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Packers Stock Report: There's Plenty to Feel Good About

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Packers Stock Report: There's Plenty to Feel Good About

Both games the Packers have played this season have been full of memorable moments, close calls, emotional pendulum swings and—for fans—tension headaches. Eventually the Packers have to play a normal football game that doesn’t raise the collective blood pressure in Wisconsin, right?

We can hope.

Yet after about nine quarters of football against divisional opponents, the Packers have emerged unbeaten and relatively healthy. It appears Aaron Rodgers is still formidable even with the injured knee, and it’s hard to ask for too much more this early on. With all the negativity and lamentation after a tie with Minnesota, let’s start the stock report with some positivity.

Stock Rising: Buy! Buy! Buy!

Jimmy Graham: I thought the Packers’ new tight end might struggle to put up numbers in a tough matchup against the Vikings, but he showed Sunday that he can still be a weapon that requires game plan attention. Graham caught six passes on eight targets for 95 yards, and his day could have been more impressive, had a 12-yard touchdown reception not been negated by a Lane Taylor holding penalty.

Graham’s role has been bigger than I expected, and his ability to line up as a wide receiver has kept the touted trio of rookies on the bench for the most part. Graham played 58 of a possible 77 offensive snaps Sunday, way more than any other tight end (Lance Kendricks, 27 snaps) or fourth wide receiver option (Marquez Valdes-Scantling, six snaps).

The towering tight end also very nearly came down with a highly contested touchdown over the middle on a free play, and it occurred to me that Graham will have at least one ridiculous moment this season on such a play. Rodgers is enough of an assassin about catching defense offside or with 12 men on the field, but these risk-free shot plays can now go toward an athletic 6-foot-7 target who skies over any defender guarding him. There’s bound to be a magic moment like this sooner rather than later.

Reggie Gilbert: I’ve admittedly been a little slower to fall in love with the young edge rusher than most fans, but it really does seem like he’s been the Packers’ best outside linebacker so far. Preseason production can often be misleading, but Gilbert has produced.

He’s not a star, and the Packers still need some help rushing the passer, but Gilbert is looking more and more like a player deserving of more game snaps. Predictably, he was third in the position group in snaps Sunday, playing 34 of a possible 73 defensive plays, but he could see an increased workload in coming weeks.

Geronimo Allison: Allison was the kind of player that fans seemed to have a quiet confidence in this offseason, and he’s played well so far. G-Mo, as his quarterback calls him, hauled in all six of his targets for 64 yards Sunday. With Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham on the field, defenses are forced to treat Allison as an afterthought, and he’s made them pay enough to keep the Packers’ offense humming. Perhaps the red zone woes could be addressed by freeing up Allison, using perennial touchdown threats like Adams and Graham as decoys.

Stock Falling: Sell! Sell! Sell!

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: What a strange roller coaster of a career Clinton-Dix has had so far. The Alabama product looked like he could be a star in the making after a very productive 2016 season in which he had five interceptions and seven pass breakups.

But a sub-par 2017 had left some fans perplexed, and his shaky play has continued so far in 2018. Is he simply an average player who had one great season, or will he return to the form of two years ago? The answers aren’t clear at this time, but the Packers desperately need better safety play.

Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice, who has also struggled at times this year, both played all 73 defensive snaps Sunday. Without a viable alternative on the current roster, the chances of general manager Brian Gutekunst looking for outside help increases game-by-game until Clinton-Dix and Brice play better.

Jamaal Williams: This is really only a soft sell, as Williams brings plenty of value to the table. He’s a tough runner with very little wasted motion, and he plays beyond his years in pass protection. As long as he’s healthy, Williams will continue to get snaps.

But two games without Aaron Jones are plenty to show why this offense needs him. Williams is a steady chain-mover but his big-play potential is limited. With Jones returning from a two-game suspension, the Packers’ running game should get some extra juice.

Ty Montgomery only played 26 snaps Sunday to Williams’ 47, so it’s likely Williams is the one whose workload starts to decrease as Jones’ is on the rise. Mike McCarthy and the offensive staff strayed from the running game in the third quarter, but one or two nice gains from Jones may reward the Packers’ play-caller a bit more for balancing the attack a little.

Officiating: Sorry, I had to go there. The Clay Matthews penalty for roughing the passer and Lane Taylor’s holding call have certainly grabbed some national attention this week, but I thought the game was poorly officiated all-around. The Packers benefitted from their own head-scratching roughing call, and a critical Geronimo Allison catch should have been ruled down by contact much earlier.

I watch plenty of college football, and the officiating at that level is horrendous and wildly inconsistent. By comparison, NFL officials generally do a very well, even as the league makes the job damn-near impossible with complicated catch rules and a never-ending carousel of points of emphasis. But Tony Corrente’s crew did not have a good game Sunday, and both fanbases were fuming afterward.

__________________________

Matt Kelley is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter via @hustleandheart1

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (63) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PatrickGB's picture

You said it well. Also the cornerbacks did pretty good for being newbies. And things got tougher when King went out. I hope he is ok because we need him.

Johnblood27's picture

The CB room is OK, even if King is out for a brief time.

The issue is with teh coaching staff that thiought House was the 4th CB and didnt go with Williams, Alexander and K
Jackson leaving House as an emergency fill in who obviously needs safety help.

Place the blame on the coaches here.

Bearmeat's picture

I have to say it:

If we stay healthy at OLB, OT, OLB and QB, this team is going to beat the pants of the Vikings in the sandcrawler in a couple of months. The young secondary will only continue to get better.

The Vikings health from 2017 cannot hold to form in 2018 again, and they have plenty of warts. Green Bay is a better team.

zoellner25's picture

I agree with you, but GB has to prove they can beat Minn, not tie

JamesFromMT's picture

I would argue that we did prove that.

Johnblood27's picture

You are who your record says you are.

Nothing more, nothing less.

zoellner25's picture

Just read Acme Packing Co's post about Earl Thomas. Trade HHCD and a 5th rounder for Thomas.

ShanghaiKid's picture

He’s looking for big money. I agree that the safety position is in need of an upgrade, but ET is not the answer to the problem.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

For me its a 1 season rental, cause if the cowboys don't make the playoffs, (which is very likely) Jerry will go and get him. He wants to be there and their secondary is young. So for me if the hawks will bite on a fourth, I'll do it. Still don't see it happening in next few weeks, cause if the hawks do trade, they are throwing up the white flag on the season.

dobber's picture

Based on this last off-season, it would be hard to put big money into a safety when the market wouldn't support it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

That trade makes more sense for GB in several ways. Thomas would cost $7.5M for the rest of this season. Sending Dix, another one-year rental, would save $5.29M. The net is the loss of $2.3M in cap space.

I think Seattle would want a 3rd round pick and HHCD. In fact, I wonder whether they'd want HHCD at all. I've been down on HHCD for 2 seasons now, so IDK. At any rate, if we sent a 2019 2nd or 3rd for Thomas, we could hope for a 2020 4th round comp pick, and who knows, it might be a third round pick. Or maybe Thomas likes it in GB, is willing to sign a reasonable extension, and forgets about Dallas? Who can say. Thomas is 29 years old, and doesn't turn 30 until May 9, 2019. He probably shouldn't decline too much in the next 3 yrs or so.

Archie's picture

Why the hell not?

LeotisHarris's picture

Eric Reid is still a free agent, and would be a huge upgrade to what we have at Safety.

croatpackfan's picture

There is the reason why Eric Reid is still FA. What do you think? All those 32 teams are stupid not to sign him? C'mon...

Spud Rapids's picture

Jaire Alexander is the real deal... I so excited to watch him blossom. It's a shame that Damarious Randall is such an idiot... he could have been a nice depth piece at safety.

EdsLaces's picture

I told ya Geronimo was being over looked in the pre season because of the rookies ....

TheBigCheeze's picture

.....what we need is the ability to challenge ANYTHING!!!!......any bad calls, or any non-calls....if you have a timeout.....anything goes......and if proceeded properly....it should not make the game any longer..(and as a football fan...it wouldn't bother me if it did)......

Minniman's picture

I totally agree.

Football already has enough stoppages (and the coaches challenge) already baked into the game that this could be easily accommodated....... and thinking about it, most of the events that would trigger such an event are clock stopping events anyway (although a failed challenge on a play that isn't a clock-stopping event could also attract a 5 yard delay of game penalty [as well as the loss of timeout] as a disincentive to "tactically" challenge).

carlos's picture

Plus by reviewing they can have another commercial and make some more money. Isn’t that basically what the game we love is about now. Wasn’t like that in the 60’s when I was watching the Packers.

Minniman's picture

I share the annoyance carlos.

If the game was sped up and the number of timeouts decreased, I wonder if gassed pass rushers actually have less energy to pound QB's - a la rugby which only has a limited number of interchange and penalties against time wasting.

I think that the 2-minute warning could also easily be removed.... but like you said - advertising revenue......... although I wouldn't quibble with the return of shirt sponsors in lieu of the 2-minute warning timeout revenue.

Turophile's picture

Instead of loading it all on the HC to make a challenge, if the ref isn't sure of ANY call, he should be able to call up to the booth for confirmation, just like they do in cricket, or rugby. You don't want the refs to dodge responsibility with too many unnecessary calls (which slow a game down), but he should have that option, if needed.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm turning the page. Time to look at the good and move forward.

Rising -

Graham - While we knew it would take some time for him to get going in the offense we are starting to see what he can do. He should have had his first TD but it was taken away. He was close to having another on the free play.

Allison/Cobb - These guys have been amazing really. Both have came up huge on 3rd downs. If Graham gets going, and these guys keep rising, defenses are going to struggle covering everyone!

Alexander/Jackson - I saw on twitter that both of these guys while covering Diggs allowed 3 receptions for 6 yards. Considering he had 9 receptions for 128 yards thats pretty incredible. These guys are the real deal!

JK Scott - Finally we have someone who isn't JAG. We have a legitimate weapon as a punter. He can flip field position like we haven't had in a long time!

Aaron Jones - I can't wait to add him to the offense. His ability as a runner/receiver gives the offense yet another weapon. Montgomery had success running, Jones will have more success!

MVS - While he didn't do that much of noteworthy, this is more of a general progression. Last week he had 2 snaps on offense. This week he had 6. He is trending upward. And when he was on the field I noticed the DB's were playing really deep on him. That is when Rodgers threw the one to him. I think they are setting him up to make a big play soon. Just can feel it...

4thand1's picture

You can't replicate game speed in practice. That's all the starters did pretty much until 2 weeks ago. AR threw 4 passes in pre season. Is it any wonder why it takes the team so long to get going? AR to JG should be one of best duos in a few weeks. I would like to see some deep threat out of one of our new young WR's. It's been said a million times in here, bring in Reid. The o line has been pretty good against 2 really good defensive fronts so far. The play calling/game plan needs help.I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a trade for a pass rusher.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I feel good about the fact that the Packers Roster is in 10x better hands than it was a year ago.

Minniman's picture

Matt, there needs to be a "watchlist" category for players on the precipice of either increasing or decreasing (more often than not decreasing though).

Watchlist: Davon House, T-Will, Lance Kendricks

Lphill's picture

Let's not forget the Packers gave up over 400 yards and 4 TD s to Cousins . That is not a good thing. And it can't all be blamed on Kings injury.

Since '61's picture

LP, the Packers gave up 425 passing yards by Cousins but 167 of those yards came after the alleged roughing penalty on Matthews. If that call is not made and the game is essentially over at that point the Packers defense has allowed 258 passing yards by Cousins plus 2 picks and the numbers look a lot better.

Not making excuses but our defense was gassed due to the heat, (losing King didn't help) then they were celebrating a win and found out they had to go back and keep fighting. They should have been off the field watching Rodgers in the victory formation.

So Cousins and the Queens received a nice statistical gift from the officials and as well not losing a game where they were done. Thanks, Since '61

Roadking's picture

I think our rookie CBS are the real deal. But still worried about our defense. Vikings scored 22 pts in 4th quarter and we had the ball for over 12 minutes. Need a pass , bikes o line average at best. Didn't get to Cousins nearly enough.

Since '61's picture

Roadking - agree on the pass rush. We need one. Thanks, Since '61

Coldworld's picture

Pass rush? Gone the way of the wing back.

Since '61's picture

It's looks like the officials are making the pass rush go the way of the wing back. Thanks, Since '61

Guam's picture

I think Gute has done an excellent job of revamping the roster in his first season and this team is competitive. I am not sure it is a Super Bowl competitive team yet, but I have hope.

I wondered how the Vikings overtook the Packers last year when we had AR (at least for part of the season) and they had a journeyman at QB. Looking at the 2013 to 2015 drafts, it didn't take long to figure it out.

Looking at the first three draft choices of those three years, we still have HHCD, D. Adams and T. Montgomery. We missed on D. Jones, E. Lacey, K. Thornton, D. Randall and Q. Rollins. A very poor batting averge for a team that did not participate in free agency under TT.

The Vikings from the same period still have S. Floyd, X. Rhodes, A. Barr, J. McKinnon, T. Waynes, E. Kendricks and D. Hunter (at least a couple of pro bowl players in there). They only missed on C. Patterson and T. Bridgewater. And the Vikings also were active in free agency.

Thanks TT.

dobber's picture

Spielman, it seems, doesn't even really seem to bother spending much draft capital on offense anymore. He goes out and buys offensive players. He's the anti-TT, though: defensive players he can find in the draft.

Johnblood27's picture

McKinnon is in Oakland...

