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 8 win over the Minnesota Vikings…
- Wide receiver Jordy Nelson––Last week the Packers were without Randall Cobb and James Jones. This week add Jermichael Finley to the mix and it still didn’t matter. Nelson was the only one of the Packers’ top four receiving targets suiting up Sunday night and displayed quite a set of hands, grabbing balls in tight coverage and snatching another right before it hit the ground. He finished the evening with seven receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns, one he took 76 yards, outrunning the Vikings defense on the way to the end zone.
- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers––As impressive as it was for Nelson to step up without other receivers to take pressure off him, perhaps even better was the way Rodgers spread the ball around to Nelson and what was basically a cast of interns. He fit the ball into some pretty tight windows, including both touchdowns to Nelson. Rodgers threw only five incompletions all night, finishing 24 of 29 for 285 yards, two scores, no interceptions and a passer rating of 130.6. Rodgers’ running shouldn’t go under the radar either, with three of his four rushing attempts that weren’t kneel downs going for first downs.
- Defensive lineman Mike Daniels––Daniels stepped up for two sacks of Christian Ponder, helping to rattle the Vikings quarterback. Minnesota could get very little going through the air, and it was partially due to Daniels’ rentlentless pass rush. He now has four sacks on the season, displaying the most pressure from a defensive lineman probably since Cullen Jenkins left after the 2010 season.
- Running back Eddie Lacy––Lacy’s average yards per carry of 3.2 was nothing special, but the way the Packers could rely on him to touch the football over 30 times was sorely needed for a team that’s missing so many weapons to injury. He had 94 yards on 28 carries on the ground and added four receptions for 18 yards through the air. Lacy was a huge part of the reason the Packers more than doubled the time of possession, 40:54 to 19:06, taking tough hits but remaining sure handed.
- Running back Johnathan Franklin––Following Cordarrelle Patterson’s 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game, Franklin could only get out to the 10-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, looking woefully incompetent by comparison. Then on his second kickoff return, he was indecisive and only got out to the 11. He was replaced on kickoff returns by Micah Hyde in the second half and didn’t get an opportunity to play on offense either.
- Safety Morgan Burnett––Despite initiating contact short of the goal line, Burnett got ran over by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on his way to scoring a touchdown with just four seconds left before halftime, which cut the score to 24-17 at the time. He also got trucked by Toby Gerhart for a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter.
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.