Packers Stock Report: Let’s Pretend That Never Happened Edition
I’ve been doing the Packers Stock Report weekly for over two years now. Most of you know how it works.
But just in case, it’s important to know this while you’re reading and agreeing/disagreeing with my selections:
I don’t base the rising/falling/steady selections solely on the most recent game. The most recent game receives the most weight, but I typically factor in the last three games, sometimes more.
For example, if Donald Driver would have caught six passes for 100 yards and a touchdown on Sunday (we can dream, right?), I still probably wouldn’t have put him in the rising category. One good game out of 11 does not necessarily mean you’re rising. It means you had one good game.
I’m trying to identify more long-term patterns or trends that might play out over the next couple of weeks. While it seems like the rising category should be empty this week, remember that I’m factoring in more than the debacle against the Giants.
NOTE: For expanded coverage, listen to the Packers Stock Report Podcast (links below)…
Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to this weeks report:
He’s done enough to enter the rising category. By no means have we forgotten about Clay Matthews, but it’s nice to see Moses making a few plays with the opportunities he’s had the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing Moses and Matthews on the field together. Fewer snaps for Walden will probably keep him fresher, too.
He hasn’t played the last 10 quarters and he’s rising. If the Packers want to beat physical offenses with good quarterbacks, they need Matthews. Eli Manning stood in the pocket and had his way with the Packers secondary on Sunday. I don’t think that happens if Matthews is out there. Matthews also brings toughness and a sense of urgency to the run defense, something that was lacking against the Giants. Yeah, I know the Packers managed five sacks without Matthews against the Lions, but the Giants offense is much more complete than Detroit’s. The Packers defense needs Matthews. Period.
There are not many options for another rising player if you just factor in the Giants’ game, but Cobb was decent again (4 catches for 39 yards, 1 carry for 12 yards). He at least did enough to stay in the rising category based on his last month of strong play.
Raji still gets wiped out on run plays way too often, but he’s at least bringing a little bit of a pass rush. He had five hurries on Sunday and has 10 in the last two games. Hopefully he keeps it up when Matthews returns.
Hayward’s dropped interception in the first quarter made me want to put him in the falling category. If he hangs onto that, who knows how it would have altered the game. But I calmed down enough to realize that Hayward should stay in the steady category, even though he only played 21 snaps. What was up with that? Hayward seems talented enough to deserve more snaps than that. Remember when Cobb didn’t get much playing time against the Seahawks? Get the young and talented players on the field. Hayward was only thrown at twice when he was on the field.
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Moving Lang to right tackle has been a disaster. He gave up another sack and a hit to go along with three pressures on Sunday. That’s three sacks and four hurries since moving to tackle. Is it time to move Lang back inside and see what Don Barclay can do at right tackle? It’s worth considering, at least.
Aaron Rodgers has spoke highly of Dietrich-Smith’s work ethic and talent. It’s time for that work ethic to start paying dividends and his talent to show up in a game. It’s been rough going ever since Dietrich-Smith took over at left guard and T.J. Lang replaced Bulaga at right tackle. If the line doesn’t figure out its issues shortly, this season could take a massive turn for the worst. An elite quarterback like Rodgers can mask a struggling tackle. He can’t mask an entire offensive line that’s struggling.
Pro Football Focus has given Saturday a negative run-blocking rating five of the last six weeks. Saturday wasn’t signed to be a run-blocker, but he also wasn’t signed to torpedo the running game, either. I suppose you could also put Marshall Newhouse in the falling category if you think I’m being too harsh on Saturday. Take your pick. Either way, it’s not good.
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