There is a sense of frustration in the air today and it’s not hard to see where it is coming from. The Packers blew an 18 point lead on Sunday, the first time they blew a lead of that size since 1957. Not good. There are plenty of places to point the blame finger, but before we indulge in that let’s take a moment to be positive and look on the bright side of things. There were some bright spots after all.
So let’s look at some of the brighter spots with our nominations for MVP of the Week:
QB Aaron Rodgers – How do you judge Rodgers’ play this week? Do you go by the first half’s brilliance? He threw two touchdown passes and had the offense looking unstoppable. Do you go by the fourth quarter play which was solid? He was running around buying something out of nothing and moving the team down to stay in the game after pissing away a big lead. I don’t know how much more he could of done then. Do you go by the rest of the pitiful second half where he held the ball too long, made some poor decisions and poor throws and just looked human? Right now I’m thinking the former, but there are some strong cases for the later as well.
RB Cedric Benson – I never thought I would say this, but Benson is probably the key to the offense the rest of the year. He doesn’t need to have the running numbers or stats, but just having that threat and consistent presence is enough to take pressure off Rodgers and unlock the offense. If you doubt me watch the third quarter of the game again and see just how awful the offense looked. The Colts just pinned their ears back and played deep cover…and the Packers had no real answer to that.
LB Clay Matthews – Not a big day for Clay stat wise, but he did register a sack and do a good job of pressuring Andrew Luck, especially in the first half.
LB Nick Perry – It’s interesting to watch Perry right now because he is quietly putting together a very solid rookie campaign. He registered a sack yesterday and should have had a sack and fumble. He also got three tackles. Yet, this sort of performance is ignored since you are going to hear about how Erik Walden is getting more snaps than him. The Walden / Perry battle for time may be one of the more interesting ongoing battles of the year…either way the Perry pick is looking better and better each week.
LB D.J. Smith – I have to confess part of this nomination is just to anger the haters in the crowd, but a part of it also comes from an interesting rise in play of Smith as of late. Smith still struggles in coverage, yes, but he is showing himself to be a very solid blitzer. He is improving his tackling and providing a presence in stopping the run. He also was second in the team in tackles on the day with 7 and 2 assists. Right now I think he would be pushing A.J. Hawk for time if Desmond Bishop were healthy. Hopefully next year Bishop will come back healthy and Smith will solidify his grasp on the starting LB job making for a pretty strong front seven. This year though….well, this year will have to be used for growth unfortunately, so prepare for a bit more uneven play. That said, he is improving each week and his best football is in front of him.
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