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Packers Have Lost Their Star Power

I’ve always enjoyed checking the league statistics in mid-week to see how the Green Bay Packers’ stars are doing in comparison to others in the league. Aaron Rodgers, of course, has been at or near the top of the QB rankings for years. Clay Matthews used to regularly be among the top five or 10 players on the sacks list. Jordy Nelson’s stats were often right up there with the other top receivers in the league.

Following individual player stats is not as enjoyable for Packers fans this year.

Among NFL quarterbacks, Rodgers is 19th in passing yards per game. Due to his last three outings, however, he has climbed up to 11th place in passer rating.

Looking at the rushers, Eddie Lacy (remember him?) is somehow still 23rd in rushing yardage. Ty Montgomery is 90th and James Starks is 111th, but the Packers do have the 54th best rusher in the league — that Rodgers guy again.

The Packers have also come upon hard times in the receiving yardage rankings. Davante Adams is in 37th place, Jordy Nelson is in 41st, and Randall Cobb is in 50th.

On the defensive side, Jake Ryan is tied for 46th, Blake Martinez is tied for 69th, Morgan Burnett is tied for 74th, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is tied for 121st in tackles. The last ranking is quite a disappointment, as Clinton-Dix was supposed to be destined for stardom. I also had predicted that Martinez would be a “tackling machine” for the Packers – but so far his 40 tackles (solo and assists) is fewer than I had hoped, but he’s young and has time to continue to develop.

The Packers’ sack leader is tied for 13th among his peers – but instead of the usual names, it’s Nick Perry. Julius Peppers is tied for 38th and Clay Matthews is tied for 46th.

That leaves us with interceptions. We’re almost halfway through the season and no Packers player has more than one interception. Damarious Randall, Joe Thomas, Burnett, Perry, and Martinez are tied with 93 others in 37th place. Worse yet, Casey Hayward, who left the Packers and joined the Chargers in March, has only one fewer pick than does his entire former team!

Things aren’t much better in various other categories. Jacob Schum is 31st in punting average. Montgomery is tied for 23rd in kickoff return average. Trevor Davis is one bright spot, as he is fifth best in punt return yardage. However, that’s based on only six returns, and is mostly due to his 55-yard return against Atlanta, which makes his ranking totally misleading.

After drafting no higher than 21st over the last nine years, the Packers have not been in a position for quite a while to select any near-sure-fire stars. Among their first draft picks that have worked out the best in the last decade are Clay Matthews (No. 23 in 2010) and Jordy Nelson (No. 36 in 2008 – they had no first round choice that year). Nor can I think of any diamonds in the rough, or lower round draft choices, who are considered to be near the top of their profession at their position, though Mike Daniels (132nd overall, 4th round, in 2012) is knocking at that door.

The current Packers’ roster is for the most part solid, but there are few players who are – or appear on their way to becoming – true NFL stars.

Until a year and a half ago, Aaron Rodgers was the brightest star in the NFL firmament. The last three games suggest that his star is once again ascending.

This little meander about Green Bay’s current star power quotient serves as a reminder, not a revelation, that Aaron Rodgers has carried this team on his back for close to a decade now. The prospect – regardless of the other 52 players on the roster – is that the team will continue to prosper or fail based on the quality of his play for another five years or more.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Vijay-jay November 5, 2016

    Proves that Ted’s way is severely flawed. You want a real blueprint for success look at The New England Patriots.

  2. PF4L November 5, 2016

    Thank you for the truth of the last paragraph. i’ve said that in here for years. This team will rise or fall on the arm of Aaron Rodgers. Much like TT and MM’s job security.

    We can all piss and moan when Rodgers isn’t his usual God-like self. But rest assured my Packer friends. There will be a day, not in the too distant future, Where we will be in desperation mode, looking for our next Aaron Rodgers at QB.

    1. Empacador November 5, 2016

      The only solace will be McCarthy and Thompson will not be the ones doing the looking.

      1. PF4L November 6, 2016

        Fkn A

    2. Savage57 November 6, 2016

      The Packers had the heir-apparent to the throne. Then they let him get away.

      The day will come when Packers fans the world over rue the day Fightin’ Joe Callahan was released.

      1. PF4L November 6, 2016

        I just don’t get how people can crown some back up QB’s as if they were going to be a future franchise QB, without taking a snap in a regular season NFL game. Whether it’s Hundley, Callahan, or whoever, It’s cool to like a player, i like Callahan, Hundley and Tolzien. but until you do it in the regular season, you haven’t done anything. The Saints let Callahan go after a week, now the Browns signed him. I will say good luck to Callahan, i’d like to watch him be the Browns starting QB. But i say this, if you can’t be a starting QB for the fucking Browns, you sure as shit weren’t gonna be Aaron Rodgers heir-apparent.

    3. icebowl November 6, 2016

      Loss to Indiannoplace
      The day is here…

  3. Howard November 5, 2016

    One thing on the quantity of tackles that needs to be considered is, the Packer defense has been on the field the fewest plays per game of any team in the NFL. Your tackle quantity will reduce with fewer plays, and you don’t want your safeties making a lot of tackles. It can indicate a poor front 4 or 7. The ints. Need to go up no question, however the corner injury situation has not helped in individual int. stats. The D is 12th in sacks, however 7 of the teams with more sacks have played 1 and in the case of Atlanta 2 games more than the packers. Again corner injuries have reduced blitzes. That also reduces potential sacks.

