Randall Cobb Keeps Coming Up Big on 3rd Downs

Randall Cobb hasn't filled the stat sheet by any means, but he continues to come up big for this Green Bay Packers' offense on third downs.

Since joining the Green Bay Packers, it's not as if Randall Cobb has consistently filled the stat sheet with gaudy numbers by any means.
 
He's actually only had 14 targets through five games -- or less than three per contest -- and through the first few weeks of the season, it felt as if he was almost forgotten about. However, Cobb's playing time has increased the last two weeks, as have his opportunities in the passing game with Marquez Valdes-Scantling out.
 
But in an offense where Davante Adams and Aaron Jones are going to get a bulk of the touches, and no one can take the top off a defense quite like MVS can, there are only so many targets to go around. Yet Cobb has been able to carve out a role as Aaron Rodgers' reliable third-down target.
 
Of Cobb's 14 total targets, nine of them have come on either third or fourth down. On third downs, he has been targeted eight times, hauling in seven of them for 106 yards and a touchdown. 
 
It's also very important to note that of Cobb's seven third-down receptions, six have gone for a first down. Ironically enough, the one that didn't convert may have been Cobb's biggest reception of the season. As I'm sure you recall, this past Sunday in Cincinnati, Cobb was just inches shy of converting a third and 16 in overtime, but the reception did put Mason Crosby in range to hit the game-winner.
 
Cobb was also an integral part of Green Bay's win over Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. He finished the game with five receptions for 69 yards along with two touchdowns, not to mention that four of his receptions were third down conversions--keeping the offense on the field.
 
“I pride myself,” Cobb said via Packers News, “in being a third-down guy throughout my career. I don’t know where I rank, or where I am, but I think I do have a lot of catches on third down. That’s kind of the money down. We always talk about keeping the chains moving, and that’s a very important down for our offense to be able to stay on the field and put points on the board.” 
 
Over the previous two seasons, Allen Lazard often filled this third-down role--that is when it wasn't Adams or Jones getting the ball. 
 
From 2019 to 2020, Lazard had caught 22 third-down passes on 30 targets for 408 yards, and a whopping 21 of those receptions went for first downs. Perhaps this is why we've seen less of Lazard in the passing game this season.
 
Through five games, the Green Bay Packers are converting nearly 43 percent of their third-down attempts, which ranks 11th in the NFL, and Cobb is a big reason why. He's provided Rodgers with another go-to option in these high-leverage situations. 
 
So although Cobb's stats may not be eye-popping, he's been making plays at crucial moments in games and allowing this Packers offense to stay on the field.
 
"The day he got here I think he had a purpose," said quarterback coach Luke Getsy when asked about Cobb. "I mean, he worked his tail off. He was around the clock, making sure that he was ready to roll when the time came. You could see just as each week has developed, his comfort level with his assignments, where to line up, the reason why we're calling a play, all that stuff. And then that relationship with Aaron, I don't think you can replace all those years that they have together."
 

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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4 points

Comments (19)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

October 15, 2021 at 11:27 am

Wasn't a fan of trading for Cobb but I have always been a fan of the man for his character and his high football IQ and impressive team first, professionalism.

I admit Randall's addition is paying some dividends given his clutch catches and first downs. It seems A. Rodgers is gonna take a while until the NFL game slows down for him. He is playing very tentative and that surprises me. Cobb will help him develop given their close friendship.

So it is added value to have Cobb in the slot now...although I expect Lazard could take Randall's targets with little drop off.

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PhantomII's picture

October 15, 2021 at 01:10 pm

Agree, however Lazard has not proven to be close to the same player/ hands he had pre-injury.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 15, 2021 at 05:35 pm

Got to be targeted to say that in my view. He’s been open.

3 points
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PhantomII's picture

October 16, 2021 at 11:01 am

I have seen a ghost of that guy is all. Maybe when DA gets dinged up he can return to glory.

0 points
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PackfanNY's picture

October 15, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Cobb has good hands. Should be a given for a receiver but it’s not. Many guys rely on speed but can’t catch a cold. Cobb doesn’t possess the speed he once did but he runs solid routes and is on the same page as the Quarterback. He was a solid add back into the mix. Rodgers was right.

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 15, 2021 at 07:54 pm

He's there for the slot and to make the Key Plays. It's not too complicated. He is an Asset. He was not replaced by 'Jmon Moore etc etc...

