Jonas Gray is one of the players that has a lot to prove this training camp. Even though I had him winning a roster spot over the now IR'd Tyler Gaffney, there wasn't any guarantees like with LeGarrette Blount. We don't need to revisit his story from going from hero to zero in the 2014 season. For the 2015 preseason game, the injuries at the RB position meant that he had a great chance to showcase his skills to the coaches and prove he was worthy of a roster spot and perhaps even more.
Here's the play in it's entirety. Here's a look from the end zone. Below, is a picture-by-picture breakdown of what happened on the play. Please excuse my awful telestrating, I promise it will be better when the regular season starts and I can freely draw with a stylus on Game Rewind instead of drawing lines with a mouse off screenshots.
Here, we have the Patriots in a 1-2-2 personnel (1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB) with #65 Jordan Devey serving as an eligible receiver. The Packers counter with their 3-4 base defense and an 8-man box. #46 James Develin (FB) and #35 Jonas Gray were the two Patriots backs (RB). This play is a Stretch Right run.
The Patriots leave the back-side OLB (Adrian Hubbard #49) unblocked and have Devey concentrate on helping LT Chris Barker (#64) contain the back-side 5-technique. C David Andrews draws the tough assignment of BJ Raji, but is able to hold his ground. It's important that he executes his block because any interior pressure from Raji kills the play before it starts. Andrews is able to give Shaq Mason (#69) enough space to pull. On the right side of the OL, RG Tre Jackson (#63) and RT Cam Fleming (#71) are able to drive both their assignments off the line of scrimmage. Develin proceeds to kick out the play-side CB to open up a lane for Gray to run in.
Now that the Patriots blockers controlled the edge, the play is set up for Jonas Gray to turn upfield and start his gain. Mason goes and attacks the ILB that manages to elude Fleming on the block. Mason kicks him out of the lane and that gets the play-side safety, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix to the ground. At that point there was no one in a white jersey that was in position to make the play in the hole and it became a foot race towards the end zone.
This is where Gray losing some weight in the offseason really helps. None of the Packers players in the picture have a strong enough pursuit angle to catch up to Gray. Sam Shields (#37) and Morgan Burnett (#42) can probably outrun Gray in a 40-yard dash, but they are way too far out of the play to make a difference. The only player who has any remote chance of catching up to Gray is Hubbard. Gray outruns him to the sideline, where Hubbard makes an ill-fated diving attempt at a tackle and that was all she wrote on that play. Gray would later convert the 2-point attempt following the touchdown to give the Patriots a 8-3 lead.