Packers Stock Report: They are who we thought they were Edition

After eight games and heading into the bye week, the Green Bay Packers are about what we thought they were (cue the Denny Green soundbite).

  • Aaron Rodgers is amazing and does amazing things.
  • When Rodgers get hurt, even if it’s just a silly hamstring pull that he plays through, things go to hell in a hurry.
  • The defense is better, but still not quite where it needs to be.
  • The safety position is better than last year because 1) it couldn’t get much worse, 2) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has a future and 3) Morgan Burnett looks improved.
  • Inside linebacker hasn’t gotten worse, but it’s still no good.
  • The injury situation is better, mainly because it couldn’t get much worse than it has been in recent years.
  • The defensive line might be the one position that hasn’t lived up to expectations, even though those expectations were modest.

Add all that up and you get a team that’s 5-3 at the bye and on pace for around 11 wins and another division title despite its flaws. That’s about where most reasonable people pegged the Packers to finish.

The bothersome thing about this year’s team is that they’re so hard to read. Different areas of the team, including the coach’s decision making and playcalling, are up and down on a week-to-week basis.

Is that a sign of an inconsistent team that will go on a run once they put it all together? Or is that a sign of team that is good, but not quite good enough?

We’ll find out over the next two months. For now, onto the stock report:


Randall Cobb
This is about to become Cobb’s theme song after he signs a big contract, hopefully with the Packers. Will he hire a body guard named Virgil to guard against ketchup-wielding fans at Lambeau?

Eddie Lacy
Davante Adams has come along nicely as the Packers’ third receiver. After catching 100-plus yards worth of passes on Sunday, Lacy can stake claim to being the Packers’ fourth receiver.

Josh Sitton
Sitton never has a game where he’s totally worked over. He rarely even has stretches of games where his man gets the best of him. Year in year out, game in game out, Sitton shows up and gets the job done.


Mason Crosby
Will I always be nervous when Crosby trots out to kick a field goal? Probably, but perhaps it’s time we apply Aaron Rodgers’ advice to Crosby’s kicks and just R-E-L-A-X. He’s been steady as can be so far.


Michah Hyde
He just doesn’t seem fast enough to be an impact player. You can’t argue with the value the Packers have squeezed out of him as a later-round draft choice, but if injuries in the secondary persist, the Packers will need more from Hyde.

Josh Boyd
All we needed Boyd to do this season was develop into the 2010 version of C.J. Wilson: an unspectacular, but reliable and athletic run-stopper. So far, it hasn’t happened.

A small part of me died when Davon House was whistled for pass interference because he “cut off the receiver’s route.” By that definition, the very action of playing pass defense is a penalty.

5 Reasons the Packers will beat the Saints (and 1 reason why they might not)

The New Orleans Saints are a not quite as good version of the Green Bay Packers.

Both teams have elite quarterbacks, but Drew Brees isn’t quite as good as Aaron Rodgers. In 12 seasons as a starter, Brees has thrown double-digit interceptions 11 times and is well on his way to 10 or more picks this season, his 13th as a starter. Rodgers has thrown double-digit picks in just two seasons and has just one so far in 2014.

Both teams have excellent coaches, but Sean Payton isn’t quite as good as Mike McCarthy. Payton is 75-43, a .641 winning percentage. McCarthy is 87-47, a .649 winning percentage. Payton is also an a$$hole. McCarthy is not.

Both teams have had bad defenses since winning a recent Super Bowl. We could probably call this one a draw.

Both teams have unique home stadiums. However, the Saints’ home field is enclosed by a dome. Lambeau Field is outside, where football was meant to be played. Advantage: Packers.

The Saints and Packers have played three times since Rodgers took over as Green Bay’s starter. The Packers lead the series 2-1.

The list could go on and on. The Saints are a dang good team, but they’re not as good as the Packers. And they won’t be as good on Sunday night.

Here are five reasons why:

Desperate team
There’s a lot of buzz that the Saints will be a desperate team tonight, fighting to stay alive in the playoff race. This is bogus for two reasons: 1) When you’re 2-4, you’re a bad team, not a desperate one. Sure, there’s plenty of time for the Saints to turn things around, but calling a team “desperate” is code for “this team has stunk;” and 2) The Saints are only a game out of first place. Teams that are a game out of first are not “desperate.” Forget the meaningless national narrative. The Saints will not be playing extra hard on Sunday because they’re “desperate.”

