1) Introduction: Tim Masthay gets the job done. That’s probably the best way to describe him. He doesn’t drastically tilt the field with his powerful punts and pinpoint accuracy, but he does an adequate job. Masthay doesn’t give you much to leap out of your chair and cheer about, but he also doesn’t give you a reason to hurl your TV through the wall after consistently poor punts.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Just keep doing what he does. Masthay has a lot of games where he punts in cold weather and his always hold up well.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Masthay’s net average has gotten better every season, topping off at 39.0 yards in 2013. He also notched 17 touchbacks on 34 kickoffs to start the season. If you’re looking for lowlights…well, it’s always a lowlight when Masthay comes on the field because it means the Packers are punting.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Masthay’s consistency was a bright spot on an otherwise shaky special teams unit. If there was a special teams breakdown, it was rarely because of something Masthay screwed up.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Unfortunately, Masthay contributed too much and the Packers didn’t score enough points in their playoff loss.
1) Introduction: Packers kicker Mason Crosby saw his lucrative contract tore up over the offseason and replaced with an incentive-laden deal. Message received. Crosby connected on 33 of 37 field goal attempts and even sent two 57-yarders soaring through the uprights. If Johnny Jolly wasn’t on the roster, the Packers comeback player of the year award would have probably gone to Crosby.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Get beat out in training camp by the Italian guy with the cool name. Packers fans were done with Mason Crosby and were itching for somebody to replace him. Crosby outlasted Giorgio Tavecchio and went on to have a career season.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Crosby hit all five field-goal attempts with a long of 52 yards in week 5 against Detroit. He made his first 10 attempts and even hit 5 of 7 from beyond 50 yards after going 14 for 33 on attempts of 50 yards or more in his first six seasons. Crosby’s lowpoint came against the Eagles in week 10 where his missed kicks from 53 and 42 yards.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: The Packers comeback against the Cowboys might have fallen short if Crosby doesn’t nail a 57-yard field goal earlier in the game. Unlike in 2012, you can’t really point to a game where Crosby had an overly negative impact. Crosby took over again on kickoffs midway through the season. I guess the Packers prefer Crosby’s directional kicking over Tim Masthay’s powerful leg.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Crosby made both of his field goal attempts against the 49ers and was fine kicking the ball off.
Could Packers GM Ted Thompson take a WR like LUS’s Odell Beckham, Jr. in the NFL draft?
It’s obvious to both diehard and casual Packers fans that the team desperately needs to upgrade at the safety position and also on the defensive line. Middle linebacker or tight end (if Jermichael Finley can’t play) could use upgrades as well.
With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb returning at wide receiver, and Jarrett Boykin emerging last season, nobody is clamoring for the Packers to add another receiver. But the upcoming draft is overflowing with receiving talent, and Packers general manager Ted Thompson might not be able to help himself.
If the Packers take a wide receiver in the first two rounds, I’ll have no problem with it. Sure, it might not fill an immediate need, but Thompson’s batting average in drafting receivers is one of the best in the league. It’s definitely a lot higher than when he tries to draft a pass-rushing complement to Clay Matthews, a dynamic defensive lineman or an offensive tackle.
If Thompson does take a wide receiver early in the draft, here are five guys that I think would be good selections for the Packers.
Fit with the Packers: I thought Beckham could possibly be a second-round target for the Packers, but he has rocketed up draft boards in recent weeks. After an impressive performance at the NFL Combine, he might be gone by the time the Packers pick in the first round. What I like most about Beckham is the consistency of his speed. Aaron Rodgers takes his footwork and timing on passing plays seriously. When Rodgers is in position to make a throw, he needs his receivers to be where he expects them to be on the route. Beckham’s quickness off the ball and smoothness in his acceleration makes that possible. He’s not herky-jerky in his movements and won’t be a half-step off when Rodgers is ready to throw.
Fit with the Packers: Adams has long arms and catches everything thrown his way. He’s also physical and should be productive in the red zone thanks to his ability to time leaps and go get the ball at its highest point. And you can’t ignore the guy’s production: 3,030 yards and 38 touchdowns in two seasons. Adams isn’t a speedster, but could fill the James Jones role of providing Rodgers with a big, tough and physical target. Some scouts knock him for being a “system wide receiver,” but that might be a plus in the Packers’ view. Thompson tends to draft receivers who are fundamentally sound and would be good fits for the Packers’ “system.”
