STUDS AND DUDS
Aaron Jones has big day; Kentrell Brice disappoints
The Green Bay Packers’ 31-17 loss to the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field was a deflating performance in all three phases, with mistakes and missed opportunities helping create a convincing defeat on the road against an NFC foe.
Here are a few of the Packers’ studs and duds from Sunday’s loss:
STUDS RB Aaron Jones
He needed only six carries to prove he’s the most explosive and talented running back on the roster. He ripped off three runs over eight yards, including back-to-back runs producing 18 yards, plus a 17-yard run in the second half. Everything about his electric running style works in symmetry. He sees the hole, gets to the hole and bursts through the hole, and he’s creative and tough enough at the contact point to get extra yards. The Packers must find a way to get the ball in his hands 15-20 times every week, especially with Aaron Rodgers hobbled.
DL Kenny Clark
The Redskins kept running it at Clark and he kept making plays. No. 97 is the most consistently dominant player on the defense. He led the team in tackles, batted down a pass and was, on several occasions, a step away from a sack or quarterback hit. His contributions to stopping the run on early downs were key for the defense in the second half.
P JK Scott
He handled some tough snaps as a punter and still kicked well in the conditions. Two of his five punts finished inside the 20, including a perfect punt downed at the 2-yard line. He also had another field-flipping 58-yarder.
WR Geronimo Allison
Allison used a great double move to get behind the coverage and catch a 64yard touchdown in the first half. It was the kind of big play the offense needed. He also had a second opportunity to score on a scramble drill later in the second half, but Rodgers threw low and skipped it to him in the end zone. In the first half, Rodgers found Allison for 12 yards to convert on third down – the third time in as many games the two have connected to pick up a third down.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Valdes-Scantling forced t wo fair catches, downed a punt at the 2-yard line, made a tackle inside the 20-yard line on kickoff coverage and made another tackle on punt coverage. The rookie receiver is becoming Ron Zook’s goto gunner.
C Corey Linsley
Although the guard to each side of him struggled, Linsley was rock solid in the middle, both in the run game and as a pass protector. He was especially solid executing reach blocks on several of the Packers’ most productive cutback runs.
DUDS S Kentrell Brice
Brice’s lack of awareness and ball tracking skills showed up on the long Paul Richardson touchdown, and he had at least three terrible tackle attempts creating big plays. It was the kind of performance that should get a starter benched the next week.
WR Randall Cobb
Scan t hrough Cobb’s first seven years in the NFL and you’ll struggle to find a performance worse than Sunday ’s. Cobb turned 11 targets into four catches and 23 yards, dropped chainmoving opportunities on both third and fourth down and had a comeback-stalling fumble late in the fourth quarter.
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
He had strong coverage against Jordan Reed and benefited from a mixup in communication on his interception in the first half, but the rest of his afternoon was disappointing. Clinton-Dix lost Vernon Davis on third down in the first quarter, missed a tackle on Reed and was late rotating over on Jamison Crowder’s short touchdown. He still looks completely uninterested in initiating contact.
LS Hunter Bradley
The rookie was fine the first two weeks, but he might not have enough roster equity to survive what turned into a really tough afternoon in Washing ton. His first snap sent Scott a full two or three yards to his right. Right before the end of the half, he skipped a snap to Scott and forced an aborted field goal. Another snap in the fourth quarter went right and almost got away from Scott. Finally, Scott had to reach way down and to his right to catch Bradley ’s last snap.
OLB Nick Perry
Perry delivered one tackle for loss late, but he was mostly invisible over his 38 snaps. Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams won the matchup decisively. Through three games, Perry simply hasn’t provided enough as a pass rusher. Maybe he’s still working his way back after off-season ankle surgery, but the Packers need more. A lot more.
RT Jason Spriggs
He came on for Bryan Bulaga late in the first half and mostly looked overmatched. The Redskins attacked him, especially early in the second half. He gave up a handful of easy pressures and was penalized twice, once for holding and once for a false start. The Packers better hope Bulaga’s injury isn’t serious.
TE Lance Kendricks
What exactly is Kendricks’ worth to the roster? He isn’t effective as an inline blocker and has struggled with drops since arriving last summer.
LG Lane Taylor
He really struggled staying in front of Jonathan Allen, who consistently beat Taylor with power and quickness. Taylor has been nothing more than average as a pass blocker to start 2018.
Packers running back Aaron Jones probably should have gotten more touches in his first game back on the active roster.