It is a sad sad for Packers fans. The peoples champ is gone, while we are still reeling from the loss of Jordy Nelson. Most of us took some solace in Nelsons departure, by thinking that Janis would finally get his chance to shine. That is no more. He’s gone, but will not soon be forgotten. Here is a look at his top five plays as a Packers.
1. Week 9 2016 vs Indianapolis Colts
The Packers were 4-3 after having lost the previous week at home vs the Cowboys and the Colts lead the Packers 17-10 early in the second quarter in what felt like a must-win game at home for the Packers. On 3rd and 10 from the Packers 25, Rodgers dropped back got some pressure but easily avoided it by climbing the pocket and sliding to his left when he saw Jeff Janis blowing by Vontae Davis (obviously). By the time the ball arrived, Janis had a step and a half on Davis, at the Colts 20 for what is a likely touchdown or at worst at 60 yard gain. Instead, the ball hit Janis squarely in the facemask, and he barely gets a fingertip on it, as it falls incomplete. Clearly, Rodgers needs better placement on that ball. No one can expect someone to catch a long bomb when it was thrown at their head.
2. NFC Divisional Playoffs vs Arizona Cardinals
Many people think of the double hail mary when they think of this game, but the play that best shows what Janis brings to the Packers occurred much earlier to this same game. Down 7-0 early in the 2nd quarter, the Packers found themselves at the Cardinals 10-yard line and a drive starting at their own five. Rodgers identified a good matchup on his outside, to the right, with Janis running an out. Janis beats his man and proceeds to run his out route like a horse rounding the turn, and thus the ball falls incomplete and the Packers have to settle for a field goal. But clearly, this is McCarthy’s fault. After all Janis’s position coach his rookie year was Edgar Bennett, who if I recall correctly was a running back. How can one expect to maximize his talent, especially coming from a small school, by having a running back be his coach during his rookie year?
3a. Week 11 2016 vs the Washington Redskins
Of course the first two highlight Janis’s skills as a Wide Receiver but we all know his real strength is on special teams. Washington just took a 16-10 lead in the 2nd quarter when they kicked off with a ball that was heading toward the sideline. Janis hesitated and the ball landed, and stayed, in bounds at the two. Richard Rodgers saved the day by jumping on the ball there. Ty Montgomery was back deep for the Packers on the play as well. My guess is that Montgomery made a call to Janis about letting it go. Clearly, Janis with his football IQ, could not have made that error.
3b. Week 5 2016 vs NY Giants
In the 2nd quarter, Jacob Schum punted after a Packers three and out. The ball went out of bounds. Meanwhile, Janis was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for running approximately 54 yards out of bounds, after being pushed out by the gunner, thus giving the Giants good field postion. This was probably Ron Zook’s fault. I am sure, he never told Janis, that if pushed out of bounds you must come back in bounds immediately or be subject to 15 yard penalty.
4. Every deep ball ever thrown to him
He always reminded me of a middle schooler playing right field, when that one ball per game was hit slightly over his year. But this is McCarthy’s fault. How can one expect him to improve at this, if he doesn’t consistently get snaps? After all, it’s not like they can practice that stuff, with the new rules limiting padded practices.
5. Every route he has ever run
This one. Presented without comment.
This is why Jeff Janis doesn’t play. Runs his route as if it’s painted on the ground regardless of the coverage. pic.twitter.com/3iLx4jzmtP
— Yerah Be Grand (@Cianaf) October 21, 2016
Or I could mention the route in which Jordy Nelson would have been open on a post had Janis run to the corner and carried the safety with him, instead of also running to the post and bringing the safety with him. But I won’t because clearly, that was Nelson’s fault. There is a reason Gutekunst cut Nelson.
Clearly, if only Janis had a better quarterback, better coaching and been given more chances, he would have shined for the Packers. It will always be what could have been. Long live the People’s Champ.
Originally from Glidden Wisconsin, Jason Straetz is a lifelong Packers\' fan, who has lived in Maine for over 30 years. He is a writer for packerstalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @jsnstz