Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Packers’ receivers getting much warmer reception

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebates his touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson Nelson with teammte Evan Dietrich-Smith

By Tyler Dunne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel –

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers’ wide receivers are following one clear theme.

They’ve seen themselves at their best, shredding a proud Houston Texans defense Sunday. But it’s one game. Green Bay is only 3-3.

The theme now, they say, is “capability vs. sustainability.” Now that the receivers have seen what they’re capable of — beating man coverage, making plays downfield, hauling in difficult catches — they have to keep it up. In the 42-24 wipeout, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb combined for 256 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Greg Jennings’ rest continues. It’s on this trio to sustain the standard set at Reliant Stadium. They weren’t thrilled answering questions about “separation” last week. The separation has been there, Cobb said. Now, they’re seeing firework results.

“You can go back and look at the film, we’re creating space,” Cobb said. “We just haven’t been connecting. And we started to connect this past weekend. Hopefully we can continue that.”

Against the Texans, the Packers stuck with three-receiver sets. Nelson, Cobb and Jones were kept in specific spots throughout the game and excelled.

There wasn’t much over-thinking on Mike McCarthy’s part. All three had the benefit of gaining a comfort level with the cornerback in their grill. And with the Texans staying in man coverage, it was on them to make defensive coordinator Wade Phillips pay. Houston blitzed half the time. Houston “challenged” the Packers, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers said afterward.

This familiarity led to a sequence of big plays. Cobb said it began in the film room before the game.

“I got that comfort level watching film during the week and understanding what kind of technique he plays and understanding the guys I’m going to go up against,” Cobb said. “And then getting on the field and seeing it in person early on in the game and getting a feel for how he’s going to play me personally during the game, it made it a lot easier down the stretch to make moves and get leverage.”

Nelson often victimized Johnathan Joseph. And for Cobb, operating in the slot, minute details on Brice McCain’s game went a long way.

“Just the leverage that he played with,” Cobb said. “I knew he was going to be physical at the top of his routes, so I just tried to keep separation at the top of the routes. At times, it was a struggle because he held sometimes. But obviously you have to play through that because you’re not going to get all the calls.”

This was easily the group’s best overall performance to date. San Francisco and Seattle both had success with an aggressive, swarming secondary that suffocated big plays. Indianapolis’ banged-up, raw secondary contained Green Bay in the second half. After Sunday, however, the group is beaming with confidence.

Jones, for one, has found a niche in the red zone. He leads the league with seven receiving touchdowns.

Jennings’ absence may have been felt at Seattle and at Indianapolis. He’s the one defenses must respect and prioritize immediately. More one-handed catches by Jones and third-and-15 receptions by Cobb can allow for a smooth, safety-first recovery. The Packers won’t need to rush Jennings back from his groin injury anytime soon.

“Greg was one of our biggest playmakers, but we all know that there are more than enough guys in this room capable to make plays if any of us went out,” Jones said. “That’s how we feel. We just want to make the most of our chances. When Greg comes back, we’ll be even more powerful and it will even put more stress on the defense.”

There’s that word again. “Capable.”

After picking apart the Texans, the Packers receivers will expect to do the same thing Sunday at St. Louis and beyond.

“Coach made a good point today in the meeting — capability vs. sustainability,” said undrafted rookie Jarrett Boykin, who saw his first action Sunday. “He brought up that we were capable of going out there and doing what we’re supposed to do. But at this point, we want to sustain it. . . . Showing what we’re capable of and then just going out there and sustaining it and keep doing it.”

This will be a different St. Louis Rams secondary than the one Green Bay encountered in a 24-3 win a year ago. The Packers’ receivers burned that unit for 17.6 yards per catch. Instead of a ragtag unit led by a hanging-on Al Harris, Cobb and company face Cortland Finnegan and rookie Janoris Jenkins. The new duo are off to a fast start.

Finnegan is known for agitating receivers, for using all possible tactics to get under their skin. Jenkins, meanwhile, was a top-15 talent who fell to the second round due to off-field problems.

Sustainability begins this coming Sunday.

“If we can continue to stack that on every drive,” Cobb said, “I think we can become the team I know we are.”

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even more news:

Copyright 2024 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x