Packers Stock Report: Shooing Away the Lions, Bringing on the Bears Edition
Since the Packers handled the Lions on Sunday, they should be able to handle the Bears this week, right?
Think about it. The Lions have:
- A talented but erratic QB
- One dominant receiver
- A tough defensive line
- A cover-2 strategy designed to contain the Packers
Sounds very similar to the Bears. The main difference is the Lions have a better offensive line and the Bears have a better secondary and running back. The Bears are also beat up.
That’s my preliminary analysis, anyway. Very in-depth, right?
We’ll see if my perception changes later in the week, but I don’t see many reasons to pick the Bears, especially when you factor in the hopeful return of Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and (maybe) Jordy Nelson.
It was good to get the Lions out of the way. They annoy me for multiple reasons.
On to the stock report:
For some reason, Tony Scheffler was giving the Packers some trouble on Sunday. So the Packers called on Hayward and soon Scheffler wasn’t a problem any more. The rookie played all 84 snaps and had another strong game despite dropping another interception late. Now if he could only get home on blitzes like Charles Woodson used to….
Bashing McCarthy’s decision-making and infatuation with calling downfield passes is a very popular thing to do during games. I do it myself. Every fan gets mad at the head coach of his favorite team on ocassion. But if you’re going to bash, it’s only fair to praise when praise is deserved. McCarthy seems to have the Packers living in their own world, a world where throwing in the towel because of injuries and bad breaks is not acceptable. Having Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback helps make this world a better place to be, but McCarthy still deserves a ton of credit. Getting the most out of reserves and young talent has become the norm with McCarthy. Whatever you’re doing behind the scenes, Mike, keep it up.
Wow! What a return! Welcome back, Mr. Shields. Your neck tattoo looks as dazzling as ever. Normally I try to avoid sticking guys in the rising category based on one game, but Shields has me fired up. His speed saved the Packers from disaster on a Lions’ kick return and he came up with a big initerception. I like Davon House. I think House will still play a role on this team against bigger and physical receivers, but Shields has so much speed that it’s hard to keep him off the field.
We need to see Rodgers back in the rising category, but steady is good enough for now. Yeah, I know he holds the ball too long sometimes, but watching Rodgers navigate around pass rushers is a thing of beauty. His eyes always focus downfield and he never completely bails out too early. If the rush is constantly coming in his face, he gets a little jumpy (hey, he’s human), but he never runs scared.
It’s fairly obvious that Cobb isRodgers’ favorite target now, even with Greg Jennings back. All Rodgers needs is a couple extra seconds against a zone look and Cobb will usually come open. He had a bad drop on Sunday night, but still turned in another solid performance.
Nothing flashy. No big plays. Williams didn’t shut out or dominate Calvin Johnson. But he more than held his own. Willams was thrown at nine times and only allowed five catches against Megatron. That’s another workhorse type of day for Tramon. I’m looking forward to Williams rejoining his tag-team partner Morgan Burnett and bracketing Brandon Marshall this week.
How much more money has Clay Matthews made himself by being injured the last six weeks? Probably a lot. After getting five sacks without Matthews in their first game against the Lions, the Packers don’t even really bother the quarterback any more. In addition to his pass-rushing struggles, Zombo got duped bad on Matthew Stafford’s bootleg touchdown in the first quarter.
Take everything negative I just wrote about the Packers pass rush in the Zombo paragraph and apply it to Walden. Walden hasn’t been quite as bad as Zombo, but he’s fallen off now that he’s been asked to do more. I guess this really isn’t a surprise, and maybe I’m being a little too harsh on a guy that fits best as a depth player, but several players in the Packers’ secondary have stepped up. The pass rushers have yet to do so. Walden does deserve some credite for setting a decent edge against the run on Sunday.
Because they still suck.