Well, after the massacre in Minnesota, the Packers will need to rely on the deepest, darkest, rawest, depths of their program for the rest of the season. Players are being shoved into primary roles very early into the season. The Packers need five wins in their last ten games to finish the season above .500. A lot of these youngings will have primary roles in their attempt to make the playoffs.
Josh Hawkins: Hawkins continues his solid play, with six tackles, and half a tackle for loss. His receiver created space a few times, but largely Hawkins played well. I’m confident he can play well in a starting role for the remainder of the season. The Saints have a great passing attack, so the Packers need him desperately next week. If he plays well, his names on the map.
Lenzy Pipkins: Pipkins was forced onto the field due to injuries and did a great job. He finished the game with six tackles, and one for loss. The stats look good, but they down play how often he was around the ball. His tackle for loss was a great play were he jumped the line, and tackled the Vikings ball carrier six years behind the line of scrimmage. Great effort for the undrafted rookie.
Quinten Rollins: Sadly, the third year cornerback tore his Achilles on a non contact injury in the end zone. He once again showed that he can get up on the line and make plays, but now his career is in serious jeopardy as he starts the recovery process. Rollins was one of my favorite young Packers. What a bummer.
Brett Hundley: Hundley was subbed into the game after the whole team took a punch too their gut. The team was not ready to play football for his first possession, ending with an interception on an out route. Hundley should have never thrown it, but he was going up against one of the best defenses in football. His touchdown pass to Davante Adams helped the team wake up. But as the game played out, he lost three of his starting offensive lineman for the game. This resulted in very little time to get the ball out of his hands, and a lot of big hits for quarterback making his essential debut. He finished the game throwing 18/33 for 157 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Expect him to play much better after a week of practice ahead of their week seven match up with the Saints. Luckily the Packers have a bye week the next week, giving Hundley time to prepare for the Lions.
Aaron Jones: UTEP’S pride entered the game the toast of the town. He started the game with two one yard carries, both should have resulted in negative yards, and a nice carry that resulted in a medium gain. The Packers then went back and forth between Ty Montogermy, both finishing the game with at least ten carries. Jones finished with 41 yards on 13 carries. Not a bad showing against a top notch Minnesota defense.
Josh Jones: Another quiet afternoon for the prize rookie, finishing with two tackles and a pass deflection. With all the injuries, Jones is not receiving the luxury of playing near the line of scrimmage often, making it difficult to show off his skill set.
Kyler Fackrell: With Ahmad Brooks out, Fackrell received a lot of playing time. I thought he played well, he certainly pushed the pocket on multiple occasions. The Utah State alum finished his opportunity with two tackles, one for loss. He also forced a facemask penalty by getting a jump on the snap, which helped hold the Vikings to a field goal.
Kentrell Brice: Brice was almost able to reel in his second interception of the season. He missed a tackle on Latavius Murray, looking to blow him up, instead of wrapping him down. That will continue to be an issue for Brice, it’s a con, but his explosiveness is a huge plus. Most importantly Brice spent some time on the sideline with yet another minor injury.
Blake Martinez: This time last season, the Packers were using a three man committee at middle linebacker. Now, Martinez has completely separated himself from the pack, leading the team in tackles the past two weeks. He finished the game with 11 tackles, two for loss, and a deflected pass, that easily could have been intercepted. If he starts making plays in the passing game, that’s a huge help for the depleted secondary.
Youngin’ of the Week:
Kenny Clark: The Packers second year defensive lineman has taken a rubberband man like step forward this season. He had his best game against Minnesota, but has played very well all season. Clark managed to keep the Packers in the game after Aaron Rodgers left the field, leaving the team in a state of shock. He plugged the running lane, against a double team, slid over, and punched the ball out of Latavius Murray’s hands. Clay Matthews swiped the ball up and returned it the Vikings 20 yard line. A few plays later, Brett Hundley threw across his body to Davante Adams for his first career touchdown, breathing a little life into the team. I can’t say how impressive it is, for the Packers youngest player to keep his head on his shoulders as the rest of the team looked miles away from the stadium.