One-armed Jimmy
Superstud tight end Jimmy Graham is battling a shoulder injury and was mainly used as decoy last week. Because the Packers are so slow at middle linebacker, they struggle covering tight ends. But even A.J. Hawk and whoever lines up next to him should be able to at least contain Graham if he’s playing with one arm.

Another bad secondary
It seems like whenever I sit down to write these “5 reasons” game previews every week, whichever team the Packers are playing has a terrible secondary, a secondary decimated by injury, or both. The Saints chose to draft speedy WR Brandin Cooks in the first round instead of a defensive back, and now the back end of their defense is a mess. If the Packers offensive line can deal with the crowd noise and keep Rodgers upright, QB1 should have another big night in prime time.

Fast start
I’m liking this new Packers trend of taking the opening kickoff and scoring right away. There’s nothing wrong with deferring to the second half to try and double up, but there’s something about the Packers scoring right away and putting their opponent in “Uh-oh, now we’re down 7-0 to Aaron Rodgers. Time to panic!” mode. It’s essential that the Packers take an early lead against the Saints. It’ll shut that crowd that up and hopefully force the Saints to pass often instead of handing off to their sneaky good running backs.

Tom Crabtree
The Saints keep signing former Packers fan favorite Tom Crabtree and cutting him. It’s annoying and the Packers must avenge this mistreatment. I’m guessing New Orleans keeps signing Crabtree to try and get him to share inside info about the Packers. Here’s how those conversations probably went:

Saints: Hey Crabtree, we’ll sign you if you tell us all the Packers secrets.

Crabtree: Cool, where do I sign?

Saints: Right here. Now spill your guts. What’s the key to beating those guys?

Crabtree: Don’t let Aaron Rodgers throw for 500 yards and seven touchdowns.

Saints: Well, duh. We already knew that. What else?

Crabtree: That’s all there is to know.

Saints: Gett outta here, you’re cut.

Crabtree: K. Bye.

*A week later.*

Saints: Thanks for re-signing, Crabtree. Now, don’t hold out on us this time, tell us what the Packers don’t want us to know.

Crabtree: Ok. I’m serious this time. I REALLY mean this. You’re not going to beat the Packers if you let Aaron Rodgers do Aaron Rodgers things and tear you apart.

Saints: Grrrr. Leave.

Crabtree: See ya.

Even low-down dirty Bountygate teams who jerk around Tom Crabtree cheat their way to a win over the Packers every now and then. Here’s how the Saints could make that happen today:

Silent count
The Packers used an annoying version of the silent snap count on offense during the Miami game. Rodgers would let the play clock bleed down to one second, then call for the ball. It allowed the Dolphins to time the snap perfectly and put a hurtin’ on Rodgers all game. The Saints defensive line isn’t nearly as good as Miami’s, but if they can use the home crowd noise to get a jump on the Packers’ pass blockers, things could turn ugly. The Superdome (or whatever it’s called now) is just not an easy place to play.

Packers Stock Report: Extra Ketchup Edition

After the Green Bay Packers throttling of the Carolina Panthers, how do you put any Packers in the falling category?

You know the Packers are on a roll when 1) the safety position is a strength; 2) Nick Perry is healthy and playing well; 3) their top cornerback is out and barely anyone notices; 4) the injury list is short, especially when compared to recent seasons; and 5) Aaron Rodgers is saying he and the team could be playing better.

Rodgers is typically overly positive when the Packers are playing poorly. When the Packers are rolling, Rodgers usually talks about all the improvements that need to happen. As Packers fans, we want Rodgers in “we can be better” mode, not R-E-L-A-X mode.

Will all this jubilation carry into the bye week after a road victory over the Saints this week? Or will the #FireCapers hashtags return after Drew Brees knocks the Packers defense down a few pegs?

Who knows. Just when you think you have a decent grip on who’s good and who’s not good in the NFL, the Rams beat the Seahawks, the Cowboys start 5-1, Kyle Orton wins a couple games as a starting QB and you start making ice fishing plans for hell.

On to the Packers Stock Report:


Aaron Rodgers
After another dazzling game from his quarterback, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers is playing better than he did during his 2011 MVP campaign. That sounds like it easily could be coachspeak hyperbole, but I think McCarthy is right. Rodgers makes a handful of ridiculously difficult throws per game (and mixes in a few nice runs, as well) and makes it all look much easier than it actually is.

