4

October

Week 5 Packers Stock Report: Nelson and Rodgers Rising, Hawk and NFL Security Falling

Jordy Nelson leaps into this weeks Packers stock report.

The Green Bay Packers are 4-0 and look like the best team in the NFL, but Packers fans shouldn’t make hotel reservations for Indianapolis just yet. There are still holes on this team, and the biggest might be the nonexistent pass rush.

I debated whether to include Clay Matthews in the falling category for this week’s stock report, but decided to hold off for now. I understand that teams are game-planning for Matthews, and that he’s doing a good job against the run and setting the edge, but the Packers need him to rush the passer. Period.

There are a lot of LBs in the NFL that are good against the run and setting the edge. There are only a few that are elite pass rushers. Matthews was an elite pass rusher in 2010, and the Packers need him to return to form in 2011.

I was at Lambeau on Sunday and Matthews too often appeared content engaging his blocker and trying to read which direction the QB might scramble. Matthews needs to blow up whomever tries blocking him and force the QB to scramble in one direction or the other.

Maybe he’s playing hurt, maybe he’s just playing within the system. Either way, he needs to start putting QBs on the ground. I’m betting that if Matthews gets going, so will the rest of the Packers defense.

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
It might be time to just give Rodgers his own category, something above rising. I hate wasting a rising slot on Rodgers because it’s obvious to anyone that has watched football for more than 5 minutes that Rodgers is really good, and getting better. When Rodgers connected with James Jones on a touchdown in the third quarter Sunday, my wife and I thought he was throwing it right to a Broncos defender. The Denver defensive back’s coverage was so good, that we couldn’t even see Jones from the angle of our seats, but Rodgers fit the throw in anyway. That about sums up how Rodgers is playing right now.

Charles Woodson
Another player that maybe deserves his own category. Where would this defense be without Woodson taking over the Carolina game and getting an early pick-six against the Broncos? Woodson’s nose for the ball, aggressiveness and football IQ have covered up the early struggles of this defense. If Dom Capers can get this defense back on track, Woodson should get more opportunities to blitz and wreak even more havoc.

Jordy Nelson
Ted Thompson showed just how saavy of an investor he is by locking up Nelson to a contract extension before his inclusion in this week’s stock report. If Thompson would have waited until after Nelson made the rising category, it would’ve cost the Packers at least another $7.52 (yes, that’s 7 dollars and 52 cents. This stock report is a big deal. A very big deal). For now, Nelson is the Packers second best receiver, behind Greg Jennings and ahead of Jermichael Finley.

12

September

Week 2 Packers Stock Report: Wells and Cobb Rising, Shields Falling

Packers C Scott Wells enters the rising category in the Packers stock report.

Before we get into the Packers week two stock report, lets look at the overall stock of the NFL after the first week of games. Even though Thursday night’s opener between the Packers and Saints easily won the night, ratings were down about three percent compared to last year’s Saints/Vikings opener.

After years of TV ratings (and profits) continuing to go up, has the NFL reached its peak? What role did the lockout play in the reduced rating? Did having two small-market teams in the opener bring the number down?

The answer to all those questions is probably “it’s too early to tell.” However, I don’t notice the same level of buzz around the NFL that I’ve noticed over the last couple of years. There were some people at work on Thursday that weren’t even aware the season was starting that night. A lot of my friends that are casual football fans also haven’t brought up the NFL much over the last month.

The NFL will remain the top dog in American sports for a long time, but you have to think it will reach a peak in popularity sometime. Maybe that time is now, but I doubt it. With the NFL set to get new TV contracts shortly, I’m sure we’ll hear about record ratings and attendance as the year goes on.

Regardless of which way NFL stock is headed, the Packers have probably never been as popular as they are now. They’re a team at the top that appears to be rising even higher after beating the Saints.

There were some tough omissions from the rising category this week. Honorable mention goes to B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Jarius Wynn on the defensive line and Morgan Burnett in the secondary.

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
I told myself I wasn’t going to include Rodgers in the rising category every week, but how can you leave him off after what he did against the Saints? He had no business making some of those throws, but he made them anyway and completed most of them. After the game, he even mocked people who questioned the fact that he did not organize player workouts during the lockout. Just a brilliant night for QB1.