11

January

Packers Stock Report: Divisional Playoff Round Edition

Charlie Peprah's play will be a key factor against the Giants on Sunday.

Hopefully the Packers didn’t spend their playoff bye week the same way I spent mine: Overeating, overdrinking and overtanning on the beach in Mexico. My cholesterol, blood-alcohol level and waist-line are at all-time highs right now.

If I had to play against the Giants on Sunday, they would have to hoist me into a wheelbarrow, push me onto the field, and dump me at the 50-yard line. My massive girth would probably manage to come up with at least one tackle. At the very least, the ballcarrier would be slowed by having to run around my Corona-filled belly.

But enough about me. I didn’t see any Packers players on the beach or in the bars so they were (probably) getting ready to play the Giants and win a Super Bowl.

This week’s stock report is different than the others. Since the Packers didn’t play, I’m listing five players that need to play at either a rising or steady level on Sunday. If each player does this, the Packers should win and play for the NFC championship at Lambeau Field.

Charlie Peprah
Ever since the Packers defense gave up a bunch of long passes to the Giants in Week 13, it seems like Dom Capers has instructed his CBs to give opposing WRs a huge cushion at the line of scrimmage. I think a lack of trust in Peprah plays a role in Capers’ conservative approach. Peprah was bad against the Giants and hasn’t been consistent in doing what any safety needs to do: provide coverage over the top to defend the deep pass. If Peprah has a good game on Sunday, it means the Giants aren’t connecting on long bombs. If Peprah has an outstanding game on Sunday, it also means the Giants TEs are contained and their run game is limited. I’d settle for two of the three.

Chad Clifton
Welcome back, Chad. Now go out there and block Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Clifton was as sturdy as ever in the playoffs last season and, if healthy,  I have no doubt he’ll hold his own against whomever the Giants line up across from him. If Clifton is good, and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell gets frustrated and starts blitzing, Rodgers will pick it apart and the Packers will roll.