Packers Stock Report: Thank You, Christian Ponder Edition
This week’s Packers Stock Report features something that’s never happened before in stock report history.
I won’t spoil it in the intro. Read the stock report and let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
NOTE: For expanded coverage, listen to the Packers Stock Report Podcast (links below)…
The struggling kicker made some progress in digging himself out of a very deep hole by nailing three out of four field goals, including a 47-yarder in the third quarter and a 31-yarder that gave the Packers a nine-point lead late in the fourth. This is a major step in the right direction for Crosby. Mike McCarthy has made it clear that Crosby is his kicker and it’s good to see signs of progress.
The safeties had a rough time against the Giants and if you just look at tackling against the Vikings, they were bad once again. Burnett had two missed tackles that played a role in Adrian Peterson gaining an extra 122 yards, but I’m still putting Burnett as a riser. Peterson is the best running back of this generation, and I don’t think it’s all that close. Missing tackles on him is frustrating, but it happens. Burnett made up for it by picking off Christian Ponder twice, including an athletic takeaway when guarding Kyle Rudolph that brought back memories of Nick Collins.
The offensive line gets a lot of grief, but Sitton has quietly been solid. Time to give him some love. He didn’t allow a bad run (according to Bob McGinn) on Sunday. Pro Football Focus has given Sitton a positive overall rating five of the last six weeks. On an offensive line that likes to grab lately, Sitton has just one penalty in the last eight weeks. Keep it up, Josh. The rest of the big guys up front need you to hold things together.
After shanking another long field goal at the end of the first half, Crosby steadied himself and came through in the second half with two big kicks. There were scattered boos as Crosby left the field at halftime. It takes a steady presence to block that out and do your job once you come back on the field. Kudos to Crosby.
Week in and week out, Pickett does his job. He ate up two blockers most of the day against the Vikings. Not his fault that the guys behind him couldn’t make tackles.
If there was a Cy Young Award in football, Hayward would be a candidate after pitching another shutout on Sunday. Go ahead and put an asterisk next to this one if you want since it was against Ponder and an anemic group of receivers, but you can only play against the players on the field.
Someone needs to let Crosby know that it isn’t against the rules to make a field goal from 50 yards or further. After slicing a 53-yarder on Sunday, Crosby is 1-for-7 from 50 yards or more this season (then about 20 minutes later, he sent a kickoff out of bounds). Sure, he bounced back to make a couple kicks in the second half. Big whoop. Mason Crosby field-goal attempts feel like tip-toeing across stones in a pond filled with hungry alligators.
Fullback Dives to John Kuhn on 3rd Down
The Packers should remove all toilet paper from their facilities and replace it with the page of the playbook that contains this stupid play.
The Vikings have (arguably) the best running back and best pass rusher of the last 10 years and they likely won’t make the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The reason? Lousy QB play. Ponder looked improved early in the season, but has fallen off a cliff. Take away his first read and he poops all over himself. Here’s hoping Ponder plays QB for the Vikes for a long, long time.
There you have it. For the first time ever, a player makes all three categories. Congratulations, Mason Crosby.
I’ve decided to stop being rational with Crosby. Being rational with kickers is impossible anyway. None of us have any idea how to kick or what goes through a kicker’s head.
From now on, I’ll swear when Crosby misses, cheer when he makes one, and cross my fingers whenever he trots on the field.
No more trying to add perspective. No more speculating on whether McCarthy will bring in another kicker. No more pretending like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to kickers.
PACKERS STOCK REPORT PODCAST:
Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.