With quarterback Aaron Rodgers limited with an injured left hamstring, the Green Bay Packers needed a big game from their offensive line.
As has been the case throughout the season, they got it.
In a total of 34 dropbacks, Rodgers was sacked only once. He was hit only three other times, according to the official gamebook. On a day when the footing made life treacherous for everyone on the field, Rodgers generally had ample time to survey the field in hopes that one of his weapons would keep his feet long enough to get open.
“Given his limitations, we kind of knew,” left tackle David Bakhtiari said. “You know, hold stout. We knew they were going to try and test him.”
Bakhtiari was beaten for the only sack, by Houston’s Whitney Mercilus. The blame doesn’t fall entirely on Bakhtiari, though. On that play, fullback Aaron Ripkowski and running back James Starks both went out and ran the same route. In fact, they were so close that they they bumped into each other.
“The Packers' offensive line leads the entire league in pass blocking and was dominant yet again on Sunday,” noted Pro Football Focus in the postgame notes package it provides to Packer Report. “They gave up one sack, one quarterback hit and six hurries. That is the third-lowest amount of total quarterback pressures given up in a game by the line this season.”
PFF noted the play of guards Lane Taylor and Jason Spriggs. Taylor, who is having a solid season as the replacement for Josh Sitton, had his highest-graded game of the season and was the highest-graded player on the offense vs. Houston. He ranked second among all guards this week.
“The improvement among the line is tremendous compared to 2015,” according to PFF. “They have given up 18 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and 94 quarterback hurries. In 2015, they gave up 38 sacks, 19 quarterback hits and 161 quarterback hurries. They lead the league in pass blocking efficiency with an 86.3 and have allowed the fewest amount of quarterback hits with five.”
What else did PFF have to say about the game? PACKER REPORT MEMBERS CAN CLICK HERE.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.