Packers Stock Report: An Ugly Win Counts the Same as a Pretty Win Edition

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Brad Jones
Packers LB Brad Jones was sharp against the Jaguars.

As I’m writing this week’s Packers stock report, I’m watching the Cardinals play the 49ers on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals look horrendous. Absolutely atrocious. They can’t do anything right.

Does this mean anything for Sunday’s Packers vs. Cardinals matchup? Who knows.

So far this season the Packers have been good and bad, lucky and unlucky, hot and cold, hurt and healthy, explosive and stagnant, emotional and dead, and everything in-between.

The same can be said about the Cardinals and just about every other team in the NFL.

There’s no use projecting what might happen week-to-week, so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the games the rest of the way.

Rising

James Jones
When the Packers offense needed a lift in the second half on Sunday, James Jones came to life. He caught a 11-yard pass and drew a roughing penalty. He also caught a 31-yard pass that set up Donald Driver’s touchdown. No. 89 was feisty in the second half. Perhaps that aggression led to the Jacksonville defender getting a little annoyed and throwing him down on the roughing call. Too bad some of that aggression didn’t wear off on the rest of the offense.

Brad Jones
The latest next man up is Jones and he’s answered the bell so far. Playing inside linebacker for the first time, Jones hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been more than adequate. A sack on an inside blitz and a forced fumble deep in Packers territory were big plays on Sunday. As long as Jones makes the routine tackles and a big play every now and then, he’ll be fine plugging the gaping hole left by Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith.

Morgan Burnett
Someone needed to step up with Charles Woodson out and Burnett was the guy on Sunday. The third-year safety has been decent all season but really showed a nose for making plays and played with emotion against the Jags. The main thing the Packers will miss with Woodson out is his attitude. The veteran might not have the raw skills to do what he used to do, but he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and try to make a tackle or take on a bigger offensive lineman. Burnett demonstrated the same will against Jacksonville, and made a few impact plays doing so.

Steady

Randall Cobb
It’s been a steady build for Cobb before he exploded against St. Louis. He wasn’t as active on Sunday, but he once again caught every pass targeted for him. I almost left him off the list because he danced around instead of moving forward for a first down on a pass in the third quarter, but he’s still young so I forgave him.

Shawn Slocum
Raise your hand if back in August you thought Mike McCarthy would say the following during a postgame news conference in week eight: “Special teams have been the lead dog all year.” If you’re raising your hand, show yourself to the principal’s office because you’re lying. The head coach of the Green Bay Packers, led by MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is praising the special teams more than the offense after a week eight game! Up is down! Black is white! The world is flat! What is happening to our universe?! After years of ridicule, Slocum deserves some praise. Here’s hoping the Packers special teams keep it up.

Xxxxxxxxx
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Falling

Mason Crosby
Another week. Another knuckleball. This one mercifully doinked off the upright instead of killing a fan or innocent bystander on the sideline like a few of Crosby’s other misses this season.

Alex Green
The offensive line has done him no favors, but Green missed a few cutback lanes on Sunday. There weren’t any gaping holes, but Green did leave yards on the field. I could just as easily put Jeff Saturday or the entire offensive line in the falling category, but I went with Green instead. I’d like to see Green get more chances on stretch runs or pitches. McCarthy seems to want to keep pounding him straight up the middle.

Tim Masthay’s Arm
I saw the Lombardi play on Friday night and I could almost hear Vince yelling down from heaven after Masthay launched a bomb on fourth down instead of punting. “What the hell’s going on out there!!!” Dear Mike McCarthy: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER, EEEEEEEVER take Aaron Rodgers off the field so Masthay can throw a pass again. If you want to run a cute little flip on a fake field goal or something like that, fine. But leave the actual passing to the MVP. Thank you.

(Side note: Apparently, Ryan Taylor was open underneath, but Masthay chose to throw it deep. Rodgers and McCarthy have obviously rubbed off on Masthay. Even the punter goes downfield instead of checking down to his underneath option.)

 

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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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  • JimR_in_DC

    Great post, Adam; however, I beg to differ on xxxxxxxxx. He was anything but steady. ;)

    • Adam Czech

      Errrrr…..forgot to put in the last steady player.

  • Ed Schoenfeld

    I was fine with the fake punt, even if Masthay throws an INT deep. But they need to make his checkdown a run, not a short pass — he’s not on the field enough to get a reliable read on the defense for a checkdown pass.

    We will see that fake again, with a slightly different playcall, and the second time it will work.

    • FireMMNow

      I hope you are wrong. Mashtay has no business trying to determine if a defense is in zone or man. If you are going to run that, try running it with graham harrell as the holder. the other team may see that, but it will probably be too late unless they want to burn a TO.

    • FireMMNow

      haha. i just saw this in a JSOnline article.

