Packers Stock Report Week 15: The Bears Still Suck

Well, the Packers are playoff bound for the first time since 2016.  I could waste my time here writing about the abominable first half of football on Sunday or bitch about LaFleur's head scratching play calls or complain about how Aaron Rodgers is just an average quarterback by the numbers and tell you all why the Packers are a fraud of a playoff team but I'm not, because we have every other member of the Packers media to tell us why they suck.  I am going to talk about what makes this team special and why we should be excited about January football this year.  

Buy Buy Buy:

1. Brian Gutekunst:

Let's just give the man some props right now for the overhaul of the roster that has taken place during his tenure.  Over the last two off-season's the Packers have acquired: Jaire Alexander, Tramon Williams, Billy Turner, Preston Smith, ZaDarius Smith, Elgton Jenkins, Darnell Savage, and Adrian Amos among the names, and have parted ways with: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Haha Clinton-Dix, Josh Jones, and Mike Daniels.  The expectation is that Gutenkunst will finish off the roster by adding another free agent or two and by drafting a starter both on offense (WR) and defense (ILB).

2. Matt LaFleur:

I get it, most of you would rather bitch about his play calling (which is fair at times), but I want to talk about the impact he's made in the locker room.  It is apparent the players love playing for him because he allows them to be themselves, which empowers them and brings the best out in them on the field.  LaFleur has also played a vital role in changing the toxic culture that was left behind from the final days of the McCarthy era.

The change of the roster, coaching staff, and locker room culture are some of the reasons why the Packers have already clinched a playoff spot and have a chance to clinch the NFC North and secure a 12 or 13 win season.  

Buying in a Bear Market: (Performances From Sunday's Win Against the Bears)

1. Kenny Clark- KC Prime was a huge reason for why the Bears offense had trouble getting going.  The big man in the middle was responsible for 6 solo tackles and 2 sacks which shut down Chicago's ground game and halted their aerial attack as well.  

2. Dean Lowry- Mean Dean had the turning point play of the game on Sunday when he made the nice grab at the line on the Mitchell Trubisky pass.  Dean's interception allowed the Packers to drain the game clock and force the Bears to use the remainder of their time outs, which forced them into a lateral frenzy to try and tie the game.  

3. Aaron Jones- Aaron Jones was Aaron Jones and was able to find the endzone twice in the second half which put enough distance between the Packers and the Bears.

4. The 11-3 Packers being a playoff team!!!!! You can only play who is on your schedule and the Packers have defeated a majority of their opponents.  This team wins ugly and creates turnovers during crunch time; give me 1,000 shares of that winning formula.  

Selling:

1. Aaron Rodgers- It was an amazing run, but it may be time to start lowering our expectations on what a 36 year old Rodgers can do.  

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (36)

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Curt's picture

December 18, 2019 at 05:23 pm

Not sure I'm ready to put AR in the selling category just yet. Although based upon the expectations we all have for him it is clear his performance has been less than expectations. Just trying to understand if he is a step slower so not able to get away and make plays or if his head is just not into the system fully yet.

When he makes confident plays (like the 4th down throw) it looks good, just not very often anymore.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 07:05 pm

AR is probably a hold.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 18, 2019 at 09:28 pm

Right. I'm not happy with Rodgers play right now. But I want to see him in year 2 of the offense. MFL seams to change things a lot from week to week and Rodgers isn't used to that. IDK if that leads to Rodgers doing bone headed things or just plain missing guys but it's not the level of stability he's been used too.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:27 am

I think the one stat he most needs to improve is his time to release. He is among the QBs that hold the ball the longest. Most of the guys around him in the rankings are very young and inexperienced.

Improving that has nothing to do with any physical trait that might have diminished. The change needs to come above the neck.

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Lare's picture

December 18, 2019 at 05:25 pm

I would just like to see the Packers put players in situations based on what they are, not what someone thinks they should be.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 18, 2019 at 05:53 pm

It seems they're not sure what some of these players are or supposed to be or afraid to accept what they are and hence the 'ugly' comes out.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 18, 2019 at 06:03 pm

Well, for all their 15 and 1 records and probowlers etc, they didn't do squat to complete the deal. I'll take a team over a few stars any day. This defense is the backbone of the team. If they can disrupt the queens O line and shut them down they will win on Monday. A big mojo play by Lowry can carry energy into the playoffs, just as Tramon lit the Fire in the 2010 run along with Dom. Cousins will come out firing to Smith Jr and Rudolph. I like Sullivan over Campbell in the nickel to make plays. Jaire has to handle Diggs. The wild card is Theilen. How healthy is he?

