Green Bay Packers Week 4 Report Card: Grading Every Unit

Michael KimbleContributor IIIOctober 3, 2011

Green Bay Packers Week 4 Report Card: Grading Every Unit

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    The Packers dominated the Broncos on Sunday, with Aaron Rodgers accounting for six touchdowns and his second career 400-yard game in the regular season.

    The defense gave up a few plays but still accounted for four turnovers.

    Overall, the Packers continue to prove that they are a talented team that is ready to repeat their Super Bowl run from last year. But with another 4-0 team in the division, it will be a tough road for them.

    Despite the domination, they do have some issues to work out—particularly on defense.

    Here are the grades for every Packers position after their strong performance against the Broncos.

Quarterbacks: A+

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    It's hard not to give Aaron Rodgers high marks after a career day in which he throws four touchdowns, rushes for two more and passes for 408 yards.

    Rodgers was nearly flawless in this game, and while it was against a poor defense, his throws were perfect and he scrambled out of the pocket better than he had at any point so far this year.

    While both Rodgers and Flynn did throw fourth-quarter interceptions, the interception by Rodgers wasn't his fault, and the game was decided at that point, anyway.

Running Backs: A-

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    With Ryan Grant out of the game, it was up to James Starks to give the Packers a running game, and he performed well, rushing for 63 yards on 13 carries.

    Because Rodgers was playing so well, the Packers didn't really need a great running game—but when they needed Starks, he performed.

    Another player who helped contribute to the running game was Aaron Rodgers, who ran for 36 yards on nine carries.

Wide Receivers: A+

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    Another "A" grade for a Packers offensive unit.

    Four different receivers got touchdowns this week, and three receivers caught for more than 75 yards.

    While they were helped by Rodgers' hot hand, they made the most of every opportunity.

    Probably the most impressive receiver, though, was Donald Driver, who was taken out of the game with what looked like a serious injury but back on the field the next quarter, where he caught a touchdown.

    The Packers receiving corps was thought to be one of the deepest in the league, with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb and James Jones—all of whom could be starters in this league.

    Last week, they proved they help make this offense unstoppable.

Tight Ends: A-

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    Jermichael Finley had a fairly quiet game with three receptions for 38 yards, but he was covered most of the game by the Broncos defense.

    Although he was overshadowed by the other receivers, he still made the most of every opportunity he was given.

    The tight ends also did a solid job at blocking. While the tight end position was quiet this week, they were effective when they were part of the game.

Offensive Line: B+

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    The offensive line was a big question mark at the beginning of the season, but even with Bryan Bulaga gone this week, they performed well.

    Although Rodgers was sacked twice—both times by first-round pick Von Miller—one of the sacks was a result of Rodgers attempting to scramble and holding onto the ball longer than he should have.

    So far, the line has proven that they can protect Aaron Rodgers, and even the backups have stepped up.

    If they continue to perform like they have in the first four games, Rodgers will be in good shape for the whole season, and the offense will continue to roll.

Defensive Line: B-

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    The Packers defensive line was solid in this game but still gave up some big plays.

    Broncos running back Willis McGahee ran for 103 yards, and on several occasions, Kyle Orton was given time to throw a long pass that put the Broncos in scoring position, allowing them to score more than they should have.

    The defense overall was more concerning than the offense was, which has been the trend for the first four games.

    The defense has to tackle better and avoid giving up big yards, and it all starts with the defensive line.

Linebackers: B+

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    The linebackers were probably the most impressive unit on defense this week, and it starts with Desmond Bishop, who led the team in tackles, forced a fumble and recorded a sack.

    While Clay Matthews failed to record a sack, he was still a force in this game, adding pressure to Kyle Orton and getting two hits on him.

    So far, the linebackers are the strength of this defense, with incredible depth and some big playmakers.

Cornerbacks/Safeties: B

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    It's very hard to grade the Packers secondary this week, as they gave up some big plays to Kyle Orton and the Denver offense but also accounted for three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

    In this game, Orton threw for 273 yards. While the Packers didn't let the opposing quarterback throw for more than 300 yards for the first time this year, there were several big plays that the Packers allowed from the Broncos, which could be a concern down the stretch, as they will play against more explosive offenses than Denver, including Atlanta next week.

    But the Packers continue to force turnovers, off of which they are able to build momentum, allowing them to extend their lead and eventually win games.

Special Teams: A-

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    Many special teams players didn't have to do a lot this week, including punter Tim Masthay, who only had to punt once.

    And because of all the touchdowns scored, Mason Crosby's only workload was seven extra points.

    But Crosby made the play of the game with his onside kick in the first quarter in a play that helped the Packers start the rout early.

    Randall Cobb had a good day as well, returning two kicks for 59 yards.