Five Packers Players Who Are Actually Having Good Seasons This Year

With the Green Bay Packers mired in a five-game losing streak and struggling to play well, I figured we can all use a look at the bright side of something associated with this team right about now.

While many Packers players have had disappointing seasons and failed to live up to expectations, there are a handful of players who have been playing well or exceeding expectations this year.

Players on this list are ranked based on performance, expectations and the circumstances surrounding the player such as their past injury status and past performances.

Here is a look at five Packers players who are having good seasons through the first half of the 2022 campaign:

5. OL Zach Tom

The uncertainty surrounding the Packers offensive line has been the one constant the unit has this season and it has resulted in a lot of changes in the starters on a week-to-week basis. Offensive lines need continuity more than almost any other unit on the field to develop chemistry but the Packers haven’t had much continuity since Week 1.

One Packers offensive lineman who has done just fine despite the changes is rookie Zach Tom. The fourth round pick out of Wake Forest didn’t earn a starting job out of training camp, but he did see action at multiple positions in the preseason and that paid off when injuries hit the offensive line.

Tom has seen action at both tackle and guard and on both the left side and right side of the line. When called upon, he’s played well and has graded out strongly according to PFF.

He has surpassed third-round pick Sean Rhyan on the depth chart and has played at least 61 percent of the plays in each of team’s last three games.

Tom is still learning and makes the occasional rookie mistake, but he has proven himself to a be a good pass blocker and a decent run blocker with the potential to get even better as he gains experience.

4. K Mason Crosby

Crosby struggled mightily last season, missing nine field goal attempts and two extra points during the regular season and struggling again against San Francisco in the playoffs. His field goal conversion percentage was a mere 73.5, his worst year since 2012.

This season, Crosby seems to have found his groove again and is kicking field goals at an 81.8 percent success rate, right around his career mark of 81.2.

Getting a new holder in Pat O’Donnell and a new long snapper in Jack Coco seems to have helped Crosby as did an offseason “cleanup” procedure on his knee that caused him to miss the preseason.

The Packers are pleased to have Crosby kicking efficiently again this season.

3. OLB Rashan Gary

Gary got off to a great start this season before he was slowed by a toe injury and then suffered a season-ending knee injury against Detroit.

The former Michigan star leads the team with six sacks. He also has 12 quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss in just a little more than eight games played.

The Packers will miss Gary who was their best pass rusher. He consistently got pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

The Packers hope he will be ready to start the 2023 season. Gary’s strong work ethic and determination make the team hopeful he’ll be back as soon as possible.

2. CB Jaire Alexander

Alexander was injured early in the 2021 season and played only four games. He was a Pro Bowl player and considered one of the league’s top cover corners in 2020. This year, he is playing well again even though the coaching staff is not always matching him up against the top receivers on the opposing team.

In 2020, opposing quarterbacks completed 51.3 percent of their passes when throwing to receivers covered by Alexander according to Pro-Football-Reference.com and had a quarterback rating of 67.4.

This season, they are completing 52.9 percent of their throws and have a quarterback rating of only 44.6.

Alexander is confident and brash and he remains one of the better cover corners in the game. While he may not be fully back to his 2020 form, he gives the Packers a shutdown corner who could do even more if they utilized him properly.

1. RB Aaron Jones

With the departure of Davante Adams, the Packers knew Aaron Jones needed to be the centerpiece of the offense. Jones has come through this season even with all the issues at receiver and along the offensive line.

Jones has 600 yards rushing and is averaging a career-high 5.6-yards per carry. He is on pace for a career-best 1,333 yards on the ground.  

He has also caught 32 passes which also puts him on pace for a new personal best. His previous career high in catches was 52 a year ago.

Jones is a threat to score any time he touches the football and his speed and ability to break off long runs make him the most exciting player on the offense this season.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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5 points

Comments (38)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Coldworld's picture

November 12, 2022 at 11:13 am

Well, only 4 of those still on the roster.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 13, 2022 at 05:00 am

Given that, the author might have removed Gary and inserted Rasul Douglas. Rasul is having a nice season, just not as spectacular as 2021.

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mnbadger's picture

November 12, 2022 at 11:29 am

Thank you Gil for your accurate assessment and much needed, albeit small, dose of positivity!
As hinted at in the article, relatively low bar of entry to this list, which summarizes nicely why the team is losing so frequently and performing so poorly.
Hardly anybody is playing well, say nothing of playing great. With the qualifiers that Gil offered at start of article, I may add Doubs and Toure just to make the list longer and add to the positivity.
O'donnell got off to a great start but has been very average lately.
GPG! and welcome back to MM

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Oppy's picture

November 12, 2022 at 11:39 am

Stockholder and EDP are trying to figure out how Rodgers didn't make this list.