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Leatherhead's picture

December 18, 2019 at 06:33 pm

Wee

We should have started making post-Rodgers plans after he got hurt in 2017. We certainly knew after then we did not have anotherQB we could win with. And Lamar Jackson was available when we drafted. You don’t get a shot at a guy like him that often.

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CAG123's picture

December 18, 2019 at 07:39 pm

Lets not muddy things up talking about the Packers having the opportunity to draft LJ he's in a system that is built around his skill set no guarantee the Packers would have implemented the same system. Just like when everyone use to talk about them letting Taysom Hill go sure the Packers had him but MM wouldn't have known how to utilize him the way the Saints do.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 18, 2019 at 08:04 pm

When you draft a franchise QB, you build the system around him.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

December 18, 2019 at 10:15 pm

We also had Drew Lock this year.

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CAG123's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:10 am

They were going to take him but the Broncos traded up.

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2019 at 03:56 am

So instead we drafted a absolute STUD on the O-Line who looks like he'll be a All-Pro for the next 10 to 12 years.

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CAG123's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:09 am

Exactly and no guarantee the Packers would have used the right system what LJ is doing isn’t a product of Harbaugh it’s the coordinators and position coaches around him no guarantee the Packers would have put the right pieces in play. We could of had LJ looking like Goff before McVay. Mariota has a very similar skill set to LJ and MLFs system didn’t work many great wonders for him. Lamar is in the right place in Baltimore.

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Lphill's picture

December 18, 2019 at 10:35 pm

I think Rodgers is far from done it’s the inconsistency of the receivers , let’s hope they have a plan moving forward.

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Pierre's picture

December 18, 2019 at 11:47 pm

Rodgers is flat out missing throws he used to make more consistently in the past. If he cannot complete over 65% of his passes then the Packers will not go very far, once again, in the playoffs.

He needs to get his passes out quickly and hit receivers more over the middle. Adams, Lazard, Kumerow, and Tonyan need to the receivers out there Monday night.

IF...Rodgers is able to play QB at an elite level for a whole game and lead the Packers to a win on the road versus the Vikings it would go a long way to get this team away from the “ugly win” feeling and make them more a legitimate title contender.

That’s a big “IF” for Rodgers to pull off given the inconsistency he has shown this season. If he pulls another stinker against a good Viking team...like versus the 49ers or Chargers...then it’s clearly time for Green Bay to move on planning for their next QB sooner rather than later.

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edp1959's picture

December 19, 2019 at 05:21 am

Yeah David go ahead and sell Rodgers. If you believe this team would be 11 - 3 without him right now then you don't know squat.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 19, 2019 at 06:04 am

I don't think his point was that GB should be looking to replace 12 immediately, just that he's showing signs of declining play.

I think if you polled players/coaches, they'd prob tell us that rodgers is somewhere in the 5-10 best QB range in the league. Obviously that doesn't scream 'cut this guy' but it's reasonable to wonder if he'll be there 3 years from now.

Considering his contract pays him to be a top 5 QB, its a legitimate concern for Gute.

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Philarod's picture

December 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm

I'm a huge fan of #12, and consider him the best I've ever seen (I know the arguments for Brady, Montana, even Elway and others, and have seen all of them). He doesn't appear to be at THAT absurd level right now, but he's still quite good. Big picture: Who else could have taken this team to an 11-3 record with this group? The defense pretty good, and a work in progress, he still has no tight end (imagine what he would have done over the years with a quality TE...even a Kyle Rudolph-level guy), no speed (Adams gets open but doesn't scare you with speed, and he doesn't have great hands, and MVS has speed, and...nothing else so far).

If picking a QB, right now, for one season, assuming they're all healthy, it may be fair to have AR at anywhere from 3-6 right now. I'd start with Mahomes and possibly Wilson. LJ is this year's MVP, but I need to see more. I've never thought Brees was as good as Rodgers, but he's still a possibility. Who else? Watson? AR iss still damn good and still has a cannon, and a great feel for the game. Perhaps, he's a little slower and he needs to be a little more in synch with MLF, but I do think he's still elite.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 19, 2019 at 03:12 pm

Well, it depends if the QB comes with their current contract. If watson comes with his current cap hit, GB has 20M to spend. Jackson, dak, mahomes come to mind immediately in the same situation. I think brees, brady, wilson are all capable.

