There is a bit of hope to go along with this particular edition of Dud of the Week….namely that the playing time one (really two) of the Dud nominees may go down starting next week. The past three weeks the outside linebacker play for the Packers has been atrocious to watch. Erik Walden’s play has dropped significantly from the pleasant surprise he was in the first few games. Dezman Moses looks every bit the third string pass rush specialist, struggling in the running game and keeping contain. Frank Zombo has been so bad that he has struggled to get into the lineup despite how bad the previous two LB’s have been in their starting roles. It’s a mess out there and the mess is getting worse week after week. The good news is that reports have been surfacing that Clay Matthews will return this week which should reduce some of the disappointing play from this particular position.
The other good news is that outside of this particular unit, it’s tough to find some clear cut Dud’s. Every other position group had moments of absolute terrible play (typically in the first quarter) followed by generally solid play (typically in the second half). So the question becomes, do they get nominated for Dud because of their awful play early on or do they get a pass because the ship was righted and the game was won…probably because of the decent play at the end?
It’s a tricky question….but let’s brave through it and meet this week’s nominees.
OLB…..any of them – The poster boy this week should probably be Frank Zombo, but really all three played awful. None of these three could get any sort of pressure on Matthew Stafford (which shouldn’t be that surprising anymore), but worst of all three struggled in the running game as well. Zombo was particularly bad. Anytime you get blocked out of play by a QB you are going to get extra attention in Dud of the Week.
FB John Kuhn – Kuhn does many things well for the Packers, but this just wasn’t his night. His pass blocking was okay, but not great. His run blocking probably the highlight but nothing really to write home about. He had one carry for negative yardage. He had one ball thrown to him that he didn’t catch. A snowy game with bad footing should be his type game, with the Packers falling back on power football….but Kuhn just couldn’t show up the way they needed him to on Sunday.
WR James Jones – Jones had a better night target wise, but he struggled to catch the ball. Jones has been sure handed most of the year so it would be troubling to see his dropping problems come back now.
DE Jerel Worthy – Worthy was one of the few Packers to bring any kind of pass rush, so it might be a bit harsh to nominate him for Dud. However, in a game where the Lions rushed for way too many yards in the first half, some of the defensive line has to represent here. Worthy gets the nod since he did not register a tackle and disappeared for most of the first half.
As said in the intro, this week’s Dud nominations are tricky. It’s easy to miss one or be a bit too harsh with one of the guys nominated. If you disagree with one of the nominations, or if you think there is a player missed, make your case in the comments section.