Dash Riprock's picture

I'll throw in the punter JK Scott who's stock is rising. Hey, punters deserve some attention as well. Scott had some booming punts and appears to be getting better and better. Scott actually allows the offense to take a few more risks on offense play calling wise knowing if the play does't work, he'll more than likely get them out of bad field position. Lots to be excited about with this team this season.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

That young man flips the field and his hang time is awesome, think they have a keeper with him. If he can continue that into the winter, look out.

Dash Riprock's picture

Yep, last guy I saw with the same talent was Ray Guy a hall of famer. Had a similar build as JK Scott. Tall, skinny with long legs built for booming punts. Definitely found a keeper. Might be a lifer like Crosby.

Since '61's picture

This Packers team should be 2-0. Our OL has held up well against 2 of the better front 7s in the league. Rodgers on one leg has been better than nearly every QB in the league and our TEs and WRs look improved over last season. Once Jones returns the running game should be added to the positive factors.

Except for a poor start against the Bears (1st quarter) and a bad 4th quarter against the Queens, thanks in part to stupid officiating, the Packers defense has improved over the last 2-3 seasons especially our CB corps. (20 points allowed in the 6 quarters in between). Our DL has been solid but not great. Our pass rush is missing from the edge but our ILBs have been OK. The return of Burks should result in further improvement from our ILBs. We're hanging on at the Safety position but the level of play needs to improve at that position.

I'm giving some benefit of the doubt to our defenders as they are still learning Pettine's system. However, that benefit will wear out over the next 2-3 games and definitely after the bye week.

STs with Scott and Crosby look good. Need some help in the return game and a little more focus on coverage but overall STs have been good.

With the return of Aaron Jones, Josh Jones and Burks we could solidify 3 position groups (RB, ILB, and Safety). If that happens and we stay healthy (Enormous IF) this team will improve as the season goes on and hopefully peaks in time for a deep playoff run. And of course if the officials figure out what they are doing (I think that we have a better chance of staying healthy). Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Christopher Gennaro's picture

Agree with everything great post, I do have 1 thing around Jones return. I don't have the stats, but what are his runs from pistol and shotgun, vs Rodgers under center? Right now and for at least the next few weeks, Rodgers will not be under center, just wondering what effect it will have on Jones.

Johnblood27's picture

OK, 2 games in and without any signings from the depleted FA pool, here is what I could see as improvements.

Move TWill to S with Brice, to settle Brice and remove the apathetic Dix from the field. Save Dix for some dime alignments until he EARNS some snaps.

King, Alexander and Jackson are the future and the future is NOW. Play the boys, they deserve to learn early so we can win late. The team will not suffer, these kids can flat out ball.

CMIII to situational LB. Some OLB snaps, most of his should be ILB snaps including some 3rd down inside rush snaps.

Get Gilbert into 75+ % of the D snaps and light a fire under Perrys ass. He got paid on one year, he needs some motivation in this contract.

If the OLB room is too thin, go to more 4 man lines using the 5 DL plus Perry with his hand in the dirt if need be. Martinez can be an MLB in a 4-3 wsith MD and KC in front of him.

Consider Reid and Simon as FA pick ups. The first game is over, salaries are not guaranteed for vets. Sign them.

If, IF, very big IF, Jones and Burks can stay on the field, they can earn snaps from a better player than what we are trotting out there now. If they deserve snaps they will earn them, getting players in the defense now will not penalize the youth, it will motivate them to grow up now.

ErnieErnie's picture

Notes:
1.Zimmer got rid of kicker and vola. found a new one in one day, done deal. No draft and development its draft and produce or else on the vikings.
2. The Vikes got two easy TD's thanks to the crap play of Williams and House. Those guys were never top notch but now they are shells of themselves . Can Gutt go out and quickly get some guys with speed in one day?
Cant let these guys even take the field, they are worthless and will lose games for you.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Actually Brice blew the play to Diggs not House.

carlos's picture

And Bailey is a really good kicker when not injured.

Johnblood27's picture

Troll Be Gone!

Coldworld's picture

Not sure where all the Williams hate is coming from

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This is hilarious. Vikings kickers are more gone than producing. MN has had crap kickers now for a couple of seasons. Whatever MN is doing right, kicker so far isn't one of them.

TXCHEESE's picture

Clinton-Dix has NEVER been good. Blew an easy play against Seattle in the playoff game. The picks he made in 2016 could have been made by an 2nd team college player, and the dude has NEVER been good at tackling. If GB resigns this guy, I may just lay down and cry.
Pretty much agree with all the rest of the article and comments, except Lacey was good while he was motivated.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

If he continues to play the way he is right now, he's going to price himself out of GB. Not by his playing, but what he thinks he's worth, which I'm fine with.

carlos's picture

Agree with the dissatisfaction with HaHa’s play. Was expecting a huge change. It is hard to access safety play when watching on tv. Not always easy to see what their doing. Usually have to wait for a replay and another view.

Coldworld's picture

Dix had a key third down stop against the Bears and Brice played well. Give them time in this D, or in Brice’s case, any D.

PatrickGB's picture

As others have posted, I am ready to eat crow over my slamming Gmo. He still is not as athletic as some players we have but he does more with what he has.
BTW.
Does anybody have a good recipe for crow? Baked? Fried? Hot sauce?

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

Take 24 of them and bake in a pie. Murderous dessert.

Johnblood27's picture

I prepared that one time, gave me a pendulous pain in the pit of my stomach and I said "Nevermore!"

Jonathan Spader's picture

Save me a piece of crow pie Patrick I didn't get the hype over Alexander. I never said he'd be bad I just didn't get why people were as excited as they were. Now I get it.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Major weaknesses still. OLB is pathetic. Except for the game closing play against Bears Perry has been invisible. Clay has been visible for the wrong reasons. Gilbert barely plays and when he has hasn't really done much. No outside rush. Safety play has been poor. HaHa is never around the ball. Brice i, but a second late. D line rush hasn't been what we expected. Game calling and game management still poor. Run game nonexistent. And I think Gute has made two major mistakes. He should have paid up for Mack. He's a Hall of Fame player at our position of greatest need. A lesser mistake was not outbidding NE for Gordon. Allison is a nice player. Gordon, with AR, is a potentially great player. Ceiling so high the risk was worth a 4th. Doesn't work you tried. Does? You've got a SB. NE makes those plays and wins. Moss was a troublemaker who scored 22 TD's and helped them to an almost perfect season. Lynch in his prime could have been had for a 3rd. We flinched when we needed a RB and he carried Seattle to two SB's. Gute still has a little too much TT in him that he needs exorcised.

Bert's picture

Not sure I agree with everything you say (i.e. Gordon will more than likely go down the toilet, season is still too young to make any serious judgements) but I sure did like Johnny Logan when he played for the Braves. Good ballplayer on some really good Braves teams or sure.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Guess I'll age myself - he gave me a bat at a Boys Club meeting, Liked him a lot as a player.

Bert's picture

I'll age myself too. I still have some of the baseball cards I bought when I was a kid. I have hung on to my Braves cards from the late 50's. Johnny was a big favorite of mine.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Johnny Chicago's 1st round picks are worth more than GB's because the bears still suck. Gute did everything he could. He wanted Mack we all wanted Mack it didn't happen life goes on. Get over it and quit blaming Gute who did everything in his power to make it happen VERY unTT like.

As for Gordon the Raiders traded a 3rd rounder for Martavius Bryant how did that work out for them? Gordon has a drug problem and 1 more strike and he's out of the NFL. He's not Randy Moss who had a bad attitude and is in the Hall of Fame.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Let's start with the easy one. Bryant is nowhere near as good as Gordon. And Gordon would have cost less. It's always risk reward. The reward, if Gordon stays clean, is huge. The risk a 4th rounder. I take that risk. As for Mack, you said Gute did all he could. How do you know? Chicago gave up two firsts and a 3rd but got back a 2nd. Would you trade our two firsts and a 2nd without getting anything back? That trumps the Bears offer. I make that deal. Mack is easily worth that much, and the contract. He changes this defense which has been below average for years. I'm sure you wouldn't have traded a 1st for a hard drinking QB who never played a minute and was missing half his gut. Wolf did and landed in the Hall of Fame. And the QB played for century and never missed a game. Belichick took the risk on Moss and now on Gordon. The risk is minimal and the league let him get away with it.

stockholder's picture

This is still a team. Let the best play. But lets get those rookies in there. The point is to be victorious. While the stock on some goes up and down. It's the dividends we must be after. A Player cannot step up if we keep breaking their heart. Cool them off, or just say sit. The Trick is to keep them HOT. Hot to play. Hot to succeed. Hot to flip off the refs. You wouldn't train a dog by threats. Spanking them. And NO Rewards! It will be more disturbing to the team chemistry if you don't give them playing time. These guys can make IT. And they'll all make us proud.

Archie's picture

HHCD is a fraud. Another of TT's many 1st round busts. If ET is available for 2nd rounder I'd go get him now. If they want more, throw in Spriggs and HHCD. All non-producing TT picks must go.

Since '61's picture

Archie - give Gute another season or 2 and I believe that TT's non-producers will be gone. Thanks, Since '61

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