Grading the Pack - Week 9 (Offense)

The hope going into week nine was that the bye would have provided enough time for Mike McCarthy and the offense to readjust to being without the services of arguably the most important player in franchise history. Mike McCarthy has pulled larger rabbits out of his hat including a six touchdown performance against the Lions and a massive overtime comeback against the Cowboys on the road with Matt Flynn at the helm. Unfortunately, as has been the case for a while now, McCarthy has seemingly run out of magic.

The offense was unable to get any momentum in this game and again completely lacked any sort of offensive identity or approach. Aaron Jones had come off a three game performance of 49 carries for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns, only to be given a paltry five carries in this game.

The majority of Hundley’s targets were near or behind the line of scrimmage and the lack of a deep passing game limited Green Bay’s effectiveness and efficiency on offense. You will notice below that the grades aren’t horrible, but this was a safe game plan and there wasn’t a ton of room for error or success. It was vanilla, boring and unsuccessful. The lone bright spot was a dominant performance by David Bakhtiari who has once again shown why he’s one of the best in the world at what he does.

Top 3 Performers

David Bakhtiari +3.05
Jahri Evans +1.40
Lane Taylor +0.80

Bottom 3 Performers

Brett Hundley -0.95
Lance Kendricks -0.65
Bryan Bulaga -0.55

Quarterback

Brett Hundley -0.95

Hundley really missed some opportunities in this game that he would love to have back. There were multiple times he had receivers open deep but either dropped his eyes or couldn’t make the connection. I liked how he looked in the spread, 5-wide formations, and would like to see Mike go back to some of that this week. Using Montgomery and Kendricks in 11 personnel and then splitting everyone out 5 wide should cause mismatches against linebackers. McCarthy needs to get Hundley easy reads and Hundley needs to execute.

Running Back

Ty Montgomery +0.75
Jamaal Williams +0.35
Aaron Ripkowski +0.0
Aaron Jones -0.5

I understand that Detroit was playing close to the line of scrimmage and that Aaron Jones wasn’t exactly sharp when he was in the game, but 5 carries for your hottest hand on offense seems insane. Jones needs to get the ball early and often and the offensive line needs the opportunity to move bodies around in the run game. The short passing game wasn’t effective against Detroit and won’t be against Chicago. Its time to feed Jones and run a diverse run game with boot action built in. It’s simple and expected but also Green Bay’s best option going forward.

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson +0.6
Randall Cobb +0.35
Davante Adams +0.25
Trevor Davis +0.2
Geronimo Allison +0.1

I feel bad for the receivers at this point, especially Adams who finds himself in a contract year. What I will say is that when the receivers do get opportunities, like the deep ball to Adams this past week, a better effort needs to be given and plays need to be made. McCarthy was adamant this week that players haven’t stepped up in the absence of Rodgers, this was true of the receiver group. The receivers need to work harder than ever to get open and provide Hundley with easy targets. That didn’t happen often enough against Detroit.

Tight End

Richard Rodgers +0.1
Lance Kendricks -0.65

I think it’s safe to say that Green Bay’s overhaul at tight end has not exactly gone as planned. With Martellus Bennett gone and Kendricks continuing to struggle it has been a reminder that buyer better beware in the free agent market. I don’t think any of us saw Richard Rodgers grading out as the best tight end in Green Bay this season through nine weeks.

Offensive Line

David Bakhtiari +3.05
Jahri Evans +1.40
Lane Taylor +0.8
Corey Linsley +0.3
Justin McCray -0.4
Bryan Bulaga -0.55

While Bryan Bulaga really was struggling to play at a high level this year, most likely due to health, this is a brutal blow to both him and the Packers. This is another major injury for Bulaga and one has to wonder about his effectiveness long-term. Bulaga’s prime is quite obviously behind him and neither Spriggs, Murphy, nor any other offensive linemen look remotely ready to pick up the mantle of starting right tackle. Starting McCray at right tackle is a major disservice to him as he has played ridiculously better at guard than at tackle. It may be worth switching Taylor to RT and putting McCray at LG. Poor play at right tackle certainly won’t help Hundley and his propensity to drop his eyes and scramble at the faintest sign of trouble.

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 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 (7)

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Bedrock's picture

November 10, 2017 at 05:09 pm

That’s a ridiculously high number for DBahk. I’m not disagreeing with it, just would like some insight. Has any other Packer gotten a 3 or higher?

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flackcatcher's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:13 pm

Good post Andrew. All this points to is a rebuilt Packers offense under Hundley, if they have any chance for the playoffs for this season. MM surely has his work cut out for him.

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Denver's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:17 pm

Kendricks will hopefully get right now that Bennett is gone. Wasn't expecting too much from him, but surely thought he would be an upgrade over Rodgers.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:50 am

F

"Aaron Jones had come off a three game performance of 49 carries for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns, only to be given a paltry five carries in this game."

What coach does that?

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Since'61's picture

November 11, 2017 at 08:59 am

When and if the game slows down for Hundley he will make some of the throws that he has been missing. Bringing his eyes down and leaving a clean pocket are signs that he is not yet comfortable playing at NFL game speed and that he is falling back on doing what he is comfortable with which is running.

If our defense can ever get off the field and give him the ball back his development may move along more quickly but the reality is only time will tell.

Thanks, Since '61

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flackcatcher's picture

November 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Our safety play over the last three games has been beyond horrible. That is the only reason the defense cannot get off the field. Neither Brice (before his injury) or Evans has come close to the level Hyde or Rollins. (before his season ending injury) This is the reason Whitt and Perry fought so hard to keep Gunter on the roster this year. Who ever made the decision in the Packers front office, to cut Gunter cost the packers a great deal this year.

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Turophile's picture

November 12, 2017 at 09:25 am

The better your offense is, the more vanilla your playcalling can afford to be.

Aaron Rodgers, behind a healthy O line allows MM to be fairly vanilla - his players simply out-execute the opposition often enough to be very successful. It's been a very successful formula for Mike and fits with his conservative nature.

Now put a different QB behind a decimated o line and conservative just doesn't work. Just as a good team can be vanilla and win, so an average or worse offense needs to be creative, tricky, imaginative, to succeed - vanilla is dealt with too easily by a half decent defense.

I just think that MM finds it very difficult to change from what has worked for years, to taking chances, being creative, trying trick plays, anything to confuse the opposing defense.

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