Green Bay Packers: Week 5 MVP and other awards

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 06: Za'Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a play against the Dallas Cowboys in the game at AT&T Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 06: Za'Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a play against the Dallas Cowboys in the game at AT&T Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers held on to their lead for a 34-24 win against the Dallas Cowboys this week. So what players earned weekly awards?

Offensive MVP – Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones had a career day. He had 19 rushes for 107 yards and four touchdowns. He also led the Green Bay Packers in receiving this week, with seven catches for 75 yards.

Aaron Jones will likely shoulder most of the load at running back for the foreseeable future with Jamaal Williams still sidelined from that nasty hit last week. If he can do anything close to this every week, this Packer offense is in business.

Defensive MVP – Za’Darius Smith

Za’Darius Smith continues to produce in big ways for the Green Bay Packer defense. This week, he helped in the running game, with two tackles for loss, and did a lot to pressure Dak Prescott with four quarterback hits and two sacks.

Smith is a true leader for this Packers’ front that is more fun to watch every week. He can move around from the edge on early downs to being on the interior and usually running a pass rush stunt on passing downs. Mike Pettine deserves credit for how well he has utilized him this season, making him well worth the investment.

Co-Celebrations of the Week – Aaron Jones and Za’ Darius Smith

Coincidentally, my two picks for MVP also had two fantastic celebrations this week. They were both so well done that I couldn’t leave either one out.

Za’Darius Smith was the first to throw his hat in the ring for best celebration. This one was because of the circumstances surrounding this week. Earlier in the week, Ray Lewis had said that the Green Bay Packer front seven didn’t have a dictator. As defensive captain, Smith used that as extra motivation to have a big week.

On his first sack, he did Lewis’ signature dance. Personally, I’m hoping someone like Terrell Owens gives him criticism next so he pulls out popcorn out of nowhere after another big play.

Aaron Jones’ celebration was more of a taunt. As he ran into the end zone for his third score of the day, he waved goodbye to Cowboys’ cornerback Byron Jones. This move was straight up disrespectful and I loved every second of it.

Best Position Group – Running Backs

Ok, ok, just one more award for Aaron Jones, I promise. He deserves it. However, this is also for Tra Carson.

Carson came off of the practice squad this week and did a great job whenever Jones went to the sideline for a break. He ran six times for 14 yards, which isn’t great, but his bigger contributions were in the passing game. He caught four passes for 18 yards and was great in pass protection. He showed no inclination to shy away from blitzers, taking them head-on and not letting them touch his quarterback.

To those of you saying, “What about the secondary?”, I love our secondary and they made some great plays today, but overall, they gave up 463 passing yards and far too many big plays to be the best position group.

Most Improved – Run Defense

All week, the story was about a Green Bay Packers’ running defense that had struggled the past few games facing one of the best running backs in the league in Ezekiel Elliot. The Packers turned that narrative right on its head as they held Elliot to only 62 yards.

A few things contributed to this run defense improving. First, Will Redmond came up in run support very well this week. He led the team in solo tackles, with nine, and had two tackles for loss.

One other change was having Oren Burks back in the inside linebacker spot. He did not make a huge impact on the stat sheet, only two tackles with one of them being solo. It was important because it meant they played more base 3-4 defense instead of nickel. They still did put defensive backs on the field in situations of second or third and long, but there was more bulk on the field this game than the past few weeks.

Play of the Week – Aaron Rodgers and Robert Tonyan

There were plenty of contenders for this award. In a week where the Packers scored 34 points and made plenty of huge defensive plays, it could’ve gone a lot of different directions. However, Rodgers deserves recognition for his mastery of navigating the pocket and finding receivers downfield.

Every week, Rodgers continues to make crazy plays like this at 35 years old. With Patrick Mahomes becoming the face of the league with similar plays, it’s important to look at our quarterback who was the apple of every analyst’s eye just a few short years ago.

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Plays like this are what we’ve gotten used to as fans of the Green Bay Packers as we’ve had so many years of Rodgers and Favre back-to-back. So take a step back and appreciate this greatness, because it won’t be here forever.