Stats & Info: Randall Cobb

Matchups to watch: 49ers at Packers

January, 3, 2014
Jan 3
Last season, the San Francisco 49ers knocked the Green Bay Packers out of the postseason on their way to the Super Bowl. The Packers look to return the favor at home in Sunday’s wild-card game. A few matchups to keep an eye on:

Colin Kaepernick versus Dom Capers

The talk heading into their Week 1 matchup this season was how Dom Capers would scheme against Colin Kaepernick after he ran for an NFL-quarterback record 181 yards against the Packers' defense last postseason.

The Packers held the 49ers to 10 yards on seven zone-read rushes in Week 1, but Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards. That included 350 from inside the pocket, which by itself would stand up as his career high.

Kaepernick has two of the four highest Total QBR games against the Packers in the last four seasons.

Kaepernick has been even better with his full complement of healthy receiving options.

Since Michael Crabtree returned in Week 13, Kaepernick has averaged nearly 50 more passing yards per game compared with his first 11 games, and his Total QBR of 73.3 ranks fourth in the NFL over the last five games.

Also, Capers will have to plan without Clay Matthews. Matthews had a season-high eight tackles, including three for a loss and a sack against the 49ers earlier this season.

Anquan Boldin vs. Packers' secondary

Anquan Boldin had 208 yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions against the Packers in Week 1, his most receiving yards since recording 217 in his NFL debut in 2003.

He was specifically a headache for the Packers out of bunch formations (three skill players clustered together, stacked on one side of the center). Boldin caught all five of his targets for 92 yards in those sets.

He also caught 4 of 5 third-down targets for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.

That third-down success wasn't an aberration; Boldin ranked first in the NFL this season in third-down receptions (33), receiving yards (529) and first downs (27). Additionally, he caught 75 percent of his third-down targets, tied for the best catch percentage in the NFL among wide receivers (minimum 20 targets).

The bright lights won't intimidate Boldin. His 380 receiving yards in last year's postseason were the fourth most by a player in a single postseason under the current playoff format (since 1990).

Aaron Rodgers/Randall Cobb vs. 49ers’ secondary

Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb returned to the field against the Bears in a big way, hooking up for two touchdowns, including the game-winning score on fourth down with 46 seconds left.

Cobb played 37 of the Packers' 76 offensive snaps (48.7 percent) in that game, but made his only two targets of the game count. In fact, no quarterback and wide receiver combo has connected on a higher percentage of passes the last three seasons (minimum 150 attempts).

Rodgers was 7-of-9 passing with 108 yards and a touchdown targeting Cobb against the 49ers in Week 1, including 3-of-4 for 74 yards when he targeted Cobb at least 15 yards downfield.

The 49ers’ secondary has allowed a touchdown on such throws in four straight games, after allowing a total of two in their first 12 games this season.

This was also a weakness exposed last postseason when the 49ers allowed more touchdowns on throws at least 15 yards downfield (four) than in the entire 2012 regular season (two).

Did you know?

Temperatures are expected to be in the single digits. Since the start of 2008, his first year as a starter, Rodgers is 12-4 with the temperature at or below freezing and has the highest Total QBR (73.7) of any player to make at least three starts in such conditions.

Likely combo makes an unlikely play

December, 29, 2013
The Green Bay Packers are in the playoffs thanks to an improbable touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb.

How unlikely was that touchdown?

Rodgers entered that play 1 for 5 on fourth-and-eight or longer situations over the last five seasons.

The Chicago Bears sent five or more pass rushers on 16 of Rodgers’ first 40 dropbacks, including seven at Rodgers on the decisive play.

On the first 15 of those, Rodgers was 8 for 15 for 55 yards and two interceptions.

Rodgers was under duress on that play. He was 0 for 4 with an interception when under duress.

The Rodgers-Cobb combo has been one of the most valuable in the NFL when both were healthy.

The pair have connected on 77.1 percent of their passes since 2011, best of any quarterback-wide receiver duo with 150 attempts in that span.

Both of Rodgers’ touchdown passes to Cobb on Sunday were thrown from outside of the pocket. Rodgers has thrown a team-high five touchdowns to Cobb outside the pocket over the last three seasons, and has targeted him more than any other wide receiver.

The Bears were beaten by Rodgers and Cobb on pass that traveled 38 yards past the line of scrimmage. It was Rodgers’ first attempt 30 yards or more on the game.

This season, the Bears have allowed 8-of-15 passes (53.3 percent) thrown 30-plus yards to be completed. The league-average completion percentage on those passes is 29.6 percent.

The Packers win capped an unlikely course to postseason play. After Week 13, Numberfire’s simulations gave them only a six percent chance of making the playoffs. But from there, Green Bay’s hopes rose each week, culminating in the amazing finish on Sunday.

Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireAaron Rodgers threw four touchdowns Monday in the Packers blowout of the Vikings
Aaron Rodgers continued his MVP-caliber season by tying a career high with four touchdown passes as the Green Bay Packers improved to 9-0 with a 45-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The crowd at Lambeau Field had plenty of reasons to cheer as the Packers won their 11th straight regular season game at home -- tying a franchise record.

Rodgers extended a personal streak as well, as he has thrown a touchdown pass in 26 straight regular season home games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that passed Brett Favre’s streak of 25 games between 1992 and 1996 for the Lambeau Field record.

Rodgers has also thrown at least two touchdown passes in nine straight games to start the season, becoming only the fifth quarterback in NFL history to do it.

Rodgers let his receivers do a lot of the work, with three of his four touchdown passes traveling five yards or fewer.

The Packers started scoring before Rodgers even touched the football.

Rookie Randall Cobb returned a punt for a touchdown, becoming the first Packers rookie to return both a kickoff and punt for a touchdown in a season.

Green Bay’s 45 points Monday gave them 320 on the season. It is the fourth most a team has scored in its first nine games since the NFL merger in 1970.

Defensively, the Packers heavily pressured Christian Ponder, blitzing from the secondary on 19 of 39 dropbacks. Ponder struggled against the blitz, completing just five of 17 passes for 52 yards.

Adrian Peterson scored the lone touchdown for the Vikings and is tied with LeSean McCoy for the most rushing touchdowns this season (10). Peterson now has 62 career rushing touchdowns.

The only players with more in their first five seasons are LaDainian Tomlinson (72) and Emmitt Smith (71).