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 6 win against the Baltimore Ravens...
- Linebacker A.J. Hawk––You have to wonder how much of Hawk's stellar play this season is due to a change in his training regimen that has seen him cutback on time in the weight room and more massages and acupuncture. Always a smart and savvy player, he appears to have added a burst and closing speed not seen in previous seasons, particularly evident on the blitz Sunday afternoon. Not only did he finish with three sacks but half of his team-leading 10 tackles went for a loss.
- Running back Eddie Lacy––For the second week in a row, Lacy had at least 99 yards rushing, finishing with 120 at Baltimore. The rookie running back was about the only thing the Packers had going for them on offense in the first half, gaining 65 yards on just eight carries, an average of 8.1 ypc. With wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb in the second half, Lacy helped wear down the clock and the Ravens defense in the second half, gaining a hard-fought 55 yards. He alertly made a quarterback-like slide on the Packers' final possession after getting past the first-down marker, not taking any chances going out of bounds or fumbling the football.
- Cornerback and punt returner Micah Hyde––The rookie cornerback made his mark on both defense and special teams on Sunday, seeing an increase in playing time after Davon House was relegated to the sidelines in the first half. Hyde did fine in coverage, but looked his best around the line of scrimmage, notching six tackles, forcing a loss of 10 yards on sack coming on a blitz and forced a fumble, even though it was recovered by the Ravens. On special teams, Hyde had five punt returns, including a long of 23 that helped set up a Packers field goal.
- Linebacker Jamari Lattimore––You wouldn't have guessed Lattimore was making his first career NFL start, filling in for an injured Brad Jones and Rob Francois. He deftly teamed up with Hawk to limit the Ravens to hold the Ravens to only 47 rushing yards. Two of his three tackles went for a loss, and he may have displayed the best range of any inside linebacker on the roster in his pass coverage.
- Fullback John Kuhn––The biggest mistake by the Packers running back came on special teams when following a second-quarter blocked punt, Kuhn muffed a return after a half-hearted attempt to pick the ball up and Baltimore gained possession. Had Kuhn just left the football alone, the Packers would have started a drive in Ravens territory. Then after a fourth-quarter dumpoff pass from Aaron Rodgers, Kuhn tried to hurdle a Ravens defender instead of just putting his shoulder down and gaining a first down. As it was, Kuhn came up one yard short, forcing a third-and-1 situation.
- Safety Jerron McMillian––McMillian had been largely invisible until the last three minutes of the game, which was a good thing. Then on back-to-back plays, he nearly let the Ravens get back into the game. First he allowed Tandon Doss to get behind him for a 63-yard reception, which set up a 18-yard touchdown strike from Joe Flacco to Dallas Clark, for whom McMillian was responsible. The Ravens pulled within two points of the Packers, 19-17.
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.
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