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.
WR James Jones: A nonfactor in the three previous games, Jones was a key force against the Lions, catching three of the four passes thrown his way for a team-leading 94 yards and a 65-yard TD that gave the Packers a 21-0 lead. Very quietly, Jones has surpassed Jordy Nelson as the team leader in average yards per catch (18.8, compared to Nelson's 17.8 ypc).
CB Tramon Williams: It has taken a while, but Williams is starting to look like the dominating defender he was most of last season in a breakout campaign. Despite the fact he dropped two interceptions, one of which probably would have been returned for a TD (he still has four interceptions in the last four games), Williams made Lions superstar WR Calvin Johnson a relative nonfactor, limiting him to four catches for 49 yards and a meaningless three-yard TD with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter.
ILB Robert Francois: In the proud tradition of all those fill-ins last season who came through with flying colors so consistently in place of key injured players, Francois made a beautiful, acrobatic, tide-turning interception in place of the injured A.J. Hawk.
ORG Josh Sitton: Off kilter as of late with a nagging knee problem, Sitton suffered a new knee injury late in the second quarter against the Lions that is very likely to sideline him for the Giants game next Sunday and possibly longer.
ORT Bryan Bulaga: The 2010 first-rounder has been very solid for the most part this season, but he had a very hard time handling the Lions' Cliff Avril in Week 12 and had two key penalties.
ROLB Erik Walden: Walden's continually improving play on the field is offset by his arrest on battery charges the Friday morning after the Lions game that could become an unnecessary distraction not too far down the road.