Packers Stock Report: Shooing Away the Lions, Bringing on the Bears Edition

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Packers CB Casey Hayward played his way onto the rising list this week.

Since the Packers handled the Lions on Sunday, they should be able to handle the Bears this week, right?

Think about it. The Lions have:

  • A talented but erratic QB
  • One dominant receiver
  • A tough defensive line
  • A cover-2 strategy designed to contain the Packers

Sounds very similar to the Bears. The main difference is the Lions have a better offensive line and the Bears have a better secondary and running back. The Bears are also beat up.

That’s my preliminary analysis, anyway. Very in-depth, right?

We’ll see if my perception changes later in the week, but I don’t see many reasons to pick the Bears, especially when you factor in the hopeful return of Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and (maybe) Jordy Nelson.

It was good to get the Lions out of the way. They annoy me for multiple reasons.

On to the stock report:

Rising

Casey Hayward
For some reason, Tony Scheffler was giving the Packers some trouble on Sunday. So the Packers called on Hayward and soon Scheffler wasn’t a problem any more. The rookie played all 84 snaps and had another strong game despite dropping another interception late. Now if he could only get home on blitzes like Charles Woodson used to….

Mike McCarthy
Bashing McCarthy’s decision-making and infatuation with calling downfield passes is a very popular thing to do during games. I do it myself. Every fan gets mad at the head coach of his favorite team on ocassion. But if you’re going to bash, it’s only fair to praise when praise is deserved. McCarthy seems to have the Packers living in their own world, a world where throwing in the towel because of injuries and bad breaks is not acceptable. Having Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback helps make this world a better place to be, but McCarthy still deserves a ton of credit. Getting the most out of reserves and young talent has become the norm with McCarthy. Whatever you’re doing behind the scenes, Mike, keep it up.

Sam Shields
Wow! What a return! Welcome back, Mr. Shields. Your neck tattoo looks as dazzling as ever. Normally I try to avoid sticking guys in the rising category based on one game, but Shields has me fired up. His speed saved the Packers from disaster on a Lions’ kick return and he came up with a big initerception. I like Davon House. I think House will still play a role on this team against bigger and physical receivers, but Shields has so much speed that it’s hard to keep him off the field.

Steady

Aaron Rodgers
We need to see Rodgers back in the rising category, but steady is good enough for now. Yeah, I know he holds the ball too long sometimes, but watching Rodgers navigate around pass rushers is a thing of beauty. His eyes always focus downfield and he never completely bails out too early. If the rush is constantly coming in his face, he gets a little jumpy (hey, he’s human), but he never runs scared.

Randall Cobb
It’s fairly obvious that Cobb isRodgers’ favorite target now, even with Greg Jennings back. All Rodgers needs is a couple extra seconds against a zone look and Cobb will usually come open. He had a bad drop on Sunday night, but still turned in another solid performance.

Tramon Williams
Nothing flashy. No big plays. Williams didn’t shut out or dominate Calvin Johnson. But he more than held his own. Willams was thrown at nine times and only allowed five catches against Megatron. That’s another workhorse type of day for Tramon. I’m looking forward to Williams rejoining his tag-team partner Morgan Burnett and bracketing Brandon Marshall this week.

Falling

Frank Zombo
How much more money has Clay Matthews made himself by being injured the last six weeks? Probably a lot. After getting five sacks without Matthews in their first game against the Lions, the Packers don’t even really bother the quarterback any more. In addition to his pass-rushing struggles, Zombo got duped bad on Matthew Stafford’s bootleg touchdown in the first quarter.

Erik Walden
Take everything negative I just wrote about the Packers pass rush in the Zombo paragraph and apply it to Walden. Walden hasn’t been quite as bad as Zombo, but he’s fallen off now that he’s been asked to do more. I guess this really isn’t a surprise, and maybe I’m being a little too harsh on a guy that fits best as a depth player, but several players in the Packers’ secondary have stepped up. The pass rushers have yet to do so. Walden does deserve some credite for setting a decent edge against the run on Sunday.

The Bears
Because they still suck.

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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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  • Lefty

    Bails not bales

  • http://none TomTD

    I think the running game did better because of non-zone plays that were used.

    Pitch sweep, a pulling guard-and Grant running a play left of Left tackle-

    My rant again is Rodgers running right and having no one to throw to several times-Rodgers getting hit and fumbling because of Rodgers running right with no one to throw to. Snow and lots of wind dictate short passes and runs, and hit guy wide open for medium length pass due to formations and fakes. See Patriots game last night.

    Both teams were wrong to try 52 yard field goals back to back. Result was luckily no points and Pack got ball back with good field position and scored.

    • Chad Toporski

      The fumble had absolutely nothing to do with Rodgers. See your offensive tackles for that one.

