Packers Stock Report: Recovering From the Fail Mary Edition

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Clay Matthews
Packers OLB Clay Matthews tops the list of Packers on the rising

My inbox has been overflowing with emails asking where the Packers Stock Report has gone.

It hasn’t gone anywhere. Its creator has just forgotten to do one through the first two weeks of the season. Its creator is also lying about his inbox overflowing with queries about the Packers Stock Report. I’ve gotten the same number of inquiries about it as the New Orleans Saints have wins.

So, back by not-so-popular demand, here is your Week 3 Packers Stock Report:

Rising

Clay Matthews
Even though he didn’t get a sack on Monday night, he was still creating havok on pass rushes and collapsed to the middle of the line on running plays. Matthews has been impossible to stop through three games. He’s the type of player that other offenses have to build gameplans around and a big reason why the Packers secondary has shown improvement.

A.J. Hawk
Wha wha what?!?! Yes, Hawk has stepped his game up in the absence of Desmond Bishop. He hasn’t magically morphed into Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher in their primes, but that’s beside the point. The Packers need A.J. Hawk to be the A.J. Hawk of late 2010: Assignment-sure, tackle the ballcarrier if he’s in your area, and every now and then blast a RB for a loss. According to Pro Football Focus, Hawk has 18 tackles, nine of which have resulted in an offensive failure. Hawk had six tackles and four offensive failure stops through three games last season.

Jerron McMillian
Rookie Jerron McMillian has not allowed a catch this season. The only other safety to play as many snaps as McMillian and not allow a catch is Adrian Wilson with the Cardinals. The kid from Maine has registered a positive Pro Football Focus rating in every game and should have had the game-clinching interception Monday, but had it wiped out by a phantom roughing the passer call. I thought McMillian was more of a run-stopping safety, but so far he’s been great against the pass as well. Let’s see if it keeps up.

Steady

Cedric Benson
Benson has been about all the Packers could hope for. He’s not an elite back by any means, but he does enough to keep the defense honest on the rare occasions that Mike McCarthy decides to run the ball. He’s also proven to be a decent check-down option for Aaron Rodgers. Fumbling remains my concern with Benson. His fumble late against the Seahawks was one of those leap-off-your-couch-and-start-screaming “NO! NO! NO!” type of moments.

James Jones
“Before the season started, I predicted that James Jones would be the Packers best WR through three games.”
— Nobody

Sam Shields
It was another great game for Shields on Monday night. Too bad all he had to show for it was one tackle, a ridiculous pass interference penalty, and national “fame” for being the guy who got shoved to the ground on the game-disgracing final play. All that goofiness aside, seeing Shields play like he has is a very good sign. His coverage looks improved, but most importantly, he doesn’t appear tentative when battling for jump balls or making a tackle.

Falling

Greg Jennings
It’s never good to land in this category during a contract year. Jennings isn’t getting any separation on routes, which means he’s not getting opportunities to get yards after the catch. He’s taken on two excellent defensive backfields, though, so hopefully the bad start can be chalked up to the high level of competition and his groin injury.

Bryan Bulaga
This was supposed to be a breakout season for the right tackle. So far, he’s just been breaking down. Bulaga has always struggled with smaller speed edge rushers, especially on the road. That’s going to have to change in a hurry. You can’t have a former first round pick getting blown up like he was in the first half on Monday, even if he’s not comfortable with the matchup.

Replacement Refs
No further explanation necessary.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • Sven

    I would add Jerron McMillian to the rising list. He was robbed of a game changing interception. But for the second week in a row he was where he needed to be, and made a big play. He looks solid for the future.

    Defense is playing inspired football so far. The Saints will be a huge test, but i think the defense has been playing well enough to handle it, but every week is different. Hopefully they can leave the drame behind.

    • Adam Czech

      McMillian is in there, right after Hawk on the rising list.

      • BirdDogUni

        Really appreciate how this kid is performing!!! Can’t wait to see more of him! Defense is actually playing with attitude again, which is great to see… Loved your article AC…

  • chazman

    Now that you mention it, we did miss your column, what was it called . . . oh yeah the stock report. I kid of course, welcome back.
    Any how, what about Hayward in the rising category? In fact – most all of our rookies have been positives for the team.

  • Ron LC

    As much as I hate to say this MM must be added to the falling category. He was getting so much credit for the 2nd half turn around I began to wonder if I was seeing a different game.

    1 stinking TD is not a turn around. The O has benn anemic since the 1st play of the 1st game. It is time to turn this around in reality. You will not be winning many games with 1 stinking TD.

