Packers May Need More From Montgomery To Secure Super Bowl Spot

Hampered by an ankle injury stemming from the Dallas game, receiver Davante Adams could be sidelined for the Green Bay Packers upcoming battle for the NFC Championship with the number-two seed Atlanta Falcons. Assuming the loss of Adams and the absence or effectiveness of Jordy Nelson, who broke two ribs in the first round wild card tilt against the New York Giants, the Packers would be leaving 172 catches for 2,254 yards and 26 touchdowns on their sideline Sunday.

 

While Aaron Rodgers has a long-time history with Randall Cobb and a newly acquired chemistry with tight end Jared Cook that can be counted on, it seems they will need offensive returns from Ty Montgomery as well. The second year running back will need to create a spark rushing the ball, keeping Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense off the field. If Nelson and Adams are both out of the matchup Sunday, they will need Montgomery’s talents as a wide receiver also.

 

Montgomery is certainly capable of providing such an effort, accumulating 805 total yards of offense during the 2016 campaign. He rushed at 5.9 yards per carry and earned his position change and role at starting running back once Eddie Lacy went down with an injury. In last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, Montgomery crashed into the endzone for his first two touchdowns of his postseason career.

 

In limited action as a running back, only 77 carries, Montgomery has 5 totes for over 20 yards including a 61-yard scamper against the Chicago Bears. This means just over 6% of his runs have gone over 20 yards which is a rate higher than Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman and David Johnson among others. This is not to suggest he is a better back than these players, but that he certainly possesses a big-play ability that not all players have.

 

Montgomery definitely has limitations, primarily when pass-blocking or at least attempting to do so. His lack of blocking ability nearly turned catastrophic for the Packers last week when he allowed Rodgers to get capsized on a key fourth quarter possession. That mishap could have cost the Packers’ season.

 

With these limitations in mind, it is still without question that Montgomery can be an “X-factor” for the Packers. With him in the backfield, it forces the defense to respect his pass-catching ability and his threat to rush between the tackles. There are few defenses easier exploited than the Atlanta Falcons, and their rankings back that up. With uglier defensive statistics than the Packers, Atlanta finished 27th in points allowed and 25th in yards given up.

 

In the first matchup with the Packers in October, Atlanta gave up 32 points to a down and depleted squad missing Montgomery, Cobb and Jared Cook. It is ironic that this trio could be the biggest factors if the Packers are victorious. Green Bay will also have the luxury of playing Atlanta in their second matchup without defensive standouts Adrian Clayborn and Desmond Trufant which should makes things a bit easier for the Packers offense.

 

Without the key receivers at full strength on the perimeter, I think it will be imperative to ensure Montgomery gets more involved in the offense. The short passes out of the backfield keep the chains moving and the offensive tempo rolling, and can be an alternative to actually running the ball. On third downs I would expect to see Ripkowski in for pass protection and if both Adams and Nelson are sidelined, expect Montgomery to lineup as a receiver in those situations. If Montgomery has a solid day on the ground and catches 5 or more passes out of the backfield, expect the Packers to be heading to Houston.

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Comments (48)

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Bert's picture

January 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

I'll be very surprised if both Adams and Jordy are out this week, If so, we will be in trouble unless the defense cans step up and play out of their minds. And they'll need Burnett to do that. I really think we need either Adams or Nelson to win this week.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

January 19, 2017 at 07:33 pm

Montgomery is not only just in his second year, he is also learning a
New position! Expecting more from him would be pushing the pedal and MM doesn't like to do that with good reason . While he's been amazing,, ball security as a running back is a bit different than as a WR. I hope he has a great game and becomes legend. But I can't help but feel the force of the pedal when he carries.

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ironman3169's picture

January 19, 2017 at 07:45 pm

Speaking of Burnett, anyone know what his story is? Left the game hurt, and not a word about him.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2017 at 09:23 am

Was a DNP on Wednesday and Thursday, as were Allison and Adams. That doesn't bode well for Sunday unless they practice today. In the end, at this stage of the season, how many practice reps do these guys need, anyway?

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EdsLaces's picture

January 19, 2017 at 10:28 am

I just read Adams and Geronimo are both expected to play. Also if we run the ball more than 20 times I will be stunned. That's just not who we are regardless of who is on the field.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

As reported just not long ago, both Adams and Allison are expect to play.

That being said, this is a game that the winner goes to the Super Bowl. So All hands on deck for this one! If Adams isn't himself others have to step up.

I think the 2 players poised for big games are Cook and Montgomery.
I think Cobb might be the most important player in this game. He will be a guy that Rodgers looks for on key 3rd down and redzone areas.

