22

November

Packers Week 12 Stock Report: Rodgers and Nelson Rising, Sitton and Peprah Falling

Most of you probably thought the Packers would beat the Bucs on Sunday, but how many of you thought BJ Raji would have more fantasy points than Greg Jennings and Ryan Grant combined? How many of you thought Tim Masthay would fumble twice on the same play, then run for a first down? How many of you thought Mason Crosby would see his field goal streak ended on a measly 29-yard attempt?

If any one of you is raising your hand, you’re lying.

Sunday’s win over the  Bucs featured several moments that made me wonder if the Packers were just doing things to amuse themselves. But in the end, it turned out to be a seriously competitive game, probably more competitive than it needed to be.

Time for the stock report.

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
After going 23 for 34 for 299 yards, 3 TDs and a QB rating of  112.3, Rodgers spent most of his postgame news conference talking about how frustrated he was with how he played. Rodgers missed a few open receivers and threw an uncharacteristic fourth quarter interception, but if Sunday was an “off” game for No. 12, the sky is the limit for this offense.

Jordy Nelson
For a good part of the first half, the Packers best play on offense was to have Rodgers scramble and eventually connect with Nelson on an improvised pass. Nelson has five TDs in his last three games and has a reception of at least 35 yards in six games this season. Nelson might just be the Packers No. 1 receiver, at least for now.

Tramon Williams
The Packers defense struggled again on Sunday, but Williams had two interceptions and continued to improve his play. Dom Capers needs Williams to keep playing at a high level while he tries to sort out the other problems on defense, especially tackling.

Steady

James Starks
Give Starks a little bit of space and he puts a hurt on would-be tacklers. Unfortunately, Starks left Sunday’s game after getting twisted around on a fourth quarter run. Hopefully he’s alright and continue being a steady force for the Packers out of the backfield.

John Kuhn
Kuhn has TDs in three of his last four games and is solid as the only fullback on the roster. Kuhn needs to keep up his steady play because if he doesn’t, BJ Raji might take his job. 

20

November

Packers vs. Buccaneers – Unfiltered Game Day Commentary and First Impressions: Green Bay 35, Tampa Bay 26

Raji celebrates after his touchdown run. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs are struggling. The Packers are not. This looks like another blowout win for the Packers, but I guess we have to play the game first. Personally, I see this game going more like the Rams game than the Vikings game. The Packers will always be in control, but it won’t be the complete domination that everyone expects.

With the Thanksgiving showdown against the Lions just a few days away, I also think the Packers might get a little bored today. Speaking of bored, you’ve probably had enough of my pregame ramblings. Lets get to the game.

Packers inactivies: CB Davon House, LB Robert Francois, LB Jamari Lattimore, LB Frank Zombo, OG Ray Dominguez, OT Chad Clifton and TE D.J. Williams.

Mike Neal makes his 2011 debut today. I thought the Packers would wait until the Thanksgiving game, but this is a nice surprise.

Safety Tanard Jackson is inactive for the Bucs. That’s going to make it even more difficult for Tampa Bay to slow down Jermichael Finley and Green Bay’s WRs.

First half

We get Joe Buck and Troy Aikman today. I love my touchdowns called in a monotone voice.

The Bucs convert on 3rd and 7 and Clay Matthews leaves the game with some sort of injury. Not a great start.

With Matthews on the sideline, AJ Hawk hits Josh Freeman’s arm on 3rd and 4 and the Packers offense will go to work. Dom Capers brought the pressure on that series.

Josh Sitton with a hold on the Packers second play. His struggles continue.

Well, that’s a new one. The Packers offense can’t get a first down, so P Tim Masthay runs for the first down after a Bucs rusher comes at him unblocked. Masthay also shows why he’s a punter by fumbling the ball out of bounds with nobody around him. He was actually credited with two fumbles and a fumble recovery on the play.

The Packers are driving after Masthay’s run. Rodgers just used James Starks as a checkdown option. Good sign.

So Masthay runs for a first down after a failed punt, then BJ Raji plows his way for a one-yard TD. The Packers are just trying to amuse themselves at this point, right?