It's that time of the week where we take a step back and reflect on individual performances and how much they impact the team. As I start out I just have to say how interesting to watch the Packers play over the last four games. It's been great to see this team grow and evolve over the winning streaks and I think that MVP watch is starting to reflect this change. Where in previous weeks the list was almost completely dominated by defensive players, this week the offense is getting some proper respect.
No more has this been seen in the rise of Greg Jennings. As Brandon highlighted for us today, Jennings was named NFC Offensive Player of the week. I'm not surprised. I thought Jennings was the guy who deserved this week's game ball, and was the key to closing out the Vikings for the year. Watching Jennings shred the the secondary I couldn't help but think about what I said about him last week, namely that he wouldn't make it on the list till I saw a game where he just simply took control. Well he did that this week in spades, so he gets a spot on the list.
Who else made it? Find out after the jump....but first a quick review of the rules for our little game:
1. This is an award for most valuable player. I know we all have a deep and unabiding love for Dom Capers, but it's not fair to the guys in pads to give him this honor.
2. This is a cumulative award. As a result it takes more than just one really good game to take notice on the list...so Dmitri Nance isn't going to get much love until he runs the ball for more than one game in garbage time and James Starks needs to be activated to get consideration.
Now with that out of the way let the fun being....
1. Clay Matthews. So he didn't tear up the Vikings like we all hoped. He still did get a sack, even though it was more a two hand touch sort of sack since Favre decided to fall down. Actually that sack reminded me of the gift Favre game Strahan for the record breaking sack all those years ago. Anyways, as this is a cumaltive award, he's been a beast, and in the conversation for league MVP...well he gets the lead dog position for the Pack.
2. Aaron Rodgers. He's finally over taken Woodson in my mind. The last two weeks have been sharp to say the least. Now if he can keep this up and help us sneak out a win in Atlanta he may start challenging the Claymaker for the top dog spot.
3. TIE Tramon Williams / Charles Woodson. Okay, I'm copping out here. I think that the Williams and Woodson debate has been consistent as the season goes on. Which one is outshining the other? My answer right now...neither. I think last week's game really is the best example I can point to; the Packers got two turnovers one caused by Woodson the other by Williams. Williams is the better pure cover guy right now. Woodson is a better overall defender. How can I choose between which is more valuable when really we need both....badly.
4. Greg Jennings. As promised here's his spot on the list. He really did just take control of the game, and I believe that he may be the only reason we won that game. When the offense was having trouble getting started and the Pack were down 3-0 Jennings makes an amazing grab that jump starts the offense. He seemed like the only play maker out there at times.
5. B.J. Raji. Poor B.J. Raji, he just keeps sliding and not because of his play. Really the guy goes into to each game with a job that is essential but is below the radar. He does it, very well, and allows our defense to dominate...but then the Claymaker, C-Wood, and Tramon Williams just take all the limelight. I really can't say enough good things about him and the play he's done for us this year. Man, TT had a great draft when he snagged Raji and Matthews together.
Josh Sitton. Like Raji, Sitton's job is to dominate and not been seen. Thus, he doesn't get as much love as some of the flashier names that appear above. Despite this, he is still key and having a great year. Where would we be without his presence along the line? In a world of hurt to say the last.
Cullen Jenkins. Could you imagine what this year would be like if Jenkins wasn't hurt early? Jenkins is a force along the line and no QB is safe when he's collapsing the pocket.
James Jones. He's a playmaker, but tends to be up and down. If learns to catch and hold on to the damn ball on a regular occasion he will need to be locked down to a long term deal, replace DD, and shine as the talent he is.
Nick Collins. Putting in a solid, Pro Bowl performance. In fact, with a few more high profile picks like the one against Favre a couple weeks ago he can start to be talked about as one of the best safeties in the league.
Chad Clifton. The bionic man has not only put together a healthy season so far (knock on wood), but he's also put together one of his better seasons in the last few years. We can forget about him sometimes since he's obviously not in the long range plan for the Packers, but he has been essential to our success this year and if he can finish out the year like this keep our year looking bright.
One more thing to stir up discussion this week: How many players do the Packers send to the Pro Bowl? I'm going to start the over/under at 5. Extra gold stars for those who guess names of the guys going to wherever they are playing the game this year.