Now that the dust has settled on yesterday’s Green Bay Packers game, here are six observations from their performance on the field.
Although it may have been against a struggling New York Giants team, it was still nice to see the Green Bay Packers control the game and pull away with a convincing win in the second half. Especially after their embarrassing loss to San Francisco last Sunday.
At 9-3 overall, the Packers are sitting comfortably within the NFC playoff picture and they are still in control of the North with Minnesota still having the play at Seattle on Monday night. And now after having had the opportunity to watch Sunday’s game for a second time, these are my six big observations from what I saw from the Packers.
Za’Darius Smith is your Packers’ MVP through 12 games
Against New York, Za’Darius Smith wasn’t able to come away with a recorded sack but he was constantly in the backfield putting pressure on Daniel Jones. For the game Smith would come away with four tackles, one of which was for a loss and five quarterback hits. This will be added to his already incredible 62 pressures and 11 sacks that he has this season. From his performance on the field, to his impact as a leader in the locker room, Za’Darius is your Green Bay Packers’ MVP.
Won despite a poor run game
Yes, I am aware that they went up against a now 2-10 Giants team but despite Green Bay’s inability to run the ball, they still came away with a three score victory. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams would combine for 21 carries for only 59 yards and Jones would average just 1.6 yards per carry, while Williams was able to pad his stats a bit with a few runs at the end of the game.
In their previous two losses, Green Bay has struggled to move the ball and it hamstrung the entire offense. Fortunately, Aaron Rodgers and the passing game was able to lead them to victory this time around.
Allen Lazard is WR2
Now I have been saying this for a few weeks now but it is time that the coaching staff start giving him more snaps on offense and making him the top target behind Davante Adams. Yesterday Allen Lazard would catch all three passes thrown his way for his first 100 yard receiving game, along with a touchdown. Since the Detroit game, Lazard has caught 76 percent of his passes for 15 yards per catch with two touchdowns. Get him the ball.
Mason Crosby has been excellent
The 2018 season was a rough one for the Green Bay Packers in general and that includes Mason Crosby. As a result, he had to compete against Sam Ficken throughout training camp and the preseason and many were questioning whether or not he would be back. However, GM Brian Gutekunst decided to stick with their veteran kicker and he has rewarded their confidence in him with an excellent 2019 season. Through 12 games, Crosby is 14/15 on field goals and a perfect 33/33 on extra point attempts.
More big plays
Even against a struggling New York Giants’ offense that was missing Evan Engram and Golden Tate, the Packers still could not limit the big plays. Daniel Jones would end up completing passes of 43, 32, and 27 yards against the Green Bay secondary. This season the Packers have given up 14 plays of 40 or more yards and 46 plays of 20 or more, which ranks as the first and seventh most, respectively. Mistakes like this have to be reduced.
3-0 after losses
Green Bay sits at 9-3 on the season but there have been some concerning moments along the way. Most of which includes their lack-luster performances against Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, after those two losses as well as after their loss to Philadelphia, the Packers are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 89-53 during those games. Their ability to refocus, move on, and adjust after a bad week says a lot about Matt LaFleur as a head coach.