With $ being accounted for in the situation, i think there's 6-10 qbs that could have GB where they are today.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 19, 2019 at 05:59 am

Gute has had a heck of a run already, i hope it continues. You can envision MLF and Gute sitting down this offseason, like what happened after Pettine's first year, and identifying the exact skillsets needed on the offense to take them to the next level. Work that kind of magic again and this team will be scary.

Pretty crazy to think that no NFL team even thought highly enough of Nick Perry to sign him to a 1 year prove it deal.

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NickPerry's picture

December 19, 2019 at 06:14 am

I will FOREVER argue this Rodgers biggest obstacle other than an entirely new offense was lack of WR talent on the roster. Now with that said Rodgers hasn't looked like the guy we hoped we'd see but I'm still thinking it will take a 2nd year to REALLY find a groove in this offense.

Let the guy starting to rebuild the roster with HIS kind of player have another shot at the draft and FA and lets see what Rodgers can do... Even at age 37 by next December. As far as this year I think what has happened in GB is great. 11-3 ANY way you want to cut it is STILL 11-3.

Now wouldn't it just be great if the Packers kick the living crap out of the Vikings on Monday Night Football?

Are you ready for some MEANINGFUL Football? Because it's back in Green Bay Wisconsin! The Bears still suck and so do the Queens!!!

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Guam's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:33 am

I am not sure it is a lack of talent at WR or just a mismatch of talent between WRs and Rodgers. 60% (Allison, Kumerow, Lazard) of our game day active WRs are possession type WRs who get limited separation and rely on a big body to screen defenders and good hands (hopefully) to make contested catches. Rodgers is notoriously risk averse and is very reluctant to throw contested balls, particularly to receivers he doesn't trust completely.

The result is a disproportionate number of throwaways/sacks/QB runs and an inconsistent passing attack. Rodgers needs receivers who can get separation quickly (a la Adams) and allow him to make more comfortable throws.

Since Rodgers at age 37 isn't going to change his style of play, I suspect two of the three possession receivers will be gone next year and replaced by ESB and a draft choice or free agent. Either that or bring in a Favre-esque gun slinger at QB and keep the possession WRs...……….lol........

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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 19, 2019 at 07:40 am

Feed Jake. Speaking of Kumerow, here you go> https://www.ebay.com/itm/333442932547

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Houndog's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:05 am

Nice article, with a lot of the same kind of sugar-coating I see here often.
I'm not fully buying in on either Gutekunst or LaFleur just yet, I'll need to see at least another year.
I'm a Packer fan living in 49er territory, and at this point it would appear that if indeed LaFeur is a "Shanahan Disciple" he must have slept through a lot of meetings when it comes to play calling or designing, he couldn't hold a candle to Shanahan. I am NOT a 9er fan!
I won't even start comparing Mike Petine vs Robert Saleh on the defensive side. The 9ers believe in stopping the opponents at the line of scrimmage while the Packers play 7 - 10 yards deep and are happy to give up yardage, it's week 16 David, and (considering the praise you give the above list) I've torn out most of my hair wondering WHY?
As for Gutekunst, he seems a little too content to let "His Guys" do it despite their sometime (and sometimes constant) failures, maybe it's because he's a TT disciple. He could have done more from a team need perspective. Hats off to the new kick returner, but at the trade deadline, and again this week, the Packers did nothing to make themselves better. At the same time the Saints get Jack-rabbit Jenkins, the 9ers get Emmanuel Sanders, and the Seahawks get T-Sizzle, three good teams making themselves better, and only Sanders cost a draft pick. Any one of the (or all) three could have helped the Packers! Someone PLEASE tell me TT's not still lurking in the shadows somewhere!

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Cubbygold's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:24 am

49ers - $73M in payroll on defense

Packers - $54M in payroll on defense

But yeah, I'm sure it's Pettine's fault that the defense isn't as dominant as the 49ers.

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packerbackerjim's picture

December 19, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Not to mention having been so pathetically poor for year allowed the Niners to stick their DL with 1st round picks. You might be able to be a crappy team for years in the Bay Area but not in GB where it’s the only game in town.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 19, 2019 at 01:13 pm

For sure. Getting bosa on a rookie deal is a game changer. Whoever gets Chase Young next year will be fortunate for 5 years.

