Packers vs. Giants: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Green Bay
The Green Bay Packers lost their third straight game on Sunday by a score of 27-13 to the New York Giants. There were certainly plenty of chances for the Packers to win this game, but they ultimately came up short.
For the second straight week, the Packers didn't get quality games from a number of key players. In fact, the majority of both the offense and defense finished Sunday's game with just an average grade.
Let's take a look at the full roster report card for the Packers following Sunday's loss.
*All statistics courtesy of NFL.com.
Key Player: Scott Tolzien
Tolzien's first career start probably didn't go as well as he had hoped it would go.
Sure, the 339 passing yards look nice on paper, but they hardly paint the whole picture for Tolzien. The more important stats to look at are the zero touchdowns and three interceptions.
His second interception was returned for a touchdown by New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. That gave New York a two-score lead, and the Green Bay Packers simply couldn't come back from that deficit.
It's hard to give Tolzien too low of a grade for the fact that it was his first start, and it was on the road. However, there is no doubt that he needs to play much better if the Packers want to win games while Aaron Rodgers is out.
Final Grade: C+
Key Players: Eddie Lacy, James Starks
The ground game could never get it going on Sunday against the New York Giants. Neither running back was good for the Green Bay Packers this week.
Rookie running back Eddie Lacy finished the game with 14 carries but only 27 yards. Sure, he added a touchdown late in the game, but the fact he averaged less than two yards per carry is a major issue.
As for running back James Starks, he was simply non-existent for the second straight game. This week, Starks rushed for negative-one yard on two carries.
The only way the Packers are going to win games in the next few weeks is if the ground game plays much, much better than it did in this game.
Final Grade: C-
Key Players: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin
The Green Bay Packers only had three receivers catch passes on Sunday, but they combined for 16 receptions and a whopping 263 yards.
Nelson led the way with a team-high eight receptions and 117 yards. Boykin added six receptions and 91 yards, and Jones had only two receptions, but they went for 55 yards.
The Packers wide receivers made a number of great catches and did a great job of getting open for quarterback Scott Tolzien. While a touchdown would have been nice, Tolzien simply never got the offense in a position to throw a touchdown pass.
With the receivers playing as well as they did this week, you have to think that Tolzien has a chance to win some games as the starting quarterback.
Final Grade: B+
Key Players: Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick
It was another hit for the Green Bay Packers when Bostick was forced out of the game early. He came out after his lone reception that went for an impressive 26 yards.
Bostick played well last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, and that lone reception showed he was ready to be a big part of the game plan this week. With Bostick out, the Green Bay Packers didn't really look to Quarless too much.
Quarless finished the game with only two receptions for a rather mediocre 18 yards. He did have a nice run after the catch that went for 19 yards, but the Packers ultimately need more production from the tight end position each week.
Final Grade: B-
Key Players: David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Marshall Newhouse
What was most impressive from the Green Bay Packers offensive line this week was the fact that it didn't give up a single sack. Now some of that is due to the scrambling ability of quarterback Scott Tolzien, but most of it was due to solid play.
The New York Giants have a ferocious pass rush, and keeping New York without a sack is rather impressive. Unfortunately, there was also some bad for the offensive line in this matchup.
The group simply couldn't open up holes for running backs James Starks and Eddie Lacy. The two combined for only 26 rushing yards on 16 carries. That's a pedestrian 1.6 yards-per-carry average. The offensive line needed to do a better job at opening up holes for the running backs to run through.
Overall, it was more positive for the offensive line than negative this week.
Final Grade: B
Key Players: B.J. Raji, Johnny Jolly, C.J. Wilson, Ryan Pickett, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels
It was another tough game for the defensive line of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
For starters, there were only a handful of plays where the defensive line was able to get some pressure on opposing quarterback Eli Manning. In fact, all four of the Packers sacks came from the linebackers in this game.
Furthermore, the defensive line was consistently beat at the point of attack by the New York Giants offensive line. The Giants gained a total of 78 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
If the Packers defense wants to become anything more than a laughing stock, the defensive line must play much better than it did this week.
Final Grade: C-
Key Players: Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Mike Neal, Nate Palmer
There were times when the Green Bay Packers linebackers looked like an elite unit. For example, when Matthews, Hawk, Jones and Neal combined for four sacks, they looked fantastic.
However, this unit also had its struggles against the New York Giants, specifically in the passing game. None of the linebackers were especially good in pass coverage with Matthews having an extremely rough day when dropping into coverage.
While there were definitely bright spots for the Packers defense to build off in coming weeks, there is also a ton of room for improvement for the linebackers. That's why they get just a mediocre grade this week.
Final Grade: B-
Key Players: Tramon Williams, Jarrett Bush, Davon House, Micah Hyde
If your name ends in Williams, you can leave the room for the rest of this slide because none of this is true to you.
The secondary was just awful against the New York Giants on Sunday. It couldn't stop anyone from getting open or making big plays once a player caught the football. The tackling was once again rather poor as Giants defenders picked up a number of extra yards after first contact.
The reason that Williams gets a pass and shouldn't be considered part of this group this week is because he played his best game of the season. He finished the game with eight fantastic tackles and his first interception of the season.
While it was great to finally get a big game from Williams, the rest of the secondary still made the Packers defense look absolutely horrid this week.
Final Grade: D+
Key Players: Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Chris Banjo
Did anyone else think the safeties were going to start playing better once Burnett returned from his injury? Well, it sure hasn't happened so far.
The safeties were absolutely torched by the New York Giants on Sunday. It seemed that every time quarterback Eli Manning dropped back to pass, the middle of the field was wide open. That's why wide receiver Victor Cruz finished the game with eight receptions and 110 yards.
Until the safeties can play at a level that's higher than a high school football team, the Green Bay Packers aren't likely to win many games.
Final Grade: D-
Key Players: Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Micah Hyde, M.D. Jennings
The only big play from the Green Bay Packers on special teams came from a fake punt that failed to gain a first down. Jennings got the direct snap and ran for six yards but was a few feet short from keeping the drive going.
The best play this week was Crosby's 57-yard field goal. That field goal was the longest outdoor field goal in the history of Green Bay according to Jason Wilde of ESPN.com. Crosby hit both of his field goals this week, looking much better than when he missed two attempts last week.
As for Masthay and Hyde, neither did anything of note in the loss this week.
Final Grade: B