21

September

Week 3 Packers Stock Report: Starks and Raji on the Rise, Walden Falling

James Starks enters the rising category in the Packers Week 3 stock report.

Welcome to the Week 3 Packers stock report, an idea so popular that Bill Simmons and ESPN stole it. Everyone at AllGreenBayPackers.com is pleased to provide content ideas to ESPN as long as we are properly compensated. I’m sure the higher-ups at the Worldwide Leader are cutting a check to Jersey Al right now.

Speaking of copy cats, it’ll be interesting to see how long offensive coordinators have success copying the Saints and Panthers offensive game plans against the Packers. Drew Brees and Cam Newton racked up 851 passing yards on the Packers in the first two weeks, mainly by utilizing the TE, dumping passes to RBs that sneak away from pass protection, and mixing in bombs down the field.

That’s cause for concern, but I still think the defense will be fine for several reasons:

  • The Packers have played over half of the young season without Tramon Williams, their best cover corner. If he returns and QBs continue completing passes at will, then I’ll worry.
  • Yes, the Packers are giving up too many yards, but they’re getting sacks, turnovers and preventing TDs in the red zone — all things you need to do to be considered a good defense in today’s NFL.
  • B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and Williams are legit studs. Not many defenses have four legit studs that can cover up other weaknesses.

The injury to Nick Collins doesn’t help matters, but there’s a reason the Packers signed Charlie Peprah to an extension. He stepped up last year and needs to do it again.

This is the first stock report without Aaron Rodgers in the rising category. Rodgers played well against the Panthers, but not well enough to earn another spot in the rising category. Donald Driver gets a spot this week just because he’s Donald Driver.

The Packers stock report welcomes James Jones back to the falling category. Erik Walden also joins the ranks of the falling, along with a special appearance from Fox’s NFL coverage.

Rising

James Starks
It’s time to turn the keys of the Packers running game over to James Starks and let him drive. Ryan Grant has looked decent coming back from a serious ankle injury, but Starks is by far the better RB right now. I’m not saying Mike McCarthy and Rodgers should call 35 runs every game, but both need to do a better job of sensing when Starks and the OL are hot and playcall accordingly. Rodgers seems to recognize this as well.

B.J. Raji
Raji is like a hippopotamus. Hippos weigh between 1 and 3 tonnes and look about as goofy as any animal on the planet. But hippos can run as fast as 19 mph and are quicker and faster than humans. A hippo will seriously mess you up if you give it a hard time. Raji, with his lower body that resembles two old tree trunks and a motor that doesn’t quit, has been seriously messing up interior offensive lineman and running backs this season. Remember when we thought run defense would be the Packers achilles heel? So far the run defense is excellent, and Raji is the main reason.

Donald Driver
I know he only had one catch, but it made him the Packers all-time leader in receiving yards. Driver is a great guy and deserves to to be in the rising category for one week after breaking the record.

Steady

Jordy Nelson
Nelson is becoming the type of receiver the Packers can rely on to contribute something each game. Whether it’s a big play, a consistent target, or solid blocking, Nelson will contribute something.

Scott Wells
Investors that bought stock in Wells early have enjoyed steady returns. After another solid week of running the ball and keep Rodgers off the ground, Wells remains a solid investment.

Charles Woodson
Woodson had a few grabby moments on Sunday, but he stepped up with two key interceptions. The Packers will need the old CB to remain steady throughout the season with Collins out.

Falling

James Jones
Jones managed only one catch on Sunday and has just seven catches for 60 yards in his last four regular season games. I keep telling myself Jones will come in handy sometime this season, but it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

Erik Walden
With Frank Zombo out, Walden had a prime opportunity to seize the starting OLB spot opposite Clay Matthews. However, Walden hasn’t generated much of a pass rush and struggles in coverage.

Fox NFL Coverage
I hate people that constantly bitch about play-by-play guys and color commentators, so my beef with Fox isn’t with Ron Pitts or Jim Mora (even though both were bad). My beef is with how Fox covers the game. I hate how they feel the need to constantly show close-ups of player’s faces after every play instead of actually showing a replay of whatever important thing just happened. I hate how after Collins got carried off on a stretcher, we never heard another word about him the rest of the game. It wouldn’t be that difficult to send someone to ask the Packers PR staff if there was an update on Collins’ status. And did Fox even mention that Ryan Pickett got injured? Finally, what’s with all the commercials? Are the number of commercials determined by the NFL or Fox? It felt like we had more commercials than gameplay. Fox ruined how politics is covered in this country. Now they’re ruining football too.

