By Adam Roberts – 10/6/2020
Earlier last week, ESPN La Crosse ran a poll on Twitter, asking which Green Bay Packer player would receive the highest number of Aaron Rodgers targets against Atlanta with receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard both injured.
23.3% of voters said it would be tight end Robert Tonyan. And Big Bob came to play last night. He had three of Aaron’s four touchdown passes in the Packers’ 30-16 win last night, tallying six receptions for 98 yards and the three scores.
Tonyan said after the game he didn’t feel any pressure to produce with Davante and Allen both out.
Many were wondering if the Packers would be able to maintain their offensive production with both Adams and Lazard sidelined. But the key to the Packers having the second best offense in terms of production in the NFL has been sharing the ball. Running back Aaron Jones certainly got his fair share of opportunites for 111 all-purpose yards and a score, but Rodgers targeted seven different receivers as a part of his 327 airborne yards. Jamaal Williams in particular played great as a backfield receiver (8 catches for 95 yards).
Defensively, linebacker Za’Darius Smith had his breakout game of the season, attacking Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan from all angles for 8 tackles, 4 for loss, and 3 sacks. He’s now tied for the league lead in the sack category with Myles Garrett of Cleveland, and Green Bay overall creeped into the top five in the NFL with 12 sacks on the season.
The game time itself was pushed back multiple times yesterday with a second Monday Night game being played in Kansas City. It all revolves around what has been a dynamic week for the league as it pertains to COVID-19; the outbreak in Tennessee was the NFL’s first big test this year in mitigating the spread of the virus. While other scattered positives have come out in the last seven days, including to Patriots’ QB Cam Newton which necessitated a delay in the Pats-Chiefs game, overall the news has been mostly good; the Titans have had no positive tests for two days straight now, and there have been no further positive tests in New England, either. Despite this, the NFL is implementing new COVID-19 protocols following the Titans’ outbreak. In a memo sent to teams, Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will place limitations on the number of tryouts teams can have per week, a ban on gatherings outside team facilities and implement a video monitoring system to ensure compliance with protocols. Breaking protocol could potentially result in loss of draft choices among other punishments.
Green Bay now enters their early-season bye week; they next face Tom Brady and Tampa Bay on October 18th at Raymond James Stadium.