It should not surprise many here that most of the Duds are going to come from the run defense. It has to…at the end of the day there were just too many running yards given up for there not to be at least two Dud nominations there....although we could really name five or six out of the front seven and not really go too wrong. Despite that glaring area of concern we are going to try and strive for a balanced approach to Dud of the Week this week and mix up some defense, some offense, and maybe even some special team players this week as well.
Let’s meet this week’s nominees….
LB Erik Walden – This was a unique week for Walden where he failed in basically every facet of his game. His performance today was one where as all the player celebrate in the locker room he should just hang his head in front of his locker and be ashamed of himself. He failed in tackling. He failed in coverage. He failed in run support. He failed in pass pressure. He just failed. Frank Zombo logged more tackles than Walden today and I didn’t even realize that Zombo got on the field. The epic fail though? He got juked by Christian Ponder. If you got juked by Christian Ponder you need to go to the sidelines and cry…and then just be benched.
LB Brad Jones – There is a good argument to place A.J. Hawk here too since Hawk was just as guilty for being invisible on those big Adrian Peterson runs. What gives Jones special attention though was his failure in coverage as well. Jones has typically been good in this area, but seemed to struggle a bit. Though, if you want to go the other way, Jones did have a pass defended and a tackle for a loss….something Hawk came up short to do again this week.
WR James Jones – Jones had an amazing 32 yard TD reception to cap off the Packers’ opening drive. It was something like during his extra hot streak, leaping over the defender and just taking the ball away. He then promptly disappeared for the rest of the game save a single eight yard reception. Really what gets Jones this nomination is the fact that he seems to be struggling to get open quick enough…..like so many of the other Packer receivers. With Jordy Nelson battling injuries again Jones has to step up, and that means getting open and being a viable target as well as making those amazing catches…..two catches is just not enough.
ST Jarrett Bush – At this point Jarrett Bush has one job….make the Packers special teams respectable. Yet, on Sunday he drew two stupid penalties on special teams....one of which was a killer (the illegal block in the back on Randall Cobb’s awful punt return). Heck, it was even on that play that Bush’s bad play set up that awful punt return and seemed to give Cobb the bad idea of running backwards to get around that illegal block…only to end up twenty yards backwards. This may seem like small points, but when you have a highly specialized role, especially a special teams role, then those few mistakes can mean the difference between being the best at your job and the worst. Today Bush was the worst.
NT B.J. Raji – It’s hard to evaluate nose tackles. If they are good at their job they don’t’ necessarily rack up stats. They aren’t always getting great pressure, and often they only look as good as the linebackers behind them are able to make plays. Despite this though it seems that Raji is just pushed around a fair bit and not the dominant presence many Packer fans were hoping he’d be. This week is another example of that with flashes of stuffing the run followed by being manhandled by the interior line of the Vikings.
DE Jerel Worthy – Worthy basically disappeared today which is a little troubling. So far his rookie season has been okay, a bit of a disappointment pass rush wise but a surprisingly good run defender. This week the Packers needed that run defense and Worthy was nowhere to be found.
OLB Dezman Moses – Expectation should not be high for Moses, but still failing to log much pressure against a QB like Christian Ponder is inexcusable. The Packers need better play from their outside rushers if the Packers are going to be able to run this defense successfully…especially without Clay Matthews.
So there you have it, basically the front seven all had their names mentioned as well as couple other players. There still might be some names left out though. If you believe a player should receive a Dud nomination feel free give your nomination in the comments section below.