Packers Stock Report: Back on Track Edition

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Jordy Nelson vs. Detroit Lions
Jordy Nelson- “He will bring it down”

The Packers took a big step in the right direction this week with a boring, but thorough beating of the Lions. The Packers won the game where they haven’t won many lately – in the trenches.

The offensive line, especially the interior three, showed what they are capable of, going up against some of the toughest, baddest (over-rated?) hombres in the NFL and controlling them for pretty much the entire game.

The defensive line was stellar; something we first saw in the preseason and it has been consistently good four games into the season.

So let’s take a look at who’s trending and in what direction after Sunday’s game:

Rising

T.J. Lang
When matched up against Ndomukong Suh and the other bruising interior defensive linemen for the Lions, Lang did exactly what needed to be done: Control their pursuit upfield and use their own momentum against them to create running lanes. It was the second straight solid performance from Lang against a group of elite interior defensive linemen.

Josh Sitton
After a horrible opener against the 49ers and battling back problems against Washington, Sitton has played a key role in shutting down Geno Atkins and quieting Ndomukong Suh. Thanks in part to Sitton’s efforts, the Packers are fifth in the league in rushing and Aaron Rodgers has had a pretty clean pocket to step into. Moving Sitton to the left side has paid off so far.

Jordy Nelson
You could put any of the three receivers in the rising category. I chose Nelson because his toughness is second to none. It doesn’t matter if he’s covered on the sideline or absorbing a big hit over the middle, Nelson makes the catch, then gets up and does it all over again. He hasn’t busted out the Jordy Stiff Arm yet this season, but the Jordy-Makes-a-Miraculous-Catch-With-a-Defender-Draped-All-Over-Him-as-he-Falls-Out-of-Bounds plays have more than made up for it.

Steady

Evan Dietrich-Smith
If we’re going to give Sitton and Lang props for controlling some monster defensive tackles over the last few weeks, it’s only fair that we show Dietrich-Smith some love too. The free-agent-to-be is putting together a nice little season so far. Nothing spectacular, but more than holding his own against some quality interior defensive linemen.

A.J. Hawk
Whatever the Lions tried to do on Sunday, Hawks was there to snuff it out. Much like Dietrich-Smith, Hawk hasn’t been spectacular this season, but he’s done his job and gone above and beyond in a few instances, with Sunday’s Lions game being the prime example. Now the Packers equipment crew needs to figure out how to keep Hawk’s helmet on his head. Given the Packers injury luck, I can see Hawk’s helmet flying off and hitting Aaron Rodgers in the elbow, causing the QB to miss the rest of the season. To be fair, Pro Football Focus was not impressed w/ Hawk. I disagreed with PFF’s assessment, but wanted to point it out since I used PFF to back up my placement of Lang in the rising group.

Mason Crosby
Stop adjusting the resolution on your computer screens. Quit rubbing your eyes. No, you’re not drunk or stoned. Both A.J. Hawk and Mason Crosby are in the steady category this week. Has this ever happened in the history of the Packers Stock Report? I’m too lazy to go look, but I highly doubt it. Two of the most chastised Packers in recent history are now together in the steady category. Hopefully both players take this honor as a reason to continue playing well in order to one day make it all the way up to the rising category. For now, though, baby steps. Here’s hoping Hawk and Crosby keep making positive contributions.

Falling

Ryan Taylor
Remember when we thought that the tight ends behind Jermichael Finley were at least halfway decent? Turns out we were probably wrong about that. Taylor’s dropped pass against the Lions caused every Packers fan on Twitter to demand the return of Tom Crabtree.

Jonathan Franklin
I was one of the few people who kept his arms crossed and refused to get too excited about Franklin after the Bengals game. The guy’s fumble led directly to the winning touchdown. Any time that happens, it casts a serious shadow over anything else that player may have done during the game. Too harsh? Perhaps. But Franklin fumbled again against the Lions. Fumbles in consecutive weeks get you a first-class seat on the falling category train.

Dominic Raiola
Raiola allegedly verbally assaulted members of the Wisconsin marching band on Sunday. Yes, you read that right. An NFL player — a grown man who makes $1 million per year to play football — yelled insults and homophobic slurs at a marching band. Raiola isn’t just falling in football terms, he’s falling in the category of life.

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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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  • Archie

    Interesting to see the Pack’s OLine finally begin to assert itself. The Gs did a fine job but the two rookie OTs have really stepped up as well. Bulaga who?

