Our weekly "Chips Report" always includes two blue chippers (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chippers (good, though maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the 38-31 Week 16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers...
- Running back Eddie Lacy––Prior to exiting with an ankle injury in the second half, Lacy looked like the best player on the field, or at least neck and neck with the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell. Lacy was able to rush for 84 yards on 15 attempts (5.6 ypc) on his way to setting the franchise record for single-season rushing yards, breaking John Brockington's record of 1,105 set back in 1971. Lacy showed terrific vision and an ability to bounce off tackles on his 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter and later punched one in from two yards out in the third quarter to go along with two receptions on the afternoon.
- Cornerback/return specialist Micah Hyde––Three separate times on Sunday, Hyde set a season-high for the longest kick return by the Packers with run backs of 33, 39 and 70 yards. His last return with about a minute and a half remaining, gave the Packers an opportunity to send the game into overtime, although they couldn't capitalize. Hyde also had 16 punt return yards, a broken up pass and five tackles on defense to boot, becoming one of the Packers' most consistent players on defense and special teams.
- Wide receiver James Jones––With Jordy Nelson being limited to just three receptions on the day, Jones stepped up, leading the Packers with nine catches and 84 receiving yards on Sunday. Several of Jones' receptions went for first downs, although his biggest moment of the day ended up short of the first-down marker. Jones battled with Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor for a ball that could have been intercepted by the Steelers cornerback, but instead just went for an eight-yard gain that helped set up the Packers' first touchdown.
- Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin––Boykin was the first to get the Packers on the scoreboard on a five-yard touchdown pass from Matt Flynn that put the Packers up 7-0. That was one of five catches for 54 yards on the afternoon.
- Quarterback Matt Flynn––Debate whether it was Flynn's fault, that of Andrew Quarless or just a miscommunication on a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Steelers' Cortez Allen, but that faux pas put the Packers in a 31-21 hole late in the third quarter. Flynn also gave the ball away on a fumble with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter that set up the Steelers' game-winning touchdown. There were several good moments from Flynn during the game, but the two turnovers were costly, as were several off-target throws. One can also debate that Flynn should have gotten the Packers at least one more shot at the end zone by not getting the snap off earlier on the last play of the game.
- Right tackle Don Barclay––Not that there weren't plenty of other candidates for a cow chip, including Nick Perry, Andrew Quarless and M.D. Jennings, but Barclay's multiple mistakes hurt the Packers. The worst was his false start with just twenty seconds remaining in the fourth quarter that resulted in a ten-second runoff and the Packers not able to get another play off (yes, T.J. Lang arguably jumped too). Barclay also didn't pick up Lawrence Timmons on the Packers' first drive of the game, a play that resulted in the Packers' punting and giving the ball away to the Steelers.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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