PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush identifies three players or position groups on the rise as well as three players or position groups going in the opposite direction.
LOLB Clay Matthews: Matthews has only two sacks after registering his first one since the Week Two win over Carolina. Despite the fact he already had 8½ sacks through six games last season, he actually has been just as disruptive so far this season, if not more so. In addition to his sack Sunday, Matthews consistently harassed Rams QB Sam Bradford with three QB hurries and continued to play better in coverage than he did last season with three pass breakups. Despite lower numbers, Matthews' total body of work definitely has been Pro Bowl-worthy.
MLB A.J. Hawk: Never one to draw much attention to himself, Hawk certainly raised eyebrows Sunday with a spirited effort accentuated by his admittedly ill-advised decision to give his teammates on the Packers' bench the finger after his first full sack of the season (he had half a sack entering the game). Hawk can be forgiven for delivering what he said was an inside joke when he flipped the bird because of his extremely strong inside play against St. Louis. Continually pushing the pocket, Hawk also had nine tackles (seven solos) in by far his best effort of the year.
FS Morgan Burnett: The defense completes a clean sweep in the rising-stock department by virtue of Burnett's gutty performance despite a cast on his right hand, which was broken in a late-week practice. After whiffing on an early tackle, Burnett rebounded with a strong nine-tackle effort that also included a forced fumble after a punishing shoulder hit on Rams workhorse RB Steven Jackson.
Packers RBs: It was not a good day Sunday for Packers ballcarriers James Starks, Ryan Grant and John Kuhn. Operating against a porous Rams defense ranked last in the league entering the game, they combined for only 75 yards on 24 carries (3.1 yards per carry) and were a key reason behind the offense's scoreless second half.
TE Jermichael Finley: Only one catch for 20 yards in Week Six made Finley's three-TD performance three games ago seem like a distant memory. Not counting that 7-85-3 effort in Week Three, Finley's numbers are decent but hardly earth-shattering (16-236-0).
OT Derek Sherrod: With Bryan Bulaga back in business as the starting right tackle after missing two games with a knee injury, Sherrod was active but did not play Sunday after doing a decent job in his first sustained action the previous week.