Before we get to this week’s Packers Stock Report, what category would you put the Green Bay Packers in as a team after six games?
I’d say, overall, the Packers are steady.
They’ve done plenty of dumb things to land in the falling category and made plenty of huge plays that would merit a rising designation. When you add it all up, the Packers are right about where I, and many others, thought they’d be. They’re steady.
The Packers are relying heavily on Aaron Rodgers to make plays and lead the offense. For the most part, he’s coming through.
The secondary is anchoring an improved, but not yet good, defense. We’ll see what happens to this unit after recent defensive injuries.
There’s a mix of overachieving players (Jamari Lattimore and Corey Linsley) and underachievers (Clay Matthews and Eddie Lacy). Hopefully the overachievers keep it up and and underachievers get rolling.
The defensive line and inside linebackers have been liabilities, like everyone predicted.
Injury luck, until Sunday, was better than recent years. Sounds like the injuries to Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Jamari Lattimore aren’t long term, so hopefully that injury luck continues.
Add all that up, combine it with a 4-2 record, and the steady description fits this team well.
Now the key is staying steady through Thanksgiving. From there, the teams who crank it up and enter the rising category will play in the Super Bowl. Hopefully the Packers are one of those teams.
Onto the Stock Report.
The fake spike play is getting all the national attention, but the touchdown pass to Randall Cobb in the third quarter was an amazing piece of quarterbacking. Rodgers is the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 15 touchdown passes and only one interception through his team’s first six games. And remember his only pick this season? He hit Jordy Nelson in the hands and it ricocheted to a defender.
We’re getting close to creating a special Jordy Nelson category of the Packers Stock Report. Every week the guy is making both spectacular plays and the types of “regular” plays that a superstar receiver needs to make. Like Rodgers, it’s almost a given that Nelson will be rising every week.
I think it’s safe to say Rodgers is starting to trust his young receivers. In a span of less than two months, Rodgers has gone from hesitant about his young targets to telepathically communicating with one of them, Adams, on a fake-spike play late in a close game.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
He hasn’t been flashy, but he’s been solid, which is exactly what the Packers needed at safety. Clinton-Dix still whiffs on a tackle here and there, but he’s always buzzing around the ball. More big plays will come if he keeps it up.
James Starks in 2014: 35 carries, 152 yards, 4.3 yards per carry. Eddie Lacy in 2014: 80 carries, 306 yards, 3.8 yards per carry. Not saying Starks should leap Lacy on the depth chart. What I am saying is that Starks has been a nice luxury to have as Lacy struggles. Those shotgun draws seem more suited for a quicker running back like Starks instead of Lacy. How about that 10-yard dash before the two-minute warning on Sunday? Great stuff.
If Sam Shields and/or Tramon Williams miss time, get ready to see more of House. He’s been an excellent depth cornerback this season. Can he take the next step if asked to do so? We might be about to find out.
I always thought Matthews was underrated as a run defender. Not any more. His lack of discipline often leaves the edge totally exposed and he’s helpless on zone reads run in his direction. He’s disappeared on pass rushes far too often as well. Someone tell me to R-E-L-A-X about Matthews. I’m worried.
Jones and Jarrett Bush were on the field at the same time for the Packers in the second half on Sunday. No wonder the defense struggled.
Rodgers’ clutch critics
Remember when people said Rodgers isn’t a clutch quarterback? Obama needs to deport those people to a different country.
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 .