GREEN BAY – Pro Bowl offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins hasn't been shy about expressing dissatisfaction in his own play after impressively returning from an ACL reconstruction in less than 10 months.
Jenkins holds himself to a high standard, even when playing right tackle, where he'd started only one game in his career prior to this year. Fair to himself or not, he hadn't been meeting that standard in his first few games back.
But offensive coordinator and former line coach Adam Stenavich said last week he wasn't worried about Jenkins, and the film from the London game against the Giants shows why.
For all the frustration and disappointment surrounding a winnable game that got away from the Packers, if there's a silver lining it's that Jenkins is settling in and looking like his old self. Here's a sampling.
Play No. 1: Third-and-8 from the Green Bay 26, first quarter, 14:16 left
Result: 35-yard completion to WR Randall Cobb
On the opening third down of the game, there's an immediate test for Jenkins against rookie OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 draft, on an extended play. Jenkins handles the much-talked-about rookie just fine, not even needing the help RG Royce Newman (70) gives him as QB Aaron Rodgers steps up in the pocket. Pretty good work by LT David Bakhtiari (69) and a nice recovery by C Josh Myers (71) on this play, too.
Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the New York 39, first quarter, 13:31 left
Result: 7-yard run by RB AJ Dillon
On the next snap, Jenkins shows he can handle Thibodeaux in the run game, too. Extra credit to rookie WR Christian Watson (9) for the downfield block he throws as he enters the picture from the right side of the screen.
Play No. 3: Second-and-6 from the Green Bay 44, first quarter, 5:00 left
Result: 22-yard completion to WR Romeo Doubs
The leftover smoke from the anthem fireworks has finally cleared, but there's nothing fancy here, just rock solid pass protection and reliable work from Jenkins on the edge. The Packers have a pair of double-teams on the inside, chip help on the blitzer by WR Allen Lazard (13), which makes Dillon's job in the backfield easier, and single matchups for TE Marcedes Lewis (89) and Jenkins. Lewis' guy, OLB Jihad Ward (55), practically gives up once he gets engaged with Big Dog. Jenkins is working one-on-one in space against Thibodeaux but doesn't let him anywhere near Rodgers.
Play No. 4: Second-and-13 from the New York 37, first quarter, 3:33 left
Result: Defensive pass interference for 33 yards
Two plays later, Jenkins and Newman do a nice job picking up a stunt by Thibodeaux and DL Justin Ellis (71) as Rodgers has to buy a little extra time. Ellis is the type of interior rusher Jenkins blocked plenty while playing guard, and he has no trouble here as the downfield flag sets up the Packers' first touchdown.
Play No. 5: First-and-10 from midfield, second quarter, 13:01 left
Result: 7-yard completion to TE Josiah Deguara
Here's a play-action/misdirection with the line movement going to Rodgers' right, which puts the onus on Jenkins to stand tall for his QB while the routes develop to the QB's left. Jenkins gets out front to attack OLB Tomon Fox (49) and allow for a smooth delivery the other way to Deguara, who starts by going low for a cut block on the edge and then getting up to catch the pass, which sets up second-and-short.
Play No. 6: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 48, third quarter, 5:30 left
Result: 14-yard completion to Cobb (after successful review challenge)
Another extended play, but Jenkins does everything he's asked to against Ward. He handles Ward's bull rush without incident and then continues pushing him out of the play, far enough for Rodgers to find an escape lane and hit Cobb along the boundary.
Play No. 7: First-and-10 from the New York 15, fourth quarter, 1:58 left
Result: 7-yard run by RB Aaron Jones
Five of the six plays so far have been passes, so here's another run to wrap it up. By helping on DL Nicholas Williams (93) and getting a piece of the over-pursuing LB Jaylon Smith (54) in the process, Jenkins helps create a huge cutback lane for Jones, who isn't going to miss a hole like that.