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What You Might've Missed: Double duty

Players who impact plays multiple ways stand out 


GREEN BAY – Sometimes a player has multiple assignments on a given play. Sometimes he impacts a play multiple ways just in the fashion it unfolds.

Whichever the case, anytime it's executed properly, pulling off double duty is fun to watch on film.

Here are several examples from the Miami game.

Play No. 1: Third-and-8 from the Miami 15, first quarter, 6:24 left

Result: 12-yard scramble by QB Aaron Rodgers

RB Aaron Jones executes the double duty here, somewhat unknowingly, and the combination of him simply doing his job and Rodgers' vision and anticipation lead to a key early third-down conversion. As the play begins, Jones isn't needed for help in pass protection, so he slips out underneath as a checkdown option. Only by doing so, he accomplishes something else – taking LB Jerome Baker (55) with him and out of the play, in the opposite direction of where Rodgers already has spotted a scrambling lane, which becomes a swath of open field to set up first-and-goal.

Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 33, third quarter, 12:24 left

Result: 11-yard run by RB AJ Dillon

TE Marcedes Lewis(89) always has his moments, because there's no such thing as a blocking assignment the Big Dog doesn't like. Here the veteran tight end starts with a chip on LB Bradley Chubb (2), which knocks him off a potential path to the ball-carrier as TE Robert Tonyan (85) picks him up. Then Lewis gets to the outside and takes the best shot LB Elandon Roberts (52) can deliver. But the Big Dog gives no ground, rides his man downfield, and Dillon has another first down.

Play No. 3: Third-and-9 from the Green Bay 45, third quarter, 10:11 left

Result: 17-yard completion to RB Patrick Taylor

Three plays later, it's No. 3 RB Taylor (27) with some great multitasking. First he gets a chip block on LB Melvin Ingram (6) that knocks the pass rusher to the ground. Then he releases across the middle as an outlet for Rodgers, who finds him to move the chains.

Play No. 4: First-and-10 from the Miami 38, third quarter, 9:26 left

Result: 31-yard completion to Lewis

On the very next snap, it's back to Big Dog on the (very subtle) double duty, with a huge assist on the play from Taylor. Lewis' release for a wheel route up the sideline acts in effect as a chip block on LB Andrew Van Ginkel (43). This proves valuable because Taylor's outstanding blitz pickup on Roberts flushes Rodgers toward Van Ginkel, who's been slowed up enough by Lewis and now LT Zach Tom(50) to have no impact on the deep throw the Big Dog hauls in.

Play No. 5: Second-and-9 from the Green Bay 37, fourth quarter, 5:23 left

Result: 22-yard completion to WR Romeo Doubs

This is a different type of double duty, where two Packers execute an assignment on the same defender to make the play work. The two players are TEs Josiah Deguara (81) and Tyler Davis (84). First, Deguara goes in motion to throw a cut block on LB Jaelan Phillips (15). Then, as Phillips keeps his feet and fights over that, there's Davis to pick him up to give Rodgers a clean pocket for a pinpoint throw to Doubs.

Play No. 6: Second-and-10 from the Miami 41, fourth quarter, 4:03 left

Result: 13-yard completion to Tonyan

Two snaps later, it's RB Aaron Jones (33) serving as both a pass protector and space creator, which both just sort of happen. As he leaks out to the right as a potential checkdown option for Rodgers, there's Phillips, so he lays a shoulder into him. More important, his movement pulls Roberts out of the middle of the field, which creates a wide-open throwing lane to Tonyan to move the chains again.

Play No. 7: First-and-20 from the Miami 38, fourth quarter, 3:10 left

Result: 18-yard run by Jones

Y'all knew where this theme was headed, right? Nobody really missed this, but it's the coup de grace of multi-point impact, as WR Allen Lazard (13) pulls triple duty, taking out three Dolphins with one block – S Eric Rowe (21), DT Christian Wilkins (94) and Roberts. It's reminiscent of a block Tonyan threw a couple years back in pass protection at Detroit, which knocked three Lions to the ground. This one comes on a running play and sets up the final points in the Packers' victory.

Bonus play: Miami kickoff, first quarter, 11:10 left

Result: 93-yard return by CB Keisean Nixon

Kickoff returns can be so chaotic, but the Packers' longest one in over a decade is worth reviewing to focus on a few key elements. This doesn't cover everything, but here are four players, highlighted by specific shapes, to watch that helped spring Nixon.

  • LB Kingsley Enagbare(55, circle): He very deftly maneuvers across the field seeking his target and finds him, knocking S Clayton Fejedelem (42) out of the play.
  • LB Krys Barnes (51, diamond): He locks up with LB Duke Riley (45), and then as Riley tries to spin out of the block, Barnes smartly releases his hands and puts them up so as not to draw a block-in-the-back flag.
  • RB Patrick Taylor (27, square): He has other highlights on offense above, but here he takes on his own number in DB Keion Crossen (27) and takes care of business.
  • LB Isaiah McDuffie(58, triangle): Last but not least is McDuffie's block on CB Justin Bethel (20) as Nixon hits full speed. Unfortunately as Bethel turns to chase Nixon in the open field, McDuffie can't quite catch up to him to get another block or the return would've found the end zone.

Barnes and Taylor both throw an arm up in the air signaling the triumph of the play, which comes up just short.