Randall Cobb
Welcome to the rising category, Randall. It took you a little longer than we thought to arrive, but now that you’re here, please stay awhile. Oh, and since you’re probably going to be making a whole lot of money in the very near future, do you mind picking up the tab when the pizza delivery guy arrives? K, thanks!

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
It’s refreshing to see the Packers defense flying around again. They’re still not the physical, hard-hitting force that teams fear, but in today’s league, you don’t have to be. What’s been maddening about the Packers defense in recent years was their lack of explosiveness. They were always a step slow, and if they were in position to make a play, they’d flail at the ballcarriers feet and whiff or get dragged an extra three yards. Clinton-Dix has helped bring some of that explosiveness back. He won’t knock a guy’s helmet off with a big hit or shut down the other team’s top WR, but he’s always around the ball and his tacking is getting better each week.


Nick Perry
It looks like there’s hope for Perry, after all. In a limited role, Perry has been stout on the edge against the run and an effective power pass rusher. Now, let’s see if he can stay healthy and continue to contribute in the season’s second half.

Letroy Guion
Who put a quarter in Guion? Ever since tearing up his old team on Thursday night, Guion has held his own inside and has even provided the occasional big play. Pro Football Focus gives Guion a positive grade in each of his last three games.

Casey Hayward
All the guy does is pick off passes. You could also put Davon House in this spot. Either way, the Packers deep secondary is leading the resurgence on defense.


The fan who dumped ketchup on Randall Cobb
It had to have been a Panthers fan guilty of this offense. Packers fans know how to catch the Packers player doing the Lambeau Leap and maintain control of their food and beverage. What if Cobb is allergic tomoatos? What if he prefers sauer kraut on his dogs? What if some of the ketchup got in his eye and he was blinded the rest of the game? These are all things fans sitting in the Lambeau Leap zone need to be aware of. Keep the players clean when they make the leap.

The Chicago Bears
The Bears’ recent struggles have nothing to do with the Packers or the Packers’ next opponent. But it’s always important that you never miss an opportunity to point out how the Bears still suck.

5 Reasons the Packers will beat the Panthers (and 1 reason why they might not)

I gotta admit, on Monday and Tuesday I was worried about the Green Bay Packers losing to the Carolina Panthers this week.

Sam Shields and Datone Jones are out. Tramon Williams might also be out. Cam Newton is one of the best running quarterbacks in the league, and we all know what happens when the Packers encounter a running quarterback. Luke Kuechly is like Brian Urlacher and Patrick Willis rolled into one player.

But when you dig into this matchup, you don’t have to dig too far before you realize the Packers are the better team. With the exception of middle linebacker and maybe defensive line, the Packers have the advantage at every position group on the field.

Normally I use the intro to these “5 Reasons” posts to endlessly mock and ridicule the Packers’ opponent. But are the Panthers, a two-player team, really worth mocking and ridiculing? Not really.

After today, the Panthers will be just another pelt on the Packers’ 2014 wall.

Here are five reasons why this Packers victory is already in the bag:

Not your 2013 Panthers
Remember the 2013 Panthers and their hard-hitting, almost-as-good-as-Seattle’s defense? Those days are long gone. The freaking Bengals nearly racked up 40 points on the Panthers’ D, and that was without A.J. Green. Pass-rushing nightmare Greg Hardy is suspended and standout safety Mike Mitchell is in Pittsburgh. As long as Kuechly doesn’t go completely crazy, the Packers’ offense should have a big day.

No-name WRs
If rookie WR Kelvin Benjammin misses the game with a concussion, the Panthers might just run the ball 75 times, 70 of which will be some type of option play or scramble with Cam Newton. Beyond Benjammin, I have no idea who the Panthers WRs are. Usually when I don’t know something while I’m writing a blog post, I look it up. But this is the Panthers WRs we’re talking about. Who cares about the Panthers WRs? Not me, so I’m not going to look up who they are. If Benjammin is out, the Packers won’t care, either.

Always-injured RBs
Jonathan Stewart says he’ll start today. He also predicted he’ll play an entire game without getting injured for the first time since 2008. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Aaron Rodgers TD-INT ratio
Aaron Rodgers has 15 touchdowns and one interception. Repeat: Aaron Rodgers has 15 touchdowns and one interception. He also has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the history of the NFL. Everyone in the entire world is impressed by those stats, expect this weird Dolphins homer over at who thinks Rodgers needs to throw more interceptions. Seriously, that’s what he thinks. Dolphins fans, man.

