Packers Stock Report: A “negative” graded game for Aaron Rodgers edition

September is way too early to declare any team in the NFL the best,the worst or anything in between. The first two months of the season are for staying in contention,fine-tuning your team and overcoming early-season injuries.

When Thanksgiving comes around,that’s when we can start talking about who’s the best,who’s the worst and who needs a couple of fortunate bounces to weasel their way into the postseason. Once the turkey is consumed and the pumpkin pie digested,we’ll start to see the good teams make their move to become great,and average teams exposed as frauds before they fall off the face of the Earth.

At 3-0,the Green Bay Packers are off to a great start. But don’t get sucked into the silly narratives and manufactured sports media debate about who’s the best team in the NFL. September is not the time to be yelling at each other about which team is on the fast track to Levi’s Stadium for the Super Bowl. 

There’s no doubt the Packers are rising heading into October. But avoid the big-picture narratives for now. It’s a waste of valuable brain space less than a quarter of the way through the season.

Now that I’m done lecturing you,onto this weeks Packers Stock Report:

Rising

James Jones
If I’m a defensive coordinator preparing to play the Packers,the first thing I do is install a chip inside the brain of each of my defensive backs. This chip would send a signal to the DB’s brain that causes the DB to sprint to wherever James Jones is on the field when Aaron Rodgers has a free play. Jones has been lethal on free plays. The only way to stop him and his sleeveless turtleneck might be computer-programmed robot DBs. 

(Is it even legal to implant a chip into one of your player’s brains? Probably not. But I bet the Patriots are already doing it.)

Josh Sitton
The Packers offensive line set the tone for the Chiefs game early. Sitton was his usual solid self — getting to the second level,giving Rodgers plenty of room to step up in the pocket,and generally bulldozing a path for Eddie Lacy,James Starks and even Alonzo Harris.

Sam Shields
After a miserable season-opener against the Bears,we didn’t hear a peep from Shields in pass coverage until his interception on Monday night. And that’s a good thing. Shields hasn’t given an inch since getting picked on by the Bears.

Steady

Randall Cobb
Cobb had a quiet eight catches for 116 yards (if you can possibly be “quiet” when putting up those numbers) against Seattle and kept zipping around the Chiefs’ Tyvon Branch with ease on Monday. Cobb hasn’t completely taken over a game yet,but he’s doing solid work in filling the void left by Jordy Nelson.

Mike Daniels
The Chiefs lone hope for victory on Monday night was a big game from Jamaal Charles. Daniels played a key role early in making sure Charles never got going,then revved up his pass-rushing motor later in the game. Ted Thompson: If you have a free couple of hours this week,pull out the Packers wallet and sign Daniels to a new contract.

Tom Clements
Hats off to the new Packers playcaller. The offense has been efficient,dangerous,unpredictable and successful. No doubt Rodgers’ work at the line of scrimmage and McCarthy’s input during the week also play a big role,but all has been smooth on the playcalling front under Clements.

Falling

Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan
Who are Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan? They were the 49ers coach and general manager,respectively,who drafted Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. Nolan and McCloughan: Packers fans throughout the world salute you.

Pro Football Focus
The popular analytics site gave Rodgers a negative grade for his performance against the Chiefs. Let that sink in for a moment: A quarterback who threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns was given a negative grade by a website that (supposedly) studies film of football games. I get that you have to look beyond the box score to add context to a player’s performance,but anyone who watched what went down on Monday knows that Rodgers was not an average quarterback. Yikes.
 

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