.60
Robert Tonyan -0.05
Lance Kendricks -0.20
Marcedes Lewis -0.80

This was by far Jimmy Graham’s best overall game as a Packer. He was active in all phases of the game and had a much better game as a blocker than what his first five games showed. I know the narrative has been that Marcedes Lewis needs to see the field more often but he simply hasn’t been very good when he’s been out there. He hasn’t been a receiving threat at all, but the expectation was that he was going to be a dominant blocker. He’s been far from it in his first handful of games as a Packer.

Offensive Line

David Bakhtiari +0.40
Corey Linsley +0.20
Bryan Bulaga +0.20
Lane Taylor -0.05
Lucas Patrick -0.60
Byron Bell -0.75

The line wasn’t terrible but they had their ups and downs. Give credit to the 49ers front seven as they were able to hang tough even against Bakhtiari and Linsley, and they were also able to bring some creative blitzes that kept the offensive line confused throughout the day. There were multiple times where the protection slid the wrong way or where a biltzer was unaccounted for. That’s been an under-covered issue for Green Bay this year as just about every week teams are finding ways to scheme free unblocked players and Green Bay is going to have to adjust as the season goes along.

Byron Bell actually had a positive grade in the second half as he settled down but struggled early in this game.

Outside of Davante Adams the grades were neither too high nor too low. It was a pretty average game for most of the players on the offense. For all the talk of McCarthy’s offense being stale, I actually thought he did a really good job of scheming open some players this game and getting some open looks for Rodgers. When the game was on the line, though, Rodgers absolutely took over and played his highest level of football this season. As mentioned, Rodgers and Adams were near unstoppable at the end of the game and it’s getting to the point where Adams needs to be the primary read on just about every play when possible.

You can find the defensive grades for week 6 here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-week-6-49ers-vs-packers-d...

You can find the complete lists of comulative grades for the Packers this season here: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-2018-regular-season-total...

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 difficult 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.

__________________________

Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and is an Editor for Packer Report. You can find him on WFRV's Green Bay Nation and every Friday on the Friday Film Room on WDUZ . Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder - follow him on Twitter @AndyHermanNFL!

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Comments (19)

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Bearmeat's picture

October 20, 2018 at 02:56 pm

MM needs to get over himself and just make Jones the bellcow RB. WHY has he not done that? WHY???

The rookie WR progress is really encouraging, as well as Bell playing pretty ok. I'd be happy keeping him at RG the rest of the year and giving McCray the chance to compete with a draft pick next training camp.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 21, 2018 at 02:54 am

Because when he did that in 2017 Jones got injured. The same crowd calling MM an idiot for not using Jones more will call MM an idiot for overusing Jones if he gets hurt. I think the point Amdy was making was just run the ball more consistently to open up the offense and involve Adam's even more.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 21, 2018 at 10:11 am

Doesn't matter. You must play your best players. If he gets hurt, that sucks, but you have to use your best players to give yourself the best chance to win.

Jones is bigger than Sproles. He's about the same size as Freeman. Freeman carried that ball 15x a game for 3 years before breaking down. We could use 17 touches a game from Jones.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 22, 2018 at 07:46 am

Because God damn it, MM is not going to let anybody tell him what to do. That aside he's just taking the conservative committee approach, taking the week-to-week approach under the guise of having a plan. To me it all just falls under the bringing everyone along slowly approach, which on one hand I can't really disagree with entirely because he does have the team coming together usually at the right time. But also to me, it means losing winnable games. At season's end there are just too many games we end up regretting,with at least two or three of them costing us some type of home field advantage.

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4thand1's picture

October 20, 2018 at 04:52 pm

Williams slamming Sherman to the ground...................priceless!

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Chuck Farley's picture

October 20, 2018 at 08:13 pm

This contender barely beat a 1-4 team with a back up qb and top running back out for the season. Not impressed. Let's talk about the team after the next three games. I think the reality sets in by then.

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Oppy's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:59 pm

Aaron Rodgers: Nice start, sub par play through the middle until the last 3 minutes of the game, then he looks like the best QB in the business for 6 plays.

For what it's worth, that back shoulder throw to MVS is not a well thrown back shoulder throw, that's an excellent job of the WR securing a poorly placed ball.

