Unfortunately, the Green Bay Packers were dismissed from the playoffs for the second year in a row by the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. The NFC North champs took it to the final snap but a walk off field goal sent the Packers home 23-20, and sent the 49ers on to the Divisional round.
Before the inevitable upheaval that free agency, coaching staff departures or additions and the draft will bring in 2014, it's time to send home the 2013 report card. I'll roll down the roster numerically with a grade and brief comment and reveal marks for GM Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy at the end. Some of the players finished the year on injured reserve. Aside from the those who missed the entire season, the injured will also be graded.
2 Mason Crosby A. Hard to argue with 89% on FG's, 141 points.
8 Tim Masthay C+. Middle of the NFL pack statistically but very reliable,
9 Seneca Wallace INC. Finished Bear game, 1 series vs Philly. 16/24.139 yds, 1 pick in GB career.
10 Matt Flynn C+. Very average upon return, emergency duty, the plus is his 2nd half in Dallas.
11 Jarrett Boykin B-. Earned his keep with Cobb down, 49/681 and 3 TD's.
12 Aaron Rodgers B. Solid numbers till the collarbone snapped.
13 Chris Harper INC. Practice squad receiver appeared in only 4 games.
16 Scott Tolzien C. Threw nice balls in New York but barely average NFL QB.
18 Randall Cobb B. Really missed him. TD every 7.75 receptions.
19 Myles White C-. 9 catches in last resort work.
20 Jumal Rolle INC. Only active for finale.
22 Khalil Bell INC. Former Bear enjoyed clincher in old haunts.
23 Jonathan Franklin C-. Flashed talent in Cincy with bad fumble, needs work.
24 Jarrett Bush C+. Try hard special teams leader, deep sub in secondary.
27 Eddie Lacy A-. 284/1178 and 11 TD's, rewrites rookie rushing record book.
28 Sean Richardson C. Neck is healed got increasing snaps down the stretch.
30 John Kuhn B. Does nearly everything well,
31 Davon House D+. Hasn't maximized opportunities even with 1 sack, 1 INT, 13 PD's.
32 Chris Banjo C-. Was better in camp than during the season.
33 Micah Hyde B-. Better than expected,tackler, struggles in space, punt returns a bonus.
37 Sam Shields B. Became best cover corner, team high 4 picks.
38 Tramon Williams C+. Finished year strong but team needs full season.
42 Morgan Burnett C-. 100 tackles was 2nd, but 0 picks, 8 PD's, overpaid at those numbers.
43 M.D. Jennings D. Starter by default, time for an upgrade.
44 James Starks B. Fresh legs offered year long burst. Averaged 5.5 a carry.
50 A.J. Hawk B-. Arguably best year. 153 tackles, 5 sacks.
51 Nate Palmer D. Slight OLB pressed into service.
52 Clay Matthews C+. Bum thumb x2. Limited to 11 games. 7.5 sacks and 3 FF.
53 Nick Perry C-. Slowed by foot injury but just not seeing first round impact.
54 Victor Aiyewa D. Special teams only in just five games with 2 penalties.
55 Andy Mulumba C-. 3 starts for high energy former DE.
57 Jamari Lattimore C+. Showed pop at ILB when playing run, struggled vs pass.
59 Brad Jones C. 12 starts 3rd in tackles but would like a nastier version.
61 Brett Goode B. Can you remember the last bad snap?
62 Evan Dietrich-Smith B-. Started all 16, Do Packers like him enough to bring back?
65 Lane Taylor INC. Last lineman dressed, rarely played.
67 Don Barclay C. Missed two starts, missed a few more blocks.
69 David Bakhtiari C+. Out of nowhere rookie starts every game at LT, looks a keeper.
70 T.J. Lang B-. Grades higher because of versatility, smarts.
71 Josh Sitton B+. The anchor of improved run blocking unit, 2nd team All Pro.
73 J.C. Tretter INC. Recovered from camp injury to be rostered for last 3. Future center?
74 Marshall Newhouse D-. Lost RT job, likely will be looking for one soon.
76 Mike Daniels B. Made huge jump, 6.5 sacks, lots of energy, plays bigger than his size.
78 Derek Sherrod INC. Wow, third straight INC for former # 1. Finally got pads on though.
79 Ryan Pickett C+. Love the guy but father time is calling.
81 Andrew Quarless C+. 32 catches, some big ones, 2 scores coming back from bad knee.
82. Ryan Taylor C-. Still just special teamer, good one, but hasn't helped offense.
85 Jake Stoneburner D. Easily replaceable part.
86 Brandon Bostick C-. Skill set should produce better numbers, will get long look in '14.
87 Jordy Nelson A. 85/1314 and 8 TD's. Sideline magician, now one of NFL's top WR's.
88 Jermichael Finley B-. Was on track for huge year until awful neck injury.
89 James Jones B-. Played hurt late, couple of drops but a pro's pro who can help any team.
90 B.J. Raji C. Not as harsh a grade as some but he's digressing.
93 Josh Boyd C-. Only got a glimpse of this big body late.
95 Datone Jones C-. Top pick still picking up NFL game, needs a jump in year 2.
96 Mike Neal C+. 285 pounder learned to play OLB. 60 tackles, 5 sacks, he's learning.
97 Johnny Jolly B-. Kudos for journey back, a plus in the locker room.
98 C.J. Wilson D-. He absolutely vanished this year.
99 Jerel Worthy INC. Appeared in only 2 games plus playoff off knee injury. Has to show in '14.
There's the roster. 51 graded players and the team's GPA this year was 2.1. Barely above a C and considering the 8-7-1 regular season record, that's about as slightly above average as you can get. Now to the teachers of the class.
Mike McCarthy C+. How he held this all together was pretty impressive. Starting four quarterbacks and still winning a division title, it's happened only three other times. He promised a better game and Lacy helped deliver behind the musical chaired offensive line. The offense finished top 10 in total yards, passing and rushing but the defense took a big step backward. Be it scheme or personnel, he's got to get that solved. While some will get petty over some play calls like the goal to go series late in the 49er game, I'm not going to quibble with his 8 year track record, he knows offense.
Ted Thompson C. Just average for the GM. When the injuries mounted in 2010, he had quality backups ready to deliver. When they piled up again this season, the help wasn't there. This year's draft produced a budding star in Lacy, a surprising starting left tackle in Bakhtiari and a savvy defender in Hyde. The number one pick developed slowly and he needs to blossom soon. It's the drafts of two and three years ago that have eroded the depth. Cutting Jerron McMillian at mid-season only admitted another mistake. The team got caught without a bona fide outside linebacker beyond Matthews. Perry, Neal, Palmer and Mulumba all played with their hand on the ground in college and the transition to professional linebacker was spotty. Dilly dallying with a backup quarterback through camp proved costly when the franchise got hurt. He will be extremely challenged prioritizing the list of free agents on his own team and contemplating those coming free around the league. This might be the year he dips into the open market to fill in pieces.