Packers Week 12 Stock Report: Rodgers and Nelson Rising, Sitton and Peprah Falling
Most of you probably thought the Packers would beat the Bucs on Sunday, but how many of you thought BJ Raji would have more fantasy points than Greg Jennings and Ryan Grant combined? How many of you thought Tim Masthay would fumble twice on the same play, then run for a first down? How many of you thought Mason Crosby would see his field goal streak ended on a measly 29-yard attempt?
If any one of you is raising your hand, you’re lying.
Sunday’s win over the Bucs featured several moments that made me wonder if the Packers were just doing things to amuse themselves. But in the end, it turned out to be a seriously competitive game, probably more competitive than it needed to be.
Time for the stock report.
After going 23 for 34 for 299 yards, 3 TDs and a QB rating of 112.3, Rodgers spent most of his postgame news conference talking about how frustrated he was with how he played. Rodgers missed a few open receivers and threw an uncharacteristic fourth quarter interception, but if Sunday was an “off” game for No. 12, the sky is the limit for this offense.
For a good part of the first half, the Packers best play on offense was to have Rodgers scramble and eventually connect with Nelson on an improvised pass. Nelson has five TDs in his last three games and has a reception of at least 35 yards in six games this season. Nelson might just be the Packers No. 1 receiver, at least for now.
The Packers defense struggled again on Sunday, but Williams had two interceptions and continued to improve his play. Dom Capers needs Williams to keep playing at a high level while he tries to sort out the other problems on defense, especially tackling.
Give Starks a little bit of space and he puts a hurt on would-be tacklers. Unfortunately, Starks left Sunday’s game after getting twisted around on a fourth quarter run. Hopefully he’s alright and continue being a steady force for the Packers out of the backfield.
Kuhn has TDs in three of his last four games and is solid as the only fullback on the roster. Kuhn needs to keep up his steady play because if he doesn’t, BJ Raji might take his job.
Another shaky week for Sitton. He allowed some inside pressure early and was whistled for three penalties on Sunday. Penalties are going to happen every now and then, but allowing pressures inside needs to stop. Defenders getting to Rodgers up the middle can derail this offense in a hurry.
The only thing worse than seeing A.J. Hawk try to cover a TE is seeing Peprah try to cover a TE. When Peprah wasn’t overmatched in coverage on Sunday, he just looked lost.
Tampa Bay Coaching Staff
The Bucs deserve credit for coming up with an offensive gameplan to exploit the Packers’ weaknesses, but that’s about all they deserve credit for. The two failed onside kicks and ill-advised decision to go for two were bad enough, but the decision to send an all-out blitz at Rodgers on the final TD pass to Nelson was downright silly. Everyone know Rodgers destroys teams when they blitz, so why send the house on the biggest play of the game?