I know many of our readers enjoy the weekly "Chips Report" following games, so I wanted to do a year-end edition in which I looked back at each game and tallied the results.
After doing so, I admit, the results of this exercise were mixed.
A few words about doing the "Chips Report":
In a nutshell, I try to identify players in the immediate aftermath of a game who played the best and who played the worst. In other words, this isn't done after film review.
And a note on methodology, I typically give two blue chips for outstanding play, two red chips for a good but not great performance and two cow chips for the performances that stood out in a negative fashion.
It's a flawed process. I don't always single out individual players. I'll pick certain units or positions if they collectively played exceptionally well or particularly poorly.
You'll notice below that I gave Josh Sitton an individual cow chip for a poor performance Week 1 of the season, but there were other times where I gave the offensive guards or the entire offensive line either a blue chip or red chip.
Josh Sitton will have a low individual grade, but that's not a distinction he really deserves. In fact, he was one of the best players on this Packers team for the entire 2013 season. And just as a side note, it's probably harder to judge the play of offensive linemen than almost any position with nearly no individual statistics to really judge a player's performance.
I also try to identify players who had the best all-around game or worst all-around game, not unlike ProFootballFocus.com does in grading players on every play of every game.
For example, it wasn't easy to entirely pass on giving Aaron Rodgers a blue or red chip for his NFC North-clinching performance Week 17 of the regular season against the Bears in which he threw the game-winning touchdown with less than a minute in the game.
But Rodgers also had two interceptions and a fumble that game. My thinking is that there were players who were more deserving that didn't make so many mistakes.
With that being said, here's the results of my tabulations from highest to lowest. I gave plus-two points each time a player received a blue chip, plus-one point for each red chip, and minus-two points for every cow chip:
- Running back Eddie Lacy +12 points (five blue chips, two red chips)
- Wide receiver Jordy Nelson +11 (five blue, one red)
- Cornerback Tramon Williams +7 (three blue, one red)
- Kicker Mason Crosby +5 (two blue, one red)
- Wide receiver Randall Cobb +4 (one blue, two red)
- Running back James Starks +4 (one blue, two red)
- Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin +4 (one blue, two red)
- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers +3 (two blue, one red, one cow)
- Linebacker Clay Matthews +3 (one blue, one red)
- Cornerback Sam Shields +3 (one blue, one red)
- Cornerback Jarrett Bush +3 (one blue, one red)
- Defensive lineman Datone Jones +3 (one blue, one red)
- Tight end Andrew Quarless +3 (one blue, one red)
- Punter Tim Masthay +2 (one blue)
- Linebacker Jamari Lattimre +2 (two red)
- Wide receiver James Jones +2 (two red)
- Run defense +2 (one blue, at 49ers)
- Offensive line +2 (one blue, vs. Lions)
- Quarterback Matt Flynn +1 (one blue, one red, one cow)
- Defensive lineman Mike Daniels +1 (one red)
- Cornerback Micah Hyde +1 (one blue, one red, one cow)
- Linebacker Mike Neal +1 (one red)
- Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly +1 (one red)
- Wide receivers +1 (one red, vs. Redskins)
- Offensive guards +1 (one red, at Lions)
- Linebacker A.J. Hawk 0(one blue, one cow)
- Defensive lineman B.J. Raji 0 (one blue, one cow)
- Cornerback Davon House -1 (one red, one cow)
- Guard T.J. Lang -1 (one red, one cow)
- Guard Josh Sitton -2 (one cow)
- Fullback John Kuhn -2 (one cow)
- Linebacker Brad Jones -2 (one cow)
- Linebacker Nick Perry -2 (one cow)
- Tackle David Bakhtiari -2 (one cow)
- Tight end Ryan Taylor -2 (one cow)
- Quarterback Seneca Wallace -2 (one cow)
- Return specialist Jeremy Ross -2 (one cow)
- Safety Jerron McMillian -2 (one cow)
- Offensive tackles -2 (one cow, at Giants)
- Secondary -2 (one cow, vs. Bears)
- Tackling -2 (one cow, vs. Redskins)
- Safety M.D. Jennings -3 (one red, two cow)
- Running back Johnathan Franklin -4 (two cow)
- Tackle Don Barclay -4 (two cow)
- Tackle Marshall Newhouse -4 (two cow)
- Safeties -4 (two cow, at 49ers, vs. Eagles)
- Safety Morgan Burnett -6 (three cow)
So what can we glean from this information?
- Generally, the list does a generally good job identifying players from most-reliable to least-reliable, although offensive linemen are more often noticeable for poor performances than good ones.
- Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson simply don't have bad performances. They're probably the MVPs of the 2013 season.
- Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb probably could have been much higher on the list had they not missed so much time due to injury.
- Safety and offensive tackle were the obvious weak spots on this 2013 Packers team.
- The safeties had a collective rating of -15 (not including the secondary as a whole). It's obvious the Packers need an upgrade at this position.
- Offensive tackles had a collective rating of -12, mainly due to the play of Don Barclay and Marshall Newhouse.
- Assuming Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari man the tackle positions next year, Don Barclay is a backup, Derek Sherrod's health improves and Marshall Newhouse leaves in free agency, the Packers should be in much better shape at tackle next season.