GREEN BAY – On runs, screens and quick passes, two good blocks will produce a solid gain. Three or more? That's when the explosive plays occur.
The Packers' offensive players executed at least three really effective blocks on a number of key snaps in Sunday night's win over the Bears, so a sampling of those will be looked at in more detail.
And it wouldn't be WYMM without an examination of the defense's goal-to-go stand in the fourth quarter, on which every play featured different contributors.
Let's get to it.
Play No. 1: Second-and-11 from the Chicago 15, second quarter, 15:00 left
Result: 15-yard TD run by RB Aaron Jones
The three blockers to watch here are WR Allen Lazard (13) and pulling linemen RG Royce Newman (70) and C Josh Myers (71). They turn a simple pitch play into the Packers' first TD. As Lazard blocks down on LB Roquan Smith (58), Newman and Myers pull around him and go hunting for their own action. Newman easily kicks out CB Kindle Vildor (22) – he outweighs him by 120 pounds – and the highlight-reel block is by Myers, who just blasts LB Nicholas Morrow (53) out of the play. This is so well-blocked that LT Yosh Nijman (73) doesn't really even need to block anybody.
Play No. 2: Second-and-28 from the Chicago 42, second quarter, 6:50 left
Result: 20-yard reception by WR Romeo Doubs
On a screen play Head Coach Matt LaFleur called perhaps the most pivotal in the game, the key blockers are Lazard, WR Randall Cobb (18) and LG Jon Runyan (76). Runyan gets downfield quickly to get in Morrow's way, while Cobb blocks DB Kyler Gordon (6) and Lazard locks up DB Jaylon Johnson (33). Credit the rookie Doubs with good patience and vision, and Nijman shows his regret at missing DB Eddie Jackson (4), which might've sprung Doubs to the end zone.
Play No. 3: Second-and-5 from the Chicago 8, second quarter, 4:40 left
Result: 8-yard TD reception by Jones
Three plays later, the Packers score anyway. Only two blockers are highlighted here, but that's because WR Sammy Watkins (11) does the work of more than one. His assignment is Vildor, but in the process of blocking him, he also slows down Gordon chasing Jones across the formation on the jet motion, and even DB Jaquan Brisker (9) gets caught up in the wash a bit as he's slow to react to the play stretching horizontally. In front of Jones, RB AJ Dillon (28) makes easy work of Smith to finish this off.
Play No. 4: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 33, second quarter, 3:10 left
Result: 14-yard run by Jones
The key block here is by TE Josiah Deguara (81), lined up in the backfield, against Morrow in the hole. The other one to watch again features some double duty, as Runyan gets a good chip on DL Mike Pennel (64) before finding Smith on the second level. The other element to explosive runs is ball-carriers making tacklers miss, which Jones did much of the night. Here he bursts through a feeble arm-tackle attempt by Brisker to move the chains.
Play No. 5: Second-and-11 from the Chicago 39, third quarter, 10:06 left
Result: 11-yard run by Dillon
For good measure, here's a play worth pointing out four effective blocks. At the point of attack, Newman seals off DL Angelo Blackson (90) and TE Robert Tonyan (85) cuts across the formation to bump DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (55), who can only get one hand on Dillon. In the meantime, RT Elgton Jenkins (74) is driving the Pro Bowler Smith well downfield, and Watkins has Vildor locked up on the outside.
Now, we'll shift gears to the defense's goal-line stand
First down: First-and-goal from the Green Bay 10, fourth quarter, 9:48 left
Result: 2-yard run by RB David Montgomery
Defensive linemen often talk about getting "knock back" at the line of scrimmage, and that's how DL Kenny Clark (97) wins this down. His initial jolt to C Sam Mustipher (67) knocks the center's feet two-plus yards into the backfield, and Clark separates from the block to wrap up Montgomery.
Second down: Second-and-goal from the Green Bay 8, fourth quarter, 9:15 left
Result: 2-yard run by Montgomery
Same result as the Bears probe to their right, with outside LB Rashan Gary (52) setting a solid edge, which forces Montgomery to turn inside, where DL Dean Lowry (94) is closing up the hole after breaking free from former teammate RG Lucas Patrick (62).
Third down: Third-and-goal from the Green Bay 6, fourth quarter, 8:33 left
Result: 5-yard run by QB Justin Fields
This one is all about the reactions and speed of rookie inside LB Quay Walker (7). As Fields breaks the pocket, he tries to deke the first-round defender in open space, and even though he gets Walker to take a slight stutter-step, Walker is still fast enough to chase him down and make the play. It was initially ruled a touchdown, but replay showed Fields' knee was down before the ball reached the pylon, thanks to Walker's incredible pursuit.
Fourth down: Fourth-and-goal from the Green Bay 1, fourth quarter, 8:13 left
Result: Fields run for no gain
Last but not least, additional members of the defense get in on the finale of this sequence. It starts with DL Jarran Reed (90), who drives TE Cole Kmet (85) right into the pulling guard Patrick, clogging the point of attack. That's really where this play is made. Then Reed, followed by LB De'Vondre Campbell (59) and outside LB Preston Smith (91) hold up Fields at the goal line, and CB Jaire Alexander (23) gives a concluding push to top it off.
Bonus play: Second-and-10 from the Chicago 19, fourth quarter, 2:18 left
Result: INT by Alexander
This is included to put on display just how far Alexander has to run to get his interception, the first turnover for the Packers' defense on the season. How much ground he covers, and how quickly he closes that ground on his last half-dozen strides or so, is incredible. Goodness gracious.