Packers Stock Report Week 17: Packers Awful First Half Sets up Second Half Comeback and First Round Bye

Happy New Year everyone, here are the first Packer New Year's cheers of 2020.  

I was on the edge of my seat about to scream at the TV as any rational adult would, when the Packers finally got it together and engineered a second half comeback.  Rodgers was utterly dreadful overthrowing his receivers 16 times which put him on the same level as Josh Freeman at the end of his NFL career.  The bottomline is the Packers won their 13th game and secured the number 2 seed in the NFC.  The talk right now is the Packers are the worst 13 win team in NFL history, the reality is that if you win 13 games in a season you've clearly done something right.  In honor of the New Year I will be rewarding cheers to those responsible for saving the Packers on Sunday.

Cheers:

1. Aaron Jones:

This is Aaron Jones team now.  Anytime the Packers need a touchdown or a game changing play, Aaron Jones manages to come through for the Packers.  On Sunday, Aaron Jones found a way to weave his way through the Lions defense enroute to putting the Packers into field goal range.  3 Cheers for Aaron Jones!

2. Za'Darius Smith:

Although Za'Darius did not register a sack, he was under David Blough's chin what seemed like all day.  Za'Darius's persistence paid off in the second half as Blough was forced to throw the ball away and rush his throws which halted their second half passing attack and lead to Blake Martinez's game changing interception.  3 Cheers for Captain Z!!!

3. Blake Martinez:

It's been a struggle this year for Blake trying to live up to his expectations with a broken hand.  Sunday's game was a release for him as he was able to register a key sack and provide the Packers with the turnover, they needed in crunch time.  Blake Martinez is a huge reason for why the Packers have a first round bye this week, three cheers for him!

4. Aaron Rodgers:

Aaron gets one cheer for the three crucial throws that he made to shift the momentum in Green Bay's favor which ultimately was the difference between a win and a loss.  Beautiful pass to Davante, great throw to find Lazard, and a typical Aaron Rodgers like throw to complete the screen pass to Aaron Jones.

5. Mason Crosby:

Mason has been clutch this season and has made countless big kicks for the Packers during his career.  With the state of kicking in the NFL being the way it is, it makes you appreciate Mason that much more.  3 cheers for Money Mason!  

Jeers:

1. Rodgers and the Receivers:

Rodgers was dreadful for 80-85% of the game and it brings up the question of whether he is on the decline.  I think it is pretty evident he is on the decline, he's even said he can see the 18th hole, but I'm not sure that I believe he is on the level of a Josh Freeman.  Let's look at the talent at the wide receiver position whose name is not Davante Adams.  Leading off we have Geronimo Allison who may very well be the worst receiver in the NFL to have received significant reps throughout the season.  His lack of production has allowed Allen Lazard to emerge but he is the only receiver who has consistently contributed during the latter part of this season.  

Secondly, we have the immortal Marquez Valdes-Scantling who has engineered one of the greatest disappearing acts of all-time.  Instead of continuing to develop, MVS has grown distant with his quarterback and as a result, his development has grinded to a halt.  Rounding it out, we have the over the hill Jimmy Graham (tight end) who has forgotten how to catch basic passes.  I think after enough reps, we can see that the Jimmy Graham experiment has been a disappointment and he and Rodgers have failed to develop any chemistry over the last two seasons.  

With all of that being said, Aaron Rodgers needs to be more accurate with his passes and try at all costs to get his receivers on the same page.  Even the smallest improvement will make a big difference in the Packers passing game.  If he can get hot over the next (potentially) three games, look out!        

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (29)

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Bearmeat's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:00 pm

I hated the Jimmy signing when it happened, and I hate it now. Gute's biggest mess up so far has been Graham.

Gute's second-biggest mess up was counting on key reps from a trio of UDFA's and last day picks at WR.

Gute's third-biggest mess up was not admitting his mistake midseason and getting a 1 year rental from E Sanders or something like that. I know Nagler disagrees here, but he's wrong. :P

Gute's fourth-biggest mess up was... nothing. He's done an admirable job overall in his 2 drafts and has mostly done well with free agency.

It's easy to be salty. But it is also important to remember that this team has vastly overachieved vs. expectations. It's been a good year and if the passing game can get on track somewhat in the next two years, we are going to have an opportunity to win a Lombardi. Assuming we don't this year, that is.

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sonomaca's picture

January 01, 2020 at 11:36 am

Sanders has really made a difference in SF. I think Rodgers would have been best buds with him, as he is with most vets of a certain age. Missed opportunity there.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Bearmeat.... the #2 WR in this offense is a blocker or a decoy on most plays. Why spend resources to get some “name” guy instead of trusting their draft board and seeing if somebody develops?

We went 13-3 without Sanders. Would we have gone 14-2 with him? Is the difference between him and Lazard enough to make the difference in the playoffs against New Orleans?

This is our order of battle: RB Jones/Williams
WR Adams
TE
#2 WR

With the players we had, we went 13-3. This is not Fantasy League. We’re not going to have above average players at every position, but we have an offense that can move the ball and score points.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 01, 2020 at 03:43 pm

Sadly, and to our great detriment, this is true:

" [T]he #2 WR in this offense is a blocker or a decoy on most plays."

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Leatherhead's picture

January 01, 2020 at 03:54 pm

65 plays. 30 runs. 35 passes.

