I know most people probably don’t think there were any stars from the Packers loss in Atlanta Sunday night, but there were some positives to take away. So let’s dive right in.
3rd Star: Clay Matthews
The Claymaker returned to form and had his best game in a long time working against his cousin Jake Matthews. With 1.5 sacks, mini-Thor is now a half sack away from Kabber Bjaja-Biamila for the all-time team record. He should be able to pass KGB early on against the underwhelming Cincinnati offensive line. But beyond the sacks, he was able to generate consistent pressure and was a sure tackler when a runner came his way. It’s amazing how different this front seven is with him in the lineup. And if he, Nick Perry, and Mike Daniels can all stay healthy the rest of the year, then opposing quarterbacks will be looking up from the ground a lot more.
2nd Star: The Wide Receivers
This one is kind of a cheat, but I couldn’t single out a single receiver between Davante Adams, Randall, Cobb, and Geronimo Allison. Allison maybe a little less, but he was solid in his first action of the season and showed the agility to make a short pass something more that he showed in camp. That’s a huge bonus for this offense. And for Adams and Cobb, they were lights out after Jordy Nelson left the game. Both were incredibly sure handed and able to get open against a fast secondary on their own track-like turf. And they showed some wiggle after the catch, especially Cobb. The two combined for for 14 catches, 159 yards and a touchdown, which was good to see after they struggled in 2015 following a Jordy Nelson injury. And Adams in particular looks like an ascending superstar who could be one of the elite receivers within a year or two. His footwork is some of the best I have ever seen.
1st Star: Kevin King
The rookie was the only one to even contain Julio Jones, which is a herculean feat. Getting his first major playing time was a baptism by fire for the first pick of the 2nd round, and he didn’t burn. Showing great natural press ability and an ability to run with some great receivers, King didn’t allow a completion in the game and was around the ball as well when a runner was near him, finishing with 3 tackles. And after the game Coach Mike McCarthy stated that King is in line for more playing time, I presume over Davon House who has struggled mightily with his coverage and basic technique so far. King is the future, and this was a good test which he passed.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.