Packers Stock Report: Playoff Time Edition

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Greg Jennings
Packers WR Greg Jennings is rising after Sunday’s game.

For the last three years, I’ve always been confident whenever the Packers play because they had the best player on the field.

No matter who the Packers were playing, what the score was, or how slow the Packers started, I always felt good because I knew that Aaron Rodgers played for Green Bay and would probably find a way to win the game. He was the best player on the field and the best player on the field typically comes through and leads his team to a win. Not always, but usually.

When the Packers play the Vikings in the playoffs on Saturday, Rodgers will not be the best player on the field. That title will belong to Adrian Peterson, and it scares me.

The Packers are better than the Vikings in almost every facet of the game. But as long as Peterson is carrying the ball, the Vikings will have a shot. I shouldn’t be nervous about Saturday, but I am. And it’s all because of Peterson.

Hopefully, for at least one night, Rodgers regains his best-player-on-the-field championship belt. Rodgers can then worry about getting the Packers to another Super Bowl and defending his best-player-on-the-field title next season.

On to the stock report:

Rising

Adrian Peterson
I don’t think I’ve ever put a non-Packers player in the rising category. Usually I put players from the other team in the falling category so I can mock and ridicule them. But as a football fan, I have to show respect to Peterson. He lead his team to the postseason and left several Packers defenders limping off the field. It was agonizing to watch as a Packers fan, but fascinating as a football fan.

B.J. Raji
The finger-wags got a little annoying. Don’t wag your finger, B.J., when the other running back is going for 200 yards on your defense again. Other than that, Raji was a beast. Peterson got a lot of his yards when he bounced outside. He often had to bounce out because Raji plugged the middle. If Peterson wasn’t able to bounce out, it was because Raji grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground.

Greg Jennings
It was nice to be reminded just how silky smooth Jennings is in both his route running and running after the catch. He’s an artist (pronounced ar-teest). He also made himself a boatload of cash.

Steady

Honestly, I’m bored with the steady category. I might get rid of it. If I had to pick a few steady players for this week, I’d go with Clay Matthews and DuJuan Harris. I love Harris. You ever see highlights of pee-wee football games and the little running backs breaking through the line for a big gain? That’s what I think of when I see Harris run. I know that sounds a little insulting, but I mean it in a good way. He’s exciting.

Falling

Tramon Williams
Tramon should’ve been benched on Sunday. That sounds like an overreaction, but it’s true. I’m not saying benched for good, I mean just for the game. He obviously didn’t want to participate in the extremely difficult task of tackling Adrian Peterson. It takes 11 guys to contain Peterson. The Packers only had 10 1/2 because Tramon wasn’t trying. And don’t even get me started on giving the fullback a 10-yard cushion, then getting run over for a first down. Tramon is a great cornerback and deserves all the praise he gets. But for whatever reason, he didn’t want to play on Sunday and should have been removed for a player who wanted to be on the field. Jarrett Bush would have been more effective.

Don Barclay
There’s no question that Barclay has improved the Packers run game, but he was lost in pass protection on Sunday. Everson Griffen is a decent player, but he should not tally three sacks. Barclay will need a little help on Saturday night.

Soft zone
As soon as the I saw the Packers defense line up on that fateful third-and-long play on the Vikings’ winning drive, I called it. I swore at the TV, cursed the fact that Dom Capers was only rushing three guys, then watched in horror as Christian Ponder of all people stood in the pocket, read a book, took a dump, opened late Christmas presents from his wife, took a nap, fed his dog, yawned, stretched, then hit Michael Jenkins for a first down. Jenkins had camped out in a wide-open section of the Packers’ soft zone. Rushing at least four guys and bumping the Vikings pathetic receivers would have been the correct call there. That’s not second-guessing, that’s common sense.

Listen to the companion podcast, where the ALLGBP team expand on the stock report, give out Game Balls and look ahead to the Playoffs matchup with the Vikes:

Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

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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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  • Pete Kliman

    It was amazing watching Peterson break numerous tackles everytime he had the ball.When they did tackle him for no gain they had to wrap him up with so many Packers he looked like a mummy.The natural turf will help us a bit Sat,and Capers will pressure Ponder now that he knows he can hurt us when given time.

