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:
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.