Green Bay Packers Week 14: Studs & Duds

The Green Bay Packers demonstrated some fight in their victory Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Here’s a look at who I thought played well and who didn’t:

Studs:

Bashaud Breeland

Breeland had gotten off to a shaky start to his tenure in Green Bay, but now that he appears to be fully healthy he has bounced back in a big way. He’ll get recognized for the splash plays, but he did a really solid job in coverage all day. Breeland is looking like a guy the Packers will need to push to resign.

Joe Philbin

Philbin came out of the gate incredibly aggressive, blowing through both challenges in the first minute and a half of the game. However, the offensive game plan was great. He got the ball out of Rodgers hands quickly, changed formations and personnel, and he kept the Atlanta defense off balance all game long. It’s incredibly frustrating that it took until Week 14 to see this offense, and early returns show the McCarthy firing was justified.

Davante Adams

Adams showed all the skills that have made him into a truly elite wide receiver. He was open even more than he was targeted, and was giving the Falcons beat up cornerback group problems all day.

Aaron Rodgers

It is not a coincidence the quick passing game got Rodgers back into the flow. He still wasn’t pinpoint-accurate consistently, but the touchdown to Cobb reminded me of vintage #12. I think there are a lot of nervous Bears fans after watching Aaron have a game like that leading into the big Week 15 matchup in Soldier Field.

Tony Brown

The Alabama product is being asked to contribute on defense and he is stepping up to the plate. I’ve said in the past I think Brown will become an elite special teams player in the NFL, but he’s showing signs of becoming a really good corner. Adding Brown looks to be another steal for Brian Gutekunst.

Duds:

Justin McCray

McCray is a guy I was excited about coming into the season. He has been disappointing, and he whiffed on a couple blocks that could have cost the Packers dearly. He is going to need to figure it out quickly against a vicious Bears pass rush.

Officiating

I don’t like to harp on the officials, but that was a brutal performance on Sunday. To rule the Julio Jones play a catch is one of the worst replay reviews I’ve ever seen, and there were highly questionable calls on both sides throughout the game. An industry with as much money as the NFL, cannot afford officiating mistakes to that degree and should seriously look at making some changes to Walt Coleman’s  crew in the offseason.

I think it is incredibly promising the Packers came out with fire and energy Sunday, and did not quit on the season. I’m not getting any hopes up, but the Packers actually have a path to the playoffs if they can win out, but there should be no shortage of motivation as they can put a serious ding in the Bears hopes for a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig
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