GREEN BAY – Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson now has eight touchdowns in his last four games.
Touchdown No. 8 was highlighted at the end of the last WYMM, but without a new game to review this week, it seems like a good time to look back at those first seven (all pass receptions) and what helped make them happen.
So here are those forgotten moments from Watson's touchdown binge, in chronological order.
Touchdown No. 1: 58-yard reception vs. Dallas
This is the one that started it all, and two key blocks in pass protection are worth noticing. First is how C Josh Myers (71) picks up stunting LB Micah Parsons (11), both boxed, as Parsons is trying to come straight up the middle at QB Aaron Rodgers. Second is the help provided by RB AJ Dillon (28) on DE Dorance Armstrong (92), as Armstrong gets some outside leverage on LT David Bakhtiari (69) but still can't get to the QB. Not pretty, but effective.
Touchdown No. 2: 39-yard reception vs. Dallas
The edge protection is the highlight on this one, which is a clutch fourth down, as tackles Bakhtiari and Yosh Nijman (73) both execute similarly. Bakhtiari rides DE Sam Williams (54) around the outside, and Nijman (73) does the same vs. Parsons. The double-wide push, so to speak, gives Rodgers a clean platform to step into, and the route by Watson (starred) is fun to watch, too.
Touchdown No. 3: 7-yard reception vs. Dallas
The moment to catch here is how RB Aaron Jones (33), after carrying out the play-action fake, steps in perfectly to pick up Armstrong after TE Robert Tonyan (85) releases him to get out into his route. Textbook teamwork.
Touchdown No. 4: 14-yard reception vs. Tennessee
This one is a free play for 12 men on defense, where Rodgers catches the Titans substituting and gets a quick snap to take advantage. He holds the ball for nearly seven seconds before firing a jump ball for Watson in the back of the end zone, so the entire pass protection unit deserves kudos. Of particular note is the late charge toward Rodgers by DT Jeffery Simmons (98), which LG Elgton Jenkins (74) and Myers take care of, giving Rodgers that last extra second to let it fly.
Touchdown No. 5: 8-yard reception vs. Tennessee
There's a whole lot going on during this play, and what to watch is how the double play-action, first to Dillon and then to WR Randall Cobb (18) on the end-around, gets Titans DBs Kristian Fulton (26) and Joshua Kalu (28) looking every which way except at Watson, whose route is headed for their area. By the time they realize it, it's too late.
Touchdown No. 6: 63-yard reception at Philadelphia
This one is all about the beauty of simplicity. This is a very basic, football 101 concept to create an opening on a crossing route for QB Jordan Love. First, the play-action fake to Jones gets LB T.J. Edwards (57) to bite up closer to the line of scrimmage to open up more space as Watson is streaking behind him. Second, the companion post route by WR Allen Lazard (13) has to be honored by S Reed Blankenship (32), which keeps him too deep to react soon enough to have any chance of defending Watson.
Touchdown No. 7: 14-yard reception at Chicago
Just all-around solid pass protection here, as Nijman handles DL Al-Quadin Muhammad (55) and LT Zach Tom (50) does the same with DL Dominique Robinson (91) on the edges. On the interior, DL Justin Jones (93) and DT Armon Watts (96) run a stunt. Jones runs into a double-team from Myers and RG Jon Runyan (76) and ends up on his backside, while Watts is picked up smoothly by Jenkins. All of this buys Rodgers the extra time he needs to shift within the pocket and find a throwing lane to Watson.