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What You Might've Missed: The key block (or two)

Help from many positions required on Packers’ best plays


GREEN BAY – It wasn't a dynamic offensive performance for the Packers on Sunday by any means, but no team rolls up 393 total yards without some darn good execution on a number of important plays.

Anytime Green Bay gained a nice chunk of yards against Seattle, there was at least one key block, if not more, that made it happen. And throughout the game, those blocks were executed by players all across the offensive roster.

Here are the examples.

Play No. 1: Third-and-7 from the Green Bay 39, first quarter, 14:12 left

Result: 41-yard completion to WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

On the third snap of the game, the pass protection for QB Aaron Rodgers is textbook, and the block to watch is the blitz pickup by RB Aaron Jones (33) on S Ryan Neal (26). Watch it all the way to the end. Talk about finishing a block.

Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 22, first quarter, 9:06 left

Result: 11-yard run by RB AJ Dillon

On the first play of Green Bay's second series, it's hard to say whose block is the most important because there are multiple on an impressively executed power run. The two pulling blockers, RG Royce Newman (70) and TE Josiah Deguara (81), take out LB Benson Mayowa (10) and LB Jordyn Brooks (56), respectively. The collision between Deguara and Brooks is big-boy football. Then there's TE Marcedes Lewis (89), whose second-level work on LB Bobby Wagner (54) also helps to slow down the pursuit of S Jamal Adams (33) on the play. A bit of a two-fer. The shapes used to highlight the players correspond to who's blocking whom.

Play No. 3: Second-and-10 from the Green Bay 22, second quarter, 14:21 left

Result: 12-yard reception by Dillon

The Packers frequently run screen passes in this game, and a bunch are shown here. On this one, the block to watch is Valdes-Scantling's on Adams downfield, preventing the All-Pro safety from closing the gap faster on Dillon, and he shows his frustration afterward.

Play No. 4: Third-and-7 from the Seattle 18, second quarter, 11:05 left

Result: 8-yard scramble by Rodgers

Here the Seahawks rush just three and flood the red zone with eight defenders in coverage. Rodgers has nowhere to go with the ball so he heads for the first-down marker on the sideline, and WR Allen Lazard (13) very skillfully gets a shoulder in front of Neal to knock him down and clear the last bit of space Rodgers needs. Neal is furious and demanding a penalty flag, presumably for either a block in the back or a blindside block, but Lazard doesn't hit him from behind, and the blocker's body is facing sideways, not toward the other end zone, so it's legal.

Play No. 5: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 35, second quarter, 5:45 left

Result: Incomplete pass

This screen pass doesn't go Green Bay's way, because the pressure on Rodgers forces an awkward throw, and it's a tad high for Jones to bring it down. But it's shown here just to reveal how well the Packers had the blocking set up. Every defender was accounted for, and Jones might've been running a long way.

Play No. 6: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 20, third quarter, 7:45 left

Result: 23-yard reception by Jones

The Packers aren't done trying screen passes, and sometimes the best blocks don't have to be thrown. Here, LG Jon Runyan (76) is trying to get Brooks in the open field, but the combination of Jones' quick cut and Brooks' slip renders the block unnecessary, and Runyan smartly pulls off so he isn't seen shoving the defender in the back. The other "non-block" that helps this play work is the attention commanded by WR Davante Adams (17). His simple presence keeps CB D.J. Reed (2) and S Jamal Adams (33) out of the play.

Play No. 7: Second-and-6 from the Green Bay 47, third quarter, 6:22 left

Result: 24-yard reception by Jones

Two plays later, it's yet another screen pass, and recognition here goes first to LT Elgton Jenkins (74) for shoving DE Rasheem Green (94) out of the way so he can't catch Jones from behind, and then to Runyan, for keeping his head on a swivel to find Wagner at just the right moment.

Play No. 8: Third-and-goal from the Seattle 3, fourth quarter, 10:42 left

Result: 3-yard TD run by Dillon

All the credit in the world goes to Dillon for trucking through the All-Pro Wagner to get this ball into the end zone. But it's worth watching three other blocks on that same side of the play – Lewis on DE Darrell Taylor (52), RT Billy Turner (77) on DT Poona Ford (97), and Newman on Brooks. C Lucas Patrick (92) does the job on DT Bryan Mone (90), too. Because of those blocks, not a single Seattle defender is able to help Wagner when he hits Dillon in the hole. With some help, he might've been able to stop him. Without it, Dillon wins.

Play No. 9: Second-and-6 from the Green Bay 24, fourth quarter, 7:26 left

Result: 50-yard reception by Dillon

Last but certainly not least is the biggest play of the day, and again, Dillon deserves a ton of credit for making multiple tacklers miss and staying in bounds. But don't lose sight of the block by Valdes-Scantling on S Quandre Diggs (6). This is an incredibly smart play by Valdes-Scantling. With his body facing the opposite end zone, he's in danger of getting flagged for an illegal blindside block if he throws a shoulder into Diggs. So instead, he keeps his hands and arms down and simply runs interference, standing tall with his chest to essentially let Diggs run into him. Clean play, big gain.