Packers Week 2 Snap Counts: Allen Lazard’s return shakes up WR rotation

With Allen Lazard back on the field for the Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur’s team had its enforcer back on the perimeter in the run game. Lazard led the team’s wide receiver group in snaps during their 27-10 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, giving a good look at how the team will likely deploy its primary receiving weapons moving forward.

With Lazard and Sammy Watkins as the primary outside receivers, the team did rotate in rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, but to a lesser extent than they had in week one. Perhaps the biggest decrease in wideout snaps was for Randall Cobb, who dropped from the 40s down to just 20 snaps this week. Some of that likely comes from Lazard playing in the slot as well, but his ability to play almost the entire game was a great sign with him coming off an ankle injury.

Lazard might not have had a huge day receiving, although he did post a touchdown, but his presence was a welcome one and was clearly felt in all phases of the offense.

Let’s take a look at all of the playing time up and down the roster in Sunday’s game.

OFFENSE (68 total plays)

Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers 68

Although Rodgers did not have a huge day in terms of counting statistics — and he was even down on himself a bit for missing a few plays — he did have another efficient performance against the Bears, with a 131.1 passer rating. His 19-for-25 day was a great completion percentage while his 234 yards gave him a 9.4 yards per attempt average.

Running Backs

Aaron Jones 40, AJ Dillon 39

Green Bay loaded up on their pony package in this game, putting Jones and Dillon on the field together on double-digit snaps. Jones would post his 8th career game with 130 or more rushing yards, finishing the day with 132 yards on 15 carries — an 8.8-yard average — with another 38 yards on three receptions and two total touchdowns.

While Jones was the star, Dillon had a less efficient game as a runner, averaging just 3.4 yards on 18 carries, but he did pick up several important first downs and helped the team get some big yardage when backed up at their own goal line.

Wide receivers

Allen Lazard 55, Sammy Watkins 44, Romeo Doubs 25, Christian Watson 22, Randall Cobb 20, Amari Rodgers 1

Lazard’s return after a one-game absence helped the team clearly define the roles among the players in the wide receiver room. He will be a critical piece as expected, pitching in largely as a run-blocker and a red zone target. He scored a touchdown in his first game of the season, giving him at least one touchdown in each of his last four regular season games.

Watkins ended up leading the team in targets with just four, but his 55-yard catch off play-action was the team’s biggest play on the early season. Doubs and Watson each pitched in on a rotational basis, while Cobb was used primarily in instances where the Packers lined up in 11 personnel.

Tight Ends

Marcedes Lewis 31, Robert Tonyan 27, Tyler Davis 21, Josiah Deguara 15

Once again, the Packers tight end group had a heavy rotation, although the team did use a decent dose of 12 personnel. Deguara got some runs as a fullback and a wing blocker, while Tonyan recorded the only two catches from the group for a total of 11 yards.

Offensive Linemen

Yosh Nijman 68, Jon Runyan, Jr. 68, Josh Myers 68, Royce Newman 68, Elton Jenkins 68

Runyan’s return from a concussion was a big boost for the line, but Jenkins’ first game back from a torn ACL was a nice emotional lift for the Packers’ offense. He struggled on occasion with the Bears’ line in pass protection, but it was a big step for him to get full game action at right tackle. The most notable changes schematically on the front line is the team’s sudden propensity to use power concepts in the running game, with the interior linemen pulling on numerous occasions to help blow open holes, particularly for Jones’ big runs.

DEFENSE (41 total plays)

Defensive Linemen

Kenny Clark 36, Jarran Reed 29, Dean Lowry 25, TJ Slaton 14, Devonte Wyatt 4

The Packers’ line got manhandled on a few select drives, most notably the first of the game and a long 94-yard series in the fourth quarter. That last drive ended with a stop on 4th-and-inches at the goal line, however, after the line was getting gashed repeatedly by David Montgomery.

Outside of those two drives, however, the Bears gained just 63 yards on their other 7 series. Lowry led the way on the line in tackles with five, while Clark had just one assist but landed a hit on QB Justin Fields.

Outside Linebackers

Preston Smith 37, Rashan Gary 36, JJ Enagbare 4, Jonathan Garvin 3

Smith was an absolute monster in this game as a pass-rusher, consistently putting pressure on Fields. He recorded a pair of sacks and a third QB hit, while adding a few more hurries on top of those plays. Gary notched his second sack in as many games as well and made one great TFL in the run game, though he snuck inside and let Fields beat him to the edge on the Bears’ only touchdowns.

With the Bears running so few plays, however, the Packers were able to avoid substituting their two stud edge rushers out substantially, with the backups combining for just 7 snaps.

Inside Linebackers

De’Vondre Campbell 41, Quay Walker 32

The Packers did not run any time on Sunday, but they did run a number of penny front looks, with three down linemen, two edges, and Campbell alone in the middle. He did not post his usual massive tackle numbers, however, with just four total stops, while Walker had five tackles plus a pass breakup.

Safeties

Adrian Amos 41, Darnell Savage 41

Green Bay’s safeties either had a great bounce-back game in coverage or just weren’t tested much down the field by Fields. Still, they had to make a number of tackles down the field in the run game, as Savage had six solo tackles and Amos picked up five total stops.

Cornerbacks

Jaire Alexander 41, Eric Stokes 41, Rasul Doulas 26

The Packers got a nice game from their corners as well, and Alexander posted the team’s first turnover of the season with a full-speed, diving interception of Fields. He also posted a TFL on Fields on a third-down run play in the third quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS

Tyler Davis 20, Tipa Galeai 15, Dallin Leavitt 15, Isaiah McDuffie 15, Keisean Nixon 15, Shemar Jean-Charles 13, Josiah Deguara 12, Eric Stokes 12, Mason Crosby 11

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