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.
QB Aaron Rodgers: Is Rodgers playing as well right now as any quarterback in the history of the NFL? It's actually a question worth pondering. Just when you think he has reached the highest level possible, Rodgers keeps elevating his game. On Sunday he used both his arm (four TD passes to four different receivers) and his legs (eight carries for 52 yards) in the Packers' heart-pounding 45-38 victory in San Diego.
CB Tramon Williams: For the Packers to go deep into the playoffs, they will need Williams to regain the exceptional form he displayed in his breakout campaign in 2010, when he finished in a three-way tie for second in the NFC with six interceptions and further elevated his play with a brilliant postseason. Williams finally registered his first interception of the season Sunday, which he returned 43 yards for a TD. He also had six tackles and looks like he could be on the cusp of a much-improved second half.
SS Charlie Peprah: A buddy of Peprah's actually had a dream that Peprah would have an interception for a TD with the game on the line. Turns out the blue-collar strong safety had a dream-come-true, two-interception performance in San Diego Sunday. Peprah returned his first interception 40 yards for a TD that gave the Packers a 14-7 lead that they never relinquished. His second interception was a 76-yarder with 33 seconds remaining that held the feisty Philip Rivers-led Chargers at bay. Can you say hero?
CB Charles Woodson: Woodson would be the first admit that his performance Sunday in San Diego was far from his best. While he did register seven tackles and forced a fumble, he was beaten badly on Vincent Jackson's 23-yard TD catch that opened the game's scoring and set the stage for another leaky performance by the Packers' pass defense. Woodson's ill-advised pass-interference call with 38 seconds remaining also kept the Chargers alive at the end for a few fleeting moments.
FS Morgan Burnett: Looking like the cast on his injured hand was bothering him more than usual, Burnett had a rough afternoon against the Chargers. He was victimized on Jackson's third TD catch of the game and consistently bailed out by fellow starting S Charlie Peprah.
ROLB Frank Zombo: Injuries continue to take their toll on Zombo. After missing practically the entire season with shoulder and knee injuries, Zombo was back in action Sunday only to suffer a hamstring injury that once again has him riding the pines. It was hoped he would split time with Erik Walden at right outside linebacker and bolster the pass rush, but that is starting to look like wishful thinking at best.