The Green Bay Packers offense exploded in Week 7. With Aaron Rodgers throwing for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns, the Packers hung 42 points on the Oakland Raiders while numerous receivers enjoyed productive days.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jake Kumerow, and tight end Jimmy Graham all found the endzone and made significant contributions to the victory. All the more curious then, that a player in Geronimo Allison, who had only 4 receptions for 33 yards, received a lofty Offensive Share Metric (OSM) grade of 48.28, which indicates an elite level of performance.
OSM uses a combination of algorithms and NFL’s Next Gen Stats to assess a player’s impact on the facets of the game he could control. In terms of Allison’s contribution to the Packers last Sunday, the context of his catches is essential. Two of his receptions converted third downs on drives that resulted in touchdowns, while another put the Packers on the three-yard line. Green Bay scored on the next play. Allison’s ability to make a significant impact on a small number of catches was a lesson in the value of separation, of which he was afforded a lot against the inept Raiders defense.
On Green Bay’s second touchdown drive, the Packers converted on third down with eight yards to go courtesy of a 15-yard completion to Allison. The former Illinois wideout was given a free release off the line and hauled in a pass thrown slightly behind him to move the sticks.
The Raiders did not learn their lesson, and Allison kept the drive alive again on third down as the next offensive series ended in a touchdown.
With five yards needed, Allison was presented with a defender at the line of scrimmage. However, he avoided having his route disrupted by striking the cornerback with both hands. The corner did not follow him on the crossing route across the field, and the Raiders’ passive coverage allowed Allison to make a wide-open catch and get beyond the marker.
While the Raiders made life easy on Allison, the Packers were also open to get him uncovered in space down in the red zone through intelligent play design.
On the first series of the second half, with the Packers already in striking distance, Allison effectively put them on the goal line with a four-yard catch and run. With the Packers’ use of misdirection, he was left uncovered–again. The Raiders bit hard on the play-fake to the left, getting the entire defense flowing in that direction and enabling Rodgers to hit the motioning Allision for what was at first believed to be a touchdown.
Allison was ruled not to have broken the plane, but Aaron Rodgers found the endzone on a three-yard run on the next play.
In an offense light on established playmakers beyond the injured Davante Adams, Allison has frequently proven himself to be a useful secondary option, though he did not have to be at his best. Even without amassing amazing statistics, he was able to have a significant impact as the Raiders made things easy for one of the top quarterbacks of all-time.
Not all high OSM grades are the product of individual brilliance. In Allison’s case, he was able to take advantage of soft defense and smart offensive design to play a pivotal role in three touchdown drives in a three-score game. Not much noise will be made about Allison’s 33 yards, but his OSM mark shows just how important they were to Green Bay’s sixth win.
Make sure you’re getting the latest installment of Moving the Chains with Nicholas McGee as a new film study drops every Thursday, focused on skill players who keep drives alive. Nicholas McGee is a contributor to Pro Football Network’s Film Room. You can follow him on Twitter @nicholasmcgee24.