Chalk Talk: Packers veteran receiver Randall Cobb breaks down crucial third-down conversion in win over Patriots
Chalk Talk is an occasional series in which PackersNews reporter Kassidy Hill breaks down a play with a Green Bay Packers player.
GREEN BAY – It was arguably the biggest play of the game. The Green Bay Packers, locked in an overtime battle at 24-all with the New England Patriots, were facing third-and-1 from their own 44-yard line. There were only a few minutes more to play before the game would be declared a tie, and the Packers had already punted on their first drive of overtime.
If Green Bay had any chance of winning and going to 3-1, they needed to convert the short third-down. So, quarterback Aaron Rodgers did as he has tended to do in those situations: find his veteran wide receiver, Randall Cobb.
After luring the Patriots in all day with the run game, Rodgers was able to drop back off the run-pass option and fire a shot on a slant to Cobb. The veteran connection picked up 11 yards and flipped field position. Kicker Mason Crosby told reporters after the game that he felt confident he could make a winning kick at that point.
The Packers continued the drive, with back-to-back quick throws to rookie Romeo Doubs, then three straight runs from running back AJ Dillon to get the ball where Crosby wanted it for the game-winning kick.
But the drive hinged on the third-down conversion to Cobb.
“The one thing that when Cobby’s number is called,” coach Matt LaFleur said Monday, "you can count on him to do it exactly the way it's supposed to be done. And he's super reliable, super consistent, especially in those critical situations.
“His third-down conversion late in the game and then the (Allen) Lazard one to start the second half, those were two of the biggest plays that we made all day on offense in terms of just keeping the chains moving and giving us an opportunity to go down and score.”
On Wednesday, Cobb broke down the play for PackersNews. Watch the video at the top of the page for a full break-down from Cobb, who sketched out the play.
“We were in 3rd-and-1," Cobb said. "We wanted to get a run look so Allen (Lazard) actually started outside and he motions down. He is gonna collision the safety to make the corner bite up and he is gonna run what we call an out route right here on the right side.
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“Me and Romeo are stacked up on the left side. And I have what we call a through route. So I get man-to-man coverage. I inside release, press up and break across. And Romeo is pressing out, coming up and running an in-route.
“And basically I beat my man across his face. Aaron (Rodgers) fakes to the running back who comes out, (Rodgers) sets up and he fires it to me and finds me open for a first down.”
Cobb finished the game with three receptions for 42 yards. Two of those receptions came on crucial third downs, with both drives ending in a score.