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Rashan Gary’s hot streak continues in playoff win over Rams

Rashan Gary’s hot streak continues in playoff win over Rams


After a relatively slow start to the 2020 NFL season, Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Rashan Gary has caught fire, showing tremendous improvement as a pass rusher over the last two months while helping to elevate Mike Pettine’s defense to an above-average unit during a historic playoff run.

Since Week 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars – a game in which he recorded a career-high seven pressures and a sack – Gary has been a consistently impactful player. As a second-year pro, he’s really starting to come into his own and deliver on the promise of his No. 12 overall draft slot.

Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, Gary tallied four pressures and two run stops. Against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12, he had 1.5 sacks and five pressures. In Week 13, he added a sack against the Detroit Lions.

Since Week 16, Gary’s level of play has soared even higher.

From the penultimate week of the 2020 regular season through the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, Gary ranks as Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded edge rusher with a 91.5 grade. Over the last three contests, he has posted three of the highest individual PFF grades of his career with 90.7 vs. Tennessee, 90.1 vs. Chicago and 81.2 vs. Los Angeles.

Against the Rams, Gary tied his career-high of seven pressures, while notching 1.5 sacks in 22 pass-rush snaps.

Whether he was lined up against left tackle Andrew Whitworth or right tackle Rob Havenstein, it didn’t matter. Gary was going to heat up the pocket regardless of pre-snap alignment and matchup.

Here is a breakdown of Gary’s seven pressures vs. the Rams:

First quarter (13:39) – 3rd and 6 at LA 29

First quarter (8:03) – 2nd and 2 at LA 27

Second quarter (10:04) – 3rd and 14 at LA 18

Second quarter (1:41) – 1st and 10 at GB 42

Third quarter (11:19) – 3rd and 7 at LA 30

Fourth quarter (10:17) – 3rd and 16 at LA 26

Fourth quarter (5:04) – 4th and 13 at 50

Overall, Gary played a very good game against the Rams. His performance vs. Whitworth was especially impressive, as he generated pressure on three out of 10 one-on-one pass-rush snaps against the three-time All-Pro. He was also solid against the run, while continuing to show improved technique and recognition as a pass rusher.

Much more consistently now than in his first season as a pro, Gary is rushing with a plan. He’s finally learning how to string pass-rush moves together, set up inside counters and use his hands to keep his pads clean. No longer is he relying so much on pure speed and brute strength to win every battle.

Because of the improved technique and recognition, we’re not seeing nearly as many stalemates, body-to-body rushes and fly-by failed speed-rush attempts as we were earlier in the season.

For opposing offensive tackles, that’s a scary sight.





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