Our weekly “Chips Report” will always include two blue chippers (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chippers (good, though maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the Week 11 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…
- Jordy Nelson––Not only has Nelson asserted himself as the team’s No. 2 wide receiver this year, when Greg Jennings went out with an injury, Nelson played like a No. 1 wide receiver. Not that he was playing poorly before Jennings’ injury. Nelson is the complete package. He can beat defenders with his strength like he did on his first touchdown taking a slant from Aaron Rodgers and plowing his way into the endzone. And he can also beat opposing cornerbacks with his speed like he did on the 40-yard stutter and go on his second touchdown. He had a six receptions for a team-leading 123 yards and two touchdowns.
- Donald Driver––Driver had legitimately fallen behind Jennings, Nelson and Jermichael Finley as the team’s fourth option at best (some might argue fifth or sixth behind James Jones and Randall Cobb) earlier this season. But on Sunday, he showed he was still a threat. He grabbed four balls for 72 yards, an eye-catching 18.0 yards per catch. He still showed some wiggle making defenders miss, which helped in the yards after the catch department. He showed nice hands catching away from the body as well.
- James Starks––Before exiting with a knee sprain, Starks was giving a workmanlike effort making contributions in both the running and passing game. On the fourth-quarter drive culminating in a John Kuhn touchdown, Starks put the team on his back with four catches for 47 and two carries for 26 yards. The way things were going, Ryan Grant may not have played in the fourth quarter had Starks not gotten injured. He ended the day with 11 carries for 38 yards and six catches 53 yards.
- Tramon Williams––The second of his two interceptions was just a case of being in the right place in the right time, but the first interception was scintillating. To pick off Josh Freeman by coming all the way across the field and stepping in front of intended receiver Mike Williams was a work of art. He also had a team-leading nine tackles and was perhaps a couple missed tackles away from being in the “blue chip” category. Two turnovers more than made up for any missed tackles.
- James Jones––Not a good day for Jones. First he dropped an early pass from Rodgers (he had zero receptions on three targets on the day). Then he had a blocking in the back penalty on what should have been a 60-yard return on a fourth-quarter Randall Cobb punt return. Finally he allowed Elvin Mack to get up after the defender intercepted Rodgers. Jones simply could have touched him down. Because Jones doesn’t play that many snaps on offense, he has to pull his weight on special teams.
- Sam Shields––Shields didn’t play poorly until the fourth quarter, and that was an inopportune time in a close game. He gave up a late touchdown pass to Mike Williams. Later, Shields gave up a deep 37-yard pass to Arrelious Benn for which he was flagged for illegal contact. It set up the Bucs’ last touchdown of the game that pulled them within two points of the Packers’ lead.