3-WR threat
It’s been fun to watch Davante Adams develop and help bring back a true three-WR threat to this Packers’ offense. Adams still has a long ways to develop, and his week-to-week production is far from a guarantee, but defenses at least have to pay attention to him now.

Whoa, Adam! You’re always cocky and tongue-in-cheek overconfident in this weekly column, but today you’re especially flippant and dismissive of the Panthers. The Packers could be without their two starting CBs. Cam Newton might run for 200 yards. Luke Kuechly might make 73 tackles. This game is far from a gimme for the Packers. Am I right?

Two players
Yes, ominous voice of reason who always types in italic font, you are right. Newton and Kuechly are both amazing players capable of taking control of games and carrying their team to victory. It could happen against the Packers. I doubt it will happen, but it could (see, I can type in italic, too).

Packers Stock Report: Fake spike for the win edition

Before we get to this week’s Packers Stock Report, what category would you put the Green Bay Packers in as a team after six games?

I’d say, overall, the Packers are steady.

They’ve done plenty of dumb things to land in the falling category and made plenty of huge plays that would merit a rising designation. When you add it all up, the Packers are right about where I, and many others, thought they’d be. They’re steady.

The Packers are relying heavily on Aaron Rodgers to make plays and lead the offense. For the most part, he’s coming through.

The secondary is anchoring an improved, but not yet good, defense. We’ll see what happens to this unit after recent defensive injuries.

There’s a mix of overachieving players (Jamari Lattimore and Corey Linsley) and underachievers (Clay Matthews and Eddie Lacy). Hopefully the overachievers keep it up and and underachievers get rolling.

The defensive line and inside linebackers have been liabilities, like everyone predicted.

Injury luck, until Sunday, was better than recent years. Sounds like the injuries to Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Jamari Lattimore aren’t long term, so hopefully that injury luck continues.

Add all that up, combine it with a 4-2 record, and the steady description fits this team well.

Now the key is staying steady through Thanksgiving. From there, the teams who crank it up and enter the rising category will play in the Super Bowl. Hopefully the Packers are one of those teams.

Onto the Stock Report.


Aaron Rodgers
The fake spike play is getting all the national attention, but the touchdown pass to Randall Cobb in the third quarter was an amazing piece of quarterbacking. Rodgers is the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 15 touchdown passes and only one interception through his team’s first six games. And remember his only pick this season? He hit Jordy Nelson in the hands and it ricocheted to a defender.

Jordy Nelson
We’re getting close to creating a special Jordy Nelson category of the Packers Stock Report. Every week the guy is making both spectacular plays and the types of “regular” plays that a superstar receiver needs to make. Like Rodgers, it’s almost a given that Nelson will be rising every week.

Davante Adams
I think it’s safe to say Rodgers is starting to trust his young receivers. In a span of less than two months, Rodgers has gone from hesitant about his young targets to telepathically communicating with one of them, Adams, on a fake-spike play late in a close game.


Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
He hasn’t been flashy, but he’s been solid, which is exactly what the Packers needed at safety. Clinton-Dix still whiffs on a tackle here and there, but he’s always buzzing around the ball. More big plays will come if he keeps it up.

James Starks
James Starks in 2014: 35 carries, 152 yards, 4.3 yards per carry. Eddie Lacy in 2014: 80 carries, 306 yards, 3.8 yards per carry. Not saying Starks should leap Lacy on the depth chart. What I am saying is that Starks has been a nice luxury to have as Lacy struggles. Those shotgun draws seem more suited for a quicker running back like Starks instead of Lacy. How about that 10-yard dash before the two-minute warning on Sunday? Great stuff.

Davon House
If Sam Shields and/or Tramon Williams miss time, get ready to see more of House. He’s been an excellent depth cornerback this season. Can he take the next step if asked to do so? We might be about to find out.


Clay Matthews
I always thought Matthews was underrated as a run defender. Not any more. His lack of discipline often leaves the edge totally exposed and he’s helpless on zone reads run in his direction. He’s disappeared on pass rushes far too often as well. Someone tell me to R-E-L-A-X about Matthews. I’m worried.

Brad Jones
Jones and Jarrett Bush were on the field at the same time for the Packers in the second half on Sunday. No wonder the defense struggled.

Rodgers’ clutch critics
Remember when people said Rodgers isn’t a clutch quarterback? Obama needs to deport those people to a different country.

If Lattimore is out, should the Packers move Matthews to inside linebacker?

