Midweek Stock Report: Packers' secondary steps up
Every Wednesday, FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look at which athletes' stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is making a meteoric rise, and who is quickly plummeting.
With that in mind, let's "take stock" of the current sports scene in Wisconsin, shall we?
The Packers secondary
Green Bay didn't allow the Giants' passing attack to take over Sunday's playoff game. Eli Manning threw for 299 yards, but completed just 23 of 44 passes (52.3 percent). Odell Beckham (11 targets, 4 catches, 28 yards) never got going and New York only had two completions longer than 26 yards. The fivesome of Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, LaDarius Gunter, Micah Hyde and Damarious Randall played all 65 defensive snaps.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback
We might have been remiss in including Rodgers here in recent weeks, but, hey we get the picture. Rodgers has been playing at an MVP level for nearly two months and continued his streak in Green Bay's wild-card win over New York, passing for 362 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. It marked the fifth time Rodgers had had 3+ TD passes with no INT in a playoff game in his career -- no one has done that more times than Rodgers. Joe Montana had been tied at four such games before this past Sunday, while five other quarterbacks have done it three times: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning. And there's still more games to be played.
Randall Cobb, Packers wide receiver
For someone who hadn't played in two weeks and didn't even have a catch the last time he played, Cobb certainly did OK for himself, catching five passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns -- including a Hail Mary grab at the end of the first half -- as Green Bay knocked the New York Giants out of the playoffs.
Michael Beasley, Bucks forward
Beasley has been a nice revelation for Milwaukee this season and he enjoyed perhaps his best week of basketball this season in the last seven days. The veteran, who was playing in China for parts of last season, was slowed by an injury but still had 18 points in less than 16 minutes against Washington, and then helped lead the Bucks to their first win in San Antonio since 2008 with a season-high 28 points (on 11-of-18 shooting), five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks forward
We finally found the one thing that can slow down Giannis -- his own health. An illness forced him to miss Sunday's game against Washington and then play just nine minutes at San Antonio. After seeing the way Antetokounmpo looked while sitting on the bench it is surprising that he even was able to play at all. Of course, we're not worried, we know this stock will be trending back upwards soon enough.
Badgers basketball at Purdue
It isn't quite a house of horrors, but Mackey Arena hasn't been too friendly to Wisconsin in recent years. The Badgers are 2-7 in their last eight games at Purdue, including a loss to the Boilermakers this past Sunday, and 3-36 in West Lafayette, Ind., since 1972. Overall, Wisconsin has lost three in a row to Purdue.
Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth's Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns