Here are some stats and observations about the Green Bay Packers’ snap counts in the great win over the Seattle Seahawks.
All five starting offensive linemen played all 82 offensive snaps. Jahri Evans is firmly ensconced at right guard. Kyle Murphy, subbing for Bryan Bulaga at right tackle, rebounded from a rough start to have a fine second half – against the likes of the Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Frank Clark. That’s a real tribute to a sixth-round pick who played sparingly and without distinction in his rookie season last year.
Ty Montgomery was in for 74 of 82 offensive plays. Not much platooning here, though Jamaal Williams looked good on his two carries and six snaps. Though Aaron Ripkowski didn’t get a carry, his blocking on his 22 snaps helped Ty get going as the game wore on.
McCarthy stayed with his three prime receivers, Nelson, Adams, and Cobb, with each getting over three-quarters of the offensive snaps. The reserves lost playing time to tight end Lance Kendricks, who saw 21 snaps and had two catches out of four targets. The preseason talk about using two-tight-end sets was accurate. Martellus Bennett got 67 offensive snaps (82 percent).
The defensive linemen, who were wonderful, did get some rest. Mike Daniels played on 78 percent of the 49 defensive snaps, Kenny Clark on 76 percent, Dean Lowry on 31 percent, and Ricky Jean Francois on 12 percent. Lowry is clearly ahead of veteran Jean Francois in the coaches’ eyes. As expected, only two defensive linemen were on the field for most plays.
There was lots of anticipation about the cornerbacks. Davon House, playing every defensive snap, is currently No. 1 in this group. Rollins, with 94 percent of the snaps, owns the slot position. Damarious Randall, looking so much better than he did last year, was on the field 82 percent of the time. LaDarius Gunter was the odd man out, with only two defensive snaps.
We were anticipating a lot of Josh Jones at safety/linebacker, but it didn’t happen. However, defensive coordinator Dom Capers went with three safeties for most of the game: Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (100 percent), and Kentrell Brice (96 percent). Green Bay obviously wants to have Brice out there.
Inside linebacker is getting sorted out. Blake Martinez got 42 of those snaps, Ahmad Brooks got six (prior to being concussed), and Jake Ryan and Joe Thomas got five each. Martinez was flying all over the field, and Ahmad Brooks appears to be coaches’ second favorite inside linebacker. I was surprised to see Ryan with only five defensive snaps, though he had 24, counting special teams play, and he was a beast. Thomas has slipped down on the depth chart. Is Burnett, rather than Josh Jones, the hybrid DB/ILB, with Brice filling in at strong safety?
Outside linebacker was a team strength in this game, with Clay Matthews and Nick Perry each in the upper 40s as to defensive snaps. The other 12 went to an energetic Kyler Fackrell.
The special teamers getting the most snaps were: Josh Jones and Kyler Fackrell (21), and Jake Ryan, Joe Thomas, Marwin Evans, and Jeff Janis (19). This unit also provided solid play.
The two top draft picks are being brought along slowly. Kevin King got only six defensive snaps, while Josh Jones’ 21 snaps were all on special teams. This is a good sign that the Packers are well stocked with capable defensive backs.
Barring an onslaught of injuries to the starters, Green Bay showed against the Seahawks, who appear to be in a slow but steady decline, that they have the talent to go to the Super Bowl this season. And as King and Jones work themselves into the lineup, things are bound to get even better.