By ZACH HEILPRIN
GREEN BAY – “Go get it, House.”
That was all Davon House needed to hear from Green Bay Packers special teams coach Shawn Slocum. Seconds later, House burst off the right edge of the line, untouched, and blocked Bryan Anger’s punt.
“They pointed me out, so I kind of tried to disguise like I wasn’t going,” House explained following the Packers' 24-15 victory over the Jackonville Jaguars at Lambeau Field. “When I was coming…I was surprised they didn’t come block me. I noticed, ‘Oh, crap’, I might be able to block it. Just diving in, trying to make a play.”
After that, it was a mad scramble for the ball. Packers linebackers Jamari Latimore and Robert Francois each had a chance to recover it before their teammate Dezman Moses finally pounced on it in the end zone for a touchdown, giving Green Bay a 14-3 lead near the middle of the second quarter.
“I saw a lot of my teammates going for the ball,” Moses said. “They were fighting for the ball too so it was knocking around, which typically happens on fumbles. I just kept hustling to the ball. It bounced up one time and I made sure it was secure after that.”
It was another big play for a special teams unit that has produced several this year. Moses’ touchdown was the third special teams score of the season, joining Randall Cobb’s 75-yard punt return for a score against the San Francisco 49ers in the season opener, and Tom Crabtree’s 27-yard touchdown on a fake field goal against the Chicago Bears in Week 2.
And most impressive? The Packers and House blocked the punt with only 10 players on the field instead of the requisite 11.
“It’s big,” House said. “Big momentum…We try to win in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams. A lot of people don’t know that special teams is one of the biggest parts, as you can tell. A blocked (punt) for a touchdown, that’s seven points.”
“That’s something we talked about on Monday and Tuesday and that was the route we wanted to go,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said of the block call. “You have to credit Shawn Slocum and (special teams assistant) Chad Morton with their game planning. I though Davon House was excellent. As far as design and the execution of it, and the finish, it was excellent. Obviously, it was a huge play in the game.”
House was left unblocked because the Jaguars failed to react to him shifting from his outside jammer position.
“I’ll take responsibility for that,” Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said. “Our tempo was slow, and that gave them a chance to creep up and jam it in. We should have brought that guy (outside gunner Kevin Elliott) in. It is nobody’s fault but mine.”
The blocked punt was the first by the Packers since linebacker Marcus Wilkins had one in a 38-23 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sept. 29, 2003.
Meanwhile, Moses became the first Packers’ player to score a touchdown on a blocked punt since safety Tiger Greene accounted for the only Green Bay points in a 23-7 loss to the Vikings on Dec. 2, 1990, at Minnesota.
It also allowed Moses a chance for his first Lambeau Leap.
“I’ve already graded it an eight,” Moses said proudly. “I had the jump and the twist all in there. Pretty smooth, so it was all in stride.”
Zach Heilprin covers the Packers for WBEV and WXRO radio in Beaver Dam, sister stations of ESPNWisconsin. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/zachheilprin.