27

September

Packers Stock Report: Recovering From the Fail Mary Edition

Clay Matthews

Packers OLB Clay Matthews tops the list of Packers on the rising

My inbox has been overflowing with emails asking where the Packers Stock Report has gone.

It hasn’t gone anywhere. Its creator has just forgotten to do one through the first two weeks of the season. Its creator is also lying about his inbox overflowing with queries about the Packers Stock Report. I’ve gotten the same number of inquiries about it as the New Orleans Saints have wins.

So, back by not-so-popular demand, here is your Week 3 Packers Stock Report:

Rising

Clay Matthews
Even though he didn’t get a sack on Monday night, he was still creating havok on pass rushes and collapsed to the middle of the line on running plays. Matthews has been impossible to stop through three games. He’s the type of player that other offenses have to build gameplans around and a big reason why the Packers secondary has shown improvement.

A.J. Hawk
Wha wha what?!?! Yes, Hawk has stepped his game up in the absence of Desmond Bishop. He hasn’t magically morphed into Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher in their primes, but that’s beside the point. The Packers need A.J. Hawk to be the A.J. Hawk of late 2010: Assignment-sure, tackle the ballcarrier if he’s in your area, and every now and then blast a RB for a loss. According to Pro Football Focus, Hawk has 18 tackles, nine of which have resulted in an offensive failure. Hawk had six tackles and four offensive failure stops through three games last season.

Jerron McMillian
Rookie Jerron McMillian has not allowed a catch this season. The only other safety to play as many snaps as McMillian and not allow a catch is Adrian Wilson with the Cardinals. The kid from Maine has registered a positive Pro Football Focus rating in every game and should have had the game-clinching interception Monday, but had it wiped out by a phantom roughing the passer call. I thought McMillian was more of a run-stopping safety, but so far he’s been great against the pass as well. Let’s see if it keeps up.

Steady

Cedric Benson
Benson has been about all the Packers could hope for. He’s not an elite back by any means, but he does enough to keep the defense honest on the rare occasions that Mike McCarthy decides to run the ball. He’s also proven to be a decent check-down option for Aaron Rodgers. Fumbling remains my concern with Benson. His fumble late against the Seahawks was one of those leap-off-your-couch-and-start-screaming “NO! NO! NO!” type of moments.

27

September

NFL, Referees Reach Agreement

Ed Hochuli Touchdown

Ed Hochuli’s arms: coming to an NFL stadium near you THIS WEEKEND!

Like Jason Wilde said on Twitter, we figured this is how it would happen. Just not against the Green Bay Packers.

Regardless, the NFL and NFL Referee Association (NFLRA) have come to an agreement on an eight year CBA to lift the lockout of the regular officials as confirmed by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. A regular crew will be in place for the Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens game Thursday night.  Officials will meet Friday and Saturday to ratify the agreement.

From the official NFL statement:

“Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement.”

It’s unfortunate that it had to cost ANY team a game for this to happen.  It stings more because it happened to the Packers, but wouldn’t you be just as angry if it happened to any other team?  Judging by the amount of support seen from fans of the other 31 franchises, it’s likely that Packer fans would have expressed similar thoughts.

So now the criticism can get directed at the real officials.  Will there be more bad calls? No doubt.  Let’s also be clear about this as well: the replacement officials were put into a ridiculously difficult position by the league.  They did the best they could in a situation in which they were way over their heads.  They should be commended for accepting such a daunting task. I personally wish them all the best in the future.

That said, there are wounds between the fans and the league office that will take time to heal.  Will this increase pressure on the regular officials? Time will tell.

But for now, enjoy a rare sight at stadiums all over the league this week: standing ovations….for the referees!

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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25

September

Video: NFL Replacement Refs Music Parody: Flo Rida Whistle

Not specifically Packers vs. Seahawks related, but  certainly timely give the events of last night.  Maybe we could all use  a little something to lighten the mood…  Enjoy!  (or at least try)

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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25

September

Ranting and Raving About the Packers Loss to the (Refs) Seahawks

M.D. Jennings and Golden Tate

M.D. Jennings and Golden Tate

No fancy intro to this post. I’m getting straight to the anger and I invite Packers fans to do the same in the comments section.

