GREEN BAY – Randall Cobb has been that guy so many times over the course of his nine seasons with the Packers, the one who can ignite an offense with a single play at any moment.
There was no series of plays that better illustrated the impact the veteran receiver can have on a game than his three catches for 88 yards, including a touchdown, in the second quarter of Green Bay's 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Cobb was the difference-maker on two of the team's scoring drives that quarter, beginning with his 54-yard, catch-and-run off a third-and-3 pass in the middle of the field from Aaron Rodgers.
After the Packers settled for a 28-yard Mason Crosby field goal on that series, Cobb sparked the next scoring drive with a 27-yard catch on first down and then finished the series with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers off a slant to give Green Bay its first two-score lead.
"I feel like he's always just in the right place at the right time," said running back AJ Dillon of Cobb. "If he can ignite the offense, if he can ignite the fans, especially when we're at home and the guys on the sideline, we're definitely in good shape to keep going with that momentum."
Unfortunately, that would be the last the Packers would see from Cobb on Sunday as he was ruled out after halftime with a groin injury, finishing his day with four catches for 95 yards.
Cobb's spark carried over into the second half, though. Green Bay opened the third quarter with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dillon.
Meanwhile, Davante Adams notched his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the year, which pushed the All-Pro over 1,000 yards on the season for the third time in his career. Having Cobb back has been a huge help for Adams on that journey.
"If you don't want to respect him, he'll go out there and do what he did today," Adams said. "It's really just about having somebody in there that can make you pay when it's time to go win a one-on-one opportunity. If they want to continue to cloud me and he's open, you see what he went out there and did today. He's a clutch player."
Taking it away: The Packers' defense and special teams produced three key takeaways that helped put up 16 points and swing the balance of Sunday's game.
The first came on the Rams' second offensive possession when Rashan Gary bulldozed left tackle Andrew Whitworth to earn a strip sack of quarterback Matthew Stafford, which fellow linebacker Preston Smith recovered at LA's 6-yard line.
In the third quarter, rookie cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles forced a fumble of Rams punt returner J.J. Koski, which Krys Barnes recovered at LA's 27.
On the Rams' next possession, in-season acquisition Rasul Douglas picked off Stafford on a pass intended for receiver Cooper Kupp and returned it for a 33-yard touchdown to put the Packers up 36-17.
Douglas said afterward it was a route combination secondary coach/passing game coordinator Jerry Gray had talked about with his defensive backs this past week.
"Coach showed it to us a couple times," said Douglas, whose most recent pick-six came in 2016 off former Packers quarterback Taysom Hill, then at BYU. "When I'd seen it, I put all my marbles in a bag and just said I'm going to get it. He threw it. That was really all that."
Stepping up, up front: The Packers once again overcame injuries on the offensive line to hold one of the NFL's most formidable defensive fronts to just a single sack of Rodgers.
"The offensive line was fantastic," Rodgers said. "One phantom sack, the gift I gave my workout buddy Greg Gaines with the zero-yard sack on the scramble. I thought they did a nice job. I thought we mixed it up with the quick game, getting the ball out of my hand."
While the interior mostly handled former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, the Packers turned to former undrafted free agent Yosh Nijman at left tackle after losing Elgton Jenkins to a knee injury for the season.
Nijman and right tackle Billy Turner helped keep Leonard Floyd and Von Miller in check, limiting the two edge rushers to just a pair of quarterback hits.
"I gave him a big hug after the game and told him, 'I almost forgot about that side of the line,' and that's a huge compliment because I didn't have any worries about my backside," said Rodgers of Nijman. "You're going against two likely Hall of Famers (Miller and Donald) and a stud in Floyd, who's been doing it at a high level now for half a decade. That's a tough, tough, tough job. And to step in and play as well as he did, really proud of him."
Lambeau Field hosted a Week 12 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.
Mr. Roboto: After noticing Nijman's recent robot celebrations, Dillon and fellow running back Aaron Jones designed a few touchdown celebrations with the second-year tackle Saturday.
Dillon even had a chance to bust it out following his 5-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, which included Nijman "booting" Dillon up and the two shaking hands in a robotic motion.
Dillon hadn't seen it yet after the game but already was getting text messages from friends and family about how cool it looked.
"We had a little bit of extra time before we went home and me and Jonesy were both together and like, 'Hey, if either of us score, we'll go ahead and do the robot with you. Let's come up with some celebrations,'" Dillon recalled. "I don't really have any crazy celebrations or go-to things but I was like, 'I'll do this with you. Let's do it.'"
Stopping the run: Despite playing most of the game in its nickel and dime sub-packages, the Packers' defense didn't allow the Rams a carry of more than seven yards.
Los Angeles finished the game with just 68 yards on 20 rushing attempts (3.4 yards per carry).
"I just think the front seven as a whole with DC (De'Vondre Campbell), Krys (Barnes), they just did a really good job at filling the holes and bringing those double-teams off of us after they got done with their work," said defensive lineman Kenny Clark, who had six tackles and a sack. "I think the front seven played a really good game, in the run game."