Packers Stock Report: Beating the Super Bowl Champions Edition

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Morgan Burnett brings down Ray Rice and plays a key role in a second quarter goal line stand for the Packers.

Every year the NFL schedule comes out and we try to boldly declare which teams have tough schedules and which teams appear to have a bunch of patsies and a clear path to the postseason. Every year our analysis is wrong and what once looked like a tough or easy schedule in July is completely the opposite come October.

The Packers appeared to have a nasty schedule initially, but the outlook isn’t so bad now. The Vikings are terrible, the Giants stink, the Steelers are bad, the Lions are the Lions and the Falcons are regressing. There isn’t another game on the schedule where I’d say the Packers are an obvious underdog.

Of course, that could all change in another couple weeks if any of the aforementioned teams get back on track.

The stock report is kind of the same way. Who knew that someone like Mason Crosby would make the steady category two weeks straight and A.J. Hawk would be a riser after week six?

Onto the stock report:

Rising

Morgan Burnett
Mr. Burnett earned that fat new contract he got this offseason during the Packers goal line stand in the second quarter against the Ravens. The free safety was in on three tackles during that key series of plays, including a stop on 3rd and 1 where he out-maneuvered ace blocking back Vonta Leach before bringing down the ball carrier.

A.J. Hawk
Remember when we couldn’t figure out why Ted Thompson cut Desmond Bishop and kept Hawk around? After three sacks on Sunday,
Hawk is having one of the best stretches of his career while Bishop tore his ACL and is out for the season. Chalk up another one in the smart move column for Thompson. (Side note: Best of luck to Bishop. He seems like a great guy who has experienced terrible luck these past two seasons. Here’s hoping you get another shot down the road, Desmond, and have better luck staying healthy.)

Eddie Lacy
Saavy investors bought stock in Lacy a few weeks ago. I’m always a little hesitant to put rookies in the rising category — especially a rookie running back on the pass-happy Packers — but Lacy belong here after a steady game against Detroit and strong finish on the road to help close out Baltimore.

Steady

Jordy Nelson
Aaron Rodgers hitting Nelson for a 64-yard touchdown on a play-action rollout brought back memories of 2011 when that very same play seemed to work whenever Mike McCarthy dialed it up.

Micah Hyde
Another rookie makes an appearance in the stock report. Hyde had a sack on Sunday and is a threat when blitzing. He’s also holding his own in pass coverage and provides a decent option on punt returns when moving forward instead of dancing around and trying to juke his way into space.

Mason Crosby
Shhhh. Don’t tell Crosby that he made the steady category yet again. I don’t want to jinx him.

(Side note: Mike Daniels could easily be in the steady category as well. Once again, he maximized his time on the field on Sunday.)

Falling

Jerron McMillian
Literally, McMillian is falling. He fell right over on a fourth-and-21 heave that resulted in a 63-yard completion that allowed the Ravens to hang around. McMillian is still young, but so far it looks like he just can’t play. M.D. Jennings has shown some improvement. McMillian is going from bad to worse.

John Kuhn
Kuhn made a boneheaded play on a blocked punt and danced around instead of driving forward to get a first down on a dumpoff pass. Someone remind me why he’s on the team, again?

Chicago Bears
Why did I randomly put the Bears in the falling category for no apparent reason? Because the Bears still suck and it’s important to remind people of that fact.

——————

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.

——————

  • Razer

    Someday I would love to see Jermichael Finley’s name on the rising list. Hell, any TE on this list would be welcome. Alas, it hasn’t happened yet.

    You could make the case for our D-line as a unit making the rising list. Teams are not running on us and we are winning in the trenches. Bodes well going forward.

    As a long term rising, I am hoping that Derrek Sherrod makes this list by the end of the year. His return and potential addition to RT might make a surprising O-line a team strength.

    Lot of good things happening.

    • Adam Czech

      You’re right, Razer. There are a lot of good things happening. Tough to see that fact sometimes with all the injuries, but it’s true.

  • http://southcarolinapackerbackers(onfacebook) Barry Talbert

    Bears still suck–sounds like a great song :).
    I would include the whole Oline and D-line in Rising catagory–they are playing incredibly right now !!

  • James David

    I though that CB Sam Shields and CB Micah Hyde played very good as well as CB Devon House very early.

    • Bildar

      Good call on House. It seemed like Baltimore was targeting him early and they paid for it.

  • Bedrock

    Not sure where to stick ‘em, but Barclay is rarely mentioned. Linemen w/o being mentioned are automatically in the “steady” category? His better-than-Newhouse ability, along with EDS being better than Jeff-can’t-play-on-Sunday-so-call-me-Saturday, along with Bakhtiari’s progression… The OL in general, with the Sherrod sighting, is on the rise.