The whole point of the back shoulder throw is to put the ball just behind the WR and to his outside shoulder towards the sideline, so the WR's body against the sideline boxes out the defender. That ball to MVS was delivered to the inside where the DB had every opportunity to make a play on the ball. MVS made a great catch on a less than ideally placed ball.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2018 at 12:03 am

Thank you Andy. Nice work on the overview on the offensive side of the ball. Some random points. Injury and accountability concerns are the main drivers behind the playing time at RB. For all of Jones talent, the 'light' has not come on yet. Not unusual for a second year player. Montgomery is their best and most complete back, but has an injury history that the Packers are well aware of. Even if he changes the nature of the Packer offense when in, the Packers are being careful with his playing time. I think we will see more Ty after the bye. Williams has been very good, and deserves to be the starter. Offensive line was going to be an issue this season, no surprises there. Teams that are rebuilding have to pick their spots, and hope the rest holds. That sums up the nature of the O line this year. One major point that gets lost in the wash is how aggressive this offense has been. Much of the failure of execution sits at the feet of Aaron Rodgers this year, an he knows it. The last 2:00 minutes of this game is a glaring reminder of how good this offense can be when Rodgers is on 'his game'. Both Adams and Bakhtiari are totally out playing their contracts. Elite players playing at a elite level in the NFL. (I guess Ted wasn't wrong all the time now :) Adams has changed his style of play from the last couple of years. He gets out of his breaks far quicker, and looks flat out faster out than he was last year. Bakhtiari looks like a completely different player at the point of attack. The one weak point of his game is gone. He now stones LB or DL in the run game, impressive, to say the least. We are seeing signs that this could be a very good Packer team coming out of the bye. It all depends on how this team gels and if the Packer rookies and second year player can play consistently at an NFL level. The Rams well tell us much in that regard.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:51 am

TT was always good at picking WRs. His OL picks have been more miss than hit. Example: moved up to get Spriggs in the second, but picked Bakh in the 4th. I could make a list if you wanted, but the point is that a couple of good picks doesn't make a trend, or erase it.

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11Bravo1p's picture

October 21, 2018 at 11:51 am

I thought TT was pretty good at picking both WR and OL. He had a couple of misses (Spriggs, Sherrod) and one hit (Bugala) in the early rounds, but he had some great late round picks (Bakh, Lang, Sitton and Tretter in the 4th, plus Lindsley in the 5th). For comparison, during the same time period, the Bears took 3 OL in the first round with 2 busts (Chris Williams, Gabe Caribi) and 1 hit (Long who has been hurt a lot) and none of their late round picks OL pick really panned out.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Yes, but we both know Thompson was more hit than miss. His DB picks were horrible. Not his fault they all got injured, but that was the end result. Both O and D lines are his picks, as is the current RB group. Not going to argue, Thompson's record stands. And if GUTE gets a bit lucky this team will have a fast turn around and be a top 3 team in the NFL again. And if that happens, the core will be built around the last drafts Thompson and his team made.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 21, 2018 at 07:53 am

Great job again Andy.

I think what the Packers need more than anything is tempo. Once they where forced into a tempo offense late in the game they dominated.

I just don't get what they are doing running the play clock to 45 for most of the game. They look awful doing it

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4thand1's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:00 am

Defensive players watch the clock too. When they see it going to .01 they can tee off. Snapping the ball early gives the offense a little edge.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:40 am

Absolutely, and Rodgers does that move waaay too often. Only puts more pressure on the O-line.

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4thand1's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:10 am

The Packers have left a lot of points on the field settling for FGs. The officiating at times has been as brutal as I can remember and has hurt the Packers. Young players will make mistakes and hopefully the team will clear those up after the bye.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:47 am

Early in the year I was thinking this team could look a lot like Atlanta did a couple of years ago - a bit ugly in the beginning, but peaking at the end of the year as rookie DBs (and in this case WRs) matured in the system. I've lost that hope because the Packers have looked so poor against bad teams like Washington and San Francisco. The guard position was so bad they had to pull a guy out of retirement. It is only a matter of time before Bulaga is out with another injury. The TE position has underperformed. And the front seven of the defense just is not getting the job done.

So I've largely resigned myself to the idea that this is a building year. By the time I see the Packers play the Dolphins in Lambeau, I expect this team to be 3-4-1. I don't see any way they can compete with the Rams or the Patriots on their home fields. We'll see if they can prove me wrong.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 22, 2018 at 11:31 am

You know there is a difference between a really good runner getting 7 carries and snaps in the teens and putting the ball in his hands 20+ times a game with 60 snaps.

The choice is not between what we have and pretending Jones is Earl Campbell.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 22, 2018 at 07:44 pm

I am not sure how you square the video on wasted plays with all the captions calling out the OL with your grades

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davebrolin's picture

October 23, 2018 at 09:33 pm

Box scores can sometimes be deceiving. It just lacked execution in the red zone and in key stretches in the middle of the game.
19216801help.com/

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