Fit with the Packers: What I’ve liked best about watching film on Evans is his mastery of the back-shoulder catch.If Rodgers watches film on Evans, he might personally demand that Thompson takes him in the first round based solely on his ability to catch back-shoulder passes. Evans knows how to use his size and strength to box out defenders, while still having the hands and arm length to reel in those back-shoulder throws that appear to be zooming out of bounds. At 6-foot-5 with NBA-style leaping ability, Evans would be another option for boosting the Packers production in the red zone. So what’s the downside? Evans is far from polished. The Johnny Manziel-led offense at Texas A&M featured a lot of improvisation. He’s also not very fast. McCarthy and Bennett would have some work to do with Evans in making him a better route-runner and understanding the nuances and tricks of operating in traffic with less-than-superior speed. The Packers tend to draft more polished route-runners when they pick wide receivers in the early rounds, but Evans’ physical skills might be too good to pass up.
Fit with the Packers: Landry ran the slowest 40-yard dash (4.77 seconds) of any receiver at the combine. What he might lack in speed, he makes up for in route-running, toughness and intelligence — all traits Thompson likes in wide receivers. Landry also was a special teams standout and doesn’t hesitate to lay someone out blocking on running plays or bubble screens. A faster 40-time at his upcoming pro day will help alleviate concerns about Landry’s speed. But even if his time doesn’t improve much, Landry’s college production and his toughness will resonate with Thompson. He’s a good all-around football player.
Fit with the Packers: Cooks wasn’t thought of as a receiver with blazing speed heading into the combine. Then he posted the fastest 40-time (4.33 seconds) of any receiver in Indianapolis. He followed that up with impressive showings in the 20- and 60-yard shuttles, demonstrating that not only is he fast, but he can also change direction and pivot without slowing down. Combine the speed he showed at the combine with the elusiveness and craftiness he shows running after the catch on film could turn Cooks into a special receiver pretty quick. With Cobb on the roster (but set to hit free agency next offseason), perhaps Thompson won’t want to add another slot-type receiver. But there are so many good ones in this year’s draft that he might do it anyway. I’m sure Rodgers and McCarthy would find a way to make it work.
Fit with the Packers: I’ll throw in Coleman as a bonus because I think he’s more of a fourth or fifth-round option. It’s impossible not to like a guy who is 6-foot-6 with the strength to break through jams at the line and who averaged almost 22 yards per catch in college. He was slowed by a terrible offense and a knee injury his junior season. Many analysts thought he should have stayed at Rutgers one more year. But he didn’t, and if the Packers take him, Rodgers will have a big target with a lot of untapped potential. Coleman won’t blaze by anybody over the top, but he might be a good option to replace the physicality the size of James Jones.
So yesterday I accidentally scheduled my Surviving Sunday post to run on Saturday. It was a brain freeze similar to what happens when Mike McCarthy calls for the fullback dive on 3rd-and-short.
Hopefully you enjoyed your Saturday edition of Surviving Sunday. Now that it actually is Sunday, here is a bonus Sunday edition of Surviving Sunday.
Packers news, notes and links
Reports surfaced on Saturday that Packers free agent cornerback Sam Shields is seeking a deal similar to the 4 years, $22.4 million contract signed by the Bears’ Tim Jennings. If that’s truly the case, then the Packers need to get this deal done ASAP. I’m guessing the overall guarantee on Shields’ deal would be bigger than Jennings’, but even if that’s true, that’s a perfectly fair deal for both sides and still leaves the Packers salary cap room to make other moves this offseason.
Might new Giants offensive coordinator and former Packers QB coach Ben McAdoo try to sign James Starks and Evan Dietrich-Smith away from the Packers? It’d be nice to keep Starks around, but with Eddie Lacy on the roster and DuJuan Harris and Jonthan Franklin returning from injury, Starks is more of a luxury than a necessity. Then again, Starks ran at turbo speed last season. Given his injury history, a part-time role is probably best for him and he sure excelled filling in for Lacy. I don’t like playing musical chairs at center, but is Dietrich-Smith worthy overpaying if another team dumps a big offer on him? I don’t think so. I’m willing to see what J.C. Tretter can do at the position.
