In a game in which the Green Bay Packers scored every time they had the ball on offense (not including kneels to end both halves), it should be no surprise that multiple game balls are awarded to players on that unit. The offense posted four touchdowns and three field goals on its seven drives, and Green Bay even got a score from its special teams (more on that later) to put up a season-high 44 points in a victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Let's take a look at the players who we identify as worthy of special consideration this week.
Shocker - the Packers' quarterback was the best player on the football field again on Sunday. Rodgers completed 24 of his 29 passes (82.8%), but according to Pro Football Focus, three of those passes were throwaways and another was dropped. So of Rodgers' 26 aimed passes, 25 were deemed "catchable", an absolutely absurd 96.2%. The two touchdown throws to Jordy Nelson were simply insane - putting the ball in the perfect spot where only Nelson knew where to look for it, but in the right spot to let him make the catch. Rodgers work on third and fourth downs was impeccable as well, as he converted 13 of 16 third or fourth downs when pass plays were called. He ran for three of those conversions and threw for ten of them, while he took one sack and completed two passes that ended up short of the needed yardage on the three failures.
Who else but Jordy could be named here? As the only experienced receiver left on the team, Mike McCarthy put Nelson in the slot early and often to get matchup mismatches, and it worked perfectly. Both of Nelson's scores came out of the slot, while he also was a first-down machine when lined up on the outside. The Vikings had no answer for Nelson, as he caught all seven passes thrown his way for 123 yards and two scores.
The Packers' new punt returner showed why he will be keeping the job for the foreseeable future. Late in the second quarter with the score 17-10, Hyde fielded a punt at his own seven, took a few slow first steps to let his blocking set up, then put on the jets and raced untouched to the end zone. It was the Packers' first punt return score in over a year (Randall Cobb's 75-yarder against the 49ers in week 1 of 2012 was the last), and it served as a response to the Vikings' touchdown on the opening kickoff. Hyde played limited snaps on defense, but it was his big play on special teams that earns him a game ball.
Who's the leader in sacks on the Packers' defense this season? That's right, it's the Packers' other former Iowa Hawkeye, Mike Daniels, who has four after his two-sack day against Minnesota. Despite playing just over 45% of the team's snaps, Daniels has been the team's most effective interior pass-rusher. In addition to his two sacks last night, he was credited with three hurries.
Honorable Mention: Jamari Lattimore
Who earns your vote for the best Packer of the day?