Tag: Davante Adams

The Aftermath: What Needs to Happen For Brett Hundley to Succeed

The Packers season was dealt a major blow but here is how they can survive

As Aaron Rodgers was carted off the field on Sunday afternoon it felt like the 2017 season went along with him. No one denies that Rodgers is a hall of fame player and the main reason for Green Bay’s success over the last decade. The Packers can not dwell in the past though, the injury happened and it is what it is and opponents are not going to let up on the Packers. Brett Hundley is the man going forward whether we like it or not. We have not have seen much of Hundley over the years so it is difficult to know what to expect. Here are a few things the team can do to help Hundley succeed.

Good Protection

Green Bay was finally able to see their starting line in action in Minnesota, but boy it did not last long. David Bahktiari, Bryan Bulaga, and Lane Taylor were all sidelined by the games end. The extent of the injuries is unknown but this is the biggest concern going forward. Brett Hundley may or not may not be a good quarterback, but he has no chance if he’s getting crushed on every pass attempt. In Minnesota Hundley was under constant duress which no doubt hurt his final line which included 3 interceptions. The Packers need to find a way to get healthy and give Hundley time to go through his progressions. If not, Mike McCarthy needs to scheme a way to get the ball out of Hundley’s hand quickly. Otherwise he might be joining Rodgers in the trainers room.

Skill Players going above and beyond

The Packers have a wealth of talent at wide receiver and these players will need to play at an extremely high level to help Hundley. Jordy Nelson was around when Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn took snaps in 2013 and still finished with solid numbers. He along with Randall Cobb and Davante Adams will need to get open and be the dependable targets Hundley needs. The receivers do not worry me, however the running backs could take a huge load off Hundley by being effective. Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones, and the offensive line absolutely needs to be productive and maintain offensive balance. The Packers can not ask Hundley to step in and win games on his own the way Rodgers can. Martellus Bennett also needs to ramp up his production and give Hundley a reliable target in the middle of the field.

Time For The Defense To Step Up

If the Packers are going to stay in the playoff hunt they will need their defense to play well. There really should be no excuses for Dom Capers group at this point. The Packers defense is stock full of high draft picks. There are five first round picks alone among the starting 11. Many others were selected in rounds two through four. It is time for these players to play at the level they are capable of. The defense did keep the Packers in the Vikings game by forcing two turnovers in the 2nd quarter. Overall they did not break as the Vikings were limited to 23 points, but the next two games are against Drew Brees and Matt Stafford. Brett Hundley can not get into a shootout against QBs of that caliber, the Packers defense will need to make impact plays and get off the field on third down.

Final Outlook

There is no point denying reality, the injury to Rodgers is bleak. With him the Packers were looking at home field advantage, now it’s fair to wonder if they will make the playoffs. Brett Hundley has a great chance to help the team as well as himself. If he plays well he could be traded next offseason and start for another team. As fans we can only cling to hope right now. Maybe Hundley plays well enough to win the Packers some games. Nonetheless he will need help from the rest of the squad. Football is the ultimate team game, that is never more apparent than now.

 

The NFL's Deepest Receiving Corps Propel Green Bay Past New York

Embed from Getty ImagesTEWES

By: Bill Tewes

The Green Bay Packers looked like they were on their way to another lackluster playoff performance, until the deepest receiving corps in the NFL turned up the heat in the frigid cold. Aaron Rodgers and company struck back against a stout New York Giants secondary that had shut them out throughout most of the first half.

The second quarter almost spelled doom for Green Bay, as Jordy Nelson took flight to make what should have been a spectacular catch down the sideline. Instead, Nelson dropped the ball and took a punishing (and illegal) hit from defensive back Leon Hall. Nelson crawled over to the sideline and was down for a long time. It looked like Green Bay’s offense, which at that point was floundering, was completely doomed.

Enter Davante Adams, who became Rodgers’ first read after Nelson went out. The Packers marched down the field after a nice punt return from Micah Hyde and this drive would be all Adams. After getting no traction with Adams throughout much of the first half, Rodgers hit a huge pass to him down the sideline, with Adams shaking coverage en route to a 31 yard gain. The drive resulted in the most important sequence of the game, as the offensive line gave Aaron Rodgers all day. Rodgers, showing legendary pocket presence, took nearly nine seconds to find Adams in the end-zone, who is proving to be Mr. January by coming up big in playoff games.