  • packett

    I said it before…and want to repeat this until I come to find its not true. I believe Adversity is a significant factor that creates the truly feared teams. Every year some team rises out of obscurity…because they play ‘lights out’ with nothin to loose. 2010, with backs against the wall, packers rose from adversity, and beat teams who weren’t ready for that fury. Pick other teams that rise from such obscurity…just when people write them off; Cleveland this year. Patriots. Redskins last year. Other teams in the past; Colts last year. Think of the rise of St. Louis w Curt Warner. No one was ready for them. Think of Saints after Katrina. So, my theory is that a team that comes out of adversity will take others by surprise, or simply muster enough fury, they can possibly ride it to an advantage. It changes their mentality from ‘entitlement’ to scrappy fighter. That is far better than the teams that seem ‘destined’. Think of Patriots 2009 with all the talk of undefeated year (smack-down by Giants). Think of Packers 2011…talk of undefeated season; smack down. So, brings me back to my comment before. I think the early adversity this year; digging out of a hole, overcoming injuries is a blessing in disguise. I see some fury building in GB.

    • marpag

      Bah. NFL teams do well because of 1) a strong roster, 2) a lack of crippling injuries and 3) a weak schedule.

      The spiel about “overcoming adversity” with “courage” and “heart” and “intestinal fortitude,” this nonsense about “it’s us against the world” and “no one was respecting us” … that’s how the two-bit hack novelist describes it after the fact in order to sell more copies of his book.

      • Adam Czech

        The 2010 Packers team disagrees w/ No. 2.

        • marpag

          IMO, no it doesn’t. There’ a huge difference between having MANY injuries and having CRIPPLING injuries.

          In 2010, was Rodgers out? Matthews? Driver/Jennings/Jones/Nelson? Woodson or Nick Collins? Raji or Pickett?

          Here’s a list of players that ended the 2010 season on IR. Which of these were really crippling losses? In which case was there not a very qualified replacement already on the roster (see my point No. 1, above)?

          Nick Barnett, Josh Bell, Morgan Burnett, Brandon Chillar, Jermichael Finley, Ryan Grant, Justin Harrell, Spencer Havner, Brad Jones, Derrick Martin, Mike Neal, Marshall Newhouse, Brady Poppinga, Anthony Smith, Mark Tauscher

          • Adam Czech

            It’s easy to say those injuries weren’t crippling in hindsight because the Packers won the Super Bowl.

            Grant was coming off consecutive 1,200 yard seasons. Barnett was in on 100 or more tackles in 6 of the 7 previous seasons. Finley was a huge part of the offense. Burnett’s injury meant Charlie Freaking Peprah became a starter. Mike Neal showed early promise up front.

            You take away those players on a lot of teams and the season goes off the rails. The Packers season didn’t, so it’s easy for us to sit here and say those injuries weren’t a big deal now that we have the benefit of hindsight. Those injuries were a big deal, and the Packers won it all anyway.

            • marpag

              First… yes, “It’s easy to say those injuries weren’t crippling in hindsight because the Packers won the Super Bowl.” Exactly. Thank you.

              If you can put 15 guys on IR and still win the SB, obviously they weren’t very important guys. Would it have been the same if Rodgers or Woodson or Collins or Matthews were on IR?

              You mentioned five guys in particular. Am I right that you chose these five because they seemed like the most significant losses? Furthermore, am I right that you DIDN’T mention Josh Bell, Brandon Chillar, Justin Harrell, Spencer Havner, Brad Jones, Derrick Martin, Marshall Newhouse, Brady Poppinga, Anthony Smith, and Mark Tauscher because you know that losing all of them was basically irrelevant? You can lose as many scrubs or washed up vets as you want and it still doesn’t hurt you.

              So let’s look at your five guys…

              GRANT – Running the ball clearly hasn’t been the Packers M.O. ever since the early 90s. And when Grant went down, a guy already on the roster did fine. But you’re right, it’s not an insignificant loss.

              BARNETT – Compare Nick Barnett’s stats in 2009 with his backup’s (Bishop) stats in 2010. They are almost identical. Bye, Nick. Nice player, but no big loss.

              BURNETT had played in all of four NFL games before going out. If you’re concerned about judging in hindsight, then let’s remember that he was a rookie, not a Pro-Bowler.

              J-MIKE in his whole career has never been a difference maker. He still isn’t.

              And I’m sorry, but MIKE NEAL??? To argue that Neal “showed promise up front” is just about as weak an argument as you could have. Even today Mike Neal has 20 total tackles in his CAREER, with 8 of them coming this year.

              If these five guys are your only real significant losses, does that really qualify as “crippling injuries?”

              No way.

              • Adam Czech

                Based on your logic, there is no such thing as a crippling injury.

                The Packers are 4-1 without CM3 out over the last two seasons.

                They went 13-2 without Collins in 2011.

                They played the second half of the Super Bowl and won without Woodson in 2010 and did just fine without him last season.

                You can’t use hindsight to discount injuries after the fact just because a team was able to overcome them.

              • marpag

                First, let’s just acknowledge that hindsight helps one to see more clearly, not less clearly. Hindsight can tell us that certain players were overrated, and that all the contemporary fuss and bother was unwarranted. For example, “Everybody thought Ryan Leaf was going to be a great QB, but in hindsight, not so much.”

