Picking out the MVP for the Packers thus far is a matter of perspective. For the majority this is a clear choice….it’s Aaron Rodgers. He is the focal point of the team and most weeks as Rodgers goes so goes the team’s fortunes. The problem is that Rodgers is having a bit of a streaky season, which has resulted in some ups and downs for the Packers thus far.
Maybe MVP should go to another player then? One who has given a more consistent performance? Perhaps, but it would be difficult to name another player who is so pivotal to the Packers success. Despite that difficulty here are a few nominees to challenge Rodgers for midseason MVP:
QB Aaron Rodgers – It would be easy to list out all the stats that point to how good Rodgers has been this season so far, and especially the last month and a half, but the simplest way to crunch it all down is that the Packers are not 6-3 without him. It’s especially impressive when you consider that in the first three weeks of the year it looked that the Packers needed to shift more of the offense away from Rodgers and towards Cedric Benson.
LB Clay Matthews – Matthews is not only the majority of the pass rush for the Packers, but he is also one of the best run stoppers the team has and excels at coverage as well. For a long time it appeared as if it was Charles Woodson that made the defense run and be special….the next few weeks may show that it is really Clay that makes the Packers defense work.
WR Randall Cobb – If you are on the fence debating between this award going to Cobb and Rodgers consider all that Cobb does for the Packers right now. He’s flirted with being the #1 receiver while Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson were out. He’s been our most productive running threat out of the backfield. He’s a productive and dynamic returning threat as well. As essential as Rodgers has been, the Packers would surely be lost this year without Cobb there to help things along in countless ways.
CB Casey Hayward – One of the leading candidates for defensive rookie of the year because of his eye popping interception number (4). If you move beyond that though you see a young player who is mature beyond his years, picking up the art of coverage fast, and is a solid tackler…something rarely found in corner (let alone a rookie corner). Hayward is also the major reason the Packers have been able to weather the injuries to Sam Shields and Charles Woodson and continue along their four game winning streak.
WR Jordy Nelson - It took a bit of time, but once Nelson got going he was tough to stop. Nelson has slowly grown into a guy that could handle the #1 WR duties and produce without the defense being drawn to Jermichael Finley and Greg Jennings. He may also be the main reason neither of those players are part of the Packers' long range plans.
WR James Jones - Jones has taken a big step and finally found some consistency. When things have looked their bleakest the guy pulling things out for the Packers has often been Jones making a circus catch week after week.
RB Cedric Benson - It's easy to forget now, but up until he was injured Benson was quickly becoming a center piece of the Packers' offense. It was Benson that was getting the tough yards and keeping the chains moving while Rodgers and the passing game got their legs under them.
S Morgan Burnett - Burnett was a mild disappointment early in the year, but he has come on strong as of late. Most importantly he has stepped up his leadership and started to fill the void that Charles Woodson has left being the field general of the secondary.
As always feel free to write in your own candidate if you think someone was missed.