GREEN BAY – Finishing blocks, communicating on the fly, helping a teammate.
All those little things contributed to big night of execution for the Packers against the Eagles on Monday night.
Here’s a sampling.
Play No. 1: Third-and-1 on the Philadelphia 39, first quarter, :59 left
Result: 8-yard run by RB James Starks
Among a number of good blocks on this play, the one to watch is by WR Randall Cobb, who is lined up as an offset tight end. Cobb throws a picture-perfect cut block on Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins (27), chopping him to the ground and making Starks’ decision to cut back an easy one for a third-down conversion.
C Corey Linsley has a nice block here, too, if you want to check it out, but we’ll get to a better one of his later.
Play No. 2: First-and-10 at the Green Bay 28, third quarter, 11:20 left
Result: 50-yard completion to WR Davante Adams
Watch closely on this, maybe a few times, to see how Adams’ persistence with communication on his route pays off. As he jukes CB Leodis McKelvin (21) with a nifty inside move off the line of scrimmage, Adams puts his hand up at the 35-yard line to let Rodgers know his man is beat. The only problem is Rodgers is looking to the other side of the field at the time.
But Adams doesn’t take his eyes off the quarterback, and he throws his hand up again just after he crosses the 45, when Rodgers is looking his way. Jackpot. The rainbow throw and great catch set up the Packers for a field goal.
Play No. 3: First-and-10 at the Green Bay 18, fourth quarter, 8:03 left
Result: 6-yard run by Starks
Talk about finishing a block. Linsley absolutely buries Eagles DT Beau Allen (94), a former Wisconsin Badger whom Linsley in all likelihood faced in the Big Ten while playing for Ohio State. This one is no contest, and the solid first-down gain helps the offense stay ahead of the sticks on the long, game-clinching drive.
Play No. 4: Third-and-12 at the Green Bay 28, fourth quarter, 5:45 left
Result: 22-yard completion to WR Jordy Nelson
This shows the difference a deep threat at tight end can make. TE Jared Cook is running straight up the seam, and his breakaway speed draws two defenders, S Rodney McLeod (23) and LB Stephen Tulloch (50), with him deep down the field and out of the picture. That clears out a whole bunch of space in the middle as Nelson cuts across, and with Rodgers able to buy enough time in the pocket, it’s an easy pitch and catch for a huge first down.