                In hindsight, I see the five specific guys you mentioned (and the 10 other guys who aren’t even worth mentioning). If you can get through a season with these losses – Grant & Barnett (both solid, but unspectacular), the untested rookie Burnett, Finley the perennial tease, and the utterly non-existent Mike Neal, that’s a walk in the park. Those injuries are light, not heavy.

              • Chad Toporski

                marpag:

                You’re missing the other half of the coin. While success may make it look like those guys weren’t valuable, you still have to consider the guys they had left. Even though we lose key guys, it doesn’t mean the remaining backups and other starters have to be crap. The Packers can still win with less than their best, as observed this past weekend.

              • marpag

                This is simple. Don’t overthink. If you go the entire year in 2010, and the only injuries of any real significance are Grant, Barnett, Burnett and Finley, is that an especially bad run of injuries, yes or no? (The correct answer is no).

                Or are you arguing that Spencer Havner was vitally important?

          • steve cheez

            Don’t forget, the ’72 Dolphins played most of the season without their starting QB.
            Granted, their offensive scheme was a bit different from today’s Packers…

      • Stroh

        Adversity builds character, a strong identity and mental toughness. The Packers had it in ’10 when they won the SB, they didn’t have any of those the past 2 years when they largely blew teams out. I don’t think that’s coincidence.

        I think this team is going places if they get Matthews, Jones, Perry and Cobb healthy and productive heading into the playoffs!

        • marpag

          Your post begins by talking about “character”, yet ends by saying, “I think this team is going places IF THEY GET Matthews, Jones, Perry and Cobb HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE.”

          Yup, just like that. That’s how it is.

          We can go on and on about adversity and heart and toughness and character if we want… bla bla bla. But in the end, it comes to this: if you want to go anywhere, you need your best players healthy and productive. That’s why you win.

  • NYPACKER

    mcMillan just makes too many mental errors to be put in a spot where he costs us big plays (deep safety). Dom can only play him close to the line of scrimmage where a mistake isn’t an automatic big play. I just don’t see how we play McMillan & keep House, Hyde, & Hayward off the field.

    • funcrusher

      Couldn’t agree more with your comments, especially about Bakhtiari. He shut down Terrell Suggs on Sunday and is becoming a rock at left tackle. Hard to believe the guy’s a fourth round rookie. Look at Lane Johnson. Was drafted number four overall and is getting destroyed in Philly.

      • funcrusher

        Obviously, I posted above on wrong comment. Sorry. Was meant for aaronqb’s.

  • aaronqb

    IMO, Kuhn should not have been on the team this year. He doesn’t add anything to the team. He is a poor runner (you didn’t mention he tried to fake out a 180 lb DB to get the extra yard for a first down and failed), slow and now bone-headed on special teams, fumbles, and carries a high price tag. If you believe that it’s better to release a guy a year early than a year late, then this one was a no brainer.

    McMillian is very disappointing. I doubt he is on the team next year. The decision about positions to target in the 2014 draft is getting very easy – safety and WR.

    Baktiari played a great game on Sunday. He deserves some props. It is becoming clear he was a huge bargain in the 4th round. Assuming Bulaga and/or Sherrod come back strong, the Packers look to be well stocked at tackle.

  • Archie

    TE WILL BE A DRAFT PRIORITY AS WELL.

  • Batavia Greg

    I entirely agree with your comment. Kuhn should go ASAP. TT could sign Braden Wilson to the PS to be groomed as a replacement. The rookie 6th round pick for the Chiefs was cut last month possibly because Anthony Sherman has been outstanding at FB for them. You are dead-on about McMillan being disappointing. As for Bakhtiari, getting him in the fourth round was a huge bargain. He had been projected to be a 3rd round pick. Good thing that he slipped down to us in the 4th. Perhaps the other teams had different needs to fill and bypassed him. Franklin also was bypassed and we got him in the 4th. Reminds me of when AR slipped down to us late in the first round of the 2005 draft.

    • Outis

      I find this interesting. Your comment basically agrees with everything in Aaronqb’s, yet everyone “likes” his but “dislikes” yours. Maybe its the way it was expressed. Your use of language was a bit more complex. Or, perhaps it was because you dared to praise a player from another team in your comment. Or, most likely, I believe, many readers on this site are simpleminded. This month’s “moutza” award goes to them. Fata!

      • http://allgbp.com Charlie

        Looks to me like his problem is referring to the people who fell into TT’s lap.

  • Icebowler

    I live in Bear Country. You wouldn’t believe the Bear fans whining this week because they’ve had four or five injuries so far this year. According to the Bears own talk radio guys at 670am, the Bears have been the least injured team in the NFL over the last five years. He’s a toast to the Law of Averages coming into play for the next five years. You’re right: The Bears Still Suck and so do most of their whiney ignorant fans.

  • steve cheez

    Thanks for the reminder about the continuing suckage of the Bears.