Packers: How Jared Cook Helped Aaron Rodgers Run the Table

If you ask any Green Bay Packers fan what the turning point was in the 2016 season, they will certainly all point to when Aaron Rodgers, with his team 4-6, said it could run the table.

Since then, the Packers have been a different team. They beat the Eagles, Texans, Seahawks, Bears, Vikings and Lions to make the playoffs. Then dispatched of the Giants and Cowboys to reach the door step of the Super Bowl.

Obviously, that statement and those words, as well Rodgers play afterwards, are stuff of legends. But thinking back, what made Rodgers so confident? It had to be Jared Cook.

You see, in the game before Rodgers said the Packers could run the table, the team finally got Cook back from injury. The game was against the Redskins. Green Bay ultimately lost 42-24. However, Cook caught six passes for 105 yards and I believe it was that glimpse that made the two-time MVP feel like his offense was putting things together.

And as I read a post today by ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, who details the Packers run from 4-6 to NFC title game, he threw out some information from ESPN Stats and Info that shows just how much Cook has meant to both Rodgers.

With Cook on the field this season, Rodgers has throw 23 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. The quarterback has a yards per pass attempt of more than two yards higher and a QBR rating of more than 12 points higher, with the elusive tight end on the field.

Cook hasn’t always put up huge numbers during Green Bay’s 8-0 run. He had 48 yards or more in four of the eight matchups, he also has just one touchdown. Yet, his impact can’t be marginalized.

As a tight end that basically runs like a wide receiver, Cook is a matchup nightmare. And even when he isn’t tormenting opposing defenses, he is causing matchup problems and opening things up for Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.

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Cook opened the middle of the field, not only by threatening the seam, but by lining up outside and forcing a corner to cover him. That’s helped open up the slant passes to Cobb, Adams and every Packers wide out.

Certainly, Rodgers has been the true magic man during this incredible run, but without Cook, he probably doesn’t have the confidence to say the words “Run the table.”


chris peterson

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Dom Capers should be blamed for this mess? Maybe so. However, the REAL problem is our GM. How many high draft choices has he expended on shoring up this defense? And for how many years, now? More to the point, how many perfectly able and competent players has he let slip away because he didn’t want to pay them? Or because he felt they were getting too old? Veterans who had been around a number of years and who had proven their value to the team. He espouses a “draft and develop” philosophy, but in practice it appears to be more like a “draft and develop … and let go.” At this rate, no sooner is one problem area shored up, and another one appears. Moreover, while it’s entirely understandable that he wants to save on the salary cap, but his nearly absolute refusal to pich up a talented, veteran FA to fill a badly needed position is doing real damage to our team. No, it’s time he goes and someone else be given a chance. It’s time to let in some fresh air at the GM position because we are going nowhere with Ted Thompson. Replacing Capers might help, but first the real nub of the problem needs to be addressed: the incapacities of our current GM. He needs to be fired ASAP and the search for a good replacement be made.

chris peterson

I agree. Although, TT has filled the offense and offensive line with studs. There are good player on the defense. Matthews, Perry, Haha, Burnett. But ILB still is an issue and so is CB. They also need a dynamic pass rusher. I think Capers will be back and more players will help. Just don’t see TT going anywhere.


put Crapers to pasture, the longer it takes the more the message from the great white haired man and Murphy is not “No nads” to make a change


I agree, time for new blood on defensive line, has been extremely weak. New defensive coordinator is much needed, if the Packers want to make their super bowl a reality vs a dream.


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