The Green Bay Packers won an ugly game with the Detroit Lions Monday night, so let’s give out some weekly awards.
Offensive MVP – Aaron Rodgers
The stats do not tell the full story of how great Aaron Rodgers was against the Lions this week. Without Davante Adams, and with Geronimo Allison missing a good portion of the game, Rodgers did Rodgers things. He can make mediocre receiving cores look great, and he did it again.
Rodgers was 24/39 for 283 yards in the Green Bay Packers win, with two touchdowns and one interception. This was a game riddled with drops from seemingly every receiver. One drop was the reason he had his only interception.
Even at 35-years-old, Rodgers is doing superhuman things every week. The crazy numbers aren’t there like they once were, so he won’t get any sort of league MVP discussion, but he took a scrapped together bunch of receivers and completed passes to nine of them this week. That’s extremely impressive and deserves MVP honors, regardless of his traditional stats.
Defensive MVP – Jaire Alexander
Jaire Alexander also didn’t put up any amazing stats this week but deserves the defensive MVP in this Green Bay Packer win. This is because on a night when Kevin King was getting beat left and right by Kenny Golladay, Jaire had Marvin Jones Jr. locked up on the other side of the field.
Golladay’s average separation was a healthy 2.67 yards, while Jones Jr. was stifled to an average separation of only 0.96 yards. While Alexander did only record one pass breakup, it felt like he affected some other incompletions as well.
Sometimes the best time to notice a lockdown cornerback is when you don’t notice him. Blanket coverage is always a plus, and it helps the pass rush, which was good again this week with both Smith brothers getting in on the sack act once again.
See if you can guess who had the worst performance. He fumbled which completely changed momentum and he dropped a wide-open pass that could have been a touchdown. Still can’t quite pick out one guy? That’s because Aaron Jones and Darrius Shepherd both fit the bill.
After a career day last week for Jones, he made some crucial mistakes and lost most of his snaps to Jamaal Williams who had a great game. Shepherd was the cause of Rodgers only interception at the one-yard line and, had he stayed on his feet and caught it, he could have scored. His fumbled punt was a big momentum shift, and he fair caught all punts after that, even though he had more space to operate.
Breakout Performance – Allen Lazard
Before the season, Matt Lafleur compared adding to the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver core to making a basketball roster. If that’s true, they found their center last night. 6’5″ Lazard showcased his strength and size last night, making some great plays down the stretch.
The most notable was a fantastic catch on third down for a 35-yard touchdown. After many Packer receivers proved to be unreliable, Lazard became Rodgers’ favorite target late in the game. He had five targets for four catches, all in the fourth quarter.
While everyone will remember the touchdown catch, as they should, this was also great by Lazard. He catches the ball and shows absolutely no fear, using his frame to crash into Coleman, gaining an extra couple of yards and sending a message in the process that he fears no one.
Bend Not Break Award – Green Bay Packers’ Defense
The Green Bay Packers’ defense was put in a lot of precarious situations against the Lions. They gave up a flea-flicker for 66 yards on the first play of the game and they were constantly fighting to hold the Lions to a field goal because of bad field position. They responded extremely well to all the adversity they faced.
On the first play, Jaire Alexander did a phenomenal job chasing down Golladay when he could’ve given up on the play. Hustle plays like that kept the Lions out of the end zone all night and the defense deserves an immense amount of credit.
Last week, I gave the run defense a Most Improved Award. While it is true that Ezekiel Elliot did average 5.2 yards per rush and it was more the Cowboys straying from the run game that made their total numbers be down, that was not the case this week. The Lions were held to 2.8 yards per carry on Monday Night. They were consistently stuffed by a slew of Packers. It was a team effort, as no one made more than four solo tackles, and 15 defensive players made a tackle.
Celebration of the Week – Mason Crosby
The assisted Lambeau Leap takes the cake this week, beating out Za’Darius Smith’s sleeping celebration.
Part of the decision to award Mason Crosby this very prestigious honor is the magnitude of the situation. A game-winning field goal is a game-winning field goal, even if it was a chip shot. Big props to the long-snapper, Hunter Bradley, on the assist. He basically flung Crosby into the stands.
We saw something last night that we’ve never seen before, and that we may never see again. The Smiths will get more sacks and have more fun celebrations. Crosby will probably never be thrown into the front row ever again (But fingers crossed that he will).