    Dare I say, the Packers have a steady run game. With three consecutive 100 yard games by three different RBs, it doesn’t get much better. Except that it does because we get D Harris back next year.

    Still expecting more production from TE. And why are all the WR passes going to the sidelines? I still say we need a real #1 WR in next draft. Really shows in the red zone. Jennings had the quickness to get open in redzone, others not so much.

    Defense appreciates new found run game along with ball control short passing game. TT needs to get the best QB on the planet one of the best WRs on the planet ASAP. Not to would be a waste of AROD’s talent and would only retard Pack’s ability to get back to SB.

    • Dobber

      I understand why you call for a big-play, go-to receiver, and if the Packers were far more run-oriented, I think that would pay off. But in the current offense, I think the diversity at WR is far better. All are reliable and capable of springing the big play, and it takes away the tendency of a QB to force-feed a single receiver the ball.

      Remember how the Packer offense bloomed when Sterling Sharpe–one of the top 2-3 receivers in the league–got hurt? Part of it was forcing the offense to run a little more earnestly, but part of it was also forcing Favre to utilize all of his weapons, and they were receivers very similar to the ones we see today.

    • Brett Johnson

      Archie, some good thoughts…The offensive line has been progressing well. McCarthy promised an improved running game and that has been evident. Our tight ends as a group, have not been very impressive, maybe that will change in the coming weeks. A well written article, thank you.

  • Tarynfor12

    RISING?…..The number of family members…I believe congrats are in order for you Adam and the new Mom with the birth of a baby boy…he’s beautiful!

  • Dobber

    For as bad as he was a year ago, Mason Crosby probably deserves to be in the “rising” category (as much as a kicker ever deserves to be).

    • Brett Johnson

      Trying not to say too much-praise- concerning Crosby. Let’s hope it continues when the game is on the line.

  • NYPACKER

    How about a “Rising” for the coaches who were responsible for implementing the blocking schemes for our run game? I really feared going into the game that if we ran our typical “strecth zone” play, Fairley & Suh would be in our backfield all day. By trap blocking them we used their aggressiveness against them. We finally didn’t ask our olineman to make blocks that they are not capable of making (“reach blocks in the direction of the run).

  • brian

    You know your the biggest douche bag in the NFL when your on a team with Suh and your the biggest douche bag on the team.
    105.7

  • John Zoul

    AJ Hawk…I notice you like to employ Pro Football Focus as the arbiter of who has played well versus the same position throughout the league…However, when they categorically state that Hawk is mediocre, you make excuses. Why?
    If you are going to continue to use PFF in the future, please be consistent. They either know what they are talking about or not.

    • Brett Johnson

      Mr. Zoul, you are correct as far as using Pro Football Focus as proof or to enhance an argument…Anyone who disagrees with your assessment, does not understand using logic in building an argument. Concerning our LBs, am beginning to get concerned because of the injury bug. Francois was put on IR and the latest report I read on CMIII, was that he is out a month. Time for other players to step-up.

  • Oppy

    Just for the record, I AM drunk and high.

  • Adam Czech

    Taryn:

    Thanks for the kind words! All is going great so far for mom, dad and baby.

    • steve cheez

      You get a thumbs-down for that?

      • BRinMilwaukee

        Notice that virtually everybody has a single thumbs down. Some miserable low-life is just trolling everybody with a thumbs down, one after the other. Very sad.

  • Brett Johnson

    A simple question, why are so many of you afraid to use your names?
    A thought for the game this weekend: need a win on the road.

    • Dobber

      “A simple question, why are so many of you afraid to use your names?”

      Because I don’t want my boss to know what I really do at work?

      • Brett Johnson

        All right Dobber, gave you a ‘like’ for your candor…

        • Dobber

          I would’ve given you a like sooner, but I was too busy managing my FFL rosters… ;)

    • Oppy

      As a person who has held jobs where I was required to “deal” with the public, I know there is all kinds of crazy out there in the world.

      Oppy is my nickname, always has been, and that’s as far as any of the literally 1,000′s of random strangers need to know about me.

      :)

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      Because I’d rather make a disgusting reference/joke about the Chicago Bears than let my name be known to people such as: the guy who votes thumbs down on everything everyday on this website.

  • BubbaOne

    Rising—the whole OL.
    Rising—Mike Neal
    Rising—Mason Crosby

    The points you make for Jordy validates Steady not Rising.