    This requires the following:

    1. Get AR back to throwing with accuracy again. Part of that is due to the abysmal performance of the Oline. They went into the season with what I thought was 1 week spot on the line. Apparently I was wrong it’s closer to 5.

    2. Stop dropping the damn ball.

    3. Make adjustments now to the O game plan, MM. The one you’re using now ain’t working. Understatement of the year!

    Finally I give credit to Dom for the turn around we see on the D side of the ball. Definetely a rising here.

    • Adam Czech

      Yeah, I was very close to putting McCarthy in, but gave him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see how he adjusts after last week’s first half disaster and how he refocuses the team after the Fail Mary.

      I also gave him points for admitting that he called a bad game in the first half on Monday. Makes me think it won’t happen again. We shall see.

    • Pat Mc

      “O-Line” has a new center and is still adjusting. I pray the next few weeks the center gets it. I noticed several plays where Saturday was getting help from both guards leaving the tackles to defend the DT’s and any blitz coming.

      The linerie refs also have been calling phantom holding penalities and are (where) inconsistent. Hopefully that changes this weekend.

      Fully agree on “stop dropping the ball”
      AR will get better with better consistent, O-line play, quicker release of Pass and receivers catching the dang ball.

  • Tarynfor12

    James Jones
    “Before the season started, I predicted that James Jones would be the Packers best WR through three games.”
    – Nobody

    I feel that those who have stood strong behind JJ against those who simply wanted him traded have been proven right.None of us who supported JJ ever said or thought he would be the ‘best’ after 3 weeks but,many such as I did say,We would miss him and he will prove his worth to keep.So the “NOBODY” is wrong when put in he proper context.

    • Adam Czech

      “So the “NOBODY” is wrong when put in he proper context.”

      No it’s not. I guarantee you there is not one single person in the entire universe that thought James Jones would be the Packers best WR after three weeks.

      It’s got nothing to do with trading him or not liking him for whatever reason. That’s a totally separate issue.

      • Tarynfor12

        Context…if you said who would have thought JJ would be ‘leading’all WRs on GB as opposed to saying’who thought JJ would be the ‘BEST WR’ on GB.

        Could I/anyone have seen JJ as the stat ‘leader’ after three weeks..possible.
        Could or would I/anyone ever have used the word’best’for JJ on the team…a universal no.

        Do you think JJ is really the ‘best’ WR on the team because of a stat(s)?

        • Adam Czech

          It’s a pretty simple statement. Nobody thought JJ would be the best WR after 3 weeks. Plain and simple.

          Bringing all those other issues into it has nothing to do with the actual statement.

          • CSS

            Your statement, in context, is absolutely correct Adam. Nobody would have predicted that. To expand on Taryn’s point, James Jones supporters contended all along that he was the one wideout too physical/strong to be pressed at the line of scrimmage.

            None of us could have predicted the replacement referees officiating this far into the season where they’ve allowed physical play beyond the line of scrimmage that officials in prior years would flag. Perfect conditions for Jones to prosper.

            I love Driver and he deserved this last ‘hurrah’ while certainly beating out the younger guys in camp, but you can see now just how small of a niche he fills on the roster.

            Good for Jones, he’s worked hard.

            • Adam Czech

              Very true. The replacements seemed to understand defensive holding, but had no idea what illegal contact was. Not good for a WR group like the Packers that needs some space to work.

          • Tarynfor12

            “It’s a pretty simple statement. Nobody thought JJ would be the best WR after 3 weeks. Plain and simple”.

            What basis are you using to say JJ is the best wr after three weeks.
            Please don’t say stats..Nelson was our stat leader last season but the universe says Jennings is the ‘best’ wr still on GB.
            The proper context..leading stat wr or best wr…big difference in what you’re proposing people to believe or buy.

            Is this a little nit-picky sure..but you’re the writer and you’re quantifying JJ as the ‘best’.

            If I was to state that JJ was the ‘best’ in a comment…the writers would be all over it like flies with ridicule.

            • CSS

              Best through 3 weeks, I fully agree with. Not the most talented, not capable of being the most productive, but the best at winning the matchups he’s been presented with through 3 weeks of play.

              I completely agree with Adam there.

            • Adam Czech

              “What basis are you using to say JJ is the best wr after three weeks.”

              Stats, the naked eye, the fact that he’s the only WR to consistently get a little separation, you name it.

              It doesn’t mean that this will hold up the rest of the season, this week, the week after that, 2015, or ever again in Jones’ career. It doesn’t mean Jones is the most talented, least talented, best dancer, funniet or craziest.

