Cincinnati managed to tie the game up at 22 with just a few minutes left. After five combined missed kicks — three from Green Bay and two from Cincinnati — at the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime, the Packers managed to survive their road scare with a game-winning 49-yard field goal with two minutes left in extra time.
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Unlike most Packers outings over the last couple of years, Aaron Rodgers found his success on long-developing plays as opposed to playing in the rhythm of the offense with a lot of short, quick throws.
Aaron Rodgers by average time-to-throw
|2.5 sec or less||2.6 sec or longer|
|70 (4.1)||Yards (YPA)||274 (13.1)|
|2||Explosive Pass Plays||9|
For reference, the most completions he had over 2.6 seconds from the snap in a game from Weeks 1-4 this season was just six. Those 15 completions and nine explosive pass plays on longer-developing plays from Rodgers were the most he has had under Matt LaFleur.
Aaron Jones was a standout performer despite less than ideal run blocking up front. He totaled 104 yards on just 13 carries, and 89 came after contact. He also broke five tackles and recorded three first-down runs.
Backup AJ.. Dillon also wasn't helped by the poor run-blocking efforts up front, but he didn’t have near the success that Jones did on the ground. Dillon broke just two tackles and totaled 30 rushing yards on his eight carries. Dillon did, however, finish second on the team in receiving yards with 49 on four receptions.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Davante Adams was a man among boys against Cincinnati. He caught 11-of-16 targets for 206 yards and a score, accounting for 60% of the team’s passing yards and 50% of the team’s first downs picked up through the air. He also recorded zero drops and caught all three of his contested-catch opportunities on the day.
Highest Target Rate through 5 weeks of a season in the PFF Era
|Player||Season||Target Rate (Targets/Routes)|
|1. Steve Smith, Panthers||2006||40.2%|
|2. Davante Adams, Packers||2021||36.8%|
|3. Steve Smith, Ravens||2015||36.2%|
|4. Steve Smith, Panthers||2008||35.4%|
|5. TJ Houshmandzadeh, Bengals||2007||34.3%|
The Packers’ injury-battered offensive line struggled significantly in the run game, but it was far from a disaster in pass protection. Guard Lucas Patrick was the only one along the offensive line with a PFF grade below 60.0 on first review, and the stark majority of his woes were in the run game. Patrick allowed zero total pressures, while Jon Runyan and Yosh Nijman led the team with three pressures allowed apiece.
Preston Smith, Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary all stood out in run defense against the Bengals. The trio combined for five total defensive stops and all earned PFF run-defense grades above 70.0 on first review. Clark also earned the highest PFF pass-rushing grade of any Packers defensive lineman in the game.
Veteran De’Vondre Campbell played with his hair on fire on Sunday. He earned a 90.0-plus PFF grade on first review, racking up an interception, three defensive stops and zero missed tackles in the process. He also allowed just 22 yards on 35 coverage snaps.
Rookie Eric Stokes and veteran safety Darnell Savage got the brunt of the Bengals’ passing attack. The duo allowed more than 160 yards in coverage and earned sub-60.0 PFF coverage grades on first review. Kevin King should finish reviews with the highest PFF grade of any Packers defensive back, with just three receptions for 17 yards allowed in coverage.
Joe Burrow was borderline perfect when operating from a clean pocket. He completed 22-of-27 such pass attempts for 232 yards and two touchdowns while producing two big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays. Not a single one of those five incompletions were deemed to be Burrow’s fault, either. The poor throws happened when he was under pressure. Burrow had a few high moments where he withstood the heat, but it didn't make up for the two turnover-worthy deep shots he had when under duress.
Bengals lead back Joe Mixon entered the game banged up, and that was evident in his performance. He totaled just 33 yards on 10 carries and was charted with zero broken tackles on the ground on PFF’s first review of the game. Samaje Perine split reps with Mixon and rushed for 59 yards on 11 carries, 51 of which coming after contact.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Victory lap season is upon us for the Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell believers. Chase was responsible for all four of Cincinnati’s explosive pass plays of 15-plus yards, bringing his season total to 12. That’s tied for the most by a rookie in the first five games of their NFL career in the PFF era. Of those two explosive plays, two were deep balls, which now places him in special company among past rookie standouts.
Most deep receiving yards by a rookie in the first 5 weeks of the season in the PFF era
1. Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals (2021): 261
2. AJ Green, Bengals (2011): 224
3. Justin Jefferson, Vikings (2020): 202
4. DeSean Jackson, Eagles (2008): 197
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) October 10, 2021
One of Chase’s greatest attributes at LSU in 2019 was how well he got off press coverage thanks to his physicality and release package. That was apparent today, as he picked up four catches for 82 yards and an elite receiving grade when going up against press.
The Cincinnati offensive line had a fine showing at a few of the starting spots, but there was one lackluster performer who brought down the group: rookie Jackson Carman. He started at right guard and allowed seven total pressures on 43 pass-block snaps. Six of the pressures came on his 19 true pass sets.
Cincinnati Offensive Line Pass-Blocking in Week 5
|Player||Total Pressures||Other Losses|
|LT Jonah Williams||2||0|
|LG Quinton Spain||1||1|
|C Trey Hopkins||3||1|
|RG Jackson Carman||7||2|
|RT Riley Reiff||2||0|
The Bengals’ defensive line really struggled to create consistent pressure on Rodgers early in the game. Rookie Cam Sample was the only Cincinnati defensive lineman with a 70.0-plus PFF pass-rushing grade on first review, and he only played 17 total snaps in the game.
This was not a banner day for the Bengals’ linebacking corps. As a unit, Cincinnati linebackers allowed eight receptions for 118 yards and six first downs in coverage. The team’s three leaders in snaps played at off-ball linebacker (Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt and Akeem Davis-Gaither) all earned sub-30.0 PFF coverage grades on first review.
Chidobe Awuzie was targeted seven more times than any other Bengals defensive back but largely held his own against the feared Adams-Rodgers connection. He allowed just eight receptions for 58 yards and three first downs on 12 targets while also picking up an interception on one of Adams’ targets. He should finish reviews as one of the Bengals’ highest-graded players in Week 5.