Packers Stock Report: Playoff Time Edition
For the last three years, I’ve always been confident whenever the Packers play because they had the best player on the field.
No matter who the Packers were playing, what the score was, or how slow the Packers started, I always felt good because I knew that Aaron Rodgers played for Green Bay and would probably find a way to win the game. He was the best player on the field and the best player on the field typically comes through and leads his team to a win. Not always, but usually.
When the Packers play the Vikings in the playoffs on Saturday, Rodgers will not be the best player on the field. That title will belong to Adrian Peterson, and it scares me.
The Packers are better than the Vikings in almost every facet of the game. But as long as Peterson is carrying the ball, the Vikings will have a shot. I shouldn’t be nervous about Saturday, but I am. And it’s all because of Peterson.
Hopefully, for at least one night, Rodgers regains his best-player-on-the-field championship belt. Rodgers can then worry about getting the Packers to another Super Bowl and defending his best-player-on-the-field title next season.
On to the stock report:
I don’t think I’ve ever put a non-Packers player in the rising category. Usually I put players from the other team in the falling category so I can mock and ridicule them. But as a football fan, I have to show respect to Peterson. He lead his team to the postseason and left several Packers defenders limping off the field. It was agonizing to watch as a Packers fan, but fascinating as a football fan.
The finger-wags got a little annoying. Don’t wag your finger, B.J., when the other running back is going for 200 yards on your defense again. Other than that, Raji was a beast. Peterson got a lot of his yards when he bounced outside. He often had to bounce out because Raji plugged the middle. If Peterson wasn’t able to bounce out, it was because Raji grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground.
It was nice to be reminded just how silky smooth Jennings is in both his route running and running after the catch. He’s an artist (pronounced ar-teest). He also made himself a boatload of cash.
Honestly, I’m bored with the steady category. I might get rid of it. If I had to pick a few steady players for this week, I’d go with Clay Matthews and DuJuan Harris. I love Harris. You ever see highlights of pee-wee football games and the little running backs breaking through the line for a big gain? That’s what I think of when I see Harris run. I know that sounds a little insulting, but I mean it in a good way. He’s exciting.
Tramon should’ve been benched on Sunday. That sounds like an overreaction, but it’s true. I’m not saying benched for good, I mean just for the game. He obviously didn’t want to participate in the extremely difficult task of tackling Adrian Peterson. It takes 11 guys to contain Peterson. The Packers only had 10 1/2 because Tramon wasn’t trying. And don’t even get me started on giving the fullback a 10-yard cushion, then getting run over for a first down. Tramon is a great cornerback and deserves all the praise he gets. But for whatever reason, he didn’t want to play on Sunday and should have been removed for a player who wanted to be on the field. Jarrett Bush would have been more effective.
There’s no question that Barclay has improved the Packers run game, but he was lost in pass protection on Sunday. Everson Griffen is a decent player, but he should not tally three sacks. Barclay will need a little help on Saturday night.
As soon as the I saw the Packers defense line up on that fateful third-and-long play on the Vikings’ winning drive, I called it. I swore at the TV, cursed the fact that Dom Capers was only rushing three guys, then watched in horror as Christian Ponder of all people stood in the pocket, read a book, took a dump, opened late Christmas presents from his wife, took a nap, fed his dog, yawned, stretched, then hit Michael Jenkins for a first down. Jenkins had camped out in a wide-open section of the Packers’ soft zone. Rushing at least four guys and bumping the Vikings pathetic receivers would have been the correct call there. That’s not second-guessing, that’s common sense.
Listen to the companion podcast, where the ALLGBP team expand on the stock report, give out Game Balls and look ahead to the Playoffs matchup with the Vikes:
Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.