Week ten was a memorable game for the Packers and former head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy finally called the right plays to get Green Bay the win.
For the first time in his career, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a 3.5-point underdog at home. So he made sure to quiet Vegas and the media about his poor success lately. Like most games, the Packers struggled to move the ball and had three-and-outs, but once the gears were oiled up, Rodgers made magic happen. The defense played well with the number of injuries; young guys stepped up, and bench players stepped up to help the Packers.
Packers Injuries On Offense
After wide receiver Romeo Doubs was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain last Monday, the team needed another explosive player on offense. Christian Watson has been dealing with hamstring and concussion injuries since he joined the league. Week ten was his coming out party as he connected with Aaron Rodgers three times to help the Packers overcome a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter and win the game in overtime. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for these two guys and their newly found chemistry.
Running back Aaron Jones was questionable going into the weekend with a tweaked ankle that held him out of the second half of the Packers’ Week nine game against the Detroit Lions. However, there were no signs of an injury concern after he burned the Cowboy’s defense for 138 yards on the ground with a touchdown. AJ Dillon was expected to take the bulk of the carries, but Jones was the breadwinner as he had 24 touches on the ground and looked like an all-pro running back.
The offensive line continues to pop up on the injury report with several days of limited practices. However, they continue to play each week and keep the opposing defense at the line of scrimmage. Week ten was promising, as it seemed like Rodgers had a little extra time in the pocket to find open receivers. A great thing moving forward. Yosh Nijman helped secure the edges in the running game, a great assist in Aaron Jones’ rushes.
Packers Injuries On Defense/Special Teams
The Packers’ secondary played alright; Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb tore up and was consistently open. So either coverage was inadequate or defensive coordinator Joe Barry returned to his old zone scheme. With Eric Stokes out for the season, Rasul Douglas was pushed out to the outside. He was burned a few times early on but was able to rebound. Keisean Nixon filled in as needed, along with Rudy Ford. Speaking of Ford, this hidden gem was miraculous as he intercepted two balls in critical situations and helped the Packers turn the tide.
With Rashan Gary out for the season, fellow linebacker De’Vondre Campell was again ruled out by his knee injury. Devonte Wyatt filled in for Gary but was not explosive enough to help with the pass rush, which is a concern. However, Isaiah McDuffie continues to show the team why he should be a starter on the defense, as he has been filling in for Campbell. McDuffie broke up several pass attempts and compiled 12 tackles.
Linebacker Preston Smith returned to the lineup after missing a few games with a neck injury, but he was a ghost on the defense. He had a couple of tackles but wasn’t a primary factor in the win. He may be on a snap count as he continues to recover. Neck injuries are easy to re-injure. Kicker Mason Crosby was questionable leading up to the game with a back injury. He has yet to miss a game in his career.
The Packers elevated Ramiz Ahmed just in case. Ahmed took over the kickoffs while Crosby handled the extra points and field goals. Crosby made all his extra points and missed one field goal, a long kick that swirled off to the right and was a tad short.
With all of these injuries, many fans packed their bags up and called it a season. The backup players balled out. When you have this many injuries, sometimes it’s hard for the depth players to play up to the expectations of the starters, but, after all, they are all professionals in the league and should play at their best. We are starting to see some stars rise from the bench. McDuffie, Nixon, Ford, and Nijman were essential factors in the win against Dallas and will hopefully lead us to victories in future games.
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