"Chips Report" from Packers Week 16 Win at Buccaneers

Wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were two of the heroes in the Green Bay Packers' 20-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Our weekly "Chips Report" will always include two blue chips (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chips (good, although maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the Green Bay Packers' 20-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers...

 

Blue Chips

  • Wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb—It's impossible to pick who had the better game between the two Packers wide receivers, so both get top honors this week. Cobb set new career highs with 11 catches for 131 yards, seemingly every one of them going for a first down. Nelson, meanwhile, caught all nine targeted passes, also eclipsing the 100-yard receiving milestone (113 total). The outcome was clinched when Nelson caught the game-winning touchdown from Aaron Rodgers with less than three minutes to go in the game, giving the Packers an insurmountable 20-3 lead.
  • Safety Morgan Burnett—Perhaps inspired by being voted a postseason captain by his teammates, Burnett made a living around the line of scrimmage on Sunday. A team-leading 10 tackles only begins to tell the story of the impact Burnett had against the Buccaneers. He combined with defensive lineman Mike Daniels on a sack, blitzing off the edge, while also finishing the game with one tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit. The amount of tackles Burnett made short of the first-down marker was incredibly impressive.

 

Red Chips

  • Linebacker Clay Matthews—Matthews was too much too handle as a pass rusher from his right outside linebacker spot for the Buccaneers offensive line. On the day, he made 2.5 sacks of the seven total by the Packers. His quickness off the edge could not be neutralized as Matthews racked up four quarterback hits and also batted down one pass on a third down, resulting in an incompletion and a punt by the Tampa Bay offense. Matthews' biggest impact might have come on the line of scrimmage, but he also solid at inside linebacker and did a fine job when asked to drop into coverage, making at least one tackle short of the sticks following a reception.
  • Quarterback Aaron Rodgers—It may not have always been pretty, but credit Rodgers for coming through with a gritty performance. Reportedly coming into the game with a cold and getting his ankle rolled up early on in the game, Rodgers was at less than 100 percent and overcame an early fumble that gave the Buccaneers an extra possession. The Packers quarterback, however, went on to complete 31 of 40 passes for 318 yards, helping the Packers to convert 23 first downs. His strike to Nelson late in the fourth quarter was what Packers radio announce Wayne Larrivee would call "the dagger."

 

Cow Chips

  • Running back James Starks—The blocking wasn't perfect, but Starks didn't make anything happen on his own either. He had seven carries for just three yards and a couple of his rushes ending in negative yardage. While he chipped in four receptions, Starks dropped what could have been a fifth. Perhaps most telling, when Eddie Lacy exited the game with cramps in the fourth quarter, the Packers refused to give Starks the ball in crunch time. Even John Kuhn was a more trusted runner when the game was on the line.
  • Wide receiver Davante Adams—Adams had two drops on Sunday, both for what would have been first downs. The first was a deep route down the left sideline in the first quarter, which could've been a big gain. Adams' second drop occurred in the red zone, instead forcing the Packers to settle for a field goal. The rookie wide receiver's production has gone backwards in recent weeks, but the bigger problem is that no receivers are stepping up other than Nelson and Cobb. If that trend continues, it will be a problem for the Packers in the playoffs.

 

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor at Cheesehead TV and its "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Comments (31)

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Nerd's picture

December 21, 2014 at 03:25 pm

Adams is fine. Dude is a rookie. He's WAY ahead of where Jennings, Jones, Jordy or Cobb were as rookies.

Morgan Burnett's really started to show up.

Nice to see Clay and Julius make some plays.

Huge game next week.

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 21, 2014 at 03:40 pm

You are right but he's also the #3 receiver for the Green Bay Packers this year, and how far they go in the playoffs may very well depend on how well he performs, as in the New England game.

