Green Bay Packers Week 6 Stock Report
In a rare turn of events, the Green Bay offense played a surprisingly sloppy game, but the defense played at a high level and was able to keep the win from slipping away. Though the offense turned the ball over three times, the defense managed to take it away four times, mitigating those mistakes.
This week's stock report reflects those efforts by the defense and identifies players who need to improve their play in Week 6 against the San Diego Chargers.
Let's break down which players' stocks are rising and falling after Week 5.
Rising: CB Quinten Rollins
Rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins made a statement in a big way against the St. Louis Rams, and his stock is rising fast as a result.
Not only did the 2015 second-round draft selection have his first career interception against St. Louis' Nick Foles, but he promptly returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.
The big play, which came at the end of the first quarter, put the Packers up 14-0 on the Rams, a lead they would not relinquish.
But Rollins wasn't done.
As the Rams, down by 14 points, were attempting to stage a comeback late in the fourth quarter, Rollins intercepted another Foles pass intended for receiver Tavon Austin to effectively end the game and put the flourish on Green Bay's victory.
The rookie, who played basketball for four years at Miami (Ohio) and football for just one, has made a seamless transition to playing cornerback at the NFL level. In his best game of the season to date on Sunday, he also added two passes defended.
Expect to see big things from Rollins in the coming weeks.
Falling: CB Demetri Goodson
While most of the members of Green Bay's secondary shone against the St. Louis Rams, the same was unfortunately not true for second-year cornerback Demetri Goodson.
Goodson played all of his snaps against the Rams on special teams, but his level of play isn't going to earn him any time on the field with the defense.
Down by 11 points midway through the third quarter, the Rams attempted what was in reality an obvious fake punt on 4th-and-2 at their own 43-yard line. The Packers, who should have been prepared, were caught off guard, and punter Johnny Hekker converted a first down on a 20-yard pass.
He may not have, however, if Goodson hadn't fallen down on the play.
Maybe he slipped. Maybe it was the turf monster. Perhaps the hamstring injury that caused him to miss two games flared up on him. But on that play, it was easy to see why defensive coordinator Dom Capers isn't giving Goodson more snaps on defense.
Rising: DB Micah Hyde
Defensive back Micah Hyde has proved he can do it all during his career in Green Bay. As a utility player, however, he doesn't always earn the opportunity for personal glory, instead helping the team in ways that don't always show up on the stat sheet.
That wasn't the case on Sunday against the Rams, however. Hyde had six total tackles, two passes defended, and an interception on Rams quarterback Nick Foles that came off the pressure Julius Peppers was able to generate off the edge.
Hyde's pick was one of four on the day for the Packers.
Though his interception was the flashiest play of the game, his best of the season so far, it wasn't Hyde's only shining moment. He also saved what surely would have otherwise been a touchdown when Rams running back Todd Gurley gained six yards on a 1st-and-10 from the Packers 11-yard line.
The Rams would score on the next play, but Hyde's stop was still a prime example of how valuable he is in the red zone.
"I love that guy," Green Bay special teams coordinator Ron Zook said after the game, per Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin. "He's a competitor, he's very smart."
His stock is also very hot heading into Week 6.
Falling: Richard Rodgers
With a depleted receiving corps, the pressure is on this season for second-year tight end Richard Rodgers to solidify himself as a reliable, go-to weapon for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
So far, he's been able to do that without much issue, save for two penalties. But a couple of mistakes he made against the Rams on Sunday hurt the team, so his stock dips a bit this week.
Heading into Week 5, Rodgers was among a small group of tight ends with no drops on the season, per Pro Football Focus. But the tight end had an ugly drop on Sunday.
At the Rams' 30-yard line in the fourth quarter, Rodgers dropped what very well could have been a 30-yard touchdown. That the Packers were leading at the time shouldn't matter; if you have a chance to score, you'd better be able to take advantage.
Later on that drive, Rodgers' hands-to-the-face penalty called back a 47-yard Mason Crosby field goal, taking three points off the board and forcing the Packers to punt.
These mistakes didn't change the outcome of the game, but Rodgers will need to play with more discipline in the coming weeks.
Rising: OL Josh Walker
If all had gone well health-wise on the Packers offensive line in 2015, reserve lineman and former practice-squad player Josh Walker may never have needed to take the field.
As it stands, however, the Packers have seen two of their starting linemen, Bryan Bulaga and T.J. Lang, leave games with injuries so far this season.
When Lang left Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams with what was later reported to be a "minor" knee sprain by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it was Walker who stepped in for the veteran.
And he did a stand-up job.
Walker didn't allow any quarterback pressures in the 20 plays he stayed in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus. He was eventually replaced by veteran Don Barclay on the team's final drive in the first half but returned in the second half.
Given that he had little time to even warm up before being thrust into the action against arguably the league's best front seven, Walker proved he can hold his own should he be needed on the line in the future. It's currently unclear how much time, if any, Lang will miss.