Packers Stock Report: We Got a Bye Week After All Edition (with Podcast)

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DuJuan Harris
Packers RB DuJuan Harris scores in the first quarter of Saturday night’s playoff games against the Vikings.

I was at Lambeau for the Packers  bye week   NFC wild-card round victory over the Vikings on Saturday night. I have a couple of questions:

1. Should we be excited about the defensive performance? Or chalk it up to playing against Joe Webb?

2. How awesome is Aaron Rodgers?

3. Will the Packers turn in one of their “we’re nobody’s underdogs” performances against the 49ers?

4. What should we do with people (and I was kind of one of them) who thought the Packers defense was better without Woodson?

5. Since when did the Packers replace the Lambeau PA announcer with a guy from the NBA? Too much screaming, too much nonsense. Packers fans are capable of getting loud without gimmicks.

Now I will attempt to answer my own questions:

1. Somewhat excited.

2. Very.

3. Yes.

4. Ban them from blogging.

5. I already kind of answered this one. On to the stock report:

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
How many other quarterbacks can make the throw where Rodgers rolled right and hit Jordy Nelson inside the 5-yard line? Very few, if any. Rodgers has been excellent the last two weeks. If he keeps it going against the 49ers, I like the Packers’ chances.

Clay Matthews
Every week, the size of Matthews’ new contract gets bigger and bigger. Matthews kept himself under control on Saturday and rarely got out of position while rushing Webb or trying to corral Adrian Peterson.  You know a player is on a roll when he gets blocked to the ground, but manages to get a sack anyway because the quarterback trips over his prone body.

DuJuan Harris
I thought Harris might have lost his hot-hand status after he dropped a third-down pass on the Packers’ first possession. But McCarthy stuck with the car salesman turned starting running back in the NFL playoffs and it paid off. Harris runs to daylight and doesn’t make it easy for the other team to prevent him from getting to that daylight. He’s an ideal back to run behind a more powerful line with Don Barclay and Evan Dietrich-Smith (although Dietrich-Smith graded out poorly according to Pro Football Focus).

Steady

Tramon Williams
A week after playing the worst game of his career, Williams bounced back and returned to his old self against Webb and Vikings’ terrible receivers. Normally, I try not to categorize players based on one week of play, but since I was so harsh on the normally solid Williams after last week’s god-awful game, it’s only fair to put him back in a positive category after playing better Saturday.

Sam Shields
That interception was nice, but I’m still shocked at Shields’ dramatic turnaround in tackling. I’m not saying he’s suddenly a great tackler, but he’s willing to tackle now. Last season, if given the option between tackling or getting audited by the IRS while sitting in a dentist’s chair and getting a root canal, Shields probably would have chosen the latter option. Shields had seven tackles on Saturday, two that were considered “stops” for short gains or a loss.

Falling

The Minnesota Vikings
What a weird way to end the season. Christian Ponder hurts his forearm early against the Packers in week 17, but finishes the game, throws three touchdowns, and looks as good as he ever has. Then he’s scratched before the playoff game and the Vikings had no idea how to put Webb into a position to succeed. Oh well. Good for the Packers, right? Go home, Vikings. You were never a real contender, anyway.

In this week’s podcast, Adam, Jason and Marques  go into detail on the Stock Report, Game Balls, the Vikings and the upcoming 49ers game.  Listen in using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio
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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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  • Chad Lundberg

    Well nobody is gonna fly all the way from Green Bay to show me what’s up for dissing Woodson so I’ll just sit here punching myself for a few hours.

    • PackersRS

      Woodson is still slow as fuck. He’s much, much, much, much more physical than anything we have at the secondary. Which helps against Peterson. And doesn’t do much damage against Webb.

      That being said, it shouldn’t against Kaepernick, if Capers really knows what he’s doing. More than enough excellent man coverage to make up for it. Kaepernick isn’t diagnosing when cover 2 becomes cover 0. Just be judicial about it and the Packers win some important downs…

  • Tarynfor12

    I was on the better without Woodson wagon and I’m still on it.It was the Vikings and he’ll need to show more against the Niners’.
    He still needs to take a paycut to remain next season,although IMO,he’ll be replicating DD’s tour de farce of this season.

