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 2 win against Washington…
- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers––Had the Packers not taken the foot off the gas pedal late in the game, Rodgers might have finished the game as Green Bay’s single-game passing leader. As it stands, he tied Matt Flynn with 480 yards through the air. Rodgers’ ball placement, in particular, was impeccable. On several occasions, including touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley, Rodgers put the ball where only his receivers could catch them. His final stat line saw him complete 34 of 42 passes with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 146.0 and an average of 11.4 yards per pass attempt.
- Running back James Starks––Starks wasn’t perfect. He actually had made a couple mistakes in pass protection, but when you become the first Packers player to rush for at least 100 yards in 45 games, you’re worthy of a blue chip. Starks became the go-to running option when Eddie Lacy exited the game early in the game with a concussion. He finished the game with 132 yards on 20 carries, an average of 6.6 yards per carry, reinvigorating a Green Bay ground game that’s been dormant for years. Starks also added 36 yards receiving on four receptions.
- Rodgers’ receivers––Both James Jones and Randall Cobb finished with single game career highs in receiving yards––Jones with 178 and Cobb with 128. Nelson, meanwhile, only caught three passes, but they went for an average of 22.0 yards and two went for touchdowns. Tight end Jermichael Finley also chipped in six catches for 68 yards and a score. Just about the only blemish was Jones’ fumble right before halftime that wiped out a potential scoring opportunity.
- Cornerback Davon House––House didn’t get the start at cornerback, but he made the most of his opportunities, rotating in the game with Sam Shields. He had arguably the best game of his three-year career when he blitzed and sacked Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III off the edge, the Packers’ only sack of the day. He also did a good job in pass coverage, nearly forcing a fumble that was called back on review. On special teams, he made a tackle of Christian Thompson after only a three-yard game as a gunner on punt team in the first quarter
- Right tackle Don Barclay––In Barclay’s defense, he improved as the game went on and his run blocking was largely solid as it helped to pave the way for Starks to rush for over 100 yards, but the Packers right tackle got off to a shaky start to the game. Rodgers was sacked on back-to-back plays on the first drive of the game by Ryan Kerrigan working against Barclay for losses of nine and six yards. The Packers eventually had to settle for a field goal. Then on the Packers’ second drive of the game, Barclay had a false start penalty on a series that ended in a three-and-out.
- Tackling––Back in 2011 when the Packers gave up the most single-season passing yards in the history of the NFL, tackling was an issue and the problems were much the same on Sunday afternoon. A failure to wrap up and tackle was part of the reason Washington was able to rack up 422 total yards, and running back Alfred Morris rushed for more than 100, averaging 8.2 yards per carry. The secondary was at fault more than any other position group with Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Micah Hyde making costly errors at one point or another.
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@example.com.