Our weekly designations from the Green Bay Packers’ 21-16 Wild Card win over the Philadelphia Eagles…
- James Starks–The Packers showed utmost confidence in the rookie by riding him to the tune of 123 rushing yards in a victory over the Eagles. It was a franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie in the playoffs. His 23 carries were 20 more than Brandon Jackson, a surprising development considering the Packers used Starks sparingly over the last several games of the season. Even better, the Packers had a running game to complement their passing game and arguably even out-performed it on Sunday.
- Tramon Williams–He was beat once on a crossing pattern by Jeremy Maclin that netted 44 yards, but his interception in the endzone on the Eagles’ final possession of the game to preserve the victory overcame any shortcomings. He was part of Dom Capers’ gameplan to play the entire game on the right-hand side of the field to limit Michael Vick’s scrambling tendency to scramble to his left. And for the most part he shut down opposing Eagles receivers.
- Charles Woodson–He didn’t have any impact plays like sacks or interceptions, but it was an all-around solid game by Woodson vs. both the run and the pass. He led the team with six tackles, occasionally spied Vick and helped limit the Eagles to only 16 points. As usual, he was effective from the slot.
- Tom Crabtree–His first career touchdown couldn’t come at a better time by putting the Packers on the scoreboard first. His reception helped the Packers take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter of the ballgame. His blocking also helped the Packers run for 138 yards on the ground for a 4.3 yard per carry average. Effective from both the traditional tight end position and as a fullback lined up in the backfield. Nearly every player on the offensive line could arguably have earned a red chip as well.
- James Jones–Thankfully he also scored a touchdown, which helped minimize his snafu. But it’s hard to overlook the pass that James Jones dropped that could have broke the game wide open. The pass from Aaron Rodgers couldn’t have been better, right in Jones’ breadbasket. It’s been the same old story for Jones this season, unable to put together a consistent performance due to drops and fumbles.
- Brandon Underwood–Yes, he was pushed into the ball, but there’s no reason Underwood should have been anywhere near the football to begin with when he stepped on it, accounting for a muffed punt and giving the Eagles possession of the ball in their own territory in the early stages of the game. Only a David Akers’ missed field goal made it not costly to the Packers. There was no chance a Packer was going to pick that ball up, making it unnecessary for Underwood to continue blocking.