On Friday, Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall disagreed with the notion that his second NFL season was a disappointment.
“We’ve just won six games straight,” the 2015 first-round pick said. “Why would this season be frustrating?”
Because of injuries. Randall had missed six games following a groin injury that required surgery and missed snaps due to shoulder and knee injuries. After dropping out of last week’s win at Detroit with the knee, Randall started and played every snap in Sunday’s Wild Card game against the Giants. Not only did Randall play but he played incredibly well, having a key role in the Packers’ blowout 38-13 victory.
“Randall finished the weekend as the highest-graded cornerback,” noted Pro Football Focus in its weekly postgame notes package it provides to Packer Report. “Sunday's game was Randall's second-highest graded game of his career and it was huge. Randall was thrown at eight times and gave up three catches for a completion percentage of 37.5. He added an interception, two passes defended, two stops and a ridiculous passer rating of 11.5. The passer rating was the lowest he has given up in his career.”
For the most part, the Packers used LaDarius Gunter on Giants star Odell Beckham. Gunter was superb, helping limit Beckham to four catches (11 targets) for 28 yards. That left Randall mostly against veteran Victor Cruz and Tavarres King. While King had a 41-yard touchdown in what looked like a case of miscommunication, they otherwise were nonfactors.
“The regular season is great, but playing your best in the postseason is where you get remembered at,” Randall said. “I’m just glad that I’m healthy enough to go out there and perform the way I did.”
The timing is perfect. The challenge will be even tougher against Dallas. The Cowboys have a powerhouse rushing attack with rookie Ezekiel Elliott. That means a lot of single coverage for quarterback Dak Prescott to attack. He took advantage to complete 67.8 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns, four interceptions and a lofty passer rating of 104.9. Against Green Bay in Week 6, Prescott was 18-of-27 for 247 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and a 117.4 passer rating — huge numbers, considering star receiver Dez Bryant was inactive.
“I feel great,” Randall said. “I mean, the greatest I’ve felt after a game this whole entire year.
“I just took slowly week by week for me to just get back in the form I’m used to being in. I’m just glad everything is picking up at this moment.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.