Packers Stock Report: The Packers finally win a season-opener edition

It’s far too early to place new Green Bay Packers playcaller Tom Clements in the rising,steady or falling category. But after the season-opener,I’d say things are looking good on the playcalling front.

The Packers’ offense was sharp,unpredictable and efficient on Sunday. Of course,they were typically all three of those things when McCarthy called the plays. Nonetheless,it’s reassuring to see that the transition to Clements calling plays (with plenty of input and audibles from Aaron Rodgers,no doubt) appears to be going smoothly so far.

Now comes the real test for McCarthy. After week 1,it looks like the Packers need to clean up their tackling,plug some holes in the run defense and get better on third downs. McCarthy gave up playcalling so he could be more hands on with other areas of the team,and it’s time for the head coach to get to work.

Meantime,the rest of us will move on to this week’s Packers Stock Report:

Rising

Clay Matthews
Outside linebacker,inside linebacker,safety,cornerback,nose tackle,waterboy…wherever Clay Matthews lines up,he makes plays. When was the last time the Packers had an inside linebacker who could sprint back and cover a large swath of the middle of the field like Matthews did on that interception? It’s been a long,long time.

James Jones
Media members covering Sunday’s game had easy stories to write after Jones’ big day. I have to admit,I wasn’t 100 percent sold on bringing Jones back. Well,I’m an idiot. I think it’s safe to say that Myles White would not have hauled in that first touchdown catch.

Aaron Rodgers
I kind of forgot how great Rodgers is when he has the use of both legs instead of just one. The man makes difficult plays look much easier than they really are.

Julius Peppers
I have a strict rule of only putting three players maximum in each category,but how could I leave out Rodgers or Peppers after Sunday? So,I’m breaking my rule to include Peppers as a riser. We all keep waiting for Father Time to catch up with Peppers,and he keeps laughing in our faces and chasing around quarterbacks nearly half his age.
 

Steady

Corey Linsley
Linsley received the highest grade of any Packers offensive linemen from Pro Football Focus on Sunday. You could easily put Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang in the steady category as well as Rodgers rarely had to deal with up-the-middle pressure and Eddie Lacy had some decent lanes early.

Falling

Sam Shields
Too many Packers fans think Sam Shields was bad last season. He wasn’t the second-coming of Charles Woodson,but he wasn’t as terrible as people thought. The Packers ask a lot out of Shields and he holds his own. Well,against the Bears,there’s no sugar-coating it: Shields was awful. Here’s hoping Shields’ bad day was more of a wake-up call than an emerging concern.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
If I’m Mike McCarthy,I call Clinton-Dix into my office and tell him this: “Son,if you continue to drop your head and dive at the ballcarrier’s feet instead of manning up and actually attempting to make a legitimate tackle,you will be holding my headset instead of playing for the world champion Green Bay Packers.”

Jay Cutler
Cutler completes half his passes and throws yet another game-breaking interception and Bears fans are actually saying he didn’t play that bad. If that’s not “falling,” I don’t know what is.
 

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