The Packers showed up ready to battle behind Mike McCarthy and Brett Hundley on Sunday. In a warriors effort, the Packers had the ball with a chance to win late in the fourth quarter, but were not able to get anything going. Antonio Brown made an incredible catch, leading to a 53 yard Chris Boswell dagger to win the game. Green Bay now sits at (5-6), almost certainly needing to win out, if they hope to sneak into the playoffs.
Josh Jones: The rookie was named captain for the first time in his career. He finished with six tackles, a few of them were taking down Le’Veon Bell in an one on one situation. I can’t wait for number 27 to start making plays in the passing game, but until then, he’s showing he can handle his own in the running game.
Jason Spriggs: The physically impressive second year tackle struggled mightily against the Ravens, coming off of IR, thrust into the game with little to no practice. Well, with a week of practice, and tight ends/running backs help, the second year pick held his own against a difficult defense. Mike McCarthy has named him the starting right tackle going forward. (ESPN’s Rob Demovsky) Spriggs was notable awful during the preseason, but he has the talent, much like Damarious Randall, give it a chance to produce.
Blake Martinez: The Packer’s leading tackler ended this game with a team high 15 tackles, a tackle for loss, and a hit on the quarterback. Plus, a diving interception off a tipped Ben Rothlisberger pass. A huge play in the team’s effort to pull off the upset.
Damarious Randall: Randall continues to jump routes and bring the ball in, intercepting his fourth interception of the season. All four have come after his benching against the Bears, when all these genius fans wanted him cut. Since the outrage culture has made it’s way to sports, it’s so rewarding to see a guy Baker Mayfield it, and perform.
Kevin King: The Packers top pick has shown a ton of heart this season. Not only has he been playing with an injured shoulder for the majority of the season, but he’s still recklessly throwing his body into tackles. Gotta love Oakland kids. It’s not smart, but I appreciate putting love for the game before your brains. It’s somewhat necessary to becoming your best self.
Jamaal Williams: Despite his average yards per carry being 3.1, the rookie once again made a huge impact on the game. He scored two touchdowns, one punch in, and the other a 54 yard catch and run. He may not be bursting too many runs, but he’s certainly giving the Packers more per carry than the play deserves.
Josh Hawkins: I’ve been really excited to see him on the field all season, but he didn’t have his best game against the Steelers. Hawkins is fast, but even he couldn’t keep pace with the Steelers receivers. He was beat on a back corner of the endzone route by the larger Martavis Bryant for the touchdown. He’ll continue to get opportunities with Kevin King’s shoulder continuing to be an issue. On to the next one.
Youngin’ of the Week:
Brett Hundley: His record as a starter dropped to 1-4, but he had quite the Damarious Randall performance after a difficult week. He led the team on four touchdown drives, throwing three touchdowns, and moving the team in position for a one yard Jamaal Williams punch in to tie the game at 28. The most memorable play he had on Sunday, to me, was the fourth and six play at the Steelers twelve. The game was on the line, the Steelers were showing pressure, and Hundley calmly hit his window on a seven yard strike to Davante Adams. As Chris Collinsworth stated again and again, Hundley made a huge change in his pocket mobility this week, stepping up, finding a lane to escape, or his receiver down field. His down field accuracy looked to be the biggest benefit of the footwork change, but the Steelers defense did make it about as easy as possible on the deep balls.
The offense continued to struggle when first down didn’t result in positive yards, which is why Jamaal Williams getting three yards out of nothing is so huge. Hundley needs to be much more consistent in general, but overcoming in game adversity is a step he needs to take. He’s had high enough highs, to prove that no one quite knows how good he is yet. No point in creating a new drastic opinion of him and the coaching staff after each game. The next two games are a huge opportunity for his reputation, if he can beat the teams he should, that’s something. For now, hats off to Brett.