The Packers defense came to play on Sunday. While the offense struggled, the defense bailed them out of every mishap. Tampa Bay had no answer for the Packers defensive line and the corners played exceptionally well. One player that did not get mentioned a lot was second year corner Eric Stokes. There was a reason for this. Eric Stokes was the unsung hero on Sunday.
Eric Stokes: Unsung Hero
A lot of you were curious about how Eric Stokes played Sunday because you didn’t hear his name called — and that’s because Tom Brady wanted nothing to do with him. According to @PFF, Stokes logged 50 snaps in coverage and was targeted just once: a single catch for six yards.
— zach jacobson (@itszacharyj) September 26, 2022
Throughout the game, Stokes’ name was not called a lot. Turns out, Tom Brady was avoiding him. Once Jaire Alexander went down with a groin injury, Stokes had to step up to CB1. According to Pro Football Focus, Stokes had 50 snaps in coverage but was only targeted once. That lone target was a catch for six yards. Besides that, the ball never went Stokes’ way. Brady completely avoided him choosing instead to throw at Rasul Douglas. The fact that Brady did not even throw in Stokes’ direction speaks volumes.
Great To See Stokes Continue Success
After an impressive rookie season, the question became whether Stokes could keep up the high level of play. The sophomore slump hits a lot of players in their second year. He had a rough training camp often getting beat by receivers. It seems that he is settling in well. Similar to last year, if Alexander misses time, Stokes will be called upon to step up. A couple months ago, I wrote about Eric Stokes being the Packers other lockdown corner. Alexander gets all the love (rightfully so) but Stokes is just as good in my opinion. It seems that even Hall of Fame quarterbacks recognize Stokes’ abilities. We are not singing his praises today because we didn’t get a chance to see him make the eye popping plays that others did. Stokes continues to be an unsung hero of the Packers defense.
Brian Gutekunst has been nailing first round picks the last two drafts. Eric Stokes and now Quay Walker look to be staples of this defense for years to come. Sunday was an impressive performance. The Packers defense look to continue their dominance when New England comes to town next Sunday.