Packers vs. Browns: Victory Monday! The Good, Bad, and Ugly

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Jarrett Boykin celebrates a touchdown by jumping into the stands during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 31-13. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The award for most improved (offensive) goes to: Jarrett Boykin!

I have to admit, I found myself cringing when I saw Aaron Rodgers direct his attention to Boykin on the first couple of targets. His performance against the Ravens left a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe I was too quick to pull the trigger on Boykin. He is still a very young, raw receiver. Only in his second year, he had played a grand total of like … nine offensive snaps in his career up until his services were needed full-time at Baltimore.

Yes, he had a bad case of the drops, but I think we can chalk it up to “the jitters.” He surprised me in this game. He had a career day (9 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD) against the Browns and he started earning back some trust from the Packers fan base, even though Rodgers’ faith never seemed to waver. His QB, coaches and teammates went to bat for him this week, calling him a future star in this league. If that is true, I am excited to see him emerge like this.

The award for most improved (defensive) goes to: Davon House!

In the preseason, House was torched nearly every game. He couldn’t defense a lame duck if it was thrown right to him. But with injuries amassing in the secondary, we were forced to give him a shot. He wasn’t spectacular in the first few games, though he didn’t have many glaring indiscretions, either.

However, these past two games he’s been lights out. He had a great game yesterday, batting balls away in the open field, against the sideline and in the end zone. He came up with a great interception early in the game to set up a two-score lead for the Packers. He jumped a route and had sure hands, which was a problem in the past. He was reported to stay after practice each day last week to catch passes from backup QB Seneca Wallace in preparation. It paid off.

Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Where has Daniels been all season? Not taking many snaps, that’s where.

When he was on the field Sunday, he was in the mix. His stats don’t do it justice.

He had a solo tackle and a sack against the Browns, but he showed potential as being a promising pass rusher. We need all the depth on the defensive line that we can get and he made plays that made me believe in that depth on Sunday.

Eddie Lacy

He is a staple in this piece, it seems, but it is well earned. He is balancing this offensive attack, and he’s doing it against the best. He rushed for 82 yards on 22 carries yesterday, not a 100-yard game, but just as well.

The Browns boast a great run defense – seventh overall. Lacy has torn apart the defensive line of the Detroit Lions, the sixth-ranked Baltimore Ravens and now the seventh-ranked Cleveland Browns.

He is patient and he picks his running lanes carefully. He uses his blockers and he makes people miss. He drags defenders foe extra yards and he makes secondary players nervous when he gets in the open field. He’s revitalizing this offense and priming it for a postseason run.

Aaron Rodgers

His play has been “underwhelming” in the eyes of the media this season because he isn’t throwing 500-plus yards per game and easily averaging four touchdowns per contest. His quarterback rating has dropped below 122 (GASP!) while still being one of the league’s highest. He is playing with a young, make-shift offensive line, trying to establish a running attack, playing through massive injuries to his top wideouts and best tight end.

He’s still getting it done, people. He is getting it done with one star wide receiver, one second year hopeful, an undrafted free agent wideout and tight end, both brought up from the practice squad last week. He makes others play up to their potential and he is just a complete talent.

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