Packers Stock Report: The Bye Week is Finally Here Edition

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Tom Crabtree
Packers TE Tom Crabtree hauls in a 72-yard touchdown against the Cardinals

The NFL season never unfolds how we think it will. The same can be said about the Packers 2012 season.Who could have predicted the following?

  • Tom Crabtree having more long touchdown catches than any wide receiver.
  • 10 starters missing time with injuries.
  • Special teams being a bright spot despite Mason Crosby going into a funk.
  • James Jones being the team’s best wide receiver.
  • Erik Walden having a solid season (Jersey Al actually nailed this one).
It feels like a season’s worth of stuff has already happened to the Packers, but it’s only week nine.
With all the injuries, the bye week is much needed. The stock report does not rest, however.
Here we go.
New Feature: A few of the writers here on AllGreenBayPackers.com have put together a podcast based on Adam’s Stock Report. Want more discussion and other writer’s views on who’s rising and who’s falling? You got it! You can download the podcast from itunes or use the player below. Give a listen:

Listen to internet radio with Cheesehead Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Rising

James Jones
Is James Jones the runner-up for Packers first-half MVP (behind Aaron Rodgers)? I’d probably put him behind Clay Matthews, but a case could be made that Jones has been the second most valuable player through nine games. Jones has not only made the routine catches, he’s now developed a knack for catching spectacular touchdowns like his grab before halftime on Sunday.

Randall Cobb
I think Ted Thompson hired a mad cheesehead scientist who went into a lab before the 2011 draft, took bits and pieces from Darren Sproles, Wes Welker and Percy Harvin, and created Randall Cobb. Those players do a bit of everything, and do it well. That’s been Cobb all season.

Erik Walden
I originally put Walden in the steady category because he doesn’t do anything flashy. But the rising category isn’t just for flashy players, so I bumped Walden up. Walden’s run defense is much improved and he even holds his own in coverage when asked to do so. He was just a split-second late getting to John Skelton on Sunday, but managed to get an interception and make a key tackle for a loss on an important late third down play.

Steady

Brad Jones
It’ll be interesting to see how Jones holds up against better offenses, but against the Rams, Jags and Cardinals, he’s been more than adequate filling in for D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop. I wonder if we’ll see Rob Francois more against better passing teams…

Tom Crabtree
When you need a big play, look no further than backup tight end Tom Crabtree. With a long touchdown on a fake field goal and touchdown catches of 42 and 72 yards, Crabtree has been the guy getting downfield instead of Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings or Jermichael Finley. The Packers offense hasn’t been as explosive as last season, but Crabtree has come out of nowhere to provide a big play every now and then.

Mike McCarthy
The Packers were down eight starters Sunday (if you count Nelson) and lost Matthews and Bryan Bulaga during the game. The schedule lightened up a bit, but McCarthy has navigated the Packers to a 6-3 record despite a ridiculous number of injuries. That’s impressive, and the coach deserves credit for making the necessary adjustments and not allowing his team to overplay the injury excuse.

Falling

Mason Crosby
Ok, this isn’t funny any more. Crosby has gone from being in a slump to a serious problem. I used to enjoy giving Jersey Al a hard time about his negativity toward Crosby, but that’s not fun anymore because Crosby has gone from serviceable to bad on field goals.

Jermichael Finley
When was the last time Finley caught a pass and you said to yourself, “Wow! Finley was wide open on that play!” I can’t remember the last time that happened. Finley never gets any separation. There’s always a guy draped all over him. I understand he gets a fair amount of attention and faces double teams, but it’s not on every play. Even when he’s manned up, there’s no space between him and the defender, meaning Rodgers doesn’t throw to him or Finley has to make a tough catch in traffic, which he’s not very good at.

Packers’ Body Parts
Before McCarthy dismisses his team for the bye week, he needs to encase everyone in bubble wrap. Enough with the injuries. I understand that bones break and bells get rung throughout a season, but geez, how many pulled hamstrings, strained hips, lisfrancs and other pulls and strains can happen? It’s never ending.

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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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  • Tarynfor12

    What,no ‘Splat’..disappointed to not see a candidate or the use of it.

    Well,since I had Finley in the 1st ‘SPLAT’ category that I hoped would debut weekly,I will nominate the Medical Staff for the lacking of urgency to tending to and getting second opinions faster.

    • Adam Czech

      Dammit, I forgot all about splat! Rest assured, Taryn, the splat category will make an appearance this year.

      • Ed

        If the reason ‘Splat!” has been forgotten is because no Packer player or coach really deserves that rating, I will be very happy if it never shows up at all.

        Just saying.

        • Tarynfor12

          I will admit that the word itself is a disheartening one to associate with the Packers but,the odds are that someone or thing will enable it eligible for the nomination,perhaps and hopefully not weekly but it will rear it’s ugliness

          • Rob

            Splat!! As in the refs in the Seattle game.

  • Chad Lundberg

    Does anyone know what Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers are? If you don’t, look it up.

    Because the Packers could really use one of those.

    • Mike

      Clay should just live in one over the bye week.

  • Rick Racic

    I will throw Ryan Pickett into the “unsung hero” category. At 33, he has proved to be the anchor for a much improved D-line.

    • Adam Czech

      Agreed, Rick. Pickett is another one of those guys you don’t really appreciate until you watch the film.

  • Adam Czech

    All:

    If you took the time to listen to the podcast that’s attached to this post, thannk you!

    It’s something new we’re trying and feedback — positive, negative, or neutral — would be greatly appreciated.

    (Hopefully Taryn doesn’t think the podcast belongs in the splat category)

    Thanks again.

    • Tarynfor12

      I thought you guys did a really great job expressing your thoughts and the easiness of the flow speaking them.

      Like Dion Sanders with A-Rod…”Like That”

    • steve cheez

      Since most of my surfing is done here at work, I’m cautious about accessing audio!

      • Adam Czech

        We keep it PG rated, if that helps.

  • Turophile

    The podcast talked quite a bit about Finley. It was said that even if he was a difference maker once in the next few games it would be worth it.

    It would not be worth it. Your roster strength is based on having guys that outperform their current contract. the mor guys you have that are doing that, the more difference makers you can afford to keep and the stronger and deeper your team is. That is one reason the Packers are such a young team….plenty of guys still on a comparatively cheap contract.

    Finley is not close to being worth $5m this year and to expect him to be kept on at $8m next year is absurd. the Packers have already set themselves up to move on from him and they will.