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What You Might've Missed: Short-yardage success

Posted Dec 19, 2017

Plus a surprise blocker on the edge


GREEN BAY – A portion of the Packers’ offensive efficiency in Carolina can be traced to a healthy dose of short-yardage success.

When needing three or fewer yards to pick up a first down, the Packers got the necessary yardage in 8-of-10 instances, and the two times they didn’t, they converted on the next play.

What follows is a rundown of several short-yardage plays, showing the different ways the Packers found success. Two of them include a surprise short-yardage blocker not normally associated with these types of plays.

Play No. 1: Second-and-3 from the Carolina 33, first quarter, 3:50 left

Result: 9-yard run by RB Jamaal Williams

This is what you call finishing blocks. Watch the work done here by LG Lane Taylor (65) on LB Luke Kuechly (59) and by C Corey Linsley (63) on DT Kawann Short (99). Both Green Bay blockers eventually get their guys on the ground as Williams powers ahead for his longest run of the game.

***

Play No. 2: Third-and-2 from the Carolina 16, first quarter, 1:41 left

Result: 2-yard run by Williams

This time it’s TE Richard Rodgers (82) who takes out Kuechly, and here’s the first appearance of the surprise short-yardage blocker, WR Randall Cobb (18). Cobb goes low for a textbook cut-block on DE Bryan Cox Jr. (91), clearing the way for Williams to move the chains.

***

Play No. 3: Second-and-1 from the Green Bay 19, second quarter, 6:58 left

Result: 23-yard run by RB Aaron Jones

This is a short-yardage handoff that turns into a big play, as LT David Bahktiari (69) walls off DE Julius Peppers (90) and Taylor turns Short to the inside, opening a huge hole. Jones is too fast for LB Thomas Davis (58) screaming into the backfield from the edge, and he breaks off a big one.

***

Play No. 4: Second-and-1 from the Carolina 36, second quarter, 1:22 left

Result: 3-yard run by Williams

This one unfolds a little differently than most. Just before the snap, Kuechly backs off the line of scrimmage into a more traditional middle linebacker spot. That gives Bakhtiari the opportunity to help Taylor double-team DT Kyle Love (93), and Bahktiari’s extra shove clears plenty of room for Williams to get the first down. Kuechly gets Bakhtiari off-balance at the end of the play, but the Pro Bowl left tackle has done his job, and the Packers score on a 33-yard TD pass to Cobb on the next play.

***

Play No. 5: Fourth-and-1 from the Carolina 35, third quarter, 2:57 left

Result: 7-yard run by QB Aaron Rodgers

A great call here by Rodgers to keep the ball on the read-option, as the fake leads to a bunch of defenders crashing inside. The last bit of help he needs comes from – surprise – Cobb, who actually gets a 2-for-1 on this cut-block by taking down both Peppers and CB Kevon Seymour (27).

 

 
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