The Packers defeated the Ravens Sunday afternoon 31-30, locking up the NFC North. Let’s take a look at the three things we learned in the victory versus the Ravens.
Special Teams is Anything but Special
The Packers special teams has been one of the worst rated units in the league all season. First year special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton has struggled to improve a lackluster unit. It was no different Sunday afternoon against the Ravens. A 35 yard kick off return by Amari Rodgers was erased by a block in the back penalty, that hurt their starting field position. The Packers nearly muffed a kick off return in the third quarter after a Ravens score. A pooched kick off went through the legs of Jonathan Garvin, but was able to bounce on it, putting the Packers deep in their own territory. The special teams unit also had three penalties on the night. The one positive on the night, Mason Crosby was perfect. 4-4 on extra points, and was able to make a short field goal in the 4th quarter. It is worrisome to see a unit struggle so mightily late in the season. One has to hope it does not negatively impact them in the playoffs.
Aaron Jones Dominates Backfield
Since Aaron Jones has returned from his MCL injury, it has been a pretty even timeshare in the backfield for Jones and A.J. Dillon. Jones out touched Dillon 13-7 and had two receptions over Dillon’s 1, including a touchdown reception. Jones will need to continue to heal, but also be the featured back if the Packers want to succeed in the playoffs. Dillon has a niche in the offense and serves a valuable role, but the offense is at it’s best when Jones is in the backfield.
Marques Valdes Scantling Continues to big play Receiver
MVS has always had the potential to be a big play threat down the field, but has never truly lived up to the hype. Over his four year career he has flashed the potential, especially in 2020. This year he has seemed to put it all together. Sunday afternoon, MVS lead the team in receptions (5) and yards (98) including a touchdown reception. MVS has had 4 receptions over 30 yards on the season, two of the coming in the last four games. Adams is the unquestioned leader in the receiver room. As seen on Sunday. MVS continues to prove to be the big play shot down the field on a week-to-week basis.