Who Are the Packers' Best Performers Through Three Games?

Thearon W. Henderson

With the bye week upon us, we look back at the top Packers through the team's 1-2 start, both using traditional stats and advanced metrics.

The Packers are off this week, hopefully resting up their hamstrings, but that doesn't mean we can't find things to talk about. Despite the team's 1-2 start, there have been several impressive performances by individuals over the past three games, and they are worthy of note. With that in mind, let's sift through some of the struggles and examine the best performers on the team's roster through three weeks.

Offense

Jordy Nelson

I'm happy to argue that the Packers' most consistent offensive player through three weeks has been wide receiver Jordy Nelson. He has been a huge factor in every game so far this season, and he's been doing it with highlight-reel catches along the sideline as well as big runs after the catch. He leads the team in touchdowns as well, with three. Pro Football Focus grades Jordy highest among all Packers so far this season, with a +7.0 grade.

Don Barclay

The decision to start Barclay ahead of Marshall Newhouse at right tackle took a while in training camp, but it certainly appears to be paying off. While Barclay struggled in pass protection during his rookie year, he has done an excellent job keeping Aaron Rodgers off the turf through three games against excellent pass-rushing opponents in Ahmad Brooks, Ryan Kerrigan, and Carlos Dunlap. Despite allowing two sacks (according to PFF), he is still graded out as the best Packer lineman with a +6.5 overall. Barclay has the team's best pass-block rating as well with a +4.2 and he is tied for 14th in the league in PFF's pass-blocking efficiency stat (which factors in total pressures versus total pass-blocking snaps). In short, Barclay's development has been very promising.

Defense

Brad Jones

As the starter at right inside linebacker, Jones is justifying the new contract that he signed in the off-season with his performance through three games. He is sixth in the league among inside backers in total "stops" and stop rate, he has just one missed tackle (second in the league), and he leads the Packers in total tackles. It's not surprising, then, that Jones has the top PFF grade on the Packers' defense with a +4.4.

Mike Daniels

For someone who tends to play only on passing downs, Daniels has made a number of impact plays so far this season, and has been the team's best pass-rushing down lineman. He is credited with four stops, three hurries, and a sack, and has certainly made the most of his small number of snaps. He has the second-highest PFF grade on the defense, with a +3.9, despite playing fewer snaps than three other defensive linemen and 13 other defensive players overall.

Honorable Mentions

Randall Cobb
T.J. Lang
Ryan Pickett
Aaron Rodgers

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