I agree with the article that we could see more Ripkowski on 3rd downs and Montgomery playing more WR roles.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

If Adams and GMo play and are effective, we'll throw all over the yard on them. If one of them is limited, that REALLY puts a damper on the passing game. The strength of the passing game under MM/AR has ALWAYS been "you may cover our 1 with your 1, but our 4 is better than your 4." If 1,2 and 4 are out... yikes.

If that happens (gulp), then I expect a lot of 22 personnel. More runs (ATL can be run on), more play action runs and passes to Monty out of the backfield.

I think we'd still be successful offensively doing that (25 points or so), but I don't think it would be enough to keep up with ATL's expected 35-40 on our D.

Our best chance is to go into 11 personnel or 4-1-1 with Cook and Monty and sling the ball all over the yard.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

"4-1-1"

They're going to let the Packers play with 12 guys? Awesome!

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Bearmeat's picture

January 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm

lol. You know what I meant. Jerk. ;)

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2017 at 01:34 pm

Effective is the key term. We all saw what Adams was like a year ago when he was playing hurt, for the most part.

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chugwater's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:49 pm

So here's a question for you...if this injury does limit him physically like it did in 2015 will his numbers necessarily fall off?

I'm not so sure. I think there were some trust and confidence issues at the beginning of last year that AR and DA weren't able to iron out. These last eight games have helped AR build trust in his receivers to catch contested balls in tight locations. There's a lot more 'throwing guys open' which frankly had disappeared last year.

I'm inclined to think Adams will play and be productive whether he can get big separation or not.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

January 21, 2017 at 08:27 am

This is a good question Chug, and Dobber, your concern is the same as mine. I would rather be playing with healthy receivers that can cut, leap, and adjust to the ball, rather than those more talented, but injured right now. I just feel Aaron will find a way to get them the ball. Still, we need one of those "go-to" guys, when no matter the situation, Aaron will throw them open with a back shoulder throw or equivalent. I think both Cobb and Cook can be those type of guys.

Say Nelson, Adams, and/or Geronimo cannot go or are not close to 100%? (Yes, I do know that reports claim we will have Adams and Geronimo for the game). Do you drop Monty down to the slot then? I agree with '61's comments below and think you do. Christine's and Rip's roles would/could be enhanced and crucial.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 19, 2017 at 03:43 pm

I'm thinking two TE sets. Like a lot of them.

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chugwater's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:51 pm

Nope. They'll go Cobb, Janis, and Austin if they have to.

This ATL secondary is iffy. There is no Jenkins, Sherman, Rhodes, or Slay. It's just 4-5 guys named Dave.

And Rodgers will have all day long in the pocket to find one get open.

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NickPerry's picture

January 19, 2017 at 10:55 am

If you look at the Falcons run defense it's not that impressive. Teams don't run on them a lot because they're mostly playing catch up. The Falcons gave up an average of 4.5 YPC. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if this game looked like the Bears game earlier this year, but with both Montgomery and Michael contributing. Atlanta's front 7 is on the smallish side, fast but smaller. Both Montgomery and Michaels are both fast enough, big enough, and strong enough to be effective. Get those two going would be HUGE in helping the passing game missing Nelson and a less than 100% Adams.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

Agreed. I'd throw Rip in the mix as well. That guy has some impressive wheels and power for his size.

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NickPerry's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:15 pm

HAHA....Love me some RIPPPPPPPPPP.... If at all possible I would try and slow down this game and play keep away from the Falcons. If Nelson and Adams are 100% then that's something else. BOTH being dinged is tough...All that production??? DAMN!!!

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

January 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

Atlanta has a fast turf, so both Montgomery and Michael could be major factors.

Ripkowski will be more critical for his blocking.

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Dzehren's picture

January 19, 2017 at 09:43 pm

Totally agree - C-Mike Monty- Cobb Cook maybe even rookie Trevor DAVIS from Stanford

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Dzehren's picture

January 19, 2017 at 09:44 pm

Someone needs to man up- we need at least 28 points to win IMO

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NickPerry's picture

January 20, 2017 at 05:15 am

I think the Packers need at least 35 to 38 points and at least win the TO battle. The first game the Packers went into halftime leading 24-19. The Falcons scored 2 TD's in the 2nd half to the Packers one pus a 2 Pt. conversion. The Packers OUTPLAYED Atlanta at a time they still had their #1 CB and Clayborn.
The Packers didn't have Cobb, Cook, Michaels, and Matthews to name just a few. Kniles Davis and Don Jackson were the Packers RB's, DAVIS and JACKSON!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? BUT the Packers really outplayed the Falcons that game, or played them so even to favor one of these team now is difficult.

