Packers Stock Report: An Ugly Win Counts the Same as a Pretty Win Edition
As I’m writing this week’s Packers stock report, I’m watching the Cardinals play the 49ers on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals look horrendous. Absolutely atrocious. They can’t do anything right.
Does this mean anything for Sunday’s Packers vs. Cardinals matchup? Who knows.
So far this season the Packers have been good and bad, lucky and unlucky, hot and cold, hurt and healthy, explosive and stagnant, emotional and dead, and everything in-between.
The same can be said about the Cardinals and just about every other team in the NFL.
There’s no use projecting what might happen week-to-week, so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the games the rest of the way.
When the Packers offense needed a lift in the second half on Sunday, James Jones came to life. He caught a 11-yard pass and drew a roughing penalty. He also caught a 31-yard pass that set up Donald Driver’s touchdown. No. 89 was feisty in the second half. Perhaps that aggression led to the Jacksonville defender getting a little annoyed and throwing him down on the roughing call. Too bad some of that aggression didn’t wear off on the rest of the offense.
The latest next man up is Jones and he’s answered the bell so far. Playing inside linebacker for the first time, Jones hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been more than adequate. A sack on an inside blitz and a forced fumble deep in Packers territory were big plays on Sunday. As long as Jones makes the routine tackles and a big play every now and then, he’ll be fine plugging the gaping hole left by Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith.
Someone needed to step up with Charles Woodson out and Burnett was the guy on Sunday. The third-year safety has been decent all season but really showed a nose for making plays and played with emotion against the Jags. The main thing the Packers will miss with Woodson out is his attitude. The veteran might not have the raw skills to do what he used to do, but he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and try to make a tackle or take on a bigger offensive lineman. Burnett demonstrated the same will against Jacksonville, and made a few impact plays doing so.
It’s been a steady build for Cobb before he exploded against St. Louis. He wasn’t as active on Sunday, but he once again caught every pass targeted for him. I almost left him off the list because he danced around instead of moving forward for a first down on a pass in the third quarter, but he’s still young so I forgave him.
Raise your hand if back in August you thought Mike McCarthy would say the following during a postgame news conference in week eight: “Special teams have been the lead dog all year.” If you’re raising your hand, show yourself to the principal’s office because you’re lying. The head coach of the Green Bay Packers, led by MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is praising the special teams more than the offense after a week eight game! Up is down! Black is white! The world is flat! What is happening to our universe?! After years of ridicule, Slocum deserves some praise. Here’s hoping the Packers special teams keep it up.
Another week. Another knuckleball. This one mercifully doinked off the upright instead of killing a fan or innocent bystander on the sideline like a few of Crosby’s other misses this season.
The offensive line has done him no favors, but Green missed a few cutback lanes on Sunday. There weren’t any gaping holes, but Green did leave yards on the field. I could just as easily put Jeff Saturday or the entire offensive line in the falling category, but I went with Green instead. I’d like to see Green get more chances on stretch runs or pitches. McCarthy seems to want to keep pounding him straight up the middle.
Tim Masthay’s Arm
I saw the Lombardi play on Friday night and I could almost hear Vince yelling down from heaven after Masthay launched a bomb on fourth down instead of punting. “What the hell’s going on out there!!!” Dear Mike McCarthy: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER, EEEEEEEVER take Aaron Rodgers off the field so Masthay can throw a pass again. If you want to run a cute little flip on a fake field goal or something like that, fine. But leave the actual passing to the MVP. Thank you.
(Side note: Apparently, Ryan Taylor was open underneath, but Masthay chose to throw it deep. Rodgers and McCarthy have obviously rubbed off on Masthay. Even the punter goes downfield instead of checking down to his underneath option.)