Aaron Rodgers has been the leading man in the Green Bay Packers offense for more than a decade now, and his offensive line is treating him like one so far this season.
While Rodgers has been sacked 22 times on the season, the Packers offensive line as a unit has the best pass-blocking rating in the NFL, according to ESPN Analytics, with a 68 percent win rate that outdoes close-second Baltimore (67 percent) as well as Buffalo and Oakland (both at 65 percent). The Bears are the next-best team in the NFC North with a 60 percent pass-blocking win rate.
The Packers offensive line has gotten a surprisingly big boost from rookie left guard Elgton Jenkins, who slid into a starting role Week 3 after Lane Taylor was put on the injured reserve list and has since dominated at the position.
Coming into Week 12, Jenkins has won 97 percent of his pass-blocking matchups with only seven-time Pro Bowl Marshal Yanda doing better among the position group with a 98 percent win rate for the Baltimore Ravens. Jenkins is also the only offensive guard with more than 500 snaps played to not allow a sack or a quarterback hit this season.
Jenkins and the Packers (8-2) will look to continue their protective streak in Week 12 when they hit the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers (9-1) for Sunday Night Football.
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Jenkins Having an All-Rookie Season
Concerns about the capabilities of Lane Taylor, who is in the second season of a three-year contract extension he signed in September 2017, were already swirling in the preseason with him and Jenkins each taking first-team reps in training camp. Now, with Jenkins taking off, the worries about Taylor likely pertain more to contract cost and cap space.
The Packers’ second-round draft pick out of Mississippi State has done about the best job he can to ensure himself a continued starting role in the NFL, earning praise from teammates and coaches alike and each week seeming more like the most valuable 2019 pick for the team.
“There’s been so much good, both in the run and the pass, but what I love about Elgton is the consistency and the level of effort that he brings each and every day on every play, he gives it his all,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Monday. It’s a credit to himself, it’s a credit to (offensive line coach) Adam Stenavich, (assistant line coach) Luke Butkus and also the veteran guys who have kind of taken him under their wing, and that’s why I think he’s doing so well.”
Jenkins has displayed a well-rounded grasp of the position with the execution to match, one of the reasons why he was included in The Athletic’s All-Rookie team projections back at the start of October. Nothing about his performances since then have diminished his standing, either, making for the balanced play and at-the-line intelligence that only amplifies the magic Rodgers can work under center.