According to a study from Rick Gosselin at the Dallas Morning News, the Packers have lost a league-high 153 games by injuries to preferred starters over the last two seasons. So what are Mike McCarthy and the Packers going to do about it? Who knows. In this interview with Jason Wilde, McCarthy vowed to figure out what’s going on and make changes. He said the same things last offseason. The most logical change at this point might be to just hire the training and medical staff from Stanford University.
If you’re still holding out hope that the Packers will sign Jarius Byrd to fix their issues at safety, this Tweet might squash that hope.
Non-Packers links and other nonsense
This is an interesting read about losing the passion you have for your favorite team once you grow up. I wonder how many young Packers fans see their passion dwindle once they get older?
I’m really looking forward to Jeff Pearlman’s new book on the Showtime-era Lakers.
Does this offer even apply to writers who publish Surviving Sunday posts on Saturday?
Note: Relax, no need to go check your calendar – it’s not Sunday. Just a little scheduling snafu. Look for a bonus edition tomorrow, though…
I’m going straight to the Packers news and commentary this week. No time for a long intro rant or rave. There is snow to shovel. More and more snow to shovel.
By the time this winter is over, my back is going to snap in half from shoveling and Dr. Pat McKenzie will refuse to clear me in time for training camp.
Packers news, notes and links
Tyler Dunne at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talked to a bunch of folks about Sam Shields. Is Shields worth a mega-contract? You might not find a faster corner in the league. But Shields also has missed games every season with various injuries. And he has a little ways to go before truly being one of the league’s top corners instead of having the potential to be one of the league’s top corners. As with any free-agent decision, it all comes down to value. I’d like to see Shields re-signed, but if he walks, the Packers still have Tramon Williams, a returning Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde and Davon House at cornerback.
Mike Mccarthy sounded optimistic in an interview at the NFL Scouting Combine that Jermichael Finley would play again. Finley had the same two vertebrae fused that ended Nick Collins career. I’m rooting for Finley to make it back, but I still have doubts that, if he does return, it’ll be with the Packers. Either way, I’m curious what kind of offer he gets in free agency if he is cleared.
Ted Thompson also spoke at the combine. As usual, he said nothing.
I agree with John Rehor over at Packerstalk.com: Let’s calm down about Ted Thompson preparing to go all nutso in free agency. I don’t see it happening. I do think Thompson will sign a few guys. There has been value in some under-the-radar veterans in recent years that don’t completely blow up a team’s payroll. Thompson has missed the boat on some of these guys and won’t want to miss it again. At least I hope he won’t…
As always, when you’re at Packerstalk.com, check out the latest podcasts from this week.
This is an interesting post from Brian Carriveau at CheeseheadTV examining Nick Perry and the three-point stance. Should Perry go back to putting his hand on the ground as a defensive end instead of standing up as an outside linebacker? Who knows. Either way, he needs to stay healthy. That’s priority No. 1.
Ian Rappoport from NFL.com reported this week that one of the Packers top priorities is signing Jordy Nelson to a contract extension. Thompson will probably have to open up his wallet after re-signing Nelson (4 years, $14 million) for way below what his market value eventually became halfway through the 2011 season. Randall Cobb wants a new deal too, but it sounds like those talks haven’t started yet. I say sign both of these guys ASAP.
Non-Packers links and other nonsense
If you’re not watching HBO’s True Detective, you’re missing out on an amazing hour of television every week.
What’s the first old-school wrestling pay-per-view that you’re going to watch when the WWE Network launches on Monday? I’m going to watch Wrestlemania VIII. Ric Flair vs. Macho Man Randy Savage was a classic.
Looking to maximize your profits on selling Girl Scout cookies? Set up shop in front of a pot dispensary.
Cal tight end Richard Rodgers could be a good fit to replace Jermichael Finley in the upcoming NFL draft.