The true wildcard in this game was Randall Cobb. No one knew how many snaps he was going to get or if he could perform at a high-level after being out for two games with an ankle injury, but he looked none the worse for wear. Cobb’s touchdown grab of Rodgers’ Hail Mary heave to end the half gave the Packers a monumental boost and some nice separation on the score board after a poor start. Cobb would grab two more touchdowns finishing with five receptions for 116 yards and leaving no question as to his importance to this team.

Green Bay’s receivers absolutely outclassed New York’s all game. Odell Beckham dropped multiple catch-able passes and finished up with four receptions for 28 yards, making him the fifth best statistical receiver for New York Sunday afternoon. Tavarres King, who had two catches in all of the games he played in the regular season, hauled in a nice touchdown grab on broken coverage by Damarious Randall. That catch accounted for 41 of his 73 yards. For all the talk of Green Bay’s secondary collapsing and potentially allowing for one of the more dynamic receivers in the NFL (Beckham) to completely trash them, they held their own and held him in check all game. Outside of King, they did not allow rookie Sterling Shephard to find room to work, as he has become a solid red zone threat for New York with eight touchdowns this year.

The Packers also got solid contributions from Jared Cook and Ty Montgomery. Cook was consistently getting open and even though Rodgers overthrew him a couple times, he connected with Cook on multiple second down conversions for 10+ yards. The Packers will need Cook to step up if Nelson as well as maybe even Montgomery miss time. Montgomery added three catches for 41 yards and if he suits up next week against Dallas, will add a short pass threat out of the backfield.

Geronimo Allison was an afterthought all game, catching only one pass for eight yards after having an impressive game against the Lions last week. Allison took a backseat with Cobb coming back, but still offers a dangerous weapon as well as quality depth at a position that is always seemingly deep for Green Bay. They will need all hands on deck to beat Dallas in Jerry World.

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Taking a look at advance metrics shows Dallas’ secondary ranks 26th in the league according to Pro-Football Reference. There will be plenty of opportunities for Rodgers and this deep receiving corps to do some damage through the air. Dallas’ defense excels in run defense as they are ranked first overall in the entire league, so the Packers will have to find unique ways to utilize Montgomery, Aaron Ripkowski and Christine Michael in the passing game and take what they can get on the ground.

Next Sunday’s game is shaping up to be an instant classic. Will the rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott keep up their incredible maiden season and down the Pack in Dallas? Or will Aaron Rodgers continue his Run-The-Table campaign with a win in the same building he won his first Super Bowl in?

Green Bay Packers win a nail biter against a tough Jacksonville squad on the road: Offensive and Defensive Takeaways

By: Bill Tewes

The Green Bay Packers survived a late push from the Blake Bortles led Jacksonville Jaguars to take a win on the road 27-23. The Packers came out sluggish in the dead Jacksonville heat today, but picked up and showed signs of offensive excellence at the end of the first half and throughout much of the 3rd quarter. So what can we take away from the very first game of the 2016 season? Here are my offensive and defensive takeaways.

Offensive Takeaways:

The Packers offense was looking like a replica of last year’s struggles until they turned it around mid-way through the second quarter. Jordy Nelson hauled in a touchdown and looks to have good burst after suffering an ACL tear last year. Then the play of the game came just before the end of the first half when Aaron Rodgers was being pulled down by Jalen Ramsey and threw a muscled dart to Davante Adams, who hauled it in for the touchdown. Impressive catch from Adams who previously failed to make a difficult catch earlier in the game. The offense finished up with 294 yards and we have to hope as the season progresses, Aaron Rodgers and company being to click and we can capitalize on more scoring opportunities instead of settling for field goals just outside of the red zone.

The offensive line play was solid throughout the entire game. Many questions surrounded Lane Taylor and whether or not he would be an adequate replacement for Josh Sitton. So far, so good! Taylor did not commit any penalties. The o-line gave up only one sack (which was on a play where Rodgers held onto the ball too long and was sacked just short of the line of scrimmage) and looks like they will be pretty effective in both pass and run blocking. The line cleared out a huge hole for Lacy on his longest run of the game and constantly out-muscled the likes of Malik Jackson and Jared Odrick.

