The Green Bay Packers’ stranglehold on the No. 1 seed in the NFC just got even tighter.
But the win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday didn’t come easy.
Still, the Packers managed to earn a victory, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals took a loss. A win is a win in the National Football League, and those are hard to come by.
So let’s take a moment and celebrate the little things, like a 1-point win, and the big things, like a third-straight NFC North division title, and dive right into the stock report for the Green Bay Packers after a 31-30 road win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15.
Aaron Rodgers- You could legitimately make a case that Aaron Rodgers should be on the ‘buy’ list every week and I wouldn’t disagree with you. At this point, his greatness is just a given. After one bad game to start the season, Rodgers has been lights out. Don’t look now, but there’s a serious chance he could win the MVP award again this season. Even though it’s already high, buy his stock now, because it could still rise. Especially if, and when, he breaks Brett Favre’s touchdown record (442) on Christmas day against the Browns.
Jon Runyan Jr.- Don’t get me wrong, Jon Runyan Jr. has had his fair share of hiccups this season. In reality, he’s actually played well, though, for the majority of the year. He was at his best on Sunday in the win over the Ravens. In his second year, Runyan didn’t allow a sack on Sunday and had several key combo blocks that sprung nice run plays. He’s one player you don’t hear much about during the broadcasts, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing at the offensive line position.
Marcedes Lewis- I love when Marcedes Lewis has the ball in his hands. Which is a hilarious thing to write down when you consider he’s a 37-year old who runs like he has a sled dragging behind him. However, the ‘Big Dog’ has been stellar since Robert Tonyan went down with an ACL injury earlier in the year. He continues to be dominant in the run game, and he’s actually fifth out of all active tight ends in forcing missed tackles (9), with only 21 catches on the season. Also, my wife thinks it’s hilarious when I bark at the TV as loud as I can on Sundays whenever Lewis makes a catch. So, buy.
Steve Wirtel- Remember when the Packers switched long snappers in the middle of the year from Hunter Bradley to Steve Wirtel? At the time, it was a questionable move. Now, it’s a full-on head-scratcher. Wirtel has struggled all season with ball-placement. On Sunday, it was more of the same. A couple of low punt snaps, along with a delay of game penalty, are not mistakes that should be made at this time of year.
Special teams mistakes- Speaking of mistakes that shouldn’t be made at this time of year, how about the 2021 Green Bay Packers special teams? I’ve been selling the special teams for a couple weeks straight now, because the blunders have been hard to watch. I’ve officially entered into ‘terrified-special-teams-is-going-to-cost-us-in-the-playoffs’ territory. After nine mistakes against the Bears, special teams followed it up with five more on Sunday.
Darnell Savage- Darnell Savage played the roughest half of football in his young NFL career on Sunday. The normally-reliable Savage struggled against pro-bowler Mark Andrews in the first half, getting beat on a couple touchdown catches and a 43-yarder. I’m not selling Savage, however. Every player has a rough day, and the Packers will no-doubt need him heading forward. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him make a big play in the playoffs that helps Green Bay win. Hold.
Joe Barry- Don’t give up on Joe Barry’s defense yet. The unit has played well up until the past couple weeks. Although it makes me nervous, I don’t think it’s a sell yet. The Packers will get Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith back soon (hopefully), which will no doubt improve this defense. Barry has done an excellent job up until this point, given the injuries and offenses the Packers have had to play. It was just a bad day, and I think the unit will respond better in the coming weeks.
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.
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