Packers Stock Report: Playoff Bye Week Edition – Matt Flynn A Strong Buy
I agreed 100 percent with Mike McCarthy’s decision to rest Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, but I couldn’t help but think about how I would feel if I dropped an entire paycheck to bring my family to the game, only to learn that Rodgers was resting.
“Resting?” I would have said. “I’m paying how much for tickets, parking, food, beer, a jersey and other stuff so my family can come watch Aaron Rodgers and he’s taking the day off?!?!”
Those angry thoughts would not have lasted much longer after the game started, though. How many fans can say they saw something historic and record-breaking happen at Lambeau Field? The fans at Sunday’s game can.
The Packers are definitely rising heading into the playoffs and there will be more opportunities to make history before the season concludes.
Matt Flynn may be the biggest mover of the entire season. Flynn’s performance and his statistics from Sunday speak for themselves, so I’d like to use this space to address the silly notion that the success of Aaron Rodgers this season and Flynn on Sunday was solely due to the Packers “system.” Yes, McCarthy has one of the best systems in the NFL, but anyone who suggests Rodgers is a “system quarterback” should be locked in a padded room with Skip Bayless and forced to watch replays of the Broncos-Chiefs game from Sunday. Tom Oates from the Wisconsin State Journal sums up my thoughts perfectly with this Tweet. You could put Rodgers on any team, with any system, and he’d still be one of the best QBs in the NFL. The throws he makes and the plays he digs out of his you-know-where are amazing and would be just as amazing under any “system.” And lets not cheapen what Flynn did on Sunday by lazily chalking it up to the Packers “system.”
Remember when the Packers offense looked lost without Greg Jennings? Neither do I. Nelson caught three TDs on Sunday and finished with 15 for the season, the highest total by a Packers WR since Sterling Sharpe caught 18 TDs in 1994. Nelson averaged 18.6 yards per catch, the highest average since James Lofton’s 22.0 in 1984. Those stats are nice, but the best part of Nelson’s game is the Jordy Stiff Arm. It came out again on Sunday and it looked nastier than ever.
Since week 12, Grant is averaging 5.86 yards per carry. I didn’t think the Packers used Grant very well the first half of the season. It seemed like every time he got the ball it was on a straight dive play up the middle. Since McCarthy started calling more stretch plays, Grant has come to life.
Chad Clifton made an appearance and Evan Dietrich-Smith saw some extra playing time. Through it all, Wells had another solid game matched up against a tough Lions defensive front.
The days when Jones was complaining about playing time seem so long ago. Jones has 10 catches for 139 yards and two TDs the last two weeks, including a crunch-time catch deep down the sideline on Sunday. Some people scratched their heads when Ted Thompson resigned Jones in the offseason. Now it’s the opposing DBs that are left to scratch their heads as the Packers continue to pile up yards with Jennings sidelined.
It’s been a rough holiday season for Walden. After getting arrested on Thanksgiving night, Walden has played like he’s wearing handcuffs, failing to set the edge on outside runs and not generating a pass rush. He added a silly roughing the passer penalty on Sunday that had to make McCarthy want to run onto the field and drag Walden off by his ear.
Yes, it’s unfair to get upset at a CB who just got torched by Calvin Johnson, but Williams’ play has been falling the last two weeks, not just against Megatron. Remember the play against the Bears where Williams got beat, then whiffed big time trying to make the tackle? Plays like that need to be cleaned up in the postseason.
As soon as Suh did the title belt after a sack late in the game, I knew the Packers would win. You don’t use the title belt against the Packers. It backfires almost ever time.