Target Adams 10 times. Target the RBs 7 times, target the TE 7 times.

That means you’ve got 10 shots to a WR other than Adams. On the other 55 plays, he’s a blocker or a decoy. And we have kept our QB healthy and won 13 games.

I fail to see the great detriment. It looks like intelligent design to me.

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2020 at 08:51 pm

This functions on the premise that having a higher-end second WR doesn't shift the target distribution.

Maybe one week DA gets 10 targets...the next week he gets 5. While perhaps it makes little difference in W/L in the regular season, it makes you better suited to handle teams with a legit shutdown CB who travels with Adams.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 02, 2020 at 09:38 pm

If you total up the production of the WRs not named Adams, our #2 WR position has been pretty productive.

Are you advocating having more than one #1 WR? And how many corners do you believe could shut down Rodgers to Adams?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:02 pm

A 3rd and 4th is a lot to pay for a half season rental. Although if it buys you a Superbowl trip it's not much different from a 4th and a 5th.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 01, 2020 at 03:37 pm

Denver sent a 5th rounder with Sanders. At the time, Denver was 2-5, so its 5th figured to be closer to a late 4th. Kind of. Anyway, Denver then won 5 of 9, so its fifth is middle late now. That's how the ball bounces.

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Lphill's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:07 pm

During the season there were some veteran middle linebackers available no moves were made , although they tinkered with a return man and finally struck gold I don’t understand the inaction on middle linebacker.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:44 pm

We already have a Pro Bowler at that position. It’s not that hard to understand.

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Bure9620's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Gute, like TT, does not value off the ball LB. Same in Pettine's scheme. The Packers will not break the bank to keep Martinez, nor anyone else.....

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albert999's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:21 pm

You can’t win all your moves....ask any champion chess player

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Qoojo's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:02 pm

Looks like you offended one of the snowflakes here

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splitpea1's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:28 pm

Our receiving TEs will have only minimal experience once Graham is let go; I'll be interested to see how this situation is handled in the off-season. Do they roll the dice with Tonyan and Sternberger, or do they look for veteran help to solidify the position?

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Bure9620's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:52 pm

The more I watch Jeudy from Alabama, the more I want the Packers to draft him if available late in the first which he could be. Fits the Packers usual WR threshhold for measurables as well.

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stockholder's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:46 pm

Defense wins championships, not offense. Judy is a top 5 Wr and will be gone when the packers pick. You may not like this, but Gute should draft Defense again this year. There are 45 Wrs in this draft. Picking late; the packers still can draft 3 excellent Wrs. There are 5 ILB that will go in two and 5. If Gute does take offense early. He should sign a FA DL first. Then find the LOVE of his heart. I prefer Higgins over Jeudy. Pre draft mock is J. Jefferson Wr LSU.

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Bure9620's picture

January 01, 2020 at 02:59 pm

Stockholder, I would not mind a defensive game changer. In this particular draft however, I see more offensive field flippers than defensive.

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Hematite's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:51 pm

It's been predicted that the Lions will take Jeudy with their first pick.
Even if they don't, he won't drop anywhere close to the 32nd pick.

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Ryan3468's picture

January 01, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Going 0-3 drafting revivers in the same year isn’t acceptable. Hopefully the dude on IR can manage to play next year. We need guys who can catch, and run routes, and block. Here is to hoping.

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dobber's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:29 pm

"Going 0-3 drafting revivers in the same year isn’t acceptable. "

Moore ended up on the Browns' practice squad. MVS regressed. ESB got hurt. There's no risk in letting them work through the off-season and compete for a roster spot in 2020. I don't know what people legitimately expected from this group to begin with. They took three stabs in the 4th round and beyond and two of those guys are still with the team. The bigger issue was not at least trying to augment a player group that was Adams and a bunch of nobodies with some veteran competition.

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stockholder's picture

January 01, 2020 at 02:22 pm

The bigger issue is the hype in camp, after these Wrs changed and failed so much. Not to mention Adams and Brown CB.

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Demon's picture

January 01, 2020 at 04:29 pm

Hey dobber, do you remember when the 3 receivers were drafted the guy who claimed that they reminded him of jerry rice, sterling sharpe and randy moss? That was before they took a single snap in training camp
.
Then had the gall to tell me i didnt know what i was talking about when i suggested that he curb his enthusiasm.

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Qoojo's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:05 pm

MVS has one more year to develop, and then ESB comes back next year too. If Allison makes the team next year, then the WR talent is still pretty sad.

Graham...*sigh*...every play to him is worse than a coin flip's chance on whether the result will be a positive for the team.

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stockholder's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:13 pm

This isn't SI's swim calendar. And it's not a beauty contest between Jones, Rodgers, Smith, Martinez, and Crosby. We need everybody in the playoffs. The can dos have shown up. They need to keep showing up. But- Putting Rodgers and his receivers into the gloom and doom column, just isn't them. We have seen better from everyone. No matter what, It's all that they can do now.

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jeschon's picture

January 01, 2020 at 01:40 pm

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EdsLaces's picture

January 01, 2020 at 06:29 pm

Has 12 not been different since the Anthony Barr fiasco? I swear he has been off ever since that injury.

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porupack's picture

January 02, 2020 at 06:38 am

seems like a phisher got into CHTV; Tonnyken and jeshcon are similar attempts (in non-native English) to divert to offsite.

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longjumper's picture

January 15, 2020 at 04:03 am

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