Packers Stock Report: Breathing a Sigh of Relief Edition
Whew. Glad the Packers escaped that one a winner.
Normally if a Packers’ opponent is flagged for holding on the go-ahead fourth-quarter field goal minutes after a star running back drops an easy third-down catch, the Packers should consider themselves lucky for winning.
Not the case this week. The real refs blew a couple more calls on Sunday, and the Saints late misfortune was actually some long overdue breaks for the green and gold.
Also, one more note about that holding call: Don’t forget that the refs had called holding on two previous extra points, one against the Packers and one against the Saints. For some reason, they were looking for holding on kicks on Sunday and actually calling it.
I don’t buy the make-up call argument at all, so if someone tells you that was a makeup call just go Cutler on them and walk away.
What a day for Jones. He intercepts a touchdown pass intended for Jermichael Finley (more receivers should try this given Finley’s inability to catch the ball) catches another touchdown that was actually intended for him, and ices the game with an amazing catch while getting taken to the ground by the defender. Jordy Nelson is showing signs of life, but Jones has been the Packers best receiver through four games.
(One more note on Jones: I was at the game on Sunday and I don’t think people appreciate how great that final catch was. Fans were too busy yelling at the refs to make sure the interference got called that they didn’t notice Jones actually catching the ball. Take the time to watch that catch again on replay if you can.)
I couldn’t figure out why Cobb didn’t play more against the Seahawks. I think McCarthy said something about matchups, but that’s nonsense. Cobb is good enough to play regardless of matchups. If Cobb continues improving, he might end up looking a lot like Darren Sproles, the Saints RB/WR/KR that is impossible to stop if given a little room to operate.
Yeah, he got burned deep against Seattle and got beat a few times on Sunday, but Williams has still been solid since week two. I’m putting him in the rising category because if he doesn’t break up that pass to Jimmy Graham in the end zone during the third quarter, which forced the Saints to kick a field goal, who knows how that game turns out.
Burnett was in on 14 tackles on Sunday and is second on the team with 29 tackles (13 solo, 16 assists). It’s not necessarily a good thing to have your safety making a bunch of tackles, but if he’s not bringing the ballcarrier down, the Packers are probably back to square one in the tackling department. The Packers have tackled better this season, and Burnett deserves some credit for that.
It’s nice to have a running back that consistently falls forward and shows a little elusiveness. I still think people are acting a little too excited over Benson — he’s not that great — but he’s been a nice acquisition so far.
With the Packers down by six early in the fourth quarter, Masthay pinned the Saints at their own 9-yard line. New Orleans went three-and-out, the Packers scored on their next posession, and never gave up the lead. We’ve seen a lot more of Masthay than we would like this season, but he’s been an excellent weapon so far.
You’ve worked your whole life to make it to the NFL. You finally get your shot. Your team has the ball at the 1-yard line. All you have to do is hand it off. You take the snap. You fall over. You fumble. The other team recovers. They score. You potentially cost your team seven points, and gave seven to the other guys. Welcome to Harrell’s world. As a Packers fan, I’m very angry at him. As a human being, I’m pulling for him. That’s a very rough way to start a career.
The Saints didn’t do much on the ground, but I still saw Raji getting pushed around too much on double teams. He’s big enough to stand his ground on double teams, but doesn’t quite seem strong enough. It’s weird. His personal foul was also silly. Can’t have those.
My father-in-law was very happy about having real refs officiate Sunday’s game, but I had to educate him about Triplette. Most NFL insiders don’t consider Triplette a real ref. Sure enough, Triplette and his crew of misfits managed to look just as bad as the scabs and were serenaded by fans at a Lambeau with a special cheer after missing an obvious fumble late in the fourth quarter (hint: the cheer rhymes with “mosh pit”).