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Packers Stock Watch: Post Week 3 Edition

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Packers Stock Watch: Post Week 3 Edition

With the Green Bay Packers (1-2) falling to the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) Sunday in what can only be considered a nauseating rollercoaster ride for both clubs, it seemed natural to put together the first stock report of the 2013 season.

The ebbs and flows of a stock exchange defined Green Bay's performance. The Packers scored the game's middle 30 points in consecutive fashion, but also allowed the first 14 and final 20 to lose, 34-30.

Below is a look at those who saw their stock rise and fall during Sunday's 34-30 loss in Cincinnati:

Stock Up

RB Johnathan Franklin: During the dying embers of training camp, a ridiculous but audible presence emerged that surmised Franklin was on the roster bubble. He likely never was. The fourth-round pick from UCLA certainly wasn't impressive in August, and his struggles in pass protection were a legitimate concern. But Sunday provided all the evidence needed for why the Packers were willing to stick with him through early growing pains. He can be a dynamic mover in space, and his patience and quick-twitch skills while working with the first-team offense were a far cry from the dud performances he produced with the preseason scrubs. Franklin's catastrophic fourth-quarter fumble will obviously live on as the black eye of his NFL debut. But before Sunday, would anyone have argued that Franklin was capable of a 100-yard performance against the Bengals front seven? He belongs.

DL Datone Jones: Worry began to reverberate when Jones, the Packers first-round pick in April, was quiet during his first two NFL games. Patience is a virtue. The rookie played 35 snaps and was asked to play disciplined in his rush lanes against two mobile quarterbacks. On Sunday, he finally started to make his presence felt. Jones was in on a sack and forced fumble of Andy Dalton in the first half, and then later blocked an extra point attempt that kept the Packers lead at three. Both were flash plays worthy of a top pick. As Jones' ankle heals and his role increases, expect more of the same. He's going to be a player.

CB Sam Shields: Bengals receiver A.J. Green beat Shields clean for a third quarter touchdown, but it's hard to knock the overall performance from Green Bay's best cover cornerback. In the hierarchy of elite receivers, Green is somewhere near the top. With his deep speed and long arms, Shields mostly eliminated the Bengals' 6'4" receiver. Green was targeted a team-high eight times but caught just four for 46 yards. Shields even recorded his first interception of 2013 on a third-down play that helped turn the momentum in Green Bay's favor.


Stock Down

QB Aaron Rodgers: Since 2008, there have been precious few weeks where you could legitimately call Rodgers a primary reason for why the Packers lost a football game. Sunday might be one. His first interception was more a causation of James Jones not finishing his route than a poor throw, but the second was a forced decision and a game-changing play. The two second-half turnovers tilted momentum back Cincinnati's way after the Packers had a road win by the neck. Rodgers' entire afternoon was mostly uncharacteristic and sloppy, and he finished with his worst passer rating (64.5) in a game he's completed since October 2010 (59.7, at New York Jets). Luckily for the Packers, these days at the office are a rarity for Rodgers. But Green Bay lost a game it should have won Sunday in large part because of the failures of its quarterback.

KR Jeremy Ross: The Packers are no longer an offense that relies on all five receivers to play snaps in a given game. Ross is on the 53-man roster because of his ability on special teams, not as a legitimate offensive weapon. He failed his primary objective Sunday. The muffed kick in the first quarter handed the Bengals an early 14-0 lead before Rodgers even stepped foot onto the field. The Packers probably should have overcame the miscue and won the game, but it's hard enough to beat good teams on the road without special teams mistakes. That's now two huge blunders in the past four games for Ross.

Staying Healthy: Mike McCarthy and the Packers coaching staff made another concerted effort this offseason to decrease the number of injuries. Well, a lot of the same problems in the training room have remained. Concussions like the ones suffered by Eddie Lacy and Jermichael Finley are unavoidable, but the hamstrings of Morgan Burnett, Casey Hayward and Clay Matthews might be the difference between 1-2 and 3-0. Losing James Starks to a knee injury was seemingly negated by Franklin's big day, but it also forced the Packers to be limited in the running game during the second half with only one running back available. Finley's head injury in the first quarter appeared to throw Green Bay's game plan into complete disarray, and Andy Dalton threw for 168 of his 235 yards after Matthews exited in the second half. The absences of Burnett and Hayward have rippled through the passing defense, especially back in Week 1. Every team deals with injuries during a given year, but the Packers seem to get stung at the worst times, year-after-year.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (34) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Completely agree...

I still think it is comical that so many people wanted the Packers to cut Franklin...
Cut a 4th round pick because he didn't look the best in preseason games, behind a backup OL that most are not even on the team.

