Hyde keeps finding ways to contribute
Randall Cobb may need to pass that detergent.
A month after ketchup stained the jersey of the Green Bay Packers' fourth-year receiver following a Lambeau Leap, defensive back Micah Hyde's uniform was showered in beer after returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of Sunday's 53-20 win over Philadelphia.
Hyde didn't mind. His touchdown put the Packers ahead 17-0 with 2 minutes left in the first quarter and dealt a demoralizing blow for the Eagles' chances of a comeback against Green Bay's surging defense and flawless quarterback play from Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers have liked the production they've received out of the punt-return platoon of Cobb and Hyde this season, which has the Packers ranked second in the NFL (13.3 yards per return) behind only the Eagles (16.3).
Individually, it was Hyde's second punt returned for a touchdown in 26 attempts since the Packers took the Iowa alumnus in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. His six returns aren't enough to qualify to be among the league leaders, but the early returns are promising (six returns for 124 yards, 20.7 average).
It looked like the Eagles might force Hyde into accepting a fair catch on the play, but he made charging receiver Josh Huff miss to jump start the play. Solid blocking opened an allay for Hyde and led to a foot race between he and punter Donnie Jones up the right sideline..
"I just had faith in my guys," Hyde said. "(Davon) House came in at halftime and said, 'There was no doubt in my mind you weren't going to fair catch it.' The ball was up in the air for what seemed like 10 seconds, finally came down and all I had to do was make one cut. The guys up front blocked for me and blocked well."
A lot of scouts questioned Hyde's speed coming into the NFL after he ran a 4.56-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. It's still a metric Hyde gets annoyed it with him to this day.
However, Hyde has played above the stat sheets to his point of his professional career. He grabbed his first career interception in last week's 53-20 win over Chicago. Working from the slot in the nickel and dime subpackages again, Hyde finished with four tackles and a pass deflection against the Eagles.
As the team watched film on the Eagles this week, the Packers' coaching staff was confident Hyde likely would have a chance to contribute in a big way on special teams.
It was one of few bright spots for a unit that had two failed extra-point attempts, gave up a blocked Tim Masthay punt and witnessed Mason Crosby miss a 50-yard field late.
"Going back to the Tuesday game plan meetings, we just felt Micah, his particular style versus their unit and what we had called is really what we talked about all week," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He did a great job of catching and getting north and south and finishing it. Great return. I haven't seen the video of it so I can't comment on the particulars of the blocking, but Micah's straight-ahead style we felt was a good way to go today."
Cobb's incident came after a touchdown catch against Carolina and quickly earned him an endorsement for laundry detergent.
Could Hyde be next?
"Yeah, Miller Lite. What's up?" said Hyde, laughing. "It was really funny."
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