    Some of the Packer D stats (7th in league) have a lot to do with the offense being efficient in 3rd down conversion and time of possession. The Packer D is also #2 in the league in stopping the other teams third down conversions. The bad stat to me for the D is they are, I believe 18th in yards per play allowed. The D needs to tighten up the big plays allowed. Bottom line is I would rather the team play like a team in all phases. Player stats are great for inflated contracts. In the end It really is about how the entire group functions as a team.

    1. PF4L November 5, 2016

      Kudos on understanding that defensive backs having a lot of tackles isn’t a positive stat necessarily .

      Also the time of possession is also dependant and has direct correlation to the other side of the team’s performance, whether offense or defense.

      At the end of the day, the real defensive stat that matters, is points given up per game. If your defense is giving up less than 19 ppg, you have a tier 1 defense. The Packers defense in 1996 gave up 13.1 ppg. In 2010 the defense gave up 15 ppg.

      For comparison sake, the 1985 Bears gave up 12.4 ppg. While the 2000 Ravens hold the NFL record in a 16 game season at 10.3 ppg. Which explains how Trent Dilfer became a Super Bowl winning QB.

    2. Jay Dee November 5, 2016

      Howard you should be the writer in this column..Rob Born indicates he has been watching Packer games since 1958… his knowledge of football must be minimal at best.. Any halfwit short of being legally blind& watching Packers games…would see that Coaches are keeping Clinton Dix deep to help the Corners in pass coverage.. due to injuries to “experienced Starters” Clinton Dix .. if Clinton Dix was asked to go Down in the box more often as his did his 1st two seasons. His stats would not been comparable or better than his Stats from
      Last season,leading the team in tackles &getting several interceptions… Mr Born,the writer of this article would do himself as well as the Readers of his articles..a world of good,by not it making a Beeline to an NFL Stat sheetthen immediately flying to his laptop and start spreading this type of nonsense on the internet to see how
      Many hits he Will get …a good writer does a little research prior to throwing this “Stats down” Crap on the walls to see what will stick & being critical of players Players.. without watching game film or listing to what the Safeties Coach Darren Perry & Head Coach is stating on a weekly basis about How they’re utilizing Clinton Dix this Season “out of necessity “due to the many
      injuries.. Don’t worry about Clinton Dix he is ok now and as he said in a recent interview.. He would prefer to be in a position to help the team as a team player as opposed to running to his stat sheet after every game.. so Mr Born please go to your film room if you have and watch some ofthe film on each of this Seasons games…and youmsy want to try try speaking to some of the coaches since it’s apparent you don’t know what’s happening on the field … you can do better than metely attempting to get hit on your articles with this nonsense
      This Season …

      1. PF4L November 6, 2016

        Rob’s articles are fine. He’s a stat’s guy, he writes about what he researches. As far as i can tell Rob is stand up Packer fan who doesn’t need to use gossip articles as a crutch. If for some reason Rob’s articles aren’t up to your lofty standard of what you deem to be readable content, may i suggest just not reading his articles.

        1. icebowl November 6, 2016

          Well said.
          I really enjoy Robs articles

      2. Howard November 6, 2016

        Rob really does a great job of in his articles. When it comes to stats and individual workout numbers, I trust Rob has looked into them and is giving them to us straight. The problem with stats and workout numbers is what they appear to be some of the times is not what they really are. They do not show injuries, other teammates performances, etc. I prefer to stay with the team stats but everyone has their own opinion and it does not necessarily make their opinion wrong or right. It just provides another idea or theory that others may or may not consider. GO PACK!!!

  4. Icebowler November 5, 2016

    Just tell me who has the most “missed” tackles!

  5. Icebowler November 5, 2016

    I’m having a really hard time typing comments on this particular site. I don’t have any problems on any others. I’ve had to resort to typing my comments on Notepad and then pasting them into Total Packers. Is any one else having this problem?

    1. PF4L November 6, 2016

      I had a problem until i used adblocker. It was seriously bad.

    2. icebowl November 6, 2016

      No probs here…

  6. Arcturus November 6, 2016

    The current Packer regime (Murphy, Thompson, McCarthy, Rodgers, Mathews etc) has reached and passed “peak Packers” a few years ago. They won’t do any appreciable damage in the playoffs for many more years and until many organizational changes have taken place. As a season ticket holder, the fervor I once held for this team has been steadily reduced to a tiny fraction of what it was. Maybe it’s the incessant marketing,
    the blathering about the blatant money-grab they are calling the “Titletown District.” The enthusiasm I once had for the Packers and NFL football is at its lowest ebb.

  7. MR November 6, 2016

    Reminds me of the 1980s looking up stats in the newspaper to see James Lofton at the top for receiving yards and ypc

    1. Savage57 November 6, 2016

      One of the few things to look forward to back in the day.

    2. Empacador November 6, 2016

      Man, if only those teams had a defense. They could score almost at will.

    3. icebowl November 6, 2016

      And losing to the Bears ..