Am I crazy to think that the Green Bay Packers should consider moving Clay Matthews to inside linebacker if Jamari Lattimore is out for a significant amount of time?

It probably won’t happen, but here’s why I think the Packers should at least think about it:

  • It would get Brad Jones off the field. The Packers had nobody else to plug in once Lattimore went down Sunday, so they were stuck using Jones at inside linebacker. Once again, it was obvious that Jones does not belong on the field. Moving Matthews inside would keep Jones out of the starting lineup and on the sidelines.
  • In their limited roles, Nick Perry and Mike Neal have been solid. Perry is strong at the point and sets a good edge against the run. Neal disappears for stretches, but also has stretches where he gets after the quarterback. Between the two of them, I think they could hold down the outside linebacker spot opposite Julius Peppers if Matthews moved inside.
  • Matthews is struggling outside. It’s been a quiet season for Matthews, especially after he injured his groin against Detroit. He’s not getting after the quarterback, he’s not setting the edge against the run or read-option and ballcarriers have no problem cutting it back inside on Matthews when they encounter him in space.
  • When I watch Matthews play, it seems like he’d fit well inside. His over-aggressiveness hurts him at times on the outside. In tight spaces inside, that aggressiveness combined with Matthewss’ athleticism I think would help him sort through trash and make plays, something we haven’t seen from a Packers inside linebacker since Desmond Bishop.

Cons to moving Matthews inside include his lack of discipline being a liability and the usual concerns about having a player switch positions midseason. Asking a player with groin/hamstring issues to run around and cover tight ends and running backs might also be a bad idea. The Packers also don’t want to overreact to a rough stretch of games for Matthews. There’s a good chance he’s just in a slump outside and will snap out of it soon.

I highly doubt we’ll see Matthews take any more snaps than he usually does at inside linebacker, but it’s an intriguing option. The Packers should do whatever they can to keep Jones off the field.

5 Reasons why the Packers will beat the Dolphins (and 1 reason why they might not)

Whenever you’re feeling down Green Bay Packers fans, remember this: It could be worse. We could be Dolphins fans.

Like the Packers, the Dolphins had it really good for a really long time back in the day. Super Bowl titles, an undefeated season, Hall of Fame coaches, and Dan Marino, one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

For a long time, the Dolphins were right up there with the Packers when it came to franchise greatness.

Then the post-Marino era arrived, and while the Packers’ mystique continued rising with more Super Bowls, more playoff appearances and more great quarterbacks, the Dolphins have been submerged in terribleness.

Check out this list of stiffs who have played quarterback after Marino: Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, Gus Ferrotte, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon (huh?), Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill.

Can you imagine how miserable all of us Packers fans would be if we had to endure even two of those guys suiting up in the green and gold and trying to succeed Brett Favre? I love the Packers and always will, but even my Packers’ loving heart would have a hard time loving Cleo Lemon if he was under center at Lambeau Field.

Here’s hoping the Packers go easy on the Dolphins this afternoon. Maybe beat them by three touchdowns instead of seven. They’ve had it rough since their star quarterback left.

Here are five reason why the Packers will extend the Dolphins 14 years of post-Marino misery by at least one more week:

Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill is one of those quarterbacks who seems like he should be good, but he isn’t. He can run, he’s got a good arm, he seems to be a bright kid and a hard worker. But when you add it all up, you get….Ryan Tannehill. The Packers secondary, mixed in with some blitzes from Dom Capers, and Tannehill is a QB the Packers should be able to handle.

Pop quiz: Are the following players Dolphins linebackers or UPS deliverymen? Phillip Wheeler, Koa Misi, Jason Trusnik and Jelani Jenkins. If you guessed Dolphins linebackers, you win. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, this lackluster linebacker crew hasn’t helped them win much of anything.

Packers offensive line
Don’t you get the feeling that it’s all finally starting to come together for the Packers offensive line. The Dolphins defensive line will be a big test, but the Packers o-line has kept Aaron Rodgers clean for two straight games and showed signs of life in run blocking against the Vikings.

Led by an underrated secondary, the Packers defense has held three straight opponents under 20 points. They’re also forcing turnovers and getting after the quarterback. That said, everyone still thinks the Packers defense stinks. The Dolphins’ muddling offense will be another stepping stone for a defense trying to prove itself.

Ha Ha and Morgan
Oh what a difference a year makes. Gone are Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings. A healthy Morgan Burnett and rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix have turned the safety position from a game-breaking weakness into a strength for the Packers. Burnett might have played the best game of his career against the Vikings. Now, let’s see if the duo can keep it up.

