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 3 win over the Lions…
- Packers defense––On a day when the Packers offense couldn’t consistently move the football or put points on the scoreboard, the Green Bay defense was more than up to the task. The unit didn’t give up a touchdown until two minutes left in the game, and it was total team effort. The defensive line, linebackers and secondary all had their moments with no one player stealing the show. Despite injuries to three linebackers at different points in the game (Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Rob Francois), the unit held together. Nick Perry deserves credit for getting the critics off his back with two sacks and forced fumble.
- Packers offensive line––It looked as if the offensive line might be in for a rough day when Ziggy Ansah came up with a sack on the first drive of the game, but Aaron Rodgers’ protection held up the rest of the way, allowing only the lone sack. The offensive line also paved the way for 180 rushing yards and an average of 5.5 yards per carry, just missing out on the third consecutive player to rush for 100 or more yards in three consecutive games. Considering the offensive line went up against arguably the best pair of defensive tackles in the league, that constitutes an impressive performance.
- Kicker Mason Crosby––There was a day late last season when the torch-and-pitchfork crowd wanted Mason Crosby ridden out of Green Bay, perhaps even as late as training camp this year. But when the Packers offense could convert third downs on the Lions’ end of the field, they had to settle for five Crosby field goals, tying a single-game franchise record, including a long of 52 yards and two more from 40-plus. Dating back to last season Crosby has made his last 15 field goal attempts, 21 if you include the preseason. He’s a now a perfect nine-of-nine in 2013.
- All-purpose player Randall Cobb––There wasn’t much Cobb didn’t do on Sunday, getting things started with a one-handed catch along the right sideline for a gain of 22 yards that helped to set up the Packers’ first score of the game and going ahead 3-0 in the first quarter. Cobb then continued his solid string of play in the second half lining up at running back and sprinting for a 67-yard rush, setting up yet another field goal. There was a point where Cobb touched the ball on three consecutive plays returning a punt, rushing for 67 yards and then rushing for five more yards. Fellow wide receivers James Jones and Jordy Nelson didn’t do too bad themselves.
- Running back Johnathan Franklin––Franklin didn’t do much to follow up on his 100-yard outing in the Packers’ last game against Cincinnati in Week 3. The rookie running back gained all of one yard on three carries, but the worst part was his second-quarter fumble Aaron Rodgers was lucky to recover. He’ll need to be more sure-handed if Franklin wants to play a regular role on the Packers offense.
- Tight end Ryan Taylor––Just when it appeared Taylor was starting to steal more playing time from fellow tight end Andrew Quarless, he couldn’t take advantage of one of his rare opportunities. Taylor dropped a deep pass over the middle from Rodgers in the second quarter, perhaps losing out on the opportunity to score a touchdown. Instead the Packers had to settle for field goal and just a 6-0 lead.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.