The nominees for Working Class Hero this week all have one thing in common….the pass rush. The Packers looked to have problems with the pass rush coming into the week. Without Clay Matthews, there were serious questions about who was going to step up and make that pass rush go. Without Bryan Bulaga the Packers were sporting a makeshift offensive line and there were questions about how they were going to stop a talented Lions defensive line, desperate for a win. These three players were able to answer the call and put together some impressive, although not as stat intensive, performances.
DE/NT Ryan Pickett – If we do a year’s end Working Class Hero my money is on Pickett winning it. He has had one of his best years as Packer and has consistently stuffed the run. This week he took his game to a new level and basically owned Lions guard Stephen Peterman. Mind you this was an interior line that PFF thought was one of the best in the league coming into the game. Pickett did not register a sack for his efforts, but the interior push that he led (and followed by Mike Neal, B.J. Raji, and Jerel Worthy) helped flush Matthew Stafford out of the pocket, keep him off balance, and allowed guys like Morgan Burnett and Davon House to get sacks on the day.
LT Marshall Newhouse – The entire offensive line struggled on Sunday against the Lions….well except Newhouse. How often did you hear Kyle Vanden Bosch have his name called? For all the work that KVB put in he registered three tackles and one QB hit….more important though is that this once premiere pass rusher did not have an impact on the day. The guy responsible for that was Marshall Newhouse, and it was a welcome change of pace after some real struggles early in the season. He’s not out of the woods yet, but this was a nice game for Newhouse before he faces off against Jason Pierre-Paul.
OLB Dezman Moses – Erik Walden had more sacks on the day, but Moses made more plays. His strip sack of Stafford was a classic example of a guy not giving up and just fighting through till the whistle blows. That seems to be Moses M.O. right now, keep fighting and pushing until he can hit the QB or make something happen….and it’s working to help fill the hole left by Clay Matthews.
Those are the nominees for this week’s Working Class Hero! We’ll turn things over to you to vote and comment on who you think should be the big winner of the award. As always if someone is missed write him in the comments section.