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Guisado's picture

December 21, 2014 at 04:14 pm

Totally agree. You don't get a pass for being a rookie. Sure, Adams has a bright future, but as the #3 he's expected to make catches today. It's a shame Boykin disappeared. I really thought he'd fill the #3 this year while Adams developed. This offense needs 3 or 4 trustworthy WR's to run the table.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 21, 2014 at 04:50 pm

What Nerd asserted isn't exactly true, IMO. Adams is having a good rookie year, but IMO he doesn't come close to matching Jones, Jennings, or Cobb in their rookie years. Jones and Jennings caught 47 and 45 passes for 676 and 632 yards respectively in their rookie seasons. Adams had 36 receptions on 62 targets (58%) for 429 yards going into the Tampa Bay game. Not sure but think he put up another stinker, maybe 1 reception on 3 or 4 targets for 8 yards or so. He has one more game, but short of a great game, he will fall significantly short of Jones and Jennings' rookie seasons . Randall Cobb had 25 receptions on 31 targets (80.6%) for 375 yards and a 15.0 average in his rookie year. While it is true that Adams has more receptions and yards than Cobb had in his rookie year, GB had Nelson (68/1263), Jennings (67/949), Finley (55/767), Jones (38/635) and Driver (37/445) all playing ahead of him. Given the quality and production of the 4 receivers ahead of him, it is amazing that Cobb managed to get on the field much at all as a rookie.

The part that concerns me is the 36 receptions is off of 62 targets, which translates into a completion rate of 58%. Cobb's % his rookie year was 80%, meaning he earned his playing time. Defenses are trying to force Adams to beat us, though obviously Nelson and Cobb are really good and usually get their receptions, so with the lack of any, and I mean any, viable receiving alternative from the TEs or Boykin, Adams is getting targeted. I like Adams, but if he doesn't step it up, or one of the TEs or Boykin, then this could be a problem against good defenses.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 21, 2014 at 06:24 pm

If TE's show, biggest if, all will be well.

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sonomaca's picture

December 22, 2014 at 01:48 am

Why not give Janis, White or Gillette a chance. Gillett is 6' 1" and 214 pounds. Good hands. Possession type guy that Rodgers can find in a pinch.
'

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Big Moe's picture

December 25, 2014 at 12:59 am

I would love to see Janis get some chances,

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 21, 2014 at 03:28 pm

It's really nice to see Burnett play well. Drafting Ha Ha is making both safety positions better. I hope Morgan keeps gaining confidence. We need him to have a good post season.

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Wenis's picture

December 21, 2014 at 03:30 pm

Cow Chip to the redzone offense that continues to struggle to convert anything but a FG.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

December 21, 2014 at 04:12 pm

I know how to fix that.

Put Rodgers' under Center more times than he's in Shotgun. I really do think PA under Center is way more affective compare to Shotgun.

If you wanna pound the ball - don't get too fancy. Just bulk up and run plays up the middle or right.

If you wanna pass the ball - put 2 Wrs and 2 TEs out there or 3 Wrs and 1 TE, put Rodgers under Center and PA to Lacy's big ass.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 21, 2014 at 06:30 pm

Totally agree. We have become kind of predictable, What's point of all WR sets, and shotgun within 15 yards. PA would shake things up.

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Mojo's picture

December 21, 2014 at 03:31 pm

Hard to say if our D was good or Tampas O was that horrible.

Still what we'd been expecting for weeks is about to occur next week. The O-line looked a little shaky in pass pro for the first time in a while. Need a better game from them next week. The TE's and Adams need to show-up. Can't expect Jordy and Randall to do everything.... or can we. Should be interesting,

And then there's the battle for the NFC south. Epic,

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Big Moe's picture

December 25, 2014 at 01:03 am

"And then there's the battle for the NFC south. Epic"

LMFAO!!!

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Big Moe's picture

December 25, 2014 at 01:03 am

"And then there's the battle for the NFC south. Epic"

LMFAO!!!

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TommyG's picture

December 21, 2014 at 03:34 pm

Blue: HaHa. I don't care what some say, this guy has allowed burnett to play much better than he did last year. Having Dix back there has made the single biggest difference in our secondary this year.

Red: Peppers. Not invisible. He showed up on some key plays today including the sack fumble.

cow: Wenis already said it, the red zone offense. I was screaming (as were many) to pound that ball with lacy and starks on the goal line.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

December 21, 2014 at 04:15 pm

"Blue: HaHa. I don't care what some say, this guy has allowed burnett to play much better than he did last year."