Green Bay’s run game was not as effective as the Packers’ probably had hoped it would be. While Eddie Lacy had some nice runs, he was held to 61 yards on 14 carries (4.4 yards per carry). It seemed like Green Bay abandoned the run in spots where they could have continued to pound the rock, especially when their aerial assault began to falter. With more opportunities, Lacy should have no problem cracking 100 yards every game this year.

Defensive Takeaways:

Quinten Rollins’ season got off to a rough start as he got burned multiple times. After having an impressive breakup on Joe Thomas’ interception, he would later give up a touchdown to Julius Thomas and was eventually replaced by Ladarius Gunter. Rollins was forced back into the game when Sam Shields went out with what looked like a concussion. He had a nice break up on what would have been a go ahead touchdown for Jacksonville. on Allen Robinson While Rollins had a rough day, there is still a lot to like about his game and I expect him to turn in some excellent games throughout the season.

Nick Perry had an impressive game and is already making an impact all over the field. Perry had a crucial sack late in the 4th quarter which forced Jacksonville to kick a 50-yard field goal when they were threatening to tie the game. The run defense was superb today and only allowed T.J. Yeldon to 1.9 yards per carry. The defense finished up with three sacks, but will need to get more pressure on opposing QBs. They allowed Bortles to throw for 320 yards after pass defense was supposed to be their strong suit this year. Green Bay did however do a sufficient job of containing Jacksonville’s top weapon in Allen Robinson, holding him to 72 yards on six receptions.

The Packers head to Minnesota next weekend for Sunday night football in Minnesota’s brand new stadium. It will be interesting to see who Minnesota chooses to start at Quarterback and if Rodgers can throw on Minnesota’s staunch secondary.

All stats per ESPN.com

National Fantasy Football Draft Week : 3 Green Bay Packers you should draft

By: Bill Tewes

On the heels of National Draft week for Fantasy football, millions of fans worldwide are scrambling to find a player who most of their league will overlook. We all tend to read articles on sleepers and “can’t miss guys” and still end up missing players we should have drafted all along. With that being said, here are three Green Bay Packers I think will be pleasant surprises this year and all three of these players can be had at the back end of your draft.

Davante Adams

Most people are looking at this name and already laughing at me for suggesting it. Adams had an abysmal season last year while fighting through injuries and dropping balls in big impact situations. The good news is that Adams has more poise this preseason and has shown that he is still capable of making difficult catches as well as running crisp routes. The coaching staff still believes in Adams and so does Aaron Rodgers. It now rests on his shoulders to prove them right. With Jordy Nelson back in the fold and Randall Cobb healthy, I can see Adams taking advantage of the attention those two will get and having a much better season than last year. For drafting him after the 11th round, it is conceivable to get WR3 value out of him and if he really exceeds expectations (which are definitely lower this year), he has the talent to break into the WR2 discussion.

Average Draft Selection (Yahoo): 123.5 (11th Round)

Their Projection: 514 yards, 4 touchdowns

My Projection: 745 yards, 6 touchdowns, 62 receptions

Jared Cook

 All it takes for one to believe in Jared Cook is to see him in action this preseason. Cook is an imposing force to be reckoned with and now has a future Hall of Fame quarterback throwing him the ball. Cook has been consistently impressive in both training camp and all three of Green Bay’s preseason games so far. Cook hauled in four of his five targets for 54 yards and so far has put to sleep any questions about his habit of dropping balls. While Richard Rodgers may steal away a few touchdowns, Cook should be Rodgers’ primary target at the tight end position going forward.

Average Draft Selection (Yahoo): 133 (12th Round)

Their Projection: 527 yards, 4.7 touchdowns

My projection: 620 yards, 5 touchdowns, 46 receptions

Green Bay Def/ST

There are various outlooks when it comes to drafting defenses. Some users prefer drafting one defense and sticking with them, others go week to week and I’ve even seen some users not even draft or start a defense (don’t laugh, its true!). It is not out of the question for the Green Bay Packers’ defense to ascend to the upper echelon of defenses. While some fantasy owners are going to draft the expected top defenses earlier (Seattle, Denver, Arizona etc) as early as the 5th-6th round, you can get a potential top five defense as late as the last round of your draft. Many people are overlooking Green Bay’s defense and not recognizing the strides it’s secondary has made as well as it’s consistent defensive line play. That, coupled with the fact that Green Bay has the “easiest” schedule in all of the league and does not travel out west this year, I can see them turning in a great season as far as fantasy goes.

