My throat is scratchy. My nose is runny. I’m sneezing every 8 minutes and the bags under my eyes are turning a weird shade of black and purple.
Do I have a common winter cold, the same affliction that knocks down most of us for a few days when the weather turns cold? Or do I have something much more serious? An illness only contracted by Packers fans called “Capers-itis.” Capers-itis sets in when the Packers’ defense starts playing like it’s 2011 all over again.
Symptoms of Capers-itis include the following happening to your favorite football team’s defense:
- Sam Shields getting completely out-physicaled on deep passes.
- No pass rush.
- One player (see: Jones, Julio) does whatever he wants up and down the field without repercussion.
- Brad Jones actually plays defensive snaps.
- Defensive backs peeking in the backfield and getting burned deep.
I’ve been to several doctors, none of which have given me a diagnosis yet. They all said to wait until after Sunday’s Packers vs. Bills game. If Kyle Orton stands in the pocket and throws for 300 yards, or Sammy Watkins catches 10 passes for 198 yards, I probably have Capers-itis. The only way to get rid of it is to drink large quantities of beer.
Personally, I think I just have a cold, not Capers-itis. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are really good. What they did to the Packers on Monday night, they also did one week earlier against Arizona, a team most people say has a legitimately good to great defense.
The Packers also might might have just checked out for a bit to start the second half, and by the time they woke back up, they were in a fight.
Either way, you don’t want to deal with a potential case of Capers-itis this late in the season. Hopefully it’s just a common cold and we don’t have to start talking about quarantines or anything like that.
To help me recover from whatever is ailing me, let’s knock out this week’s Packers Stock Report:
As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing, I’m going to keep putting him in the rising category. Over his last five games, Rodgers has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,560 yards, 16 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a QB rating of 127.1. If I do have Capers-itis, Rodgers might be the cure instead of beer.
Any time you let Nelson run freely off the line and into the secondary, you’re asking for trouble. The Falcons found that out the hard way on the Rodgers-to-Nelson 60-yard touchdown Monday night.
I can’t pick just one offensive lineman so I’m going to cheat and just list the entire o-line as rising. I’ve been saying it the last two weeks and I’ll say it again: If the Packers offensive line continues playing this well, the Packers will win the Super Bowl.
Let’s hope Lacy’s hip bruise is nothing to worry about. Like he did last season, Lacy is rolling now that the weather has turned cold. He’s also catching passes, making him that much more dangerous.
The run defense has been much better with Matthews inside. Matthews also registered the Packers only sack on Monday night. I like how Dom Capers is using Matthews in this new hybrid role. It takes advantage of Matthews’ explosiveness and frees him up more often. When Matthews only rushed from the outside, sometimes he’d repeatedly just bang into double teams and not really get anywhere.
Shields looked like he should’ve sat out last night after missing an entire week of practice. But really, he hasn’t played all that well over the last month or so. Hopefully, he pulls it together down the stretch. Otherwise, McCarthy should’t hesitate to use more of Davon House.
Does the NFC South winner really have to play in the playoffs? Can’t we send them on a nice all-expenses-paid vacation somewhere instead?
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 .