McCarthy has to run the ball. Nelson and Adams caught 16 balls for 168 of Rodgers 246 yards BUT just one of his TD's. He can't get into a shoot-out with these guys without at least one of those guys 100%, at least it scares the hell out of me.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 20, 2017 at 06:35 am

If Adams isn't out there and effective, it's going to be VERY hard against ATL. Cobb helps. Cook helps. Monty helps. Jordy would be a bonus.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Off topic but Elliott Wolf withdrew his name from the 49ers GM position.
Also he signed a new deal in GB.

Have to think that Wolf will be the Packers next GM. Whether its this year or next year we shall see...

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Razer's picture

January 19, 2017 at 01:09 pm

Good move by Wolf and the Packers. The 49er job is a suckers bet. The organization has some structural problems. Hire the head coach then bring in your GM candidates to see if they get the HC's approval is the tail wagging the dog. They have nose dived from NFC contender to the divisional basement because they are dysfunctional. Best to stay away.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 19, 2017 at 01:15 pm

Yeah I agree..

Though I did hear that Gutekunst might be their top target for GM. So while we may keep Wolf, there is a chance they lose Gutenkunst.

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2017 at 01:34 pm

You can't keep everyone forever, and there are limited GM opportunities this year. It could be both guys stay in GB this off-season, but if not, I'm sure the Packers have a plan for how to deal with defections.

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NickPerry's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:18 pm

I think Wolf just may be promised something though I don't understand all the rumors about Dorsey a week or two ago. Wolf was smart to withdraw his name. The 49ers are going about business as usual. Aren't they trying to hire a coach then a GM? You'd think a new GM would want to name his OWN coach right? Good to see the 49ers will be inept for the foreseeable future!

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Dzehren's picture

January 19, 2017 at 09:41 pm

Bob mcGinn says Brian Gutekust GB Scout may be lead candidate...

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Razer's picture

January 19, 2017 at 01:16 pm

Would love to see Montgomery and Michaels gash the Falcons defense for big yards early. Both those guys have the quickness and speed to be big trouble on a fast track. If we could establish the threat early, Rodgers will become even more dangerous. Then look out scout.

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Allan Murphy's picture

January 19, 2017 at 01:50 pm

The TY&Cobb show with some Adams and Allison .

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Greg Moeslacher's picture

January 19, 2017 at 02:00 pm

I expect to see Micheal in backfield with Montgomery used as wideout

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Couch Cleats's picture

January 19, 2017 at 02:19 pm

Im surprised to see all the projections for Michael. I too have been wanting to see more of him. He looked like he was on the verge of breaking one every time he touched it against NY.

Then came Dallas and not even a carry. I just dont think MM trusts him at all. I think MM looks at him as the next Bostick in his collection of heart breaking playoff losses.

To me, that guy hits the hole so fast that he should get at least 3-5 shots per game to see if he can take one to the house. He's like having one of the hyper fast receivers in the league. If you're not going to take a few home run shots with a guy like that, then just cut him and move on.

If there is any delay at all in a LB or Safety seeing him as he hits the hole there's a great chance he's taking it for a score. I don't get it - there has got to be something that MM sees in practice that just makes him scared to give him the ball. I'll be shocked if he gets more carries than Rip on Sunday but I hope I'm wrong.

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marpag1's picture

January 19, 2017 at 03:13 pm

Hmm. Yeah, I ain't really buying it. If I'm the Green and Gold, I'm not looking for ways to take the ball out of ARod's hands. Let's face it. What we REALLY need is ARod flinging the damn ball all over the field. That's what's working and that's what brought us to this point.

Obviously, I get it that the run can open up passing lanes. I don't think that how OFTEN you run matters nearly as much as how EFFECTIVELY you run. The Packers run less often than any team in the league except BAL, CLE and DET. Their one redeeming factor is that their per carry average of 4.5 is 7th best in the league. The Packers should NOT change their approach here. Don't get crazy and think that Monty is going to run 20 times. GIve him his standard 8-10 carries and throw in a Ripkowski and a C-Mike once in a while, but the important thing is you need to make those plays count. Avoid the stuffs and the TFLs, and get at least decent, positive yards.

And then let ARod be ARod.

I don't like missing Nelson either, but the Packers didn't need Nelson - or much of a running game - to hang a combined 72 points on Dallas and NY, and both of those defenses are a heck of a lot better than Atlanta's.

"With [Monty] in the backfield, it forces the defense to respect his pass-catching ability..."

