Anyone else have flashbacks to 2011 as the Packers cruised to an easy win over the Redskins on Sunday?
The lasers from Aaron Rodgers. Jordy, Randall, James and Jermichael making tacklers look like fools after the catch. The defense forcing a couple of turnovers. Sloppy tackling from the Packers defense. Not quite delivering the knockout punch.
Even though many of the players are different, the sentences in the previous paragraph would have summarized a lot of the Packers’ 15 wins during the 2011 season. The Packers aren’t about to rattle off 14 straight wins and repeat their run from 2011, but the overall stock of this team is rising right now.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly why that is:
You could easily put Nelson and Cobb in the rising category as well, but they were risers last week and investors snatched up all the available shares. Investors who bought low on Jones — shutout in the season opener — are cashing in big time after his 11-catch game against Washington. The only thing that stopped Jones on Sunday was a fumble-inducing end zone pylon (hat tip to whomever I stole that joke from on Twitter).
I hate putting Rodgers in the rising category because it’s just assumed that the best QB in the world belongs in the rising category every week. After a game like the one Rodgers had on Sunday, though, he deserves to have someone physically take the time to type his name in the rising category. Rodgers obviously decided to take a couple of sacks early in the game just to make things a little more challenging for himself. That didn’t even slow him down.
Now Big Grease is swatting down passes while filling gaps and squashing running backs. Nasty.
I was a serious doubter about the Mike Neal at LB experiment, but I’m starting to come around. He can move a little better than I thought and he’s tough to get off the edge against the run. Raise your hand if you predicted that Neal would drop into coverage and get an interception sometime this season? Those of you that raised your hands, go sit in the corner and take a timeout for lying.
I know what you’re saying: “Daniels over B.J. Raji? Make sure you put yourself in the falling category, Czech.” Watch Daniels on tape if you don’t believe me. He’s active as hell. Daniels might be able to provide the athleticism that the Packers have been missing on the d-line since Cullen Jenkins left. I say “might” because Daniels is small. Let’s see if he remains disruptive once teams watch him on film and realize that they need to take him more seriously.
Yes, I’m being harsh on the rookie. It usually takes rookie defensive lineman a while to get going, and it looks like Jones is no exception. In 40 defensive snaps, Jones hasn’t gotten anywhere near the QB. I’ll be patient, but for now, I’m showing Jones some tough love and sticking him in the falling category.
It’s one thing to be inexperienced and make a few mistakes as a young returner. It’s another to be sloooooowwwwww. Ross doesn’t look anywhere near fast enough to be an adequate returner. Maybe he’d be faster if he ran forward instead of sideways.
Brandon Meriweather and Mike Shanahan
First Meriweather used his helmet like a torpedo and gave Eddie Lacy a concussion. Then he reloaded and used his helmet-torpedo on James Starks — only this time Meriweather’s launcher backfired and he ended up knocking himself out. Meriweather is a headhunter and should have been suspended for his hits (neither of which drew a flag, smh). But what about Mike Shanahan’s comments on Meriweather’s headhunting?
“To be honest with you, on the first one it looked like the running back was kind of going downhill, and when Brandon went for the tackle it looked to me like it was perfect and then all of a sudden when [Lacy] ducked his head, I couldn’t tell — I didn’t see the TV copy, I just saw the video — and that’s exactly where the contact was. The second one on the sidelines, that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s a legal hit,”
Fines don’t work on millionaires. Suspensions might sting a little, but not that much. The blows to the head won’t stop until players and coaches hold each other accountable. Judging by Shanahan’s comments, we’re a long way away from that happening.——————
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 .