Green Bay Packers: Grading the Offense in Week 1
There is no doubt the game was well-executed; the 1-0 standing says it all. Now that we’ve had a chance to examine their preseason performance and Week 1 debut, let’s take a closer look at what makes this team so legendary.
The fact that the New Orleans Saints were the prior year’s world champions wasn’t enough to keep up with the Pack. With Aaron Rodgers pitted against Drew Brees, there was near-perfect execution throughout the game on both sides, without a single interception allowed.
Rodgers' numbers are always high for passing yards, but Brees surprisingly had one over on Rodgers by throwing more than 100 yards more, closing it out at 419 yards. Despite this, the 312 yards that Rodgers had was enough to clinch the first win of the season for his Green Bay boys.
It’s hard not to love Rodgers as an athlete, no matter which jersey you’re wearing on game day. With the talent this quarterback has displayed the last few seasons and his opening night performance, we know that Rodgers may still have yet to peak as a professional athlete.
Grade: Aaron Rodgers gets an A.
Full Offensive Involvement
In comparison with the Saints, the Green Bay Packers utilized a more diverse and wide range of their players in Thursday night’s game.
Six Saints received the ball on behalf of New Orleans. As for the Green Bay Packers, nine of the offensive line teamed up for a total of 312 receiving yards. Increasing the amount of used players not only helps to throw off the defense and create unpredictability within the game, but it also helps psych up the contributing players with their increased stats.
Provided Rodgers continues to use his full squad and doesn't single out individual favorites—as many do—the Packers have a better edge against those who stick to a few choice receivers. The ability for this many players to get open against a pressing defense truly shows the strength of the Packers' offensive line.
Grade: We give the Packers an A for full-team utilization.
The Packers' passing game is known throughout the NFL. Every new season comes with new opportunities for players to diversify their skills and add elements to an already-solid game.
The Green Bay Packers have now stepped up their running game as well, and paired with their already intense passing game, the team will be even more untouchable as the defense tries to predict their plays.
John Kuhn, Ryan Grant and James Starks opened the season with plenty of promise and 102 combined yards. In just his second year as a NFL athlete—and slotted second-string behind Grant—Starks carried 47 yards in this memorable season opener.
We can be sure the offense will be plenty busy this year as they execute their improved running game.
Grade: For now, B+ for upping the running game, but we have more to see.
Randall "RC" Cobb has yet to prove himself as an NFL athlete in the long run. As for Thursday night’s 2011 season-opener against the New Orleans Saints, there is little more that Cobb could have done to make his mark in such an astounding way.
Before the close of the first quarter—in the first game of the season and in his first professional NFL game—Cobb broke his first barrier and received a 32-yard pass from Rodgers for his first touchdown.
That’s quite a first game. Debuting his fresh career as a starter for the world champions, we were able to see why Ted Thompson picked him up for their second draft choice.
Add in his third-quarter 108-yard kickoff return, and his performance went down in the record books, tying for the NFL's longest kick return.
Grade: Randall Cobb's future potential? A+
Defensive coordinators around the nation are scrambling today to come up with some way to stop what may be unstoppable. Highlight reels and video are being intensely analyzed for a potential hole in their game.
Where hopes had been after a relatively inactive lockout, the Packers showed the rest of the NFL just what they feared: The Pack is back and hungry for more.
While no team is flawless, the execution that we witnessed under the burning lights of Lambeau's soon-to-be frozen tundra affirmed what every Packer fan already knew: These boys are good.
Grade: A—keep up the good work, and you'll get my +.