I couldn't agree more with the players with stock up and down. Rodgers should never been on this list, but yesterday was probably his worst game that I can remember. If he is even 'good' Packers win the game.

Derek in CO's picture

Don't forget Kuhn on the hamstring list. CM3 has been plagued by a bad hammy every year he's been in the league. Don't forget Desmond Bishop's hammy. We continually lead the league in hamstring injuries, even the meatball Troy Aikman pointed it out. this is an epidemic in GB and needs to be addressed.

Evan's picture

"We continually lead the league in hamstring injuries..."

Can you support that with anything?

Derek in CO's picture

yeah, look it up.

Evan's picture

haha....You're going to keep it to yourself?

Derek in CO's picture
Chad Toporski's picture

Of course he is! Why should he share information that backs up his claim? That's just crazy talk...

C's picture

For starters, your trying to make the case that the Packers are an outlier with hamstring injuries, but fail to post any evidence of how they compared to the overall league during the periods you posted. Comparing the Packers to the Packers proves zilch.

Best of all your first link shows the Bengals themselves reported 3 hamstring injuries prior to the game on the official injury report.


C's picture

Just did. Prior to kick-off the official league-wide injury report specifically indicated 29 'hamstring' injuries. Other injuries were 'generic' in nature and very well could have been hamstring injuries as well. And that's just what's reported. There are currently 156 players on season ending IR. I have no idea how many additional players are on the PUP or IR designated to return lists.

some guy's picture

so when troy aikman says he has never seen anything like what the packers are experiencing we should just ignore what we see and what he says unsolicited

There's something up. this is a chronic problem. not the ACL's or broken bones, but the lingering muscle pulls and strains.

C's picture

I'm not ignoring anything, I heard what he said. He gave no context to league-wide trends nor did he provide any reference whatsoever. Feel free to look up the weekly injury reports provided by any number of websites and look for yourself.

Why exactly are your proping up Troy Aikmen as an arguement from authority type of person? Cramming it in because it fits your predetermined arguement?

Beep's picture

Hamstring Stretching with Duke Sports Medicine

Stroh's picture

You don't honestly think that that stretch is in anyway helpful for athletes do you? That's about the most basic stretch there is and is a good place for the sedentary to start, not for athletes.

Derek in CO's picture

just IMO, I think the Packers are either overtraining or undertraining the hamstrings, or something. It's just not right. I hate Troy Aikman, but am I the only one who heard that?

Longshanks's picture

I personally would love to see Teddy T fire the entire medical staff and think outside the box this time and hire someone like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. A little Wax On and Wax Off drills for the players instead of what they are doing now. Throw in meditation, bird watching etc to calm their minds. These hamstrings are killing us so whatever the eff they are doing now is not working.

Stroh's picture

If either it would likely be undertraining IMO. Hamstrings can be difficult to train correctly. Some of the power drills they do don't target the hamstring enough. Movements like cleans specifically don't cause the type of stretch to enhance flexibility. The best movement would be squats to parallel. That has its drawbacks in that it doesn't enhance explosiveness, just strength. A combination of the 2 is needed. But as far as I know both Squats and hang cleans are part of their training regime, along w/ some plyometrics. The big thing is that during a game the players have extraordinary high levels of adrenaline and testosterone in their systems, which don't get nearly as high during training sessions. So the players can never train at as high a level of effort as when they are playing in a game.

Also Haywards injury along w/ a couple others leading into training camp happened when the players weren't being supervised by the Packers. So they were either training on their own or w/ a trainer of their choice. Those can't be held against the Packers training staff.

66Paperboy's picture

I did a spreadsheet on the league wide injury list on Sunday night. There were 19 teams with one hamstring injury. Two teams with 2 hamstring injuries. And one team with 4 hamstring injuries- guess which one had 4? But MM & Ted dont think it is a problem.

mudduckcheesehead's picture


C's picture

I did a spreadsheet too. Noticed the Vikings have 4 shoulder injuries, persistant ones too, but no hamstring injuries. Packers have no shoulder injuries, but a string of hamstring injuries. Vikings trainers/medical staff are awesome at treating hamstrings, but incompetent at treating shoulders. Packers are awesome at preventative shoulder injury measures, but incompetent with hamstrings.

I know, let's have a training/medical staff exchange and we can share competetive trade secrets to fill in the gap!

Idiot Fan's picture

Interesting take from one of the writers on Football Outsiders: "This may sound silly considering there were a zillion turnovers in this game, but as I watched this game I kept thinking to myself 'these are Super Bowl teams.'"

