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Tom Oates: Grading the Packers’ performance in win over Bills

October 1, 2018

Packers running back Aaron Jones breaks free for 11 yards in the third quarter of Green Bay's 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Jones carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards and a touchdown in the win.

State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Green Bay Packers’ performance in their 22-0 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Offense: C

Aaron Jones sparked the offense. Time to make him the lead back. Aaron Rodgers looked more mobile and accurate than he did the previous two weeks. The line held up well against a strong pass-rushing team. Surprising that Rodgers didn’t see two blitzes by defensive backs. Dropped passes continue to be a problem.

Defense: A

The Bills had 93 yards midway through the fourth quarter. The Packers had seven sacks, three by Kyler Fackrell, and three takeaways. That’s three interceptions in four games for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Strong pressure flushed Josh Allen and he threw back into the middle, giving Jaire Alexander a critical interception.

Special teams: B

Mason Crosby was money from 52 yards twice and finished 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts, just like old times. A high, inside snap by Hunter Bradley led to Crosby’s missed extra point, though Crosby tried to take the blame. Tramon Williams handled the ball well on punt returns but lacks Randall Cobb’s explosiveness.

Coaching: A-minus

It was a match made in heaven because Mike Pettine is known for disguising his defenses and rookie quarterbacks like Josh Allen are prone to falling into traps. Pettine got free lanes to Allen for Blake Martinez and Jermaine Whitehead on critical plays. A draw on third-and-11? Who was calling plays, James Franklin?

Overall: B

After playing fitfully during a 1-1-1 start to the season, the Packers finally dominated an opponent from start to finish. The defense made quarterback Josh Allen look like the rookie he is and pitched its first shutout since 2010. The offense continued to have trouble finishing off drives but did roll up 423 yards.

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