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Grading the Pack - Week 6 (Offense & Defense)

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Grading the Pack - Week 6 (Offense & Defense)

It was easy to see on tape why Mike McCarthy was so upset about the effort from his team against Minnesota. It’s tough to gauge just how demoralizing the loss of Aaron Rodgers was to the players, but Green Bay started playing sloppy well before his exit.

While the injuries continued to stack up, there were absolutely some bright spots for Green Bay who stepped up when called upon. Brett Hundley (+1.25), Lenzy Pipkins (+1.0), and Aaron Jones (+1.05) were just a few of the players who have stepped up due to recent injuries.

On the flip side, Justin McCray had a day at the office to forget. Honestly, it’s incredibly hard to blame the guy. He came into the season as a practice squad development guard. On Sunday he was a starting left tackle playing against Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen. While the results weren’t pretty, he never should have had to be in that position.

Lastly, I know it’s going to be demoralizing for everyone to watch Packer games without Aaron Rodgers for the foreseeable future, but if you feel the need to watch greatness every Sunday, start by watching the work of Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels on the defensive interior. They were fantastic on Sunday and will continue to be a joy to watch going forward.

Top 3 Offensive Performers

Jahri Evans +1.45
Brett Hundley +1.25
Aaron Jones +1.05

Top 3 Defensive Performers

Kenny Clark +2.60
Mike Daniels +2.50
Clay Matthews +2.05

Bottom 3 Offensive Performers

Justin McCray -7.8
Bryan Bulaga -0.95
Ulrick John -0.9

Bottom 3 Defensive Performers

Josh Hawkins -1.85
Jake Ryan -1.60
Kentrell Brice -1.0

Quarterback

Brett Hundley +1.25
Aaron Rodgers +1.05

Hundley looked alright in Rodgers’ absence, especially considering his wide receivers didn’t have a banner day and his offensive line was an absolute mess. While it’ll be tough to lose Rodgers for a multitude of reasons, it will be fun to see just how good Hundley can become when given his opportunity.

Running Back

Aaron Jones +1.05
Ty Montgomery +0.2
Aaron Ripkowski +0.15

Aaron Jones needs to be the primary back in this offense. I have no issue with Montgomery playing as a change of pace but I’ve seen all I need to see out of these two to know that Jones needs to be the guy. I really think he could be something special.

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson +0.15
Geronimo Allison +0.15
Davante Adams +0.0
Jeff Janis +0.0
Randall Cobb -0.2

This was a less than stellar effort all the way around. There wasn’t any big play that stood out one way or the other, but none of the receivers could gain separation with any sort of regularity.

Tight End

Richard Rodgers -0.35
Lance Kendricks -0.45
Martellus Bennett -0.75

Green Bay’s tight ends have had these type of scores just about all season. This was supposed to be a remade unit that was going to be a matchup nightmares for defenses. Instead it’s been worse than a season ago and anything but dynamic.

Offensive Line

Jahri Evans +1.45
Lucas Patrick +0.5
Lane Taylor +0.45
Corey Linsley +0.45
David Bakhtiari -0.7
Ulrick John -0.9
Bryan Bulaga -0.95
Justin McCray -7.8

It was really nice to see Evans take the lead as he watched all the offensive linemen around him get decimated by injuries. He and Linsley have by far been the most consistent of Green Bay’s offensive linemen this season and that continued on Sunday. As mentioned above, McCray never should have been put in this position to start with. He was completely overmatched. Green Bay had no options left.

Defensive Line

Kenny Clark +2.6
Mike Daniels +2.5
Dean Lowry +0.4
Ricky Jean Francois -0.15
Quinton Dial -0.35

Clark and Daniels went full on boss-mode in this game and both required double teams when Minnesota wanted to generate any penetration inside. Lowry started really slow but came on as the game went along. His hustle shows up on tape.

Edge

Clay Matthews +2.05
Kyler Fackrell +0.9
Chris Odom +0.0
Nick Perry -0.05

Clay had another great game and his fumble recovery and returned showed off his athleticism. Even at this stage in his career he remains a difference maker. Kyler Fackrell really had a nice little spurt when he received playing time at the end of the game. Hopefully that’s a harbinger of things to come.

Hybrid

Josh Jones +0.45

Jones wasn’t overmatched in the run game and played well in the pass game. While I like him in the hybrid role Green Bay has to find a way to get him into space and use him as a blitzer more. His athleticism needs to be given a chance to shine.

Linebacker

Blake Martinez -0.6
Jake Ryan -1.8

I was actually fairly surprised by these final grades, both seemed to be playing solid as I was watching the game. Both made some nice plays in this game as well. Unfortunately, Ryan and Martinez both struggled more in the pass game and, at times, struggled to get off of blocks in the run game.

Cornerback

Lenzy Pipkins +1.0
Damarious Randall +0.65
Quinten Rollins -0.4
Josh Hawkins -1.85

Quietly, Damrious Randall has put together three weeks of pretty solid football. Take away the touchdown before half against Chicago and the tantrum afterwards, he’s graded positively over that time period. Let’s hope he’s starting to take the step in the right direction that Green Bay desperately needs him to take.

Safety

HaHa Clinton-Dix +0.35
Marwin Evans -0.05
Kentrell Brice -1.0

Green Bay needs to find a way to merge the mentalities of Brice and Clinton-Dix. Brice is too aggressive and Clinton-Dix hasn’t been aggressive enough. If both can make small steps in the opposite direction, both would be better off!

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 (2) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

KenEllis's picture

So Andy observes ... "Ryan and Martinez both struggled more in the pass game" last week against Case Keenum and his merry band of backup skill positions.

That does not exactly bode well for tomorrow's contest against Drew Brees.

flackcatcher's picture

Good job Andy. Clark has quietly put together a fine 1st of a season. Even now, what a painful game to watch.

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