What pissed you off about last night’s Packers loss to the Seahawks? I’m not looking for one or two things. I’m looking for a laundry list. Let it fly, people.

Here we go:

  • I’m pissed at the NFL. My favorite sport is turning into a reality TV show. Joke refs. Labor disputes. Tebowmania. Programming overkill. Putting clown analysts on the air instead of insightful commentators. Joke refs (did I mention that already?). A commissioner that now has less credibility than Bud Selig. Greedy and whiny owners and players. Pete Carroll. Imposter officials (have I mentioned that yet?). That’s pretty much all the elements of a reality TV show that appeals to the lowest common denominator of society instead of positioning itself for long-term sustainability and success by actually caring about its product.
  • I’m pissed at people who utter the following sentence (Beavis and Butthead voice): “Yeah, uh, uh, the calls were bad, but uh, uh, the Packers shouldn’t have put themselves in that situation, uh, uh, they should’ve put the game away earlier.” Shut up. What situation are you talking about? The one where the Packers intercepted Russell Wilson on the last drive, only to have it overturned on a phantom roughing the passer call? The one where the Packers had Seattle at 1st and forever on the final drive, only to see it all blown up on a ridiculous pass interference call that should’ve gone against the offense? The one where M.D. Jennings intercepted the final pass, only to  have it called a Seahawks touchdown? Are those the situations you’re talking about? The Seahawks are a helluva team. At this point of the season, no team is going to waltz into their stadium and blow them away. People that use the “Packers should not have been in that situation line” have no idea how difficult it is to win on the road against a tough defense in the NFL.
  • I’m pissed at Jay Cutler. He didn’t do anything wrong last night. I’m just always mad at Jay Cutler.
  • I’m pissed at Pete Carroll and Golden Tate. You’re enabling this farce to continue by not at least subtly acknowledging that this win is tainted. Show a little common sense.
25

September

Packers-Seahawks: Replacement refs take NFL to all-time low

"Touchback," signals one. "Touchdown," signals the other. Apparently.

“Touchback,” signals one. “Touchdown,” signals the other. Apparently.

There’s nothing funny about it. The NFL’s replacement officials have officially cost a team a win that they rightfully earned.

“It was awful. That’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Aaron Rodgers was dumbfounded following the Packers’ 14-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night football. While the Packers quarterback and head coach were able to keep their composure at the postgame press conference, fellow NFL players and fans of the sport reacted differently.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King called the game “one of the great disgraces in NFL history.”

The play in question was, of course, the last play of the game. As Seattle faced a fourth-and-ten on the Packers’ 24 yard-line, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson kept the play alive with his legs and fired the ball towards the endzone.

Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate pushed Packers cornerback Sam Shields to the ground, but the ball hit safety M.D. Jennings right between the numbers. Jennings cradled the ball to his chest, while Tate tried to wrestle the ball from him.

But nonetheless, two officials walked over towards Jennings and Tate, who are wrestling for possession of the ball. One official waves his arms, suggesting the pass was intercepted and the game was over. The other official, who ignored Tate’s “Shields shove,” rushes to the scrum and signals “Touchdown.”

The play was reviewed, and the call stood as called. Touchdown.

Seahawks win.

The pass was clearly intercepted by Jennings. At one point during the fight for possession, Tate’s right arm is completely off the ball while Jennings maintains possession throughout. In reality, Tate had more possession of Jennings than he did of the, you know, football.

The NFL rule book states the procedure in which a simultaneous catch should be handled, “If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.”

The latter part of the rule clearly suggests that Jennings should have been granted the interception. He gains control, before Tate fights for possession. So, there you have it. By NFL rules, Jennings intercepted the pass, and the Packers won the game.