Even a lowly franchise with a rotating carousel of rotten QBs can win a game every now and then, even against the Packers. If the Dolphins somehow manage to win today, don’t panic. Remind gloating Dolphins fans (do any Dolphins fans care enough about the Dolphins to gloat about anything?) that the Packers followed one hall-of-fame QB with another one. Anyway, here’s how the Dolphins could sneak away with a victory.

The usual formula
By now, it’s no secret how to beat the Packers: Get after Rodgers will four pass rushers, play two high safeties and dare Mike McCarthy to try and run it. The Packers might not see constant two-high safeties from Miami, but the Dolphins have the type of defensive line that usually drives the Packers bonkers. Cameron Wake is more than capable of completely throwing off the Packers offense all by himself.

Packers Stock Report: Bouncing Back Edition

Before the season, beat reporter Bob McGinn ranked the Green Bay Packers roster in order of importance to the Packers success for the upcoming season. Now that we’re five games into the season, let’s do something similar.

If the Packers are going to build off their recent success after a shaky start, which five players are going to have to remain healthy and productive? No, it’s not a full roster ranking like McGinn’s, but it gives a good overview of which players the Packers will need in order to have a shot at succeeding in January.

  1. Aaron Rodgers. An obvious No. 1.
  2. Mike Daniels. He was No. 2 on McGinn’s list and he’s No. 2 on mine. The defensive line needs all the production it can get.
  3. Jordy Nelson. One of the best in the game.
  4. Randall Cobb. Might seem high for Cobb, but if either he or Nelson gets hurt, this offense will sputter.
  5. Tramon Williams. The Packers secondary is legit and Williams is a big reason why.

A couple of notes on my rankings:

  • Clay Matthews didn’t make the list because the Packers have more depth at OLB now with Julius Peppers. Mike Neal is also holding his own and Nick Perry is even showing signs of life.
  • Williams made it because 1) he’s playing so well, 2) the secondary has been a strength of this team and needs to keep it up and 3) Williams has developed a nasty attitude, the type of attitude the defense needs.
  • No Eddie Lacy, not because Lacy isn’t important, but because the Packers can win without a running game and often do.
  • No offensive linemen, for many of the same reasons I didn’t include Lacy.

Now that we have our top 5 out of the way, on to the Packers Stock Report:


Tramon Williams
One of the Packers beat writers needs to go in-depth with Williams and do a story about the veteran’s transformation into one of the toughest players on the team. After the Packers Super Bowl season, Williams seemed to openly run away from contact and was a feeble tackler, at best. Starting at about the halfway point of last season, he started sticking his nose into the middle of everything and became totally fearless. Now he’s a capable tackler and his pass coverage has also been elevated a notch. Perhaps Williams’ shoulder from 2011 is finally fully healed. Or maybe the light went on one day and he realized he needed to play tougher. Either way, I love it and the Packers defense is better because of it.

Jordy Nelson
Anyone else have flashbacks to 2011 when Aaron Rodgers rolled out off of play action and hit Nelson deep on Thursday against the Vikings? That play was a staple in the Packers’ offense during that glorious season. If it makes a comeback, may God have mercy on the rest of the NFC.

Julius Peppers
Peppers, 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, and in his mid-30s, was outrunning Vikings backs and receivers on his way to the end zone after picking off a pass on Thursday. A guy I know who covered Peppers when he was in college at North Carolina said Peppers was the best athlete he’s ever seen. No kidding.


Corey Linsley
I think the center position is Linsley’s job to keep once J.C. Tretter is healthy. Looking ahead, the Packers will have a solid stable of players inside with Linsley, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Tretter.

Josh Sitton
What else is there to say about Sitton at this point? He’s been good when the Packers offensive line was bad. Now that the line is showing some promise, Sitton is still good. Actually, he’s the best player the Packers have up front.

David Bakhtiari
Another week where the steady category is occupied by offensive linemen. If this keeps up, the Packers offense will be tough to stop.


Matt Flynn
It was garbage time, but you don’t want your backup QB to come in and throw a pick.

John Kuhn
After chipping Peppers and sending the Packers to the playoffs last season, Kuhn probably as a Packers roster spot for life. That’s fine, but he’s really not doing much with it at the moment.

The NFC North
Cutler is still Cutler. The Lions are really beat up. Half the Vikings roster is in prison. Now is the time for the Packers to make a run and build a lead in the division.