Last week I wrote up a fanpost to go over BenJarvus Green-Ellis' day against the Steelers, which I feel illustrated just how impressive he was. His carries through the first 3 quarters were very solid, averaging at or close to 5 ypc in the first half before grinding out the clock on the final Bengals drive. This week I felt it only fair to go over his day against the Packers, which obviously wasn't so good.
Last week's writeup was focused on what he did in the first 3 quarters vs what he did on that final drive to grind out the clock. Splitting the stats like this revealed that his ypc was very good until that last drive when everyone knew he was running it, and he did get it on every single snap, and he still managed to grind out over 3 minutes and all 3 Pittsburgh timeouts. The grinding did significantly lower his ypc on the day, which leads to people looking at the stat sheet and being underwhelmed.
This week we're doing a before and after once again. This time it's before and after the fumble. Prior to the 2nd quarter fumble, BJGE had 6 carries for 24 yards. Considering that one of those was a 2 yard TD, that's not bad at all. Then disaster struck. Immediately after getting the handoff, Green-Ellis was hit from behind by Clay Matthews, who had blitzed around the left side of the line untouched. BJGE apparently didn't see him coming, and Matthews was able to punch out the ball while BJGE was still looking ahead and to the right to find the hole. Another Packer scooped up the ball and ran it in for a TD, and BJGE was pretty much done for the day. He did get 1 more carry in the 2nd and two in the 3rd, netting 5 more yards between the 3 carries.
All of this leaves Green-Ellis with a 2.7 ypc average for the game (if you count the -2 for where he was at when he fumbled, which I do), and he failed his only 3rd down conversion attempt (the fumble). He did convert on the 1st and goal from the 2, so he was 50/50 on short yardage on the day.
In a game marked by craziness, a BJGE fumble just seems like another link in the crazy train chain. A blocked PAT, a kickoff out of bounds, 1 INT, 5 fumbles (3 lost, 1 recovered by Peerman, 1 by Newman), Geno Atkins completely absent from the stat sheet for the 2nd time in 3 games, a successful Marvin Lewis challenge... it was madness beginning to end. But it was also greatness.
The Packers had 6 drives that needed 60 yards or less for a TD, 3 of which needed 37 or less, and got a whopping 6 total points out of them. Two ended in field goals, two ended in punts, and two ended in interceptions.
To me, the takeaway from this game is that our defense is good enough to win it all, and our offense can be pretty good when they're hot, but is far too inconsistent at this point. Dalton was good in the first half against the Bears, bad in the second half. He was bad in the first half against the Steelers, good in the second half. Against the Packers he was ok on the first drive, bad for the rest of the first half, and good in the second half. That's progress, of a sort. And despite the INT he still had a QBR over 105. Also.. that Giovani Bernard kid is pretty good.