    • Corporate cheesehead

      My issue on that play were the three play calls that led to the fumble. Mm used a balanced run and pass approach to drive down to the 15. Then a pass and another pass for zero yards and on third and long … Yep another pass. The lions knew Arod would have to pass. Why no runs to Barclays side where they ran each time for at least eight yards a carry all day? The good news is mm got a does of smelling salts in the second half and didn’t abandon the run as he did on this drive ….

  • Turophile

    AR can compete now, with 2nd and 3rd string backups at tackle, with an ancient center at the end of his (distinguished) career and a LG with niggling arm injuries to go with his ankle sprain.

    Now imagine Aaron with two starting tackles outside, Lang, Sitton and a high (first three rounds) pick for center inside (my favourite scenario is to get guard Jonathan Cooper and convert him to center).

    So, what would Aaron Rodgers look like behind THAT line, with a solid interior allowing him to step up to avoid the outside rush and killing the opposition in the pass game. Imagine adding a run game other teams cannot entirely ignore. Now what would that offense look like ? So good I think I’d go blind watching it……

    • Lucas

      Barrett Jones is a Packer guy. He can play every position on the line, being stout at center and able to fill in at other positions if needed.

      • PatMc

        Barrett Jones is not going to be available on the last pick of the 1st round (SB Winner Packers Pick). I do agree that if TT were to trade up and get Barrett Jones, I’d be happy. (or his left guard at alabama)

        I’d look for TT to get the Guard/center from the badgers in third round.

        • Lucas

          Some sites have him listed as end of the 1st round. Given our draft luck with Aaron and Bulaga falling to us, I’m hoping for lady luck to smile again. Then again, if lady luck were to just start giggling…Teo would fall to us.

  • Wagszilla

    It’s unfortunate that Brad Jones and Erik Walden have regressed so much. They were off to excellent starts.

    I’m confident in the Packers putting it together but the LB corps outside of Matthews and Hawk really leave something to be desired.

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      Please do not put A.J. Hawk in the same category as Clay Matthews.

      • Wagszilla

        Everyone loves getting on Hawk’s case and while he is not a game changer like Matthews, he has been a rock for the team and if he went down it would be devastating to the Packers’ chances in the playoffs.

        Guy is having a good year. Give him some credit.

        It’s okay, try it. It feels good.

  • http://googlechrome madtowne

    Zombo lost his jock on the bootleg by Stafford at the goal line. It was an
    excellent fake to the RB that sucked
    him in. If he had been more patient,
    he could have tackled Stafford for a
    loss on the play. I’m sure he’ll get
    an earful when MM watches the film!

  • PatMc

    I’m hoping that the lack of D Linemen forced the D to call plays that kept the LB’s to play more of the run. Not impressed with the offsides by moses either. That is too late in the season to get pre-snap penalities. Watch the ball.

  • PatMc

    Hayward is a star rising. He will be coached up on the sack’s as that is very coachable. His misses have been consistent rookie mistakes and I expect in the playoffs we will see him get a QB or two.

    Total agreement on Sam Shields. What a relief to see him healthy and “FAST”.

    With a strong performance by Tramon Williams and high expectation for House, the CB group is set for next few years.

    Another FS that can play SS or a little CB to groom to be the field captain would be nice this next draft. If woodson is around or not it is a matter of time. I’m not sure if that person is in the grup yet. I’d like TT to get McDonald from USC, Reid from LSU, Lester from Alabama. Use the 2nd round pick to upgrade the backend with a playmaker who hits with authority and steals the ball because it belongs to him. A safety that all the WR’s on the other teams fear!

    Rising OL for sure

    • Turophile

      Especially pleased to see T.Williams handle Calvin Johnson well and one on one at times too. that is a big turnarounsd from their earlier meeting.

    • jt

      Shields is unique in that he has the best ball skills on the whole defense is lightning fast. He can shut down a receiver easily if they don’t call BS PI on him.

  • http://cox.com/phx retiredgrampa

    Jones will be gone in the first 10 picks. Cooper in the first 20. Love the fact that we MAY finally have a running game, even if it means an extra OL. Why not use Ragi on all 3rd and one downs? Matthews MUST come back this week. Bears must then use 2 blockers on him. We’d ALL drool if we could have an end to our OL injuries.

    • Turophile

      Jones may be gone early because of his versatility, but I think he will turn out a disappointment compared to where he is drafted.

      Cooper looks to be a mid 20’s guy at the moment. Guards are not the most sought after position early and Chance Warmack is likely the first guard off the board. That is why I believe we have a chance with Cooper, though if we are picking #32 that may be a stretch.

      • Ed

        Maybe the real Ted Thompson is still kidnapped and we get Trade-Up Ted instead.

        Hey, I guy can hope, right?!

        • Adam Czech

          That’s a lot of draft talk for December.