Make-shift Packers offensive line stands out in win over Rams

A.J. Dillon summed it up best after the Green Bay Packers beat the Los Angeles Rams, 36-28, on Sunday.

“The offensive line played unreal,” Dillon said. “Unreal. That’s one of the best D-lines in football, and they held their own.”

They did more than hold their own. The banged up and battered unit surrendered just one sack, which came after Aaron Rodgers stepped up in the pocket and tried to break away toward the middle of the field.

Sure, there was plenty of pressure. Most of it came in the second half of the game.

But you would expect that going up against the likes of Aaron Donald, who many consider the best defensive player in football, and Von Miller, one of the top pass rushers of the past decade.

To only give up one sack without the likes of Elgton Jenkins, David Bakhtiari and Josh Myers is so incredibly impressive. Props to Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Lucas Patrick, Royce Newman and Billy Turner for stepping up in a big-time way before the bye.

Some credit should also go to offensive line coach Adam Stenavich, as well as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and head coach Matt LaFleur. The game plan wasn’t just drop back to pass and make the game harder for the guys up front. It was a mix of a lot of different things that kept pass rushers guessing.

Stenavich and assistant offensive line coach Luke Butkus have also made things easier on the unit by implementing a system that works well for players to play multiple spots.

“The system we have here is very efficient for offensive linemen to jump in and play different positions,” Hackett said.

Of course I’m looking forward to the day that Bakthiari and Myers can return to this offensive line. However, it feels nice that the Packers have the depth to get the job done until then.

In reality, the offensive line might be a microcosm of what the team as a whole has done all season long.

The injuries have been piling up at so many important positions. But, still — this team finds a way to win. Your Green Bay Packers are 9-3 heading into a much-needed bye week. Really take a step back and soak it in.

It feels good.


Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.