  • DChairtonic

    Capers defense worked really good a LONG time ago. This soft zone stuff is the reason I drink and one of the most painful things to see time and time again. When you have Ponder of all QB’s, go for 234 yds and 3 td’s against you, you are doing it wrong.

    Other teams adjusted to Rodgers and the deep threat with the zone2, McCarthy adjusted by trying to get the run game going. Capers? He said “I’ll just keep doing the same thing”.

  • Ron LC

    Capers’ D is a “Junk Bond.” I hate tentative play by a defense. Pressure creates turnovers not deep zones that allow AP to reach the second level unchallanged.

  • aaron

    LOL at Adrian Peterson being in the rising category! As many times as the Packers play Peterson this year he has given them the most problems… Packers will turn it around and win by 30 on Saturday Night.

  • Savage57

    Soft team this year, reminds me of the team Favre had that lost to the Falcons and Vick and broke the streak of invincibility at home.

    Sorry faithful, but being a fan means sometimes accepting reality. Team just isn’t very good at rising to big game situations.

    • Adam Czech

      Nah, they’ll win Saturday.

  • Chad Lundberg

    I just don’t get that defense. One week it can look so amazing, and the next it looks like a bunch of inexperienced, untalented group of sore losers. I just don’t get it…

    Pray to God that the post-season brings out the good side of this defense.

  • Matt Lambeau

    This Border-Battle video says it all. It’s a four letter world… RING.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Pl7l_ZlnVPI

    Go Pack!

  • PatMc

    It’s a New Year (2013) and the GB Packer Nation will be all smiles. First the vikings put everything they got out last week and there isn’t anything new. Not so for the Packers: Woodson will be in the backfield, Dom will dial up the blitz package, MM will have the WR’s running wind sprints all night long to get the DB’s tired.

    AD will have cold lungs and cold legs. He doesn’t run well in the cold. The Vikes OL (specially Johnson) is a warm weather blocker. He is the key for our D to destroy in getting to Ponder. Our OLB and DE’s will contain lanes and Raji knows he needs to bring it like the last game.

    Dom has been playing games to set Ponder up. Woodson will have a Pick Six and the D will get at least 3 other picks. I expect Ponder and/or AD to fumble as well. We already know the offense will score 30 plus points. I expect that to be well over 40.

    Natural turf, frozen tundra air in the lungs of the DB’s and Linemen of the Vikes plus they will freeze up right after the half time.

    The VIkes have only won games in a DOME this year. They have NOT won a game outdoors anywhere. Bring the cold fresh air of Lambeau and let’s see if the vikes can handle it. I don’t think so.

  • Big T

    I feel the team lost on purpose against the Vikings, they knew that was the only team they had a chance at beating in the playoffs. One and done as usual. Need to start rebuilding SOON…

    • PatMc

      If I’m not mistaken they already beat Houston & Seattle this year. Both at their home fields.

  • PatMc

    I need to mention that their Left Tackle next to Johnson is from California and hasn’t been through a winter yet. The left side will be a sieve on Saturday night.

    I apreciate the Bears knocking the Giants out of the playoffs and the vikings knocking the Bears out (poor Lovie) (and why is that idiot still in Detroit).

    The vikes right guard has seen cold weather but the big Load of Turds at RT is from the south. Their OL will be very cold all night long.

  • FITZCORE1252

    Pat, the queens have not won an outdoor game this season

    • PatMc

      I said that in 8 above. The vikings have NOT won outdoors this year. They are a climate control team. Even their players are not cold weather players. Kahil (#1 pick LT) is from California and has not lived through his first winter.

      Score early, Score often. Blitz Ponder and contain the running lanes. Let’s hope woodson gets a pick 6.

      Go Pack GO

  • steve cheez

    I sure hope the team isn’t as optimistic as we all seem to be about how the stadium/weather is going to win the game for us. See Atlanta about ten years ago…

    • steve cheez

      And I’m still ticked at Sherman for not challenging that bogus punt muff

  • Jeff

    Hey Big T , you are an idiot , garbage comments like that from a garbage person like you is laughed at.

  • GBPDAN

    Fire capers in the off season. This D needs a young , innovated , aggressive , D coordinator