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MWendlandt's picture

December 19, 2019 at 02:49 pm

Not just Bosa, but Armstead, Buckner, and Solomon Thomas are all first rounders on rookie deals. That defensive front is great right now, but when all of them have to get paid and Saleh gets a head coaching job, it could change quickly.

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Renllaw's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:56 am

If Gute's plan was to have 2020 or2021 as the "targeted SB year" having early success does not mean you abandon your plan. Why give up a draft choice to rent an old receiver when the next draft is one of the deepest in that position in recent years? Why go after Jenkins & spend that money when your young CB's are playing as well or better then he is? And Suggs was claimed by a team ahead of us, the chiefs I believe. I would agree with you if there was a good ILB or Interior DL player to be had that would fit the long term plan. But I like the discipline the front office is showing right now knowing we have some of our own players that need resigning soon. Riding our current success, getting the young core experience, and being ready and able to add talent for the "target year" in the off season.

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murf7777's picture

December 19, 2019 at 01:55 pm

Houndog….Is it play calling or lack of execution and talent at the WR position? I think it is more the later. They have miss plays that would've made many games into blow out status if they were made. In addition, over the course of the year, many drives were stalled due to Offensive penalties. When you are 3rd and long most of the time due to errors and penalties, it's hard to fault play calling.

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egbertsouse's picture

December 19, 2019 at 08:06 am

I would hold my Gute stock but not buy more. The jury is still out. As for AR, he needs to adapt to the realities of his 36 year old body. Be more like Brady; stay in the pocket, plant your feet, go through your reads, get the ball out, and what the D gives, And lose that jump-throw, if you want to shoot jump shots you can practice with the Bucks and not do it on a football field.

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johngalt's picture

December 19, 2019 at 09:59 am

Curious David if you can give some examples of MM being the origin of the toxic culture during his final days? Not a trap question, just genuinely would like to know how he should own that?

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Point-Packer's picture

December 19, 2019 at 11:21 am

"1. Aaron Rodgers- It was an amazing run, but it may be time to start lowering our expectations on what a 36 year old Rodgers can do."

#12 is and will forever be my favorite Packer of all-time, but I've finally come to the conclusion that like almost every single QB not named Tom Brady/Brees, his productivity is starting to languish as he enters his late 30's. I'd still take him before 20 starting QB's in the league, but he is no longer a top five elite level QB in this league. Sadly, during the decade plus where he was the most talented QB on the planet, he had a bone-headed coach who's ego, conservative nature, hair-pulling game management decisions and unwillingness to adapt (till retirement, apparently) held GB back from at least one more (2014), if not two (2011), Super Bowls. Had MM not screwed the pooch during the 2014 NFC championship, #12 gets #2 and the rest is just butter.

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murf7777's picture

December 19, 2019 at 01:49 pm

Good article....regarding Aaron, he is playing like he has the last 4 -5 years. Very good, but not GREAT. Certainly, not playing the level of his early years when he was regarded as one of the greatest to come along. That being said, when he gets really motivated and has a "chip on his shoulder" like he probably has now, due to the majority of the press no longer believing he is one of the best QB's in the game right now and not giving the Packers much of a chance in the Playoffs, that's when we have seen his best. Even over the past 5 years, when they needed serious runs to get into the playoffs, he shined.

Aaron, isn't a rah, rah, type of personality so you won't see him that way during the press conferences. He is more matter of a fact type of speaker. What I saw in his press conference after the Bears game was similar to other matter of a fact type statements he has made (run the table) when they have made big runs to get to the playoffs. He shows confidence in this team to make a run deep into the Playoffs.

I think this is one of the better teams Aaron has been on in a long time and if Aaron can patch together some of his greatness over the next 5 or 6 games, watch out, here comes the Pack. I for one would never doubt him or his ability to still show greatness.

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DavidMichalski's picture

December 19, 2019 at 03:55 pm

Guys, the selling of Aaron wasn’t to say replace him, it was more to say that he is who he is at this point. The best in the world has evolved to an older player in the twilight of his career that is still good, just not the all world player he once was. The Pack could still win a Super Bowl with him in the next 2-3 years if the roster continues to improve.

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