Packers Stock Report: Beating the bad guys edition

Even though the Green Bay Packers are 6-0,there’s still a fair amount of consternation throughout the fan base about this year’s team.

The offense isn’t rolling like we’re used to. Injuries are mounting. The defense just allowed 500 passing yards. Opponents facing an early deficit are allowed to hang around and play their way back into the game. What’s up with Eddie Lacy and why can’t Randall Cobb get open?

This type of consternation annoys some people. Certain sectors of the Packers fan base think other sectors are spoiled. “We’re 6-0,” they say. “Quit whining and enjoy it.”

Of course,there are always “those fans” who are whiny and miserable no matter what,but I think they’re a tiny minority. Most Packers fans are perfectly capable of loving the fact that their favorite team is 6-0 while still pointing out flaws and talking about ways the team can get even better. 

There’s also the “formality factor.” Before this season started,I wrote that Packers fans now view the regular season as a formality. Green Bay will win between 10-13 games,be in the mix for a Super Bowl and have several memorable moments from September through December. It’s what happens every season as long as QB1 is healthy. 

Even though most fans will enjoy the ride of the regular season,it’s the playoffs that matter. Anything that happens in weeks 1-17 will be immediately forecasted and analyzed as to how it might impact the team in January.

Is giving up 500 yards to Philip Rivers a sign that the Packers are doomed for another playoff defensive meltdown? Are Rodgers’ recent struggles a sign that he might flounder in the postseason? Will the injuries be too much to overcome when the games matter most?

Go ahead and call Packers fans spoiled,but 10-13 wins and Super Bowl contention is just kind of what happens around here every season. It’s a whole lot of fun. It also kind of becomes routine. You want more. You can’t help but look ahead. You start nitpicking. You tell yourself not to do it but you do it anyway.

All of the sudden you sound like you’re unhappy about your undefeated football team. We’re not unhappy about our undefeated football team. We’ve just read this story before. The story had an amazing ending in 1996 and 2010. Every other time,the bad guys won,even though the book’s first 300 pages were filled with the green and gold good guys kicking ass. 

Packers fans don’t want the good guys to dominate the entire book only to see the bad guys win again in the end. That’s why we sometimes talk about our undefeated team like they’re 3-3. We can’t help it. It’s nice to beat the bad guys in October on page 125 of the story. But what we really want to do is defeat the lead bad guy in January on the book’s final page.

Onto this week’s Packers Stock Report:

Rising

James Starks
Starks’ speed seems to catch teams off guard. That’ll probably change now that Starks has been getting so many carries,but for the time being,thank you,Neo,for stepping up and keeping the Packers ground game above water while whatever is going on with Eddie Lacy gets figured out.

Datone Jones
Not a bad week for Datone Jones. He had a new baby and made some key plays to help the Packers survive and beat the Chargers. As long as Jones avoids the nagging injuries,he’s continued to evolve into a very good player up front.

Lambeau Field
Is it just me,or does Lambeau Field sound louder than it has in years this season? Hats off to the Packers fans to fill the stands every Sunday. You’re more than doing your job this season.

Steady

James Jones
Even though the Packers offense might be sputtering a bit,you can still count on the Sleeveless Turtleneck for 1-2 great plays per game.

T.J. Lang
Lang didn’t do anything particularly special on Sunday,but let’s give him credit for getting on the field and playing through a knee injury that has to still be bugging him a bit. Nobody would’ve blamed Lang if he wanted to sit this one out prior to the bye week,but he got back out there and played well. We could probably say the same thing about Cobb and his shoulder and a number of other players fighting through injuries.

Falling

Eddie Lacy
If Lacy is injured,the Packers should sit him until he’s healthy. Trotting him out there for four lackluster carries doesn’t do anybody any good.

Direct TV
In my market (Minneapolis),CBS decided to show the entire overtime of the Broncos-Browns game instead of switching over to Packers-Chargers. Direct TV refused to put Packers-Chargers on a Sunday Ticket channel in my market,even though we pay around $400 per season to “never miss a minute of our favorite team.” Major fail on Direct TV’s part. Sunday Ticket is literally the only reason I put an obscene Direct TV dish on top of my roof. Put the national game on Sunday Ticket if the network doesn’t switch to it right away. Direct TV: You’re the one with scrawny arms,not cable.

NFL games on TV
Once the Packers game finally appeared on my television screen,I was treated to a long series of commercials that were occasionally interrupted by a football game. The game lasted nearly 4 hours and about 3 hours and 30 minutes of that were commercials. Stop with the score-commercial-kickoff-commercial pattern,NFL and network television. You’ll survive just fine if you knock out a handful of commercials to actually enhance the viewing experience back home.

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