Average Draft Selection (Yahoo): 132.9 (12th Round)

Their projection: Points allowed: 352, Sack: 40.3, Int: 17.9, Fumb: 8.6, TD: 3.5

My Projection: Points allowed: 295, Sack: 46, Int: 20, Fumb: 8.2, TD: 5

Jared Cook: Aaron's New Number 3?

By: Mark Prott

Packers’ Tight End Provides Aaron Rodgers with Unique Receiving Target

It would have been difficult to find a Green Bay Packers fan without a smile on their face while tuning into the 2nd NFL Preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Maybe not for the game itself, but more importantly for the pregame on-field presence of wide receiver Jordy Nelson working out in pads for the first time in almost a year. Despite a minor hiccup in his recovery, all reports indicate that Nelson has made a thorough recovery and at age 31 there should be no reason he won’t reclaim his role as Aaron Rodgers’ go to guy. Randall Cobb, coming off a down year partially due to injury, has received glowing reports in training camp from his star quarterback. He should be able to reclaim his rightful role as the number two option in the offense and one of the top slot wide receivers in the NFL.

Which brings us to the important question of who will be third option in the 2016 edition of the Packers’ offense?

Ever since the career ending injury suffered by tight end Jermichael Finley in 2013 that question was answered with an easy reply. Whoever lined up as the number three wide receiver was destined to be the 3rd receiving option in the Packers offense. In 2014 that guy was Davante Adams, who showed plenty of upside as a rookie. While Adams had a good night against the Raiders, reports indicate that overall he has had an up and down training camp. Jared Abbrederis and Ty Montgomery also could figure in the equation as well. But with no wide receiver jumping out and taking the reigns thus far, I believe there could be a changing of the guard of the new number three this year in the form of a strapping 6-5 254 pound tight end with the speed of a wide receiver. His name is Jared Cook.

Evidence is beginning to mount that Ted Thompson’s latest free agent signing could be heavily involved in the offense due to his immense skill set at the position and so far seamless transition into the offense. The results so far should have every Packers fan excited. Long time Packers beat writer Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel categorized Jared Cook’s debut in practice August 9th as “eye-popping,” making multiple dazzling plays down the field with Rodgers at quarterback. Cook is also getting praise from the man who’s opinion ultimately matters the most, his quarterback.

“You tell him something once, and he gets it. That’s a great trait to have. You don’t see repeat mistakes from him. You see him processing things at a high rate of speed on the field,” Rodgers said in an article by Packers.com writer Mike Spofford. There’s also on field evidence, albeit in limited preseason action and without Rodgers under center. While maybe not a huge play on the surface, I had to do a double take when Brett Hundley connected with a split out wide Jared Cook in the first quarter on a 10 yard slant route. In and out of his break, Cook has the movements of a wide receiver.

At his size and speed, Cook provides an inviting target over the middle of the field. In fact, I expect two tight end sets with both Jared Cook and a slimmed down Richard Rodgers to be a staple in the offense this year. Mike McCarthy has made it no secret he will game plan this year with big targets in mind.

“Let’s be honest, the middle of the field is open now. League rules. Big people running down the middle of the field, I’ll make no secret about it. I think that’s a key to offensive success, whether that’s a big receiver or big tight end or a big man running down the middle of the field, making those safeties cover you. It’s an important part of playing in today’s NFL,” McCarthy said in an interview with ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

We still have a long way to go and should learn more with Aaron Rodgers expected to finally see preseason action against the San Francisco 49ers this coming week. Every interview with Jared Cook suggests he is genuinely excited to be a Packer and for the chance to play with a NFL MVP quarterback, after the carousel of mostly unproven signal callers he endured during his first 7 NFL seasons. The early guess here is Jared Cook will take full advantage of this opportunity and in the process become Aaron’s new number three. Oh yeah, and for all you fantasy football players out there, I’d take the over on this fantasy projection all day.