2 points
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scullyitsme's picture

October 15, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Wait, how can this be? I thought this was just a power play by Aaron Rodgers

2 points
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PatrickGB's picture

October 15, 2021 at 02:02 pm

Cobb already IS the player that the team hoped for when they drafted Amari.And I go all the way back to the drafting of Montgomery who was described as a bigger Cobb. That did not work out as planned. I have long felt that this team needed a good slot WR to run a good WCO. Sure, Matt has a lot of wrinkles in this offense but Rodgers has been raised and thrives in the WCO. “Hero ball” is great when it works but it needs a reliable slot WR to help set it up and move the sticks when it doesn’t. It may sound like blasphemy but I would like to see Cobb go back to returning punts as well as what he does for the offense. He has that same suddenness that makes him good in the slot as well as his other tools.

5 points
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PhantomII's picture

October 15, 2021 at 02:28 pm

I'm not fond of a good player who makes 3rd down conversions at a high rate get hurt in a full speed contact while catching a punt. We are gonna need this guy healthy as possible going forward. I guess he could fair catch it, but I don't believe we have a legit returner on this team, punt or kickoff. You have to draft those guys skillset...GB has not had one in decades.

1 points
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SanLobo's picture

October 15, 2021 at 03:42 pm

I agree, I would not like to see Cobb getting hurt returning a kick. Amari Rodgers isn’t showing the skill set in returns, but Kylln Hill has shown potential in returns. In fact he’s the only player showing talent for returns. I’d like to see him in the role a bit more often.

2 points
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Kevin Carpenter's picture

October 15, 2021 at 05:28 pm

Kylin Hill is the first returner for us to average over 20 yards a return since Micah Hyde. Remember in 2019 when we had almost broken a record by like, what, week 13 and the team had negative punt return yards? Give him a shot at punts too. Rodgers is too indecisive. I miss Ervin.

3 points
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TXCHEESE's picture

October 15, 2021 at 04:36 pm

Cobb is, and always has been a great asset when plays go off schedule and AR12 is looking for options. Always have loved the way he plays the game. Such a tough dude. I hope he fills Amari with his insight and savvy, and we end up with a bigger faster version of RC.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 15, 2021 at 05:39 pm

Cobb is very good at finding holes. He’s not been good at staying healthy latterly. I’m not surprised that he can still play when healthy, the question is how durable can he be? He’s healthy thus far and therefore a plus, but we need to get Rodgers in on option plays and involved more as insurance as well as helping him develop.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

October 15, 2021 at 06:45 pm

I do not expect Cobb to be healthy into the playoffs. Amari needs work! Integrat him in here and there. Get him ready!

-1 points
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LayingTheLawe's picture

October 15, 2021 at 07:20 pm

Cobb was not resigned after 2018 because he had a $10,000,000 average salary and he was surely not worth that at his level of production in 2018. Now he is back with a $2,000,000 cap hit for 2020 and maybe you can afford a useful third down receiver for that amount. Maybe not. Maybe he is truly only on the team because Rodgers said so.
But he has over a $9,000,000 cap hit next year so he won't be here at that price for sure.

So Last Dance it may be.

7 points
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Swisch's picture

October 15, 2021 at 10:01 pm

I'm still not in favor of the trade for Randall Cobb, but I can't help but rooting for the guy to prove me way wrong.
Especially after being such a big fan of his over the years, I hope and pray he stays healthy and makes good contributions to the team all the way to a win in the Super Bowl.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 15, 2021 at 07:52 pm

Cobb is part of the plan to get us over the hump in the playoffs.

7 points
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Since'61's picture

October 15, 2021 at 10:41 pm

You got it Leatherhead! Cobb is an excellent situational football player and he gets where he needs to be to make a key play when it’s needed to keep drives alive. He’s a clutch player and he has great hands.

Adams, Jones, Cobb, Tonyan and MVS will create problems for any DC including in the playoffs. GPG! Thanks, Since ‘61

3 points
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CoachDino's picture

October 17, 2021 at 05:54 am

the question noone is asking or writing about is what happens to cobb when mvs comes back? does cobb go back to anonfactor? also when evaluating cobb is his succes at the expense of guys who excelled last year wo him? lazard,tonyan, jones stand out. what impact has cobb had on the red zone issues? i like the guy, and he has some juice left but has hemade this off better ?

0 points
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