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October

Packers Stock Report: Breathing a Sigh of Relief Edition

Jeff Triplette

Jeff Triplette proves he’s worse than a replacement ref by signaling Saints ball after an obvious Darren Sproles fumble on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter.

Whew. Glad the Packers escaped that one a winner.

Normally if a Packers’ opponent is flagged for holding on the go-ahead fourth-quarter field goal minutes after a star running back drops an easy third-down catch, the Packers should consider themselves lucky for winning.

Not the case this week. The real refs blew a couple more calls on Sunday, and the Saints late misfortune was actually some long overdue breaks for the green and gold.

Also, one more note about that holding call: Don’t forget that the refs had called holding on two previous extra points, one against the Packers and one against the Saints. For some reason, they were looking for holding on kicks on Sunday and actually calling it.

I don’t buy the make-up call argument at all, so if someone tells you that was a makeup call just go Cutler on them and walk away.

Rising

James Jones
What a day for Jones. He intercepts a touchdown pass intended for Jermichael Finley (more receivers should try this given Finley’s inability to catch the ball) catches another touchdown that was actually intended for him, and ices the game with an amazing catch while getting taken to the ground by the defender. Jordy Nelson is showing signs of life, but Jones has been the Packers best receiver through four games.

(One more note on Jones: I was at the game on Sunday and I don’t think people appreciate how great that final catch was. Fans were too busy yelling at the refs to make sure the interference got called that they didn’t notice Jones actually catching the ball. Take the time to watch that catch again on replay if you can.)

Randall Cobb
I couldn’t figure out why Cobb didn’t play more against the Seahawks. I think McCarthy said something about matchups, but that’s nonsense. Cobb is good enough to play regardless of matchups. If Cobb continues improving, he might end up looking a lot like Darren Sproles, the Saints RB/WR/KR that is impossible to stop if given a little room to operate.

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October

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 28, Saints 27

Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy

Rodgers and the offense got back on track while McCarthy’s red flag nearly cost the team a win

Not even Jeff Triplette could deny the Green Bay Packers this time.

The Packers hung on for a wild 28-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints in a game where offenses ruled the day as both defenses gave up a combined for 895 yards and quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees both had stellar days and were able to move the chains almost at will.

The Packers go to 2-2 with the victory after their heartbreaking “loss” to the Seattle Seahawks last Monday evening and will move into second place in the NFC North behind the surprising 3-1 Minnesota Vikings should the Chicago Bears lose to the Dallas Cowboys tonight.  The Saints fall to 0-4 as the team struggles to get going without head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for the entire season for his part in the Saints’ bounty program.

The Packers offense finally appeared to find its rhythm against the hapless Saints defense that ranked dead last in the NFL entering the game, allowing an average of 477 yards per game. Rodgers picked apart the Saints secondary and Cedric Benson had another solid outing.

So who stood out and who stood down?

Game Balls

QB Aaron Rodgers

All eyes were on the reigning MVP this week after last week’s debacle in Seattle and Rodgers’ strong comments during his weekly radio show on ESPN 540. Many were expecting Rodgers to come back with a vengeance and he didn’t disappoint.

Aside from one interception, Rodgers was surgical against the Saints defense, going 31-41 for 319 yards and throwing four touchdown passes. His offensive line kept him upright and his knack for extending plays was once again on full display.  He finally looked the part of NFL MVP, though again it was against the worst defense in the NFL.

WR James Jones

What kind of bizarre NFL season is this when Jones makes the clutch catch of the game?

Aside from making an incredible catch with a defender literally on top off him late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory, Jones had his best game of the season.  He caught two touchdown passes and finished with five catches for 65 yards.