The NFL Scouting Combine starts on Saturday and Packers general manager Ted Thompson will be there to observe all of the young NFL hopefuls who could potentially fill holes on the Packers roster.
Yes, it’s that time of year where words like “athletic” and “upside” become part of our everyday vocabulary and we pay extra close attention to how long a player’s arms are and what kind of motor he has. Keeping track of everything going on at the NFL Combine and the buzz about various prospects can be overwhelming. That’s why ALLGBP.com is here to help.
I picked out 10 players to watch at the NFL Combine if you’re a Packers fan. I have no idea if Thompson himself will be closely watching these players over others, but these 10 players are a mix of possible first-round targets for the Packers, or mid-round picks that appear to have the tools to help the Packers in one way or another down the road.
Of course, after the NFL Combine wraps up, ALLGBP.com will have more NFL draft profiles on possible future Packers than you will be able to handle. For now, keep an eye on these 10 players and we’ll see if any of them wind up in Green Bay come April.
HaHa Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama The Packers need a safety and Clinton-Dix might be the best one in this draft class. Scouts rave about Clinton-Dix’s instincts when the ball is in the air and his ability to shift directions and accelerate. His tackling could use some work, but the Packers desperately need a safety who can close on the ball and help eliminate big plays in the opponent’s passing game. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s really hard to get over the top on Clinton-Dix. Teams have had no problems getting over the top on the Packers safeties ever since Nick Collins was injured. If you’re a Packers fan, you might actually hope Clinton-Dix has a poor showing at the combine to increase the chances that he’ll fall to the Packer at pick No. 21.
Calvin Pryor, Safety, Louisville If you want a safety who will lower the boom on people, Pryor is the guy. He doesn’t project to have the cover skills and closing speed of Clinton-Dix, but we’ll see if his combine numbers change that perception. In a recent media call, NFL draft guru Mike Mayock called Pryor a “bigger, stronger version of Bob Sanders.” That’s high praise. Like Clinton-Dix, Pryor might be off the board by the time the Packers pick.
Marqueston Huff, Safety, Wyoming There’s a good chance both Clinton-Dix and Pryor will be gone by the time the Packers pick in the first round, so taking a safety later in the draft is a definite possibility. What I like about Huff is his mulitiplicity (did I just invent a new draft word?). He’s played safety, cornerback, running back and returned kicks. He can line up and cover in the slot, close on the ball as a free safety, and be a thorn in the side as a gunner on special teams. Huff seems to fit the mold of what Ted Thompson likes in a defensive back.
Ra’Shede Hageman, Defensive Line, Minnesota 6-6, 318 pounds I saw Hageman play in-person four times this season. He looked lazy and out of shape in the first game. In the next three, he played like a raw, potentially great, NFL defensive lineman. Hageman looks more like an offensive tackle than a defensive lineman, but those broad shoulders, long arms, and trimmer-than-normal waist for an interior lineman actually work in his favor. I see Hageman more as a defensive end in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he should be ruled out as an interior force. He’s a boom or bust pick, in my opinion, with a ceiling of Julius Pepper and a floor of Justin Harrell.
DeAndre Coleman, Defensive Line, California 6-5, 315 pounds The Packers are likely going to need re-enforcements along the defensive line and Coleman could be a good pick in the third or fourth round. He’s listed at 315 pounds, but he looks more like a muscular 285. If the Packers are serious about getting more athletic in their defensive line, Coleman could help as a 3-4 defensive end or an interior tackle with deceptive explosiveness. Coleman looks like he’s an NFL prospect, but his numbers in college left a little to be desired. Some scouts think Coleman looks like a player, but isn’t actually a player. Perhaps the production wasn’t there because he played on a horrible Cal team.
C.J. Mosley, Linebacker, Alabama 6-2, 232 pounds The Packers drafted a standout running back from Alabama last year after he fell to the second round due to injury concerns. Could they do the same this year with a linebacker from Alabama who has an injury as history? Mosely can play all four downs and is a handful when he comes charging between the guards on a blitz. If Mosely didn’t have injury concerns, he’d be a sure-thing first-round pick. He’ll still probably go in the first round, but if he doesn’t, how far will he fall?