  • wim

    re woodson: you had to be there and just see what it means to be not just physical but smart. he had positive effects on plays where he would have been well out of the tv camera. only one big goof which he can split with tramon and you could see it before they snapped the ball: the free td in the fourth quarter.

  • NYPACKER

    CW’s strength is being able to play near the line of scrimmage & free lance. Without much of a threat to pass , the Vikes were the perfect team to match his skill set against. Where he has been sub par, IMHO, is vs. teams who scheme him into coverage down the field, where he has a tendancy to hold & gamble.

  • FireMMNow

    if nothing else woodson is a calming presence for the young defense. if you are in a fox hole and stuff starts going to crap, who do you want across from you, a private who just got off the boat or a an old veteran? woodsons true value will hopefully show up when this defense faces some real adversity against the niners. and he is better in the box than MD Jennings, which will be important this week.

    • Tarynfor12

      These privates have earned their stripes and are likely asking why is this old guy in my foxhole.

  • Big T

    Charles is at the crossing point in his career where intelligence still makes up for losing a step physically. I hope we can get 1 more year out of him. I love the guy, but all it takes is one time straining to get out a popcorn fart and his clavicle will snap again…

  • CSS

    That Rodgers throw off of play-action was indeed great, but I was so busy laughing at the play action itself I almost missed the throw. The ENTIRE Vikings defense bit hard on it. The funny part was, why would they? It was John Kuhn as the single back. That was the hardest play-action bite I’ve seen all year and it was John ‘I get zero yardage after contact’ Kuhn in a single back set that created the action.

    Did anybody else laugh at this? I see Kuhn’s value and all, but why would any defense respect a single back set with Kuhn on that down-and-distance with the half coming to an end?

    I was embarrassed for the Vikings, really.

    • Adam Czech

      I ask myself the same thing when any teams falls for a Packers play-action fake, regardless who the RB is.

    • PackersRS

      I think front 7 defenders tend to play the OL/QB more than the formation, when they’re tired/cold/on their heels all night.

      • CSS

        But there’s no reason whatsoever to respect or honor the run in a scenario where there’s just over 1 minute on the clock and it’s a single back set with John Kuhn. That doesn’t qualify as a threat in most circumstances, let alone the one the Vikings were facing against that personnel in a 2 minute drill. That was awful, and worthy of a lengthy laugh in the privacy of my home!

  • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net montanacheezhead

    Here goes the jinx. I would have put Crosby in the “rising” catagory leapfrogging the “steady” catagory. I will be man enough to take any blame for this statement.

  • http://cox.com/phx retiredgrampa

    The next contest is the signature game. It will decide just how worthwhile the year was. I believe that’s how our players look at it. Lombardi felt that way, i’m sure. It’s how real champions face it. Now if we ever get our OL set….

  • SchenySchen

    Mostly I am impressed that in the first half and the opening 2nd half drive, Rodgers took the easy yardage that the D was giving him. Harris was always open for 6-9 yards and Rodgers didn’t get too greedy. If we play with that kind of patience against SF, I think we will be ok. — Woodson has fresh legs for the playoff push and is a better tackler at the line of scrimmage than either Jennings or McMillan at this point. His blitzing is far superior to either of them as well. Leave Hayward in the slot to cover WR’s but having Wood is a luxury for us now in the box/slot. GoPack!

    • Oppy

      First time all year the Packers offense was consistently taking the check down when the defense took away the primary targets down field.

      And by “Packers offense”, I mean “Aaron Rodgers”.

      No need to hold the ball for 4.5 seconds on first and second down. Make your primary reads, and if it isn’t there, dump it off for 3. That’s winning football… I get it on 3rd down, try to make the play. But early? Take the easy yardage if the deep stuff isn’t there.

    • Oppy

      Putting wood in the box/slot makes me giggle.

      Because, yes, I’m a 11 year old boy.

  • SchenySchen

    Oppy, I hadn’t thought about it as I typed but now I too am giggling. thanks for the chuckle. GoPack!