The Packers played a big game against the Titans with lots of star studded performances. When a team puts doles out a beat down of epic proportions it’s easy to get lost in the MVP type performances. The guys who are dominated the highlights and have all the eye popping numbers. It’s easy to forget about the players who are doing their job and winning the one on one battles to make those big plays happen. For the Packers this week there was lots of those crucial plays by the big uglies and guys fighting for that last yard….especially when considering the injuries along the defensive line and changes made to the offensive line. It makes for ample selections for Working Class Hero of the Week.
Let’s meet this week’s nominees…
C Evan Dietrich-Smith – EDS struggled at LG earlier in the year, especially in pass protection, but he seemed much more at home while playing center this week. The Packers had a much better push in the center of the line and the running game responded accordingly. He’ll get a true test of his abilities this week in a loud dome and playing against Kevin Williams, but for now let’s just savor the success he had this week.
WR James Jones – It’s not normal to see a guy who mostly catches touchdown passes here in Working Class Hero, but Jones turned in a gritty performance on Sunday. Most weeks Jones makes a few grabs and one circus catch and makes highlights. This week he caught 7 balls and did most of his work on short routes with lots of YAC. He was breaking tackles and fighting for every last inch he could get. These sorts of routes are truly the dirty work of the WR group and for that he gets the nod in WCHW nominees.
DT B.J. Raji – At the beginning of the year he was expected to be a dominating force in the pass rush. That hasn’t happened, but he has been a dominating force in the running game. This week Raji was beating dudes left and right in order to reroute Chris Johnson and move him towards the waiting arms of a linebacker. It’s not glorious work, but it’s essential in the defense and helps the Packers control the line of scrimmage.
LB Brad Jones – Jones did not get all the flashy plays that Hawk got on Sunday, but he did lead the team in total tackles and did a little bit of everything. He got a sack, a tackle for a loss, a QB hit, defended a pass…it was a pretty impressive day.
RB Ryan Grant – Grant got the call for a majority of the carries with Alex Green being injured. Grant seized the opportunity and carried the ball 20 times for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s about as good a day as you are going to find for a Packers running back this year. The most interesting thing about this performance Is that he did not have too many long runs on the day to pad the stats. Most of his 4.0 average was done with a one cut between the tackles and then getting a few tough yards here and there. It wasn’t spectacular but it didn’t need to be….it was good enough and got the job done.
It’s always difficult to spot a working class hero. By definition they are easy to miss since their job, while important, can tend to be overlooked to the casual observer. If you think there is a player worthy of nomination write in your vote in the comments section.