      If you’re in Las Vegas, look for this sure-money bet: Will coach Mike McCarthy allow punter Tim Masthay to throw the ball deep again this season?

      Bet everything you have on no.

      “We will not be running that play again this year,” McCarthy said.

      • Adam Czech

        They better not be running that play again ever, forget this year.

      • Ed

        I’d read McCarthy’s comment before I posted, which is why I said ‘a slightly different playcall.’

        But a throw from Masthay should be on the ‘fake’ play list. He just needs a simplified checkdown if the pas isn’t there.

  • Ed Schoenfeld

    Re: Green, my candidate for a falling grade is Jeff Saturday. How many times has he missed on the reach block, let Lang get doubled teamed and pushed backward and Green trips over Lang’s ankle before getting to the LOS?

    We need a young, athletically capable center. Draft ‘em high, Ted.

    • NYPACKER

      When is our staff going to come to the realization that our olineman can not effectively run the ZBS because they can not win individual match ups & can not execute the “reach block” consistently? When unable to win one-on-one matchups, it seems reasonable that going with more traps, wham blocks, etc. would be an alternative? In other words, you have to create opportunities with scheme, as we do in our passing game. The Jags played 6 guys in the box & dared us to run. Until we are able to combat this defensive strategy (don’t know why everyone doesn’t employ this vs. us), we are going to have some offensive “clunkers” like we saw on Sunday.

      • Chad Toporski

        If you can’t win your individual match-ups, any scheme will be hard to execute…

      • Oppy

        Um, one of the fundaments of ZBS is that when the linemen on the front side of the play fire off the line, two linemen double team a defender to get him on his heels and moving backwards. After the initial impact, one lineman usually maintains that block (the defender SHOULD be off balance and backpedaling after the initial double-team hit) while the other lineman “peels off” the initial double team and looks for a LB to cover up at the second level.. In essence, you’ve swayed the odds in your favor by taking away the “individual battles” on the front side of the play.

        On the back side, you sway the odds in your favor because the linemen are supposed to cut block the pursuing defensive linemen, opening up the cut back lanes for the RB if he needs them.

        Ultimately, the Packers have been horribly inconsistent at it regardless.

  • Dan

    “I could just as easily put Jeff Saturday or the entire offensive line in the falling category”

    Why didn’t you? They are horrible! Just a terrible performance against the worst team in the NFL, at Home! FALLING!

    And your right about the Cards last night, they got creamed on both sides of the ball, but what this will mean next week is they are playing the Packers O-line, which means the Pack will have 2 ypc in the run game and Arod will be running for his life. Sorry for being so negative, but I’m just reporting what I’m watching on most Sundays.

    Additionally, Falling, Dom’s coverage schemes! What a joke!

    Let the dislikes fly….the truth hurts

    • BTF

      I think if we’ve learned one thing about the 2012 Packers it’s that making sweeping statements about what will happen next week, whether for good or ill, is unwise ;)

      • Adam Czech

        Yup. Agree 100 percent.

  • BTF

    Brad Jones at ILB is interesting. I’d assumed he would play out the last year of his contract as a special teams performer and be gone elsewhere. Based on pre season snaps I’d have said he was behind Francois and Lattimore..

    You couldn’t say that Jones is a better ILB than DJ Smith but if he can continue to learn and improve the Jones/Hawk combo might be better balanced than Smith/Hawk with Jones a better pass rusher, quicker and better in coverage (though I accept he could still be better). If Jones can show an ability to start at least competently inside with his experience outside he becomes a very valuable backup..

  • Ron LC

    First, I hope all of you on the east coast are managing to deal with the storm. Not even our beloved Pack can take precedence over the problems that occured in your area. Every one of us is behind you. Even those of us who live on Lake Michigan are feeling some of “Sandy.” High winds coming straight down the lake are creating very high waves. Forecast were for waves of 33 to 17 feet. Never heard that before. No big deal in GB they are protected by the Door County peninsula.

    Back to ratings. I propose a new category today. “Sunk!” There is no unit that deserves that honor other than the Oline. They are underwater with lead weights on their shoes. And the real problem comes when you realize can’t do much except hope things will improve.

  • frozentundra91

    Absolutely cannot stand Crosby. Glad he’s in the falling category. Most nfl teams have a kicker that routinely kicks it to the back of the endzone and doesn’t allow returns. The guy always has an excuse when he misses, too. Venting…..
    On a happier note, the backups and rookies continue to impress. I never was high on Burnett but damn, he made some plays and stepped up vs. the Jags.
    Also, until this team can run the ball for more than two yards, I don’t think anything special is gonna happen. The Jags were stopping the run game with six guys. C’mon.
    Go Pack!

  • lambeauleaper

    I think that Lang needs to be in the falling catagory,he has definintly regressed this year. Lang doesn’t hold his blocks after his initial punch,and therefore gets no push to the next level.I think an upgrade in next years draft is in order!