Again, not sure I'm buying it. Lost in all the Monty-love is the fact that he has been pretty much a non-factor as a receiver. Since the "run the table" stretch began, Montgomery has averaged 3.1 catches for 23 yards per game, and those numbers are almost identical to what he did over the entire season. I don't think that's going to instill the fear of God in anyone.

No one in the league is playing better than Rodgers. Give the man the ball.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 19, 2017 at 02:53 pm

"...And then let ARod be ARod. "

'Nuff said.

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Razer's picture

January 19, 2017 at 03:57 pm

I don't know that the objective is to get the ball out of A-Rod's hands as much as it is to give him more options to attack the Atlanta defense. No doubt Atlanta will employ every method to jam our depleted WR corps and bring pressure at Rodgers. We will need an effective run game at some point this Sunday. Let them pick their poison for a change.

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Couch Cleats's picture

January 19, 2017 at 02:31 pm

Agreed. If Nelson is out and Adams is limited, it won't surprise me to see Rodgers as the leading rusher this week. I can see him moving the chains with his legs in this one.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 19, 2017 at 03:47 pm

Off topic, Kiper is figuring McCaffrey to the Packers in the draft. I don't see McCaffrey as bringing a vastly different skill set to the table than Montgomery. I'd pass. If the Packers are going to draft a RB instead of bringing back Lacy, I'd think they would be looking for thunder, not lightning.

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Gianich's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:32 pm

Shut down corner or elite pass rusher!! I'm fine with late round running back and Monty and Michael.

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chugwater's picture

January 19, 2017 at 06:48 pm

TT isn't taking a first round RB when there is quality in rounds 2-4. Same reason why he didn't draft an ILB with a R1 pick last year or the year before.

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Gianich's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:30 pm

How'd that Dallas game prediction go? That certainly smells....

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marpag1's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:56 pm

"I'm telling you right now..."

LOL.

"Packers are gonna get killed!!!"

*crap*

"Packers are gonna get killed!!!"

*crap*

"Packers are gonna get killed!!!"

*crap*

"Packers are gonna get killed!!!"

"HAHA!!! SEE? I TOLD YOU!!!! NOW DO YOU BELIEVE ME??!?"

Dude, the one thing that you've proven beyond all doubt is that you don't know what the hell you're talking about, even if at some point you accidentally get one right.

Pathetic.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 19, 2017 at 05:16 pm

COW, How many times must I make a Fool out of you?? My $$$ is BET, is yours??? Do you believe everything you read or hear??? Quit throwing Sh#t at the wall. Your sh#t doesn't stick. Put your $$$$ where your mouth is at. If you have any??
LVT

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chugwater's picture

January 19, 2017 at 07:00 pm

ATL defense is no joke? It's ranked 25th in the league. We hung 32 points on them earlier in the year converting TD passes to Allison, Davis, and Janis. And that was without Cook, Cobb, and Monty. They had three sacks. Two by a guy placed on the IR earlier this week.

And don't tell me they're playing better now. They've done well against cupcake offenses like LA, CAR, and SEA. They were exposed at the end of the season by NWO. Just like they'll be exposed this Sunday.

Sometimes I marvel at your incompetence. It truly is stunning.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2017 at 09:28 am

Remember: stats don't matter.

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4thand1's picture

January 19, 2017 at 04:52 pm

We could see a lot of Michaels and Rip in the backfield, with Monty in the slot a lot. MM will pull out some late season unscouted looks that he usually does.

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Dzehren's picture

January 19, 2017 at 09:13 pm

C-Mike may see more carries w/ G'Mo - Jordy& Adams questionable - Michael & Monty split carries allowing Monty WR option

Cobb & Montgomery may each have 100 plus all purpose yards (inc punt/ Kick returns)- maybe spark needed 4 the W- these 3 are key X factors

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Denise Chanterelle's picture

January 20, 2017 at 12:12 am

Run, run, run, is all I can say. Get that established and we so got this. Go Pack!

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Since'61's picture

January 20, 2017 at 08:38 am

I think we will see more of Michael at RB this week especially if Jordy and Adams can't go. I'm OK with Cobb, Allison, Cook, and Monty as our receivers with Rip and Michael in the backfield. The OL is the key to our running game and protecting Rodgers anyway. We still have plenty of weapons not to mention Rodgers mobility and his legs for the Falcons defense to contend with. Also we can still use Monty and even Cobb in the backfield to further confuse the Atlanta defense. I'm not concerned with our offense, it's our defense that needs to make plays and hold down the Atlanta offense. Hold Atlanta under 30 and we're good. Thanks, Since '61

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