Stat Pack: Packers' pass defense delivers
Pro Football Focus uses a complex system to analyze every NFL player involved in every snap in every game and assigns a grade based on how he performed on that play, with each position having its own set of grading guidelines. Plus/minus scores are given in 0.5 increments and a small normalization factor is applied to make 0.0 the average grade for a game or season. To learn more, visit www.profootballfocus.com
Three statistical takeaways from the Packers’ playoff victory Sunday at Washington, with an assist from PFF’s Michael Renner:
1. Although the Packers’ offense received most of the praise after coming to life in the 35-18 win, the Green Bay secondary did a stellar job of cooling off red-hot Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. Despite missing top cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) for the fourth straight game, the Packers frustrated Cousins into his worst outing (-4.5 overall grade) since Week 6 against the Jets (-5.3). On passes of 10 to 20 yards, Cousins was 2-for-10 for 36 yards. High marks were earned by cornerbacks Casey Hayward (+3.7) and Quinten Rollins (+2.0) and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (+3.5).
2. Pass protection has been a problem most of this season for the Packers, but not in this game as every starting offensive lineman earned a positive pass-blocking grade, led by fill-in left tackle JC Tretter (+1.3). Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (+1.2), left guard Josh Sitton (+1.2), right guard T.J. Lang (+1.1) and center Corey Linsley (+0.6) also were instrumental in keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright the rest of the way after an early safety. Lang also excelled as a run-blocker (+3.3).
3. Speaking of Rodgers (+1.1), he continued to have accuracy issues (particularly on corner routes and while battling a stiff wind in the first quarter, when he started out going 1-for-8 for 11 yards), but starting clicking on short passes to receivers James Jones (+2.6), Randall Cobb (+1.1) and Davante Adams (+0.9). Nine of Rodgers’ 33 passes arrived off target, but he again avoided interceptions and threw for two touchdowns for his best showing since Week 14 against Dallas (+1.8).