The Green Bay Packers entered their matchup with the Los Angeles Rams with much of the fan base expecting a resounding defeat. The team executed a great game plan that should have put them in a position to win the game on the last drive, before a terrible mistake sealed the game for the Rams. Here’s a look at who I thought played well and who did not in Week 8:
The rookie made a triumphant return from injury. Alexander was absolutely blanketing Brandin Cooks, and made some unbelievable plays on the ball. He is a key to an improving defense continuing their ascent.
I’m not sure if there are enough great things to say about Clark. He has quickly turned from a really good player into one that opposing teams have to scheme for. He impacted the run game and he impacted the pass game. Clark has officially entered elite DT territory in his early 20s.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown
The rookie receivers seem to be coming into their own. MVS has physical tools that will make him a constant deep threat once he starts to consistently run routes. He showed incredible moves off the line on his touchdown reception. ESB has all the tools to be an incredibly unique slot threat in the NFL. While the present seems somewhat tenuous, the future at wide receiver looks incredibly bright.
Martinez has struggled in the middle of the defense, but he was an absolute terror on Sunday. He was a huge factor in limiting Todd Gurley in the run game and pressuring Jared Goff. His continued big time play will be a major factor in the Packers defense emergence in the second half of the season.
He didn’t get anywhere near enough touches, but he made the most of his opportunities. McCarthy needs to give him the primary spot and 20 touches a game.
Even if there wasn’t a directive to take a knee, it makes no sense to bring the ball out and waste a free clock stoppage. His role in the offense has dwindled and playing hero-ball should not be tolerated. But that being said…
A Segment of Packer Nation
Players make mental and physical mistakes. Sometimes they make a selfish play or even a foolish one. It is fine to be upset for a time, but when people start making personal threats, saying things to family members, and generally taking a game into real life situations you know you’ve gone too far. So, call out those who are crossing the line. And we can all be more caring and sympathetic (even if the guy ends up losing his job).
Green Bay will look to recover quickly as they head into another very difficult game at the New England Patriots. The great news is they looked improved on defense and we know the offense can start to click very quickly. The season isn’t over yet, but this team cannot afford to miss any more opportunities for wins.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