The Green Bay Packers showed why they are the best team in the NFL on Sunday by beating the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field and improving to 3-0. The Packers were by far the more talented team on the field Sunday, and should have won by more than 10 points.
The Packers stock continues to rise, but there are still a few things the Packers need to do in order to be considered dominant:
- Put teams away. Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers finally figured out how to win close games last season. Now they need to figure out how to not make games so close.
- Improve against the pass. I don’t know if it’s possible to be a dominant defense in today’s NFL, but the Packers need to do a better job against the pass.
- More consistency in the pass rush. I’m looking at you Clay Matthews. We can talk about containment and setting the edge all we want, but Matthews needs to get in the QB’s face and bring him down. He hasn’t done that so far.
The Packers have to be very happy with everything they’ve gotten out of Burnett so far. Essentially still a rookie, he’s been in on a couple of big run stops, picked off three passes and showed tremendous athleticism. Some people questioned his aggressiveness out of college, but he’s looked aggressive to me. With Nick Collins done for the season, Burnett needs to keep playing the way he is (and stay healthy).
Who needs Cullen Jenkins? Or Mike Neal? Not the Packers, especially with the way Jarius Wynn is playing. Wynn had two sacks on Sunday and has plugged holes up front admirably. Teams can’t run the ball on Green Bay so far and Wynn is a big reason why. He’s also providing some much needed pass rush. You could put Raji or Pickett in the rising category as well, but I went with Wynn because few people expected him to play at this level.
I told you Finley needed to kick down the door against the Bears. And he did.
It wouldn’t be a game at Soldier Field without everyone on the Packers offensive line moving before the snap and holding defenders. While the rest of the o-line kept committing head-scratching penalties, Wells just kept blocking his man, opening holes for Ryan Grant and keeping Aaron Rodgers off the turf (which was apparently booby trapped). The Packers have 327 yards rushing through three games, but you would never know it because of all the attention given to Rodgers and the passing game. Much like the running game, Wells doesn’t get much recognition. And that’s probably fine with him.
Even when he’s covered, Rodgers still throws it to Jennings and he comes down with the catch. Jennings is probably the smoothest route-runner in the NFL, and one of the league’s most consistent WRs.
Pickett could also make a good case for the rising category, but he’s been so consistently good that the steady category seems like a more logical fit. At least once per game, we’re seeing Pickett get up after stuffing a RB behind the line, pull his undersized jersey over his belly, and celebrate. It’s a sight I hope to see more and more as the season continues.
I know it’s probably unfair to label someone as falling after one start, but the Packers don’t have the luxury of being patient with Peprah. He needs to perform. Now. Peprah gave up three big plays against the Bears. That’s not going to cut it, especially when the Packers have to face the likes of Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford in the near future.
Mike McCarthy calls it “convenient criticism” to go after Sherrod, a first-round pick. McCarthy might be right, but Sherrod still belongs in the falling category. I know expectations were low for Sherrod in his first season, but inactive for the season’s first three games? I don’t think expectations were that low. Sherrod has an entire career to climb out of this dreaded category, but right now, he’s falling.
As long as the Packers win, the final slot in the falling category usually is reserved for someone or something not directed related to the Packers. This week, it’s Cutler. No further explanation needed.
I’ll be at Lambeau on Sunday to watch the Packers beat the Broncos by such a wide margin that the NFL will reverse the result of Super Bowl XXXII and give it to Green Bay. I’m hoping Packers fans bring the noise and energy so they can be included in the rising category next week.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .
16 thoughts on “Week 4 Packers Stock Report: Burnett and Wynn Rising, Peprah and Sherrod Falling”
I’d buy at the lower price, for sure, but I’m guessing a market would be falling a bit right now for James Starks. His stock had fallen already during the game, and I was shocked to see him get a 4th q carry. Of course, we know that he responded to his opportunity to salvage something from an otherwise awful day by… fumbling deep in our own territory – the firest lost fumble by an rb in a long ass while (maybe 2009, seriously).
Yes, only one game. Yes, a definite talent with oodles of possibilities. But… with so much talent already out there, itchy money would leave this bet now.
That said, I’m sticking with #44, hoping he was sick with a bug, sad with a woe, or tripping on LSD (it may work for MLB pitchers, but not so much for NFL rbs) – I’m just hoping it was an off day. I was thinking that was for sure the case, until the fumble (which should be put on MM’s shoulders. There was no reason for Starks to touch the ball in the 4th q.) Then I worried a bit.
Sometimes it’s just coincidence. Philbin said as much. It seemed that on the plays Starks got the ball, the blocking just did not create many holes.
How about Starks arms being numb from the play where he was stoodup and just getting pummeled with punches in the pack and moreso after the last guy piled on an wailed away…in front of the REF.
Was Grant already injured before Starks fumbled in the fourth? Maybe that’s why he got the carry.
You are right Adam. Grant had been removed at that time. He came back for another series and went to the sidelines and fell to his knees in severe pain. I still wouldn’t blame Starks for the fumble. He was alone out there with Brigs ripping at his arms and a DB coming in unimpeded. Blown assignments somewhere.
I’m waiting until the Wednesday PC to make any investment decisions. Then we’ll know if the team needs to switch their capital to Oline and Safety. This would require using some of the extension stash. Get serious Ron, TT ain’t about to do that. TT has delt with that before and to be honest it worked.
My rating – Buy GB Packers.
Points well taken. Grant injury forced MM’s hand. Rough day at the Midway for the kid. He’ll be back. I can buy that.
27 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 7 pass deflections, 3 interceptions.
I believe that is Burnett’s stat line for this season.
I disagree with CMIII being to blame for consistency in pass rush. He’s frequently double or triple teamed and still getting pressure. He backs up a guy into the face of the QB or flushes him out or gets around the corner frequently. He does need to get home on the single situations…you know…both of them each game. We run a pressure defense. I agree consistency needs to be better in general.
FallEN out of sight? Has Jenkins done anything for the erstwhile dream team yet?
Yep – 3 sacks and I believe it is 3rd in team tackles. We wouldn’t turn that down would we?
Yeah, I guess I’d take that…
Dang CAPS LOCK…
Adam I’m sending my lady as part of the Gold Package to the Denver game. You’ll spot her if you notice a women getting into the pat-down line a second time(just kidding honey).
Anyway, I’m expecting at least a 20 point victory with DD getting 6 catches for 102 yards and a spot in the rising group.
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