Why Jarrett Boykin can adequately replace injured Packers receivers
It's 3rd and 7, and the Packers have the ball at their own 47-yard-line. Boykin is the single receiver to the right of the formation. The Cleveland safeties are in a deep zone, each responsible for one half of the field. Boykin breaks his route at the top, coming back to the ball. Rodgers puts it on that back shoulder, and the 6-foot-2 Boykin is able to elevate to make the catch and pick up the first down.
Now let's skip all the way ahead to the fourth quarter. At this point, the game is still in doubt. The Packers lead 17-6, and have a 2nd and 9 on the Cleveland 40-yard-line. Green Bay shows a run look, with Eddie Lacy in an offset I-formation. Boykin is to Rodgers' left. Here's what the play looks like at the snap.
Rodgers shows playaction, and the line blocks as if it's a run play, holding the safeties. The lone deep safety shades toward Nelson when he sees it's a pass. That leaves Boykin with man coverage. He sells the post, then runs a corner route, burning Buster Skrine.
How about those yards after the catch? Here's Boykin seemingly surrounded at the 20-yard-line. Somehow, he gets this ball down to the 1, setting up a touchdown pass from Rodgers to Nelson that effectively iced the game.
Finally, let's examine Boykin's first career touchdown reception. It's 2nd and 5 at the Cleveland 20-yard-line. The Packers are again showing run in an offset I, and have loaded up the left side of the formation. In fact, Boykin is the only eligible receiver to the right. That gets him singled up on Skrine, a matchup he has won time and time again.
Boykin isn't Rodgers' first read on this play, but he again torches Skrine with the post-corner. By time Rodgers gets back to him, he's all alone at the 5-yard-line.
I'd be remiss if I did not point out Boykin's power in getting this ball into the end zone. Skrine squares him up at the 3-yard-line and appears to have leverage. Boykin is able to muscle through the corner and stretch the ball across the goal line. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that were James Jones.
GONOS: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em -- Watch out for those byes!
BELLER: Player Stat Projections -- RGIII finally looking like himself
SI STAFF: Player Rankings -- Gronkowski rewards his owners
EDHOLM, MIGLIO: Bold Strategies -- Have some faith in Vick
BELLER, FLOOD: Roundtable -- Which injury situation will hurt the most?
FLOOD: Waiver Wire -- James stepping up for Martin-less Buccaneers
McQUADE: Risers, Sliders -- Wilson gifted strong matchups in coming weeks
BELLER: Early Week 8 advice -- Boykin surprises for the Packers