What more can you say about Aaron Rodgers right now? The Hail Mary King has thrown 22 TDs and 0 INTs in his past eight games. After coming out sluggish in the first quarter, Rodgers just blew by the Giants secondary. He’s playing at an unprecedented level right now.
Cobb had the biggest game of his career on Sunday night, finishing with 116 receiving yards and 3 TD receptions. What is even more amazing is that Cobb is far from feeling 100% after hurting his left ankle two weeks ago. After the Packers’ win against the Giants he stated that he didn’t even expect to suit up.
Randall Cobb said he wasn't even sure the Packers were going to make him active for the game. Says he's still in pain.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) January 9, 2017
The Energizer Bunny of the Green Bay defense, Peppers just keeps making plays when the Packers need him the most. According to Pro Football Focus, Peppers finished the game with a sack, four QB pressures, and two batted passes. In a game where the Packers couldn’t generate very much pressure against an underrated New York offensive line, Peppers still helped the Packers get off the field and get the ball into Rodgers’ hands.
Julius Peppers just missed this list (78.1). He recorded four QB pressures, including a sack, and two batted passes today. #NYGvsGB
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 9, 2017
As the above list also shows, Jake Ryan had the best game of his young career. Ryan finished with 13 total sacks which was good enough to lead the team in that category. It was also a career high, topping his previous best of 11 total tackles against Indianapolis in Week 9. Ryan was flying all over the field and making plays. In fact, Ryan had 6 tackles more than Micah Hyde, who finished in second place on the evening with 7 total tackles. But Ryan played very well in pass protection too. He spent much of the game covering Giants’ tight end Will Tye very well. On one play in the second half, Ryan also dropped back about 10 yards into coverage, caught a sprinting Odell Beckham Jr., stuck with him pace-for-pace, and broke up a pass about 25 yards down the field. If you thought in 2015 that Jake Ryan would ever be capable of such a thing then you’re a liar (or perhaps Jake’s mom). He’s made some major improvements as a player.
Micah Hyde got beat a few times in coverage but otherwise helped to fix a leaky Green Bay secondary and keep the Giants’ wide receivers in check.
Davante Adams looks like he has the makings of an elite wide receiver.
Christine Michael was rolling. He brought some serious energy to the offense. McCarthy needs to make sure that he gets his touches against Dallas. And Green Bay should resign him after the season is over.
1st Quarter Offense
Really, the Green Bay offense for the first 25 minutes of Sunday’s game looked like the pre-Run-the-Table catastrophe of midseason. None of that matters because Rodgers got locked in and unloaded his best stuff for the rest of the game. However, Dallas is a different beast than the New York Giants. Unless Dak Prescott, Tony Romo, Ezekiel Elliott, and the entire starting offensive line are abducted by aliens before the game, the Packers can’t expect to hold Dallas to just six points in one half. Green Bay clearly has all the firepower to match and exceed Dallas’ offense, but they need to play the whole game.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham was supposed to feast on the weak Green Bay secondary. That didn’t exactly happen. However, it wasn’t for lack of trying. OBJ was targeted a team high 11 times but he was only able to haul in 4 catches for a paltry 28 yards. Depending upon how you count them up, Beckham had about 3 or 4 drops. The frustration clearly got to him.
Odell Beckham apparently punched this hole in the wall outside the Giants locker room. pic.twitter.com/Y6ufQ63hbF
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) January 9, 2017
Speaking about the now infamous boat trip in Miami, Beckham also had this to say after the game. “There was nothing that could connect seven days ago to today and how we came out and played and executed. There’s just nothing in the world. That’s not realistic. I think it did a great job of creating distractions for us, and it’s just unfortunate for us. That’s just the way this world is.”
I think that what Beckham seems to be missing is that the plethora of pictures showing him with teammates partying on a boat in Miami with celebrities just days before a playoff matchup in Green Bay was never going to be a good idea. Maybe that’s unfair. As of right now, there’s no direct evidence that any Giants’ players did anything wrong in Miami. However, that the media ran with this story precisely as they did should not be a surprise to anyone, especially OBJ.
Maybe the media storm threw him off his game. Maybe it had nothing to do with his poor performance. Even the best players lay an egg every once and awhile. But if you’re going to do something that puts the entire team spotlight on yourself, you had better execute. ODJ didn’t do that. He needed to be the offensive mega-weapon and he turned out to be a dud.——————
Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.