Jimmy Graham once again shows that he still plays an important role for the Packers
It seemed that the tides turned for the Green Bay Packers once Derek Carr’s fumbled the ball in the end zone. At that point, it was still just 14-10 with the Raiders having an opportunity to take the lead and sitting inside the Packers five-yard line. After Carr’s costly mistake, it was all Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers went off, accounting for six touchdowns and over 400 yards without their best receiver, Davante Adams, who was still sidelined with turf toe. Dealing with a depleted receiving core, Rodgers turned to old reliable Jimmy Graham who was able to make his impact felt.
With this Green Bay team dealing with a number of injuries to their entire offensive unit, even Graham who had been dealing with an ankle injury throughout the week, they needed someone to take a step forward and fill the role Rodgers needed, that man was Graham.
The now 10 year NFL veteran was targeted four times and hauled in all of them. Graham totaled 65 yards and a touchdown but his catches meant much more than just the yards they totaled. Graham’s 16.25 yards per receptions on Sunday was indicative of his impact on the game, as he was able to make big-time grabs and make great runs after the catch.
He proved just how important a role he fills on the Packers, giving Rodgers the option and security of a big tight end that is athletic enough to break out at a moment’s notice. The Packers faced an early third down in the first quarter on Sunday that was an important tone-setter for the rest of the game and it was Rodgers finding Graham for a big-time pickup.
People had been questioning if Graham was still a reliable target after dropping some crucial balls last week against Detroit, one being a sure touchdown. The tight end came into Week 7 and proved everyone wrong, showing that he still has a lot of gas left in the tank and plays a crucial role in this offense.
Once Green Bay is able to get their deep threat in Adams back, Graham’s role will be even more important as there will be more space for chunk yardage plays in the middle of the field with Adams drawing defenders deep.
All that being said, it is still Rodgers who runs the show, when the offense gets rolling it is because of number 12. Everyone gets a taste when Rodgers is on that kind of roll, including a tight end that is still looking to prove he’s one of the league’s best.