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stockholder's picture

November 12, 2022 at 12:54 pm

It's just a list. It won't change anything. It could jinx them.

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Oppy's picture

November 12, 2022 at 06:41 pm

Pure gold.

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Coldworld's picture

November 13, 2022 at 09:09 am

Pyrites

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Johnblood27's picture

November 13, 2022 at 02:47 pm

Thank goodness that they were not jinxed!!! at least we have that going for us...

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Leatherhead's picture

November 12, 2022 at 12:15 pm

I think the Packers have plenty of good players on this team. Prior to the season, I said this looked like as good of a roster as I've seen in over 50 years. And the guys Gil Martin mentioned are all good players. I could add some names to that list.

But this is a team sport and there is no MVP of a 3-6 team. Good players have to play well together, and that just isn't happening enough on this team. The injuries have obviously contributed to that, but everybody has injuries. We had quite a few significant injuries in 2010, and plenty of times we've had to deal with the abrupt loss of a key piece. Sterling Sharpe. Favre. Nick Collins. We lost Jordy TheGreat in 2015 preseason and yet still managed to win some games.

To my recollection, the only team that hasn't won at least 6 games in the last 30 years is the 2005 team that went 4-12 (with two HOF QBs on the roster....irony much?). We won at least 6 games with the gum chewer. We won at least 6 games in 2013 with Cobb and Rodgers and Matthews missing half the season. We won 6 games Rodgers first season as a starter . We won 6 games the year McCarthy got replaced.

This is shaping up as one of the worst seasons in 30 years. IMO, we have plenty enough talent to win some games but we just ...make...too.. many...mistakes. Over and over again, on both sides of the ball, and it's just killing drive after drive on offense. The Leader isn't playing well but he isn't exactly getting the help he needs. On the Warner Video we've all seen this week, we watched Sammy Watkins just not be where he was supposed to be. You could have lined my old butt up on that play and I'd have been where I was told to be, so I don't understand why this keeps happening, not just with Watkins but with others as well.

We need to go 3-5 the rest of the way to win at least 6 games. If we lose to Dallas, we'll need to go 3-4.

A guy I coached with in High School, Coach Mulehead Morales, said that if was going to lose, he at least wasn't going to lose playing "turds" (One of his favorite words) I'm kind of at that point. If you're going to lose, lose with guys who work their ass off and play their guts out. LaFleur should have 7 games with Love to show that he can move the ball and score some points, and put the guys on the field with him that he thinks give them the best shot. If we finish with a couple of wins, then that's something to build on, and if we don't, then I guess that raises some questions about a LeFleur/Love future, and by extension, the GM.

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Rebecca's picture

November 12, 2022 at 12:52 pm

Should I assume that Aaron Rodgers is a “turd” in your analysis?

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Johnblood27's picture

November 13, 2022 at 02:49 pm

he is a big Turd Ferguson fan...

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 02:10 pm

I completely agree. Hold out the veterans that will likely be gone next year (Bak, Aaron Jones) and play the younger players who will set the stage for the next era of Packers football.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 12, 2022 at 02:52 pm

Why would you embarrass and punish a healthy Aaron Jones, the one consistent bright spot on offense, by making him ride the bench the rest of the season? That's beyond asinine.

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 04:16 pm

We need to keep him healthy so we can get as much draft capital for him next year as we can.

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 04:16 pm

Duplicate

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 12, 2022 at 05:19 pm

That's so stupid and disrespectful I don't even know how to respond. Aaron Jones is one of the top RB/Rec threats in the league. As a reward for his contributions to the team, not to mention his positive infectious attitude over the past 5 years, we're going to make him watch the remaining 8 games from the bench. What player would want to come to an organization that did that to one of their top players?

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 05:34 pm

It is called football business. Jones was great, both in performance in attitude, but he isn't the future in GB. We missed out on trading him before the deadline, so we should keep him healthy so he can be traded to a contending team next year and hopefully win a ring. He deserves the chance to succeed

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 12, 2022 at 06:02 pm

It's not Green Bay's responsibility to help current players on the roster win a ring with another team. That's an even weaker argument than your original one for benching him.

