Most casual NFL fans had a similar reaction when they watched Randall Cobb catch a 32-yard touchdown pass and later return a kickoff 108 yards for another score in Green Bay’s 42-34 shootout win against New Orleans on Thursday night:
“Who the heck is Randall Cobb?!?!?”
Randall Cobb is the Packers’ 2011 second-round draft pick, a 5-10, 192-pound receiver from Kentucky whose name is now etched in NFL record books after he tied the record for the longest kickoff return for a touchdown. And now you can expect him to be the hottest pickup in fantasy football circles this week.
Cobb is also the fifth wide receiver on the Packers’ depth chart, which is a clear indicator of just how scary the Green Bay offense could be this season.
Aaron Rodgers clinically picked apart the Saints’ porous secondary, hitting top target Greg Jennings with a 7-yard touchdown pass on the team’s opening drive. Less than four minutes later, Jordy Nelson hauled in a 3-yard pass for another score and by the end of the night, Rodgers had completed 27 of 35 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Nine different players caught passes from Rodgers, highlighting a receiving corps that could be the deepest in the league.
Jennings led the way with seven receptions for 89 yards, Nelson caught six balls for 77 yards, much-hyped tight end Jermichael Finley caught three for 53 and new proud papa Donald Driver caught four passes for 41 yards.
If you’re a fantasy football enthusiast, this is the type of offense that inspires both drool and angry fist shakes. On one hand, anyone on the Packers seems capable of putting up big numbers this season. On the other, you may never know who will lead the team in catches or carries or touchdowns in a given week. (Is Cobb the next Donald Driver or the next Frisman Jackson?)
For the NFL fan, however, Thursday’s offensive showcase was perfect kickoff to the 2011 season and a clear sign that the Packers have a legitimate shot at defending their Super Bowl title.