PackerPete's picture

how about McCarthy on the stocks down list? NO, not about 4th & inches, even though the play call for that was atrocious. Why the middle of the field was not attacked at all when the Bengals left if open all game long is beyond me. Sure, Finley is probably your best to exploit that area, but is he the only player we have who can? What about running Boykin down the middle? How about some creative things for Cobb? Even Quarless, when called upon, was sent down the sideline. I feel with an emerging running game, games can be won with short passes, not the big throws down the sideline. Best example was when Rodgers missed James Jones. He could've easily picked up a first down running or just a short dump off to Quarless, but chose to go for the big pass. Next play after that was the first INT. Had the Packers moved the ball consistently through the middle, the Bengals would've had to back off the WRs on the side at some point. That game should've been over at half time had the offense scored TDs when given the ball deep in Bengals territory 3 times (the 4th was the D TD), and how there wasn't a single point scored after being up 30-14 is really discouraging. Given that the 49ers are imploding, one has to wonder whether the Packers are very good. They are 1-2 against teams with a combined record of 3-6...
I think this is a 9-7 team, which is ok overall, but I think better playcalling would ensure them a place in the playoffs. And people who are saying that the schedule will get easier, you are kidding yourself. Games within the NFC north are never easy, and other than that, the easy teams are the Browns and the Steelers. That's it.

Chad Toporski's picture

Yeah, cause the Giants sure are lighting it up lately...

Out of curiosity, which 5 games do you see them losing during the remainder of the season?

PackerPete's picture

@Ravens, @Vikings, Bears (home), Falcons (home), @Cowboys. the @Vikings since there is always one bad game that the Packers have in a season, and I didn't see that happen yet. But even if the Packers win one of the ones I listed, they still have to play @Lions and @Bears...

Christian's picture

If they keep playing like yesterday they will lose against any team who can outmuscle them. That is what happened until now: The 49ers and Bengals just had more power on both lines to dominate that area, and the Packers had no answer. McCarthy and Capers are just no good adjusting the game plan on the fly.

So they will have a hard time against the Lions, Vikings and Bears. But in all matchups you can hope that the opponent will lose the game so the Packers dont have to win it on their own. The Lions will do this with crappy pass defense, the Vikings with their inability to win through the air and the Bears by brain farts of Cutler.

But I see them lose to the Falcons, @Ravens, @Bears and @Cowboys. That would make it a 10-6 season, with the Bears being the No.1 seed in the NFC North. 10-6 might make the playoffs, but one more misstep (I guess anyone can see a loss to the Eagles or @Giants who will not mail it in for the season) and they can wave the playoffs bye bye.

hayward4president's picture

I believe it was Nagler that told me to give Datone some more time before I write him off. Well Nagler.....I am happy to admit you were right and I was wrong. Great play on the forced fumble and a blocked extra point I mean wow who does that?

TGJP's picture

Its kind of crazy to think Rodgers stock could go down, but he was a bit turnover prone, Bengals D was dominant. When we're talking about a complete team, i don't know which of those two is a real contender

mudduckcheesehead's picture


keith carterke's picture

Mistakes are something other teams make. We could have won that one. Oneice in a while Rogers doesn't cover everyones elses mistakes and this was one of those time. When Hayward and Burnett are back onthe field all will be ok.

mudduckcheesehead's picture


TommyG's picture

Impossible. His pacing is all wrong, and the statement ends with something positive. The bovine is out there though!

Doug In Sandpoint's picture

I am hearing so much about the Bears I want to puke. I still don't believe they are a good ball club. We are essentially tied with them right now because we will sweep them and then own the tiebreaker on head to head games.

They've had two home games and then the Steelers who suck and their fans thing they are SB bound. Can't wait for them to get hammered on the road by anyone decent. How in the world did they beat the Bengals? Shades of 2010...THE BEARS SUCK!!!

Probably didn't belong here but thanks for letting me vent.

mudduckcheesehead's picture

Bear still suck. Keep the faith, brother.

Fi crane's picture

The weirdest thing. I had a spirit message that the packers were going to block that extra point. Who the hell does that? Must have been something jones did pre snap ? Or I have left the building.

Lou's picture

STOCk UP - Why Taylor made the 53
Taylor's prowess on special teams receives the press it should and because of few chances on offense the press implies that is the negative part of his game. That changed Sunday, I can't remember a tight end that blocked as aggressively as he did on every play since Ed West was in Green Bay. The kid gave effort like "Rocky Balboa", no wonder he is on the 53.
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"The Bears still suck!"
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
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