Kevin said it best yesterday when starting to break this win down, it’s "One down, two to go." Not much else to say about that particular victory. It was good and there were good performances, but it was another warty, ugly win marked by the Packers overcoming injuries and some big setbacks. Basically like most of the rest of the wins the Packers have had since the Rams game all those weeks ago.
Now just because a win is ugly does not mean that there is a lack of note worthy performances. The Packers got some key contributions from what remains of their big name players on Sunday. Hopefully Greg Jennings can make it back to 100% and Clay Matthews can make it back on to the field for more of those big name players giving contributions. Until then though the Packers will have to make do with what they have…and what they have is good enough to beat most teams in the league. All in all, there should be some optimism going forward after last week’s nightmare of a performance.
As always though, some performances rise above the others for special praise. Let’s meet this week’s nominees for MVP of the week:
QB Aaron Rodgers – A vote for him winning MVP isn’t just a belated birthday gift, he also had a pretty good game. Rodgers got out of his throwing only to Cobb rut and completed a pass to nine different receivers. What was really striking though was just how much of a badass Rodgers was in the pocket on Sunday. How many sacks to Rodgers slip out of? How many times did he just break a would be sack, roll out and then find man down field? I know this goes without saying, but without Rodgers playing at a high level we lose this past Sunday….and that’s even with 152 yards rushing for the Packers.
FS Morgan Burnett – Burnett is probably the face of this particular win. He made the two most critical plays of the game with two fantastic interceptions of Christian Ponder. Both plays came shortly after huge runs from Adrian Peterson and both promptly took the wind out of the sails of the Vikings offense. Of course he also had some terrible missed tackles on those two big Peterson runs which put the defense in bad situations in the first place. In a week where we shrug and say "A win is a win," those picks may just be enough for make us forget the warts of his game on Sunday.
RB James Starks – There still is not much different between Starks and Alex Green, but Starks gets the honor of being an MVP candidate for a beautiful touchdown run. Really both backs should share this particular nomination because both ran hard and actually hit the holes they were supposed to today. Funny how much better the offensive line looks for run blocking when the backs do what they are supposed to do.
Three nominations is a bit light, but it’s hard to find another player that fits. Randall Cobb gave a rather workman’s like performance today with only one real highlight. Jermichael Finley may also fit, but a different nomination seems to fit his day (and no, it’s not Dud). James Jones had a heck of a catch for a touchdown but basically disappeared after that play. No defender, other than Burnett who had the picks, gets a nomination when AP runs for 200+ yards and Christian Ponder is hit once. But maybe I’m wrong here and there is a name that should be added, if so please feel free to make the case for the forgotten player in the comment section.
Right now it’s time to bask in victory Monday and key win over a hated rival.