October 2, 2011
The Boys from the Bay have done it again. So have the Detroit Lions, but that’s another article altogether. With a final score of 49 points and quarterback Aaron Rodgers resting comfortably on the sidelines without a worry, we know Green Bay is doing something right.
Head coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and defensive coordinator Dom Capers have the Dream Team that Philadelphia thought they could merely buy. But we know this type of talent is earned, not bought.
Green Bay starters are some of the most talented in the entire NFL right now. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these particular athletes so amazing.
The starting offensive line was a tad bit different for Sunday's Week 4 game against the Denver Broncos. Due to the change-up, and the high amount of points they put up, I'm going to focus a little more on them.
Due to injuries which kept RT Bryan Bulaga (knee) from playing, we had the chance to see Marshall Newhouse with his starting debut.
Newhouse never saw any play time in 2010, his rookie year, so playing in all four games this season and moving up to starting guard/tackle in this game is a big improvement. Considering QB Aaron Rodgers was not sacked under his watchful eye, I'm going to give him an eight out of 10. Staying consistent in upcoming games will advance that further.
James Starks also made a first appearance as a starter in Week 4. Although he did not get any touchdowns, he did advance the Packers 63 yards during his 13 attempts.
His 4.7-yards-per-carry average is quite comparable to first-string Ryan Grant's 4.9. In light of this, I'll gladly boast him with an eight as well, although I want to see more.
A career-best 408-yard game, a final score of 49 and two rushing touchdowns of his own? Yeah, Aaron Rodgers is a 10 out of 10.
There's reason why this quarterback is the envy of the NFL right now. Who wouldn't want him spearheading their team or boast his ranking?
Even with the one interception on a short-middle pass, I'm not going to flag him for that one. You throw 38 passes during a game and see how good you do...besides, I'm going to say that Charles Woodson's interception touchdown cancels that one out anyways. (Let's give Woodson nine out of 10. That scoring interception paired with four tackles, two of which were solo, gave him a good game.)
Fourth-year wide receiver Jordy Nelson had a good game. With a 50-yard receiving touchdown pass and four other completions at 18.2 yards per play, I'm thinking he was in a good place mentally for the game.
Sixth-year wide receiver Greg Jennings caught one touchdown as well, averaging 14.7 yards over his seven catches.
I'm giving an eight to Nelson and a seven to Jennings. Jennings should know better than to get a 10-yard pass interference penalty, even if Green Bay is far enough ahead for it not to matter. We've seen both players perform better though. With the final score they boasted, I would have expected a little more contribution from our regular starters.
The defensive 10 of the day in my book goes to Desmond Bishop hands down. With nine of his 10 tackles being solo tackles, in addition to one sack and one forced fumble, he's my defensive MVP.
There were areas he could have improved, especially in third-quarter coverage, but ultimately he stuck out to me more than his counterparts.
The last individual I'm going to individually grade is special teams kicker Mason Crosby.
Seven out of the 49 final points that were awarded to Green Bay were exclusively because of him. Seven times he kicked for the extra point and seven times he got it.
It's not very often that a kicker gets more points for the team than a WR or RB. Ten out of 10 for Crosby.
There are different things that make each player's contributions stick out differently to different fans. Although I'm not discrediting any athlete on such a talented team, I'm giving a letter grade B to the other starters. Better than average, but we still gave up 23 points.