              It just means that he’s been the best WR on the Packers roster through three weeks of the 2012 regular season. Nothing more, nothing less.

              If you were to state that JJ was the best WR on the Packers roster after three weeks, I don’t think you would get much, if any, disagreement from the writing crew here at ALLGBP.com.

              If you were to state that JJ is the best WR on the Packers roster, period (which it sounds like you think I am saying, even though I am not), you would get much disagreement.

              • SchenySchen

                Enough with the “out of context…. this is in context” conversation fella’s. Give it a rest. Jones is playing well, everyone should be happy. Enough said. GoPack!

  • FireMMNow

    The entire defensive secondary is on the rise. Especially the young guys. Burnett has been solid for the most part. Shields and McMillan have been excellent and Hayward is looking like a guy that will make some plays down the stretch.

    Rising: Dare I say it? Raji! He was mediocre week 1, but has been doing a very nice job the last two weeks. It appears that the reduced snap count has been helpful.

    Risers for next week: Worthy and Daniels. The reasoning for this is they are going to play a lot. They way to stop drew brees is to get quick pressure up the middle. This game is the reason TT drafted these guys. When you play pass happy teams with elite QBs you need guys that can get up the middle quickly.

    Bulaga has been awful this season. Absolutely awful. He is a guy that graded out as one of the best RTs in the game last year and he looks sluggish and weak this year. Maybe he has some sort of injury, but he needs to get it figured out.

  • FireMMNow

    Also, one reason for the slow start of the offense that I have not seen brought up by anyone in the media is the fact that Joe Philbin is now in Miami. MM always called the plays, but Philbin had a big impact on the overall offensive game plan and how the offense should attack the defense. It appeared last week that the Packers had a bad game plan from the first snap. 21 passes and 4 rushes at one point. If Philbin was still here maybe MM would have thought a little more about committing to the run early and/or Philbin would have the confidence to tell MM that he is calling a bad game after the first quarter instead of waiting for the third. Clements sounds like a talented guy, but there will be some issues there. Philbin was hired for the job in Miami for a reason, the guy knows offensive football. Hopefully MM realizes that there are some shortcomings in the gameplanning at this point and finds a way to fix it. One thing that MM has been pretty adept at in the past is self scouting.

    • Ron LC

      Maybe Clemens should still be on the sideline with AR? I think you’re close to something there.

      • FireMMNow

        yeah who knows. i think it is good to have some eyes in the booth and MM obviously cannot do that.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      If you listen to wilde’s interview with Rodgers, he asked Aaron about Philbin and Rodgers started to say something and then stopped himself and said something like ask me again later in the season. I think mm on his own is too loyal to his game plan and he’s never been quick to make adjustments anyway.

      • CSS

        MM needs a quality control assistant or assistant coach to let him know when he’s so close to his scripted plays and pre-scouted looks that he can’t see the forest from the trees (i.e. – the tempo of the game and un-scouted looks they can take advantage of). I’m guessing that’s been Philbin’s role in the past.

  • aaronqb

    great article. well done!!!

  • SchenySchen

    Falling: Aaron Rodgers field vision. Too often, he is skipping or missing open routes while waiting for deep routes to develop. His delivery seems more labored and he seems to be “thinking” as opposed to reacting the way he did last year. I agree the Philbin loss may take an adjustment period. MM’s playcalling in my opinion has been awful. The 1st half in the Seattle game was the most difficult thing to watch. Coming to his senses in the 2nd half shouldn’t absolve him of his idiocy in the 1st half, therefore, MM also deserves falling rating. GoPack!

  • BirdDogUni

    Hey Guys… Just stopping in to see what’s up… APC’s new format is more confusing than this one, so I may be stopping by more in the future… Just wanted to warn ya… : )

    I’m looking forward to seeing both the Offense & Defense step up Sunday… We should have enough on tape to correct all our woes…

    Trade Deadline is 32 days away… Wondering if TT is considering any moves?? Y’all have a great day… It’s finally raining here in Texas, so I’ll be around! : )

    Go Pack Go!!!

  • Shavager

    I was for cutting JJones and Erik Walden, Jones has proved himself as a receiver and Walden’s looking like the player that stepped in and helped win a SB in ’10 season. The young players in secondary have played good, but Brees will find their weaknesses and TORCH them if they’re not up to job–we saw what happened 400+ passing yards, 3 TD’s. Defense is work in progress, hope it gets better with time. McCarthy’s spending too much time on pass offense without much success unless he increases run game support–just the second half of ‘Hawks game is ample proof this team MUST run the ball to keep defenses off balance and open pass game.