Chris Borland, Inside Linebacker, Wisconsin 5-11, 246 pounds Unlike some of the players on this list, Borland won’t wow you with his size and appearance. He’s short and stocky and doesn’t have that graceful and chiseled look most NFL linebackers have these days. But the kid can play. He moves sideline-to-sideline with ease and he knows how to use his stoutness to gain leverage on taller and less agile offensive linemen on blitzes. Scouting reports also cite his intelligence and awareness as major attributes. We know how much the Packers value smarts and proper alignment from their middle linebacker slots. If the Packers address safety with their first-round pick, they could further boost the middle of their defense by taking Borland later in the draft.
Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma St. 6-0, 200 pounds You might think the Packers don’t need another cornerback, but Gilbert could be too tempting for Thompson to pass up. Tall, athletic, strong, good tackler, jams receivers and plays zone. He has the tools to do it all. Oh, and he’s also a helluva kick returner. With Sam Shields possibly departing, Tramon Williams getting older and on the last year of his deal and Casey Hayward coming off a lost season, don’t be surprised if Thompson snatches up Gilbert. Gilbert also seems like the type of player whose stock could go way up after the combine, so we’ll see where he stands after this weekend.
Richard Rodgers, TE, California 6-4, 245 pounds
Things worked out well the last time the Packers drafted a guy named Rodgers out of California. With Jermichael Finley likely out of the picture, the Packers will look to replace his athleticism and ability to line up inside as a traditional tight end and outside as a flex wide-receiver type. Rodgers could fit the bill. Like Finley was coming out of Texas in 2008, Rodgers is extremely raw and will probably need a year or two of seasoning.
Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers 6-6, 220 pounds There are a lot of wide receivers in this year’s draft, and Coleman could be one of several taken after the first round with a chance to develop into a go-to player. Coleman may have been better off staying in school, honing his skills a bit, and coming out next year when the wide receiver field isn’t so stacked. Then again, with his size, an impressive combine could send him rocketing up draft boards. I’m sure Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t mind a 6-foot-6 target to throw to, especially with James Jones possibly on his way out and Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson free agents next offseason.
Could Myles White end up contributing to the Packers next season?
With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb due to hit free agency next offseason, the Packers could be looking to draft a wide receiver in April.
Or maybe they’re confident that they can re-up with Nelson and Cobb and aren’t worried about finding another receiver in the draft.
Or maybe they think they have a capable replacement for Nelson or Cobb already on the roster, and the rest of us just don’t know about him yet.
That last scenario seems by far the least plausible, but you never know. Nobody heard of Jarrett Boykin, but he became a reliable receiver and might step into James Jones’ role in 2014 if Jones signs elsewhere.
Of the Packers four “unknown” wide receivers currently on the roster, which one has the best chance of turning into a player? Here’s what I think:
Myles White Some were saying White was the fastest receiver in training camp. He was also a hurdling star in high school and was signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech. Speed and athleticism isn’t the issue for White. Size is.
White is barely over 180 pounds and probably needs to buff up if he wants to stick around and have a legitimate shot at cracking the lineup. If White gets bigger and improves, he can potentially be a deep outside burner who would be a nice complement to the bigger Jordy Nelson, Jones (if he re-signs), Boykin and Cobb (who likes to work inside).
White was called up off the practice squad for the middle part of the season and didn’t do much in 123 snaps. Of course, he didn’t have Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, either. White’s season came to an end early when he tore cartilage in his knee.
Chris Harper He used to play for the Seahawks so he must be halfway decent, right? Well, maybe.
Harper has the size (228) to be another Boykin-type of receiver — tough to bring down and holds his own blocking. But there must be a reason he was cut by the Seahawks (and later by the 49ers) not long after getting drafted in the fourth round. Bob McGinn ranked Harper 12th in his pre-draft wide receiver rankings and quoted scouts who said Harper catches well in traffic and can play in the red zone.
Harper is worth taking another peek at during training camp, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
Kevin Dorsey A hamstring injury landed Dorsey on injured reserve before he could do much of anything.