I’ve written enough for this week’s stock report, so I’ll end with this: The Packers are once again struggling to put teams away. They have a golden opportunity to beat up on a Bears team with a weak offensive line and injury issues of their own. Beating the Bears this week is a giant step toward putting them away for the season. The Packers need to step up and make it happen.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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35 Responses to “Week 3 Packers Stock Report: Starks and Raji on the Rise, Walden Falling”

  1. cdk4205 says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your NFL coverage comments. I want to see the game and the advantage of watching on TV is to see the replays! The announcers comments are secondary (especially since they are usually weak anyway). And I really don’t care about watching Cam Newton with a towel over his head!!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    • Steve Cheez says:

      That’s why all games in the Steve Cheez house are DVRed. I have learned that I have to do my own replays.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

    Rising stock should have Tramon listed even though he didn’t play.Amazing how fast the defensive stock falls as he IMO controls the black and red ink in the markers for the entire squad including CM3 and CW moreso.
    The falsehood of we’re still getting sacks and INTs for the stat sheet won’t keep the Ws coming even if those stats rise.
    Goal line stands won’t last forever when your opponenet is driving 80 yds a possession.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

    • Adam Czech says:

      “Goal line stands won’t last forever when your opponenet is driving 80 yds a possession.”

      True. But the Packers won’t give up over 400 yds passing every game. A good defense is still able to prevent red-zone TDs, get sacks and create turnovers even when it’s not at its best.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

        “A good defense is still able to prevent red-zone TDs”not when it’s getting gased.
        Tramons health and games missed this year will dictate wins and losses more than any other player.
        Homerism is good but also blinding.
        Respectfully and IMHO.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Adam Czech says:

          It’s two games. Relax.

          Even good pitchers don’t have their best stuff every day, but still find a way to win.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

            Yes,pitchers have a bullpen,we have a Bush,Lee and a one with a Ring around his neck.
            Whats with the “RELAX” stuff.I’m only stating an apparent point,not panicking.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

            • Adam Czech says:

              You implied I was a homer. I told you to relax. Lets call it even and be nice to each other again.

              All I’m saying is this: The Packers pass defense has been bad so far. But it’s only two games, and they’ve done enough to win both of them. This defense won’t give up 400 passing yards every game. When they do give up 400 yards and still do enough to win, I take that as a good sign. When the pass defense improves (which it will) the Packers will be that much better.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

              • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

                I never intentionally mean to not be nice,sorry if he seemed so.
                But I will stand by my thoughts that any games minus Tramon are more likely a loss than a win against better QBs and teams than the Panthers,which is pretty much everyone left on the schedule except for KC.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

              • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

                “it” seemed so.sorry,my husband always asks me questions when I’m typing.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

            • RacerX says:

              @ Tarynfor 12:
              I’m still trying to understand your logic. How can anyone who didn’t play get a “rising” (or “falling” for that matter) stock grade.
              I’m with Adam when he says, “relax”…the sky’s not falling.
              I trust TT and MM’s decision-making ability infinitely more than someone who blames their spouse for their poor grammar skills.
              Tell me something…did he “ask a question” when you hit the “Post your comment” button?
              I think not. You are weak…IMHO!

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              • Adam Czech says:

                Taryn makes an excellent point about Tramon. I try to keep each category to no more than three players, but if I had to put every player on the roster into a category, Tramon definitely goes in the rising column even though he hasn’t played. Look at how shaky the pass defense has been without him.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

                IMHO,what makes you think I care about YHO.Like nobody forgets to proof read their posts.

                Amazing how some don’t corrulate a players STOCK impact when not playing.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              • RacerX says:

                @ Tarynfor 12:
                Do you mean “correlate”…because there is no such word as “corrulate”
                Let me guess…that spouse of yours asked a question when you hit the “Post your Comment” button. Again…I think not! Weak!!…get down and give me 50!

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              • RacerX says:

                @ Adam:
                I know. She makes for an easy target, though.
                I have little patience or respect for anyone who tries to pass the blame off to someone else.

                From:
                Lifelong Packer-Backer who reads these articles (and the posts) religiously.
                (You, Ron, Al, Oppy, Mojo – always good analysis)
                Please keep it up…keeps the morale up.
                Go Pack! (The Bears still, and always will, suck!) – IMHO!!
                Tango Bravo
                (“Two” – “Four”, US “Operator”)

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. John says:

    I agree on the excess of commercials, my god! I’m almost to the point of TiVo ing even when I’m at home and fast forwarding the commercials. I’ve always resisted this till now but its getting rediculous

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Ron LC says:

    I had to DVR the game Sunday. I couldn’t start watching until 1 hour after the start of the game. I had caught up with the Live Broadcast by 4 minutes into the 4th qtr. Rediculous – Wait how many billion are they splitting? Worse, I had to listen to those idiots broadcasting!

    To the point, one more week of this defense and Capers is going “Black Friday”. The defensive is crap and all this “red zone” talk is crap. The “red zone” is more luck and stupid calls by the opponent, then accomplishment by the Packer D. The 950 yds allowed cannot be portrayed as anything other than total and complete failure.

