Green Bay Packers' Surprises and Disappointments Heading into Week 11

Matt SteinCorrespondent IINovember 15, 2013

Green Bay Packers' Surprises and Disappointments Heading into Week 11

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    Mike Daniels continues to be a huge surprise for the Green Bay Packers.
    Mike Daniels continues to be a huge surprise for the Green Bay Packers.Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

    The Green Bay Packers head into Week 11 in a sort of a funk. They've lost back-to-back games and desperately need to turn things around against the New York Giants this week.

    Throughout their recent slide, certain Packers players have surprised. Unfortunately, some other players have disappointed.

    Let's take a look at a handful of surprising and disappointing players for Green Bay heading into Week 11.

Surprise: Scott Tolzien, Quarterback

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    It's only been one game, but not a single person expected Scott Tolzien to play anywhere near the level he did in Week 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Tolzien, who was called up from the practice squad six days before the game, finished with nearly 300 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He made a handful of mistakes, but there is no doubt the good outweighed the bad.

    The biggest question surrounding Tolzien is whether he'll be able to make enough positive plays over the course of a game to get a win. However, the Packers have to feel about as good as they can without Aaron Rodgers in the lineup thanks to the surprising play of Tolzien.

Disappointment: Johnathan Franklin, Running Back

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Back in Week 3, Johnathan Franklin stepped in for the injured James Starks and rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown against a stout defense. After that performance, it appeared Franklin had earned himself a role in the Green Bay Packers offense moving forward.

    Unfortunately, that simply hasn't been the case. Since Week 3, Franklin has had only six carries for four total yards. He hasn't even played a snap in the past three weeks.

    That's a far fall for a player who went for 100 yards in a single game earlier in the season. 

Surprise: Jarrett Boykin, Wide Receiver

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    When Randall Cobb broke his leg, no one really knew what to expect from Jarrett Boykin as Cobb's replacement. In the game in which Cobb got injured, Boykin managed only one reception despite a number of targets coming his way.

    However, Boykin had a huge game the next week, recording eight receptions, 103 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Cleveland Browns. That was a surprising performance, but what truly makes Boykin such a pleasant surprise is that he's continued to produce throughout the season.

    Even with James Jones back from injury last week, Boykin managed to grab another eight receptions for 112 yards. They key will for Boykin to continue to produce once Cobb returns, but as of right now, he's been one of the biggest surprises for the Green Bay Packers this year.

Disappointment: Marshall Newhouse, Offensive Tackle

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    Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

    Marshall Newhouse lost his job this offseason to rookie David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay. However, with a number of injuries across the offensive line this past week, the Green Bay Packers called upon Newhouse to fill in at right tackle.

    Unfortunately, that decision didn't turn out too well for the Packers. Newhouse was absolutely horrid in pass protection and in run blocking against the Philadelphia Eagles. He gave up a sack and two quarterback hurries despite only playing 43 offensive snaps.

    Simply put, Newhouse showed why the Packers decided to go with a rookie at the most important position on the offensive line instead of putting him back in there. If the Packers are forced to start Newhouse this week, it could be another tough week for quarterback Scott Tolzien.

Surprise: Mike Daniels, Defensive End

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    Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Mike Daniels was one of the most impressive defensive players for the Green Bay Packers during the first half of the season. He makes this list as a surprise player because he's continued to get better throughout the second half of the year.

    Daniels currently ranks as the ninth-best 3-4 defensive end in the NFLaccording to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He has five sacks and 11 quarterback hurries on the season.

    While those numbers may not seem impressive, he's only played 280 defensive snaps this year. That means Daniels is making an impact the majority of the time he's on the field.

    It wouldn't be a stretch at all to say Daniels has been one of the premier defensive players for Green Bay this year. And for that, he continues to be a major surprise in his second season.

Disappointment: Tramon Williams, Cornerback

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    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    It may sound like we're beating a dead horse by calling Tramon Williams a disappointment, but we simply can't say enough about just how bad he's been this year for the Green Bay Packers.

    There isn't a single aspect of the game in which Williams is making a positive impact for the Packers. He's yet to record an interception this year, and his tackling and coverage have been awful.

    Williams was supposed to be a leader on this defense and one of the better cornerbacks in the league. Unfortunately, Williams' play on the field has turned him into one of the worst defensive players on the team.

Surprise: Datone Jones, Defensive End

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    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Through the first handful of games, rookie Datone Jones seemed like a major bust. He had a hard time finding the field and an even harder time making an impact once he was there.

    However, Jones' overall play has improved greatly in the past few weeks. His improved performances reached a high point when he recorded two sacks in Week 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles. This came after a one-sack performance the previous week against the Chicago Bears.

    Jones is finally displaying the versatility and athleticism that made him a first-round pick for the Packers. And it couldn't have come at a better time, because the Packers defense has truly needed him.

Disappointment: Morgan Burnett, Safety

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    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    When the Green Bay Packers struggled stopping the pass early in the season, many blamed it on injuries to key players. One of those injured players was Morgan Burnett, a key playmaker the past two seasons for Green Bay.

    However, Burnett has returned, and the secondary hasn't gotten any better. In fact, the secondary has looked worse than ever these past few weeks with Burnett on the field.

    What Burnett is lacking from his game is the playmaking skills that made him such an intriguing young player. Until Burnett can start making big plays, he'll continue to be a disappointing player.

Surprise: Jamari Lattimore, Linebacker

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    Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    We'll finish with one of the most pleasant surprises for the Green Bay Packers heading into Week 11. That's second-year linebacker Jamari Lattimore.

    When Brad Jones, who is an excellent player, went down with an injury, Lattimore was called upon. No one knew if he'd be ready to play a key role, and many expected the Packers defense to struggle with Lattimore in the game.

    However, Lattimore has proved to be a fantastic young player for the Packers. He's been stout against the run and in coverage. Lattimore has also been able to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, something few Packers defenders have been able to do.

    Overall, Lattimore looks like he could eventually turn into something special once the Packers start giving him enough snaps.