Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t quite himself Sunday night due in large part to pressure brought on by the New England Patriots’ front seven.
Sure, Rodgers still threw for 259 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, but he completed just 55.8 percent of his passes in the Packers’ 31-17 loss to the Patriots. The Patriots had their best pass rush performance since Week 1, generating 26 total pressures on 51 passing snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Patriots pressured Rodgers on 46.8 percent of dropbacks. He was the fourth-most pressured quarterback in Week 9. Rodgers went just 6-of-18 for 83 yards with a touchdown, a sack and seven throwaways while facing pressure.
Check out this week’s takeaways and metrics. All stats are via PFF.
DE Trey Flowers: .5 sack, seven hurries
DE Adrian Clayborn: .5 sack, three hurries
DE Deatrich Wise: two QB hits, hurry
LB Dont’a Hightower: three hurries
DT Lawrence Guy: two hurries
DE Keionta Davis: two hurries
FS Devin McCourty: hurry
LB Kyle Van Noy: hurry
LB Elandon Roberts: hurry
DT Adam Butler: hurry
— Flowers and Clayborn shared the Patriots’ only sack. Flowers generated his most total pressures on the season with eight.
— Clayborn brought his four pressures on only 14 pass-rush snaps. Flowers’ eight pressures came on 44 snaps.
— Van Noy has primarily been used as a pass rusher this season, but he took on a bigger role in coverage Week 9. Hightower, meanwhile, increased his pass-rush snaps.
— The Patriots dared the Packers to run, which meant a larger share of snaps for Butler. He’s still having trouble generating pressure this season.
CB Jason McCourty: three catches on six targets, 60 yards, two PBUs
CB Jonathan Jones: 5-5, 47 yards, TD
SS Patrick Chung: 4-6, 43 yards, TD
LB Kyle Van Noy: 5-5, 40 yards
CB JC Jackson: 2-4, 32 yards
CB Stephon Gilmore: 2-4, 15 yards, PBU
LB Dont’a Hightower: 1-2, 12 yards
FS Devin McCourty: 1-2, 5 yards
DE Trey Flowers: 1-1, 5 yards
— Gilmore is playing at an elite level. He’s allowing just 18.5 yards per game over his last six contests. He also hasn’t let up a touchdown in his last six games. He mostly matched up with Packers wide receiver Davante Adams on Sunday. Van Noy, Jones, Jackson and Devin McCourty also let up catches to Adams. Jones allowed his touchdown to Adams.
— Jason McCourty let up a 51-yard catch to Marquez Valdes-Scantling but otherwise had a good game. It’s tough to look past a 51-yard gain, but it’s the truth.
— Devin McCourty had his third straight strong effort. Patriots fans will probably still complain about him.
DE Trey Flowers: three stops
LB Kyle Van Noy: two stops
SS Patrick Chung: two stops
LB John Simon: two stops
DE Adrian Clayborn: two stops, missed tackle
DT Malcom Brown: stop, missed tackle
CB Jason McCourty: stop, two missed tackles
LB Dont’a Hightower: stop, missed tackle
DT Adam Butler: stop
— Since the Patriots were daring the Packers to run, Lawrence Guy and Danny Shelton took on smaller roles. Guy played his smallest share of snaps all season. Shelton was on the field for just 10 plays.
— The Packers ran the ball 25 times for 118 yards. All of those plays were wins for the Patriots since it was taking the ball out of Rodgers’ hands.
— Of Brady’s 13 incompletions, one was dropped and one was thrown away.
— Wide receiver Julian Edelman had the drop.
— Brady was 2-of-5 for 62 yards on passes of 20 yards or more.
— Josh Gordon led the Patriots with 130 receiving yards on five catches. There were still some moments when Brady and Gordon didn’t seem on the same page, but the big wideout more than made up for it with a 55-yard touchdown catch and run.
RG Ted Karras: sack
WR Josh Gordon: hurry
LT Trent Brown: hurry
C David Andrews: hurry
— Among players who received pass-protection snaps, left guard Joe Thuney, right tackle Marcus Cannon, tight end Dwayne Allen, running back James White, wide receiver Chris Hogan, offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle, fullback James Develin and running back Kenjon Barner were clean on the stat sheet.
— The Patriots’ offensive line, for the most part, did a nice job of keeping Brady clean. Brady had his third fastest release of the season, however, throwing the ball in 2.34 seconds, on average.
— Brady was the least pressured quarterback per snap in the NFL in Week 9.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson: two forced missed tackles, 3.54 yards after contact per carry
RB Kenjon Barner: 2 yards after contact per carry
RB James White: 1.33 yards after contact per carry
WR Julian Edelman: 1 yard after contact per carry
— Patterson carried the ball 11 times for 61 yards with a long run of 17 yards. The Patriots might be on to something with Patterson in the backfield.
— Rookie running back Sony Michel should be back soon. The Patriots proved they could beat a good opponent with Patterson, White and Barner, however, if he misses more time this season.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.