I saw some great film breakdown of the All-22 film on one of the NFL Network's best shows, Playbook.
In it, they really looked at the tape from the Packers win over the Cardinals win and highlighted one key area: the work of Quinn Johnson.
In the tape, Johnson blocked about as well as one can, showing solid strength and enough speed to open holes in the second level as well as at the line of scrimmage. It was mostly during a blowout, and he was in because of injuries to other players, but Johnson is definitely a new-age fullback and one to watch this weekend.
He's downright svelte for a fullback at 246, but his blocking was impeccable in the Arizona game.
The fullback position is at a bit of a crossroads in the modern NFL. I'll tackle this subject another day in full, but with passing attacks where they are, there are essentially no pure fullbacks anymore.
If you've read many of the big columnists this past month (or my own past writing here) you're sure to have gleaned that this is a passing game, that running the ball isn't as important as it used to be.
All that is true, but if you can't run the ball you will come up short on a third down that you need. At this time of year, that can be all the difference.
That's why, when you play a strong run-stopping outfit like Arizona, it's so important to block effectively. Many teams will run multi-back sets with a third or fourth string halfback or tight end as a blocking back, but few teams give up a spot on the 53 to a pure blocking fullback anymore.
Teams that do employ real fullbacks tend to rely on them to do other things, as well. Miami's Lousaka Polite is a third down specialist who plows through short yardage while Le'ron McClain of the Ravens is a fullback in name only, with a body type and running style more akin to a large tailback.
The only real fullbacks left in the league are Atlanta's Ovie Mughelli, Cincinnatti's Jeremi Johnson, and Dallas' Deon Anderson. All they really do is take big people and move them out of the way. It's a specialty that's dying quickly.
But for the Packers, it's a position that is alive and well, even if Johnson is merely moonlighting in the role.
It remains to be seen if he's earned more playing time after last week's work, but against the Cardinals' excellent run defense, it'll be up to Ryan Grant's blockers, like Johnson, to plow the road.