    I am thanking the “lord” that Suh isn’t getting his shot at AR until a little later and at home. He may not survive that game if MM doesn’t get the Oline to improve and increase their stock value value. Bulaga and Clifton were trashed by good, but not excellent players. Think Peppers this week.

    In short, the investors need to see more performance reports from the NFL SEC before we drop our life savings. Three weeks of abysmal D performance cannot be excused.

    In reality, I have faith in Capers to correct the defects of the first two weeks. I expect he will hav an anwer Sunday.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Elle says:

    Can’t agree on Walden. You do realize that the OLBs were told to set the edge, maintain rush lane integrity against Cam Newton because he can scramble for 20-30 yards at any point, right? Did you happen to notice that Matthews didn’t generate much pass rush either except on enormous down and distances?

    Walden has been much improved in coverage. He definitely has a ways to go but he’s heading in the right direction. I’d give him another 4-5 weeks before you give him a “falling” status.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Adam Czech says:

      Matthews didn’t generate much of a pass rush because they kept extra blockers in, then sneaked a RB out to catch passes from Newton. And maybe Matthews was slowed by his quad injury.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Mojo says:

    Re: Bill Simmons of ESPN and his ripping you off: Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.

    As far as falling stock I would sell all of my A.J. Hawk shares. He was overpriced to begin with and I’d dump him before everyone else catches on. Has he done anything so far this season? Is it too early to put Masthay in the falling group. The last game was not his greatest.

    Maybe put Wells in the rising group. He probably has played better than any O-lineman to this point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Adam Czech says:

      Agree 100 percent on Wells. He would’ve been a riser, but I left him off this week so I could give Driver his lifetime achievement award.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. vizslajay says:

    i totally agree with Elle with respect to Walden. BTW Adam ,is the problem you have with Fox that they don’t shovel the same BS the ABC,CBS,NBC do? I admire Fox for their football coverage , Ron and Jim had a love affair with Cam that was a bit over the top , but ruining football ? Come on man , that’s a bit of a stretch. But guys like you would be admired on Capitol Hill for your ability to make unfounded claims.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Adam Czech says:

      Is it that difficult to give viewers an update on a guy who was wheeled off on a cart? Or let us know when a key DL gets injured? Or not wait until 10 minutes later to show a replay of the Steve Smith fumble? Viewers don’t need constant closeups of player’s faces. They need information and key replays to be shown in a timely fashion.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. Art Rosen says:

    Any news on TW? Will he be playing agains da Bears?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Oppy says:

    Adam,

    My biggest beef with modern NFL telecasts- and this is across the spectrum, not just Fox- is that today’s televised NFL game is made up of close up, tight shots of the QB (perhaps a bubble that extends from a yard or two behind the QB to about 3-5 yards in front of him) Right up until there is a hand off or a pass, in which case that bubble shot is tightened even further on the ball until the completion of the play.

    Back in the 80′s, seemed to me telecasts more often were shot from an “isometric” 3/4s viewpoint, which showed the entire 50 yard breadth of the field and the almost the entire secondary as well- probably a good 10-15 yards down field.. Interspersed with close ups as the action dictated..

    You could actually see how the Defense was lined up, how they adjusted, watch the WR’s routes develop, see blockers get down field and really get a feel for the flow of a play, etc and so forth.

    Now a days, You get to watch the QB look around, and it’s a complete surprise when he throws it as to whether there’s anyone even out there to catch it.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Seriously Oppy, you are in my head. I would love to get my hands on the coaches tapes, where we can see all 22 players. But then again, that means we wouldn’t get to see Aaron Rodgers’ nose hair.

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      • Adam Czech says:

        I understand that the broadcast needs to cater to the casual fan, but I think even casual fans have to get annoyed with all the closeups.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Shavager says:

    I’m not a big fan of “bend but don’t break” defenses, they usually “break” at the wrong time-playoffs where you’re one and done. Capers did a great job last year patching up a injury prone defense, figure him to get this year’s D humming the right tune soon. Too soon to give up on Walden but So’oto’s ready, I’d look for Walden to improve or the rookie gets more time. McCarthy’s stock should fall a little too, he has tendency to get conservative once he gets a lead, allows opponents to stay close in games–I don’t think this is a “keep the fans on edge of seats” strategy that works very well. Wouldn’t be as bad but Packers are 0-16 in 4th qtr games they’re losing. Lot of Favre haters out there, but right now Rodgers and McCarthy haven’t proven they can win in the end yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. RacerX says:

    Adam,
    Good stuff buddy.
    BJ Raji and Hippopotamus…unbelievable!
    Hadn’t thought of it that way…but very true.
    Love it.

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  12. Normthe1 says:

    Have you received your check yet Al..?

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