The Green Bay Packers recovered from a poor performance against Washington with a beatdown of the Buffalo Bills this week. Many players shined in the win, but there are still plenty of areas of improvement.
The line put on a master class in keeping Aaron Rodgers upright and making holes for the run game. I was worried about a hobbled Bryan Bulaga and Byron Bell filling in on the right side, but the line did all the right things to give the playmakers opportunities. Jerry Hughes had been menacing opposing teams, but David Bakhtiari absolutely shut him down.
Alexander did a really nice job in multiple elements of the game Sunday. His pass coverage was really good and he showed a feistiness that has to inspire the rest of the defense. It’s still very early, but Alexander is already showing the improvement in his rookie year the Packers will need from him to make a long playoff run.
Jones has a different gear than Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery. He also sees holes in the line they just don’t anticipate. While Williams had a really nice game, I have no doubt Jones could have taken his carries and gotten more out of them. Jones needs to be the feature back going forward with the other two giving him rest. He has far too much talent to be sitting for entire drives.
This is not part of my apology tour with Kyler Fackrell. In fact, his three sack game didn’t look all that impressive on tape. He had some nice plays down the stretch, but he’s getting far too much credit for what equated to garbage time sacks. One was on a play he never touched the quarterback, and the other two he just ran around a concrete-footed tackle. In either case, Fackrell made the most of his limited skillset and deserves credit for helping to preserve the shutout. I’d still rather see John Simon, Jayrone Elliott, or Kendall Donnerson getting his roster spot.
This is a tough one. Rodgers does so much for this team and franchise, he can never be a true dud. But he was inaccurate on Sunday (only in comparison to the unrealistic bar he has set for himself). There were several missed reads and missed throws. In the 3rd Quarter he threw what should have been an interception to Ryan Lewis. He also totally missed Tremaine Edmunds flashing underneath and Edmunds tipped the ball that led to the actual interception. Many of the incompletions were due to him throwing behind his receiver. I’m hoping it was just the unfamiliar receivers and the continued recovery from the knee injury.
That being said, when you get the opportunity to see Josh Allen chucking the ball all over the place, you start to appreciate just how transcendiary Aaron Rodgers is. When that is your bad game, you are still in really good shape. And just when you start to wonder what is wrong, Rodgers drops a dime right in MVS’s hands down the sideline.
Martinez has struggled early in the season. He’s taken some bad angles and got washed up by blockers. He’s a big reason the run defense has struggled. I thought Sunday was actually his best game, but the Packers got another absolutely moronic 15 yard penalty that extended a drive, and this time it was #50 (and not #52) to blame. He needs to play better and he needs to play smarter for this team to live up to expectations.
Through one quarter of the season, Green Bay has gotten off to a solid start, and will rely on the continual improvement of the younger players on the roster as they make a push for a division title.Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig