Packers Snap Counts: Martinez keeps making plays
When he’s on the field, Blake Martinez continues to make big plays.
And he’s been on the field a lot for the Green Bay Packers’ defense.
During Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Martinez played on every defensive snap for the fourth straight week. He finished with a game-high 15 total tackles -- including 11 in the first half alone.
The 23-year-old linebacker also picked off a pass (thanks to a deflection by Ahmad Brooks) and recovered a fumble, courtesy of Morgan Burnett stripping Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell of the ball.
Martinez filled up the rest of the box score, too, tallying a tackle for loss and a pass deflection.
He always seems to find himself in the right spot -- helped, of course, by his increased playing time since the beginning of the year.
Martinez has missed just six snaps dating back to Green Bay’s 35-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 8. Prior to that Week 5 matchup, he played in over 77 percent of a game’s snaps once.
As a rookie last season, the former fourth-round pick ranked fifth on the Packers in tackles (69) despite playing in just 42.4 percent of the snaps. Martinez surpassed that tackle total in Week 9 this year.
Moral of the story? Never take Martinez off the field.
Other notes from Sunday’s snap counts:
-- Richard Rodgers appeared in a season-high 67 percent of the snaps (37 of 55). His role has increased drastically since the, uh, departure of Martellus Bennett Nov. 8. In the past five games since Bennett’s absence (including Week 8 when he was inactive), Rodgers has played in 56 percent of the snaps and has a reception in each contest.
-- Jamaal Williams was the only running back used and appeared in 45 (82 percent) of the offensive plays. Devante Mays was active but did not see the field either on offense or special teams.
-- Kevin King was back on the field Sunday after missing last week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens with a shoulder injury. King played in 39 snaps (53 percent), a standard mark for the rookie, but he unfortunately couldn’t contain Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, who caught 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
-- Morgan Burnett returned to the Packers secondary as well, missing just one of 59 defensive snaps. He recorded nine tackles -- including one for a loss -- and forced a fumble.