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PhantomII's picture

November 13, 2022 at 12:49 pm

LOL...We missed out on getting Moore with a 1N3 pick and Claypool with a 2N4 pick. We would have WR's at #1 and #2 WR position for first time since 2018. GM has mismanaged WR corp to an extreme degree. This WR boost would allow time for Watson, Doubs and Toure to get up to speed and learn the language and route tree and blocking schemes associated with it. Imagine in a year or two where our offense would be if Gutes ego did not demand HE use the picks for team needs from the draft "only".

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LLCHESTY's picture

November 13, 2022 at 01:59 am

Why would any GM trade for him knowing the Packers have to cut him? There's a few who don't deserve their jobs but I don't see any wearing a clown nose and riding a trike.

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dobber's picture

November 13, 2022 at 05:37 am

What people don't see is that benching a guy and not using him drives his trade value down.

...not to mention that Bakhtiari doesn't have any trade value to speak of until he shows he can regularly play full games at a high level.

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Coldworld's picture

November 13, 2022 at 09:13 am

Bakh likely won’t show that even if he does. He will always be one with a question mark now. In the end, play youth and accept that it’s really the only positive. Play Hill
more and Jones less, not bench him. That probably suits both us and him once this season is truly dead.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 13, 2022 at 02:50 pm

why punish love that way?

Play Love and also play every talented player on the roster.

Give the kid a chance...

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 12, 2022 at 02:34 pm

Was "Mulehead" a family name?

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croatpackfan's picture

November 12, 2022 at 12:29 pm

I would add Preston Smith. As 6th one.

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Coldworld's picture

November 12, 2022 at 02:38 pm

Yes! Good point.

In a lower profile way, I’m glad we have had Nixon. I’d also give a shout out to Nijman, who was doing well when we were at our worst at LT and is now suffering from transition. Also, Jenkins. It may not have been pretty, but he’s looking better at LG and I think it takes guts and a good attitude to be willing to gut out a new position while not truly oneself. Too easy to be under appreciated for not taking the easy route. Finally, when he’s given a chance, Deguara has impressed.

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 04:13 pm

Yes. Unfortunately, I don't think we can reasonably keep both Jenkins and Nijman in 2023 because of cap reasons

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 13, 2022 at 05:13 am

Nijman is an RFA. He'd cost $4.6M on a 2nd round tender and just over $6M with a first round tender. Nijman isn't going anywhere.

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 01:54 pm

If Tom can add some more bulk , then he could develop into a top offensive lineman in the league. He and Nijman could be the future at the Tackle position

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BirdDogUni's picture

November 12, 2022 at 03:17 pm

I will also love to find out if Walker and Jones can develop into starters. Be nice to maybe get a few real coaches. Butkus as OL coach has not been a great asset so far. Probably need some upgrades at several coaching positions. I would suggest Vrable has been a failure as WRs coach, just looking at the performances of Watkins and company so far.

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 04:11 pm

Totally agree on Vrable. We need to put Steno back at OL coach, the offense has been bad and the OL clearly misses him. Butkus is not ready.

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LLCHESTY's picture

November 13, 2022 at 02:04 am

Don't forget whoever is in charge of the run defense, and they might as well take Barry with them. Probably the safeties coach too.

Is that 5? That seems like a good start.

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PhantomII's picture

November 13, 2022 at 01:03 pm

I agree he should have started on the OL day1. I believe Gute continues to freshen the OL every year and keep the cap hits on the defense.

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 12, 2022 at 02:46 pm

Ah, yes, I remember the Martin boy. Always saw the best in every situation, you know? As the story goes, when Gil was but a lad, maybe six or seven years old, he was injured at recess when an obese classmate fell on him, Young Gil used his recovery time well; becoming a voracious reader and beginning writer with the arm that wasn't broken. Today, he writes for a blog where he brings hope to those who spend too much time in front of a keyboard and don't have many friends in real life.

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PackyCheese500's picture

November 12, 2022 at 04:17 pm

Rodgers needs to go next year or retire

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BAMABADGER's picture

November 12, 2022 at 07:30 pm

Mason can't kick the ball into the end zone. Alexander, so far this season, has been more personal hype than performance.

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LLCHESTY's picture

November 13, 2022 at 02:08 am

You mean the Alexander that has a passer rating allowed of 44 and a YDS/TGT against of 6.1? That Alexander?

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PhantomII's picture

November 13, 2022 at 06:21 pm

We play 2-5 good teams per year. That's a lot of fluff stats overall. If he does it against cream of the crop WR's then he's returned to 2020 form...I hope he has. I saw more than a couple TD's on him also. Jefferson made them ALL look stupid.

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