I don't think you'll be hearing/seeing any Pack fans disputing that.

As far running - I sometimes feel a bit bad for Starks. Does he even get Red Zone/Goal Line carries?

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Zola Davis's picture

December 21, 2014 at 07:48 pm

Starks won't be a Packed next year.

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Zola Davis's picture

December 21, 2014 at 09:31 pm

OK, maybe they're saving him for the playoffs but one drop last week put him
back on the sidelines IMH0 he won't be back next year.

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Zola Davis's picture

December 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm

OK, maybe they're saving him for the playoffs but one drop last week put him
back on the sidelines IMH0 he won't be back next year.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 22, 2014 at 12:52 am

Starks cap hit next year is only $1.8 million, not bad for a guy that many think could be the starter at least for a game to two. At that price, I would think he will be back. Since Dujuan Harris can't find the field, he is the one that should be looking over his shoulder at someone like Rajion Neal or some other replacement.

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Brian Murphy's picture

December 21, 2014 at 04:27 pm

I love Davante, and that's the jersey my little son is getting for Christmas.
But he's killing us.

He's not reliable to catch big passes,
and he's often not on the same page as Rodgers is.

Rookie excuses are done now. Odell Beckham missed the first 4 games of this season. He catches harder passes with one hand. Get Adams those gloves.

And why didn't Janis ever get a chance? He can't drop as many. He's faster. He's bigger.

As we have learned at Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle, vs NE, they can take away Jordy & Cobb.

We miss James Jones & Greg Jennings. And really, Jermike Finley.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 21, 2014 at 05:06 pm

+1

Um, Beckham was the 12th pick, but your points are valid. I assume that there are reasons why Bostick went from being the #1 TE to not being able to play any offensive snaps, and that there is a reason why Janis has really not gotten a chance. But if GB cannot find a spark by changing things up schematically or by play calling, then it appears to me that an infusion of talent from Bostick or Janis might be worth trying as each brings things athletically that is not currently on the field.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

December 21, 2014 at 06:23 pm

Don't go putting too much stock into these rookies....

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badaxed's picture

December 21, 2014 at 07:30 pm

How do you know if they will fail or succed unless they are given a chance in a game situation.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

December 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

And there's no team out there that can truly take away Cobb. We can line him up literally anywhere

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Lphill's picture

December 21, 2014 at 05:46 pm

its nice to be 11 and 4 . thats all I can say, should make for a nice Christmas for all of us.

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cheesehead1's picture

December 21, 2014 at 06:19 pm

A win is a win, even though GB wasn't especially sharp. They must pick it up big time from now on. Defense was very good but remember it was against TB just like last week in BUF. Two very poor offenses to say the least. Hope Adams can have a good practice week to get some confidence back, if not, then why not give Janis a shot. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the loss in BUF might come back to haunt them. Go Pack!

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tm_inter's picture

December 22, 2014 at 02:33 am

I hope the Packers put Janis in the team when they next meet the Seahawks because they need something different to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Janis could be an element of surprise both as receiver and kickoff returner.

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lou's picture

December 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

Quick fixes are not SOP for the Packers, so they will probably stay with Adams through the post season, he has a bright future but it looks like he has hit the rookie Wall, maybe a bye week before the home play off game cures that. Janis would certainly be a welcome addition as the 4th WR, Boykin just can't catch the ball - period and as a kick returner. In addition I was hoping to see Bostick given some chances, his ability to run the seam against a team like Seattle would be a "secret weapon" and open it up for the WR's.

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sonomaca's picture

December 22, 2014 at 01:05 pm

Off Topic: great story about ex-Packer Jumal Rolle:

espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12027279/houston-texans-jumal-rolle-driven-mom-memory-ill-son

His mom dies and his son has a brain tumor.

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Spud Rapids's picture

December 22, 2014 at 01:17 pm

I think we need to suppress the urge to put Janis in... I think we're all too caught up in the measurables. He may be big and fast but Adams is a really good route runner for a rookie. Yes he has had his rookie moments but remember he was a major contributor in the win over the Patriots.

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