It’s stock viewing time after the Green Bay Packers’ 27-10 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 2 of the 2022 season.
Here’s who’s up and down after the win in the home opener at Lambeau Field:
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RB Aaron Jones: He got 18 touches and Matt LaFleur was actually disappointed he didn’t get more. Jones averaged nearly 10 yards a touch, created six plays of at least 10 yards or more and scored a pair of touchdowns. The guess here is that Jones will never come close to receiving just eight touches in a game again this season; he is the focal point of the offense, and for good reason.
WR Sammy Watkins: All three of his catches came on scoring drives. He made easy work of the coverage on a couple of breakaway routes early, and his 55-yard plunge late in the game largely put away the win.
Pony pack: The Packers had Jones and AJ Dillon on the field together for 10 snaps Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers always talks about getting the offense’s “best 11” on the field, and Jones and Dillon are undoubtedly in the top 11. The Packers think they’re just scratching the surface of what this package can be, so expect to see it more and more. The double running back look provides opportunities to get Jones wide and on the move. His 8-yard touchdown came off the look; Jones motioned to the right, and Dillon led the way as a blocker.
OLB Preston Smith: He created two sacks, three quarterback hits and six total pressures, which are impressive numbers considering the Bears only dropped back and passed 17 times overall. He also adds five total stops, a team-high, per PFF. The veteran edge rusher can still get it done at a high level.
Backup Safeties on Special Teams: Dallin Leavitt made a pair of tackles covering kicks, including a fumble on the return at the 15-yard line. Rudy Ford forced a punt sack on punt coverage at the 10-yard line.
LB Quay Walker: His speed was great to slow Justin Fields’ outside the pocket, and he nearly had an interception in coverage late in the game. The rookie is still finding his way as a defender at the NFL level, but his athleticism and movement have jumped off the screen in each of the first two weeks.
TE Marcedes Lewis: Aaron Rodgers wanted the veteran run blocker on the field more in Week 2, and Matt LaFleur made it happen. Lewis played 31 snaps and was a big part of the play out of the zone. Week in and week out, he is one of the team’s best blockers at the point of attack.
Offensive tackles: Left tackle Yosh Nijman and right tackle Elgton Jenkins both fired Sunday night. Yeah. Nijman actually played a terrific game overall against edge rusher Robert Quinn, while Jenkins’ return solidified the right side of the line and made everyone else better, especially in the running game. Nijman keeps getting better; Jenkins will get better and better as he shakes off the rust. Even if David Bakhtiari’s return never comes, the Packers are in good hands at offensive tackle.
Tackle in defense: For the second week in a row, the Packers missed 10 total tackles on defense, per PFF. And it has been a collective effort; after two games, seven defensive starters have at least two misses, including De’Vondre Campbell and Adrian Amos, two of the team’s most reliable defenders. For the run defense to improve, the Packers need to improve at completion.
WR Christian Watson: The rookie was on the field for just 22 snaps, down from 40 in the season opener. And he ran just seven total routes, the fewest among wide receivers with at least 10 snaps. The Packers chalked him up to a few produced touches, but he made three catches for just nine yards. Most of his work was done as the jet motion man.
DL Jarran Reed: The veteran inside lineman was pushed around in the running game and missed two tackles. Reed and TJ Slaton were not effective in running roles.
Backup outside linebackers: The Packers don’t show much confidence in backups Jonathan Garvin and Kingsley Enagbare at edge rusher. They combined for just seven total snaps. To be fair, the Bears only ran 41 plays, so Preston Smith and Rashan Gary probably didn’t need to come off the field.