The Packers picked Dorsey in the seventh round despite the fact that he had poor senior season at Maryland where he caught only 18 passes for 311 yards. Scouts liked Dorsey’s size and his ability to to go after passes no matter what’s going on around him, but nobody was too impressed with his speed.
He played 24 snaps in the exhibition game against Seattle and looked physical, if nothing else.
Will Dorsey come back from his year in the training room ready to take a leap forward and turn some heads? We’ll find out soon enough.
A wrist injury landed this rookie free agent on injured reserve at the end of July. I’d be surprised if we see him dress for the Packers again.
1) Introduction: When Jarrett Boykin replaced Randall Cobb in the Ravens game, Boykin looked like me trying to get a date back in high school: awkward, bumbling and completely out of his element. My game never improved. Boykin’s did.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Be ready in case of injury. With Cobb missing most of the season and James Jones also missing time, Boykin got his chance and made the most of it after a slow start.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Lowlights don’t get much lower than Boykin against the Ravens. He caught one pass in five targets, dropped two balls and was on a completely different planet than Aaron Rodgers. The following week against Minnesota, Boykin caught all five passes thrown his way and began showing that he may be more than just a backup.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Boykin is an aggressive receiver who is tough to deal with after the catch. Might he be the replacement for James Jones if Jones departs via free agency? I would’ve said “no way” earlier this season, but Boykin showed improvement, and with a little more consistency catching the ball and separating from defensive backs, he’ll stick.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Boykin was only targeted once and didn’t catch a pass. Is Boykin fast enough to separate from good cornersbacks? It didn’t look like it against San Francisco
1) Introduction: The Packers best offensive play in the season’s final two games was to have Aaron Rodgers magically escape the grasp of an oncoming defender or two, scurry outside the pocket, and throw it Randall Cobb, who somehow managed to improvise, get behind the defense and catch Rodgers’ attention. Cobb was slowed by injuries at the end of 2012 and missed most of 2013 with a fractured leg. He’s a free agent after next season and will need to stay healthy if he wants to cash in.
3) Expectations coming into the season: This year was going to be another progression in Cobb becoming one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. All was mostly going as planned until Cobb fractured his leg against Baltimore.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Of course, Cobb’s catch against the Bears in the season finale tops the highlight list, not just for Cobb but for the Packers entire season. Receiving honorable mention is Cobb’s long run that woke up the Packers muddling offense against Detroit and a couple of nice catches on improvised plays in the playoffs.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Without Cobb, the Packers probably don’t make the playoffs. When he was on the field, Cobb’s speed from the slot and overall playmaking ability made a good offense much more dynamic.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Cobb only had two catches in the postseason, but they were two memorable catches. Too bad the Packers couldn’t punch it in the end zone after Cobb’s last big catch.
1) Introduction: Remember during the offseason when everyone called the Packers soft and demanded more toughness? People were mostly talking about the defense. Nobody expected a wide receiver to raise the Packers’ level of toughness, but Jordy Nelson did just that.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Bounce back. Nelson spent a good portion of the 2012 season banged up and his numbers nose-dived from his amazing 2011 campaign. He needed to stay healthy this season and return to being one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Whenever Aaron Rodgers was in trouble, he’d launch an impossible-looking pass toward Nelson on the sideline. Nelson would somehow catch it and get both feet down with a defender or two draped all over him. Any time that happened, it was a highlight. His 22 catches for 20 yards or more was also nice. If you’re looking for a low-light, Nelson “only” had eight touchdowns. Given the Packers struggles in the red zone, it would’ve been nice to see Nelson come down with a few more scores.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Nelson made the Packers tougher. I know you don’t think of receivers making a football team tougher, but Nelson did. He had knee surgery on Aug. 5, yet never missed a game. He took shots and held onto the ball. He made catches with defenders all over him. He pulled out the Jordy stiff arm every now and then. He was a chore for defenders to bring down on hitch routes. He didn’t quite have the success over-the-top that we got used to in 2011, but he improved in just about every other area.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: It was a strange game on offense for the Packers against the 49ers in the playoffs. Rodgers looked tentative early and the Packers never really got rolling. Nelson caught seven passes, but only for 62 yards. It was a good, not great, playoff game for No. 87.