Packers' Trade Deadline Grades
Here is a look at how the Green Bay Packers performed throughout the first six weeks of the season.
The Breakdown: Aaron Rodgers has been phenomenal. He has showed excellent poise and knowledge for a first-year starter and has basically done no wrong, except for one crucial interception against Atlanta. He has also demonstrated his extreme toughness while playing brilliantly through a shoulder sprain.
Running Back: D
The Breakdown: Ryan Grant has 359 yards and zero touchdowns. Furthermore, the back that scored eight touchdowns in 10 games last year is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. Brandon Jackson has scored the Packers' lone rushing touchdown by a running back, but has fewer rushing yards than Rodgers. While the running game has shown improvement, it is far from where it should be.
Tight End: B
The Breakdown: Donald Lee has the third-most receptions on the team and has scored once. While he hasn’t been spectacular, his quickness and above average receiving ability has made him a valuable asset for the Packers. New addition Tory Humphrey has also been a major contributor at tight end so far, especially against Atlanta, where he totaled 67 yards on the day.
Wide Receiver: A
The Breakdown: Donald Driver has two touchdowns, one more than his season total last year. Greg Jennings continues to shine, as he leads the league in receiving yards and has totaled four touchdowns. Rookie Jordy Nelson has been impressive so far, and Rodgers is clearly becoming more and more confident throwing to the rookie.
Offensive Line: B-
The Breakdown: Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton have been solid as usual, despite Clifton battling injuries. Scott Wells has not played as well as he typically does, but he too, has been injured. Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz have been mediocre at guard, and substitute Tony Moll has been subpar.
The Breakdown: A.J. Hawk continues to emerge and veteran Nick Barnett has been decent, but the unit as a whole has failed to stop the run throughout the season. Brandon Chillar has been a valuable addition to platoon with Brady Poppinga. Look for the Packers to use their young linebackers more aggressively in order to improve their run defense.
Defensive Line: C-
The Breakdown: This grade would be lower if not for Aaron Kampman’s six sacks. Overall, the unit has failed to stop the run and has been extremely vulnerable with Cullen Jenkins out for the season.
The Breakdown: Despite key losses at strong safety—Atari Bigby's still out—and at corner—Al Harris is still missing significant time—the Packers have managed to put together a functioning secondary that leads the NFL in interceptions and defensive touchdowns. Charles Woodson has been the most prominent with an NFL-best four interceptions, and fill-ins Tramon Williams and Aaron Rouse have been solid all year as well.
The Breakdown: Mason Crosby has been efficient as usual, and is among the top of the NFL in average kickoff length, touchbacks, and field goals. Green Bay almost allowed Crosby to kick a 60-yarder against Seattle. Derrick Frost has been better than he was in Washington and is among the top punters in net average.
Kick/Punt Returning: BThe Breakdown: Will Blackmon continues to improve. While he is not among the NFL’s best kick returners, he ranks eighth in average punt return yards and had a 76-yard return for a score earlier this year.