Green Bay Packers: Week 9 MVP and other awards

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03: Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on November 03, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03: Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on November 03, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers took an ugly 26-11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers this week, so who was good, or bad, enough to get an award?

Offensive MVP – Jamaal Williams, I guess

On a day when the offense was as stagnant as the dark days of Brett Hundley, Jamaal Williams was a focal point in the one Green Bay Packers’ drive that got them in the end zone. He caught the final three passes that finished off the drive, including a 10 yard touchdown reception.

Williams also takes home play of the week for the play prior to the touchdown. He used agility to make a move on the first defender and then, while off-balance, bounced off another to gain a first down.

This is the hard running that Williams always shows. Hopefully, Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers get back to utilizing one of the best running back tandems in the league, because Williams and Aaron Jones combined for only 10 carries and 17 total touches this week.

Defensive MVP – Preston Smith

Preston Smith did Preston Smith things once again this week. He has shown that he can be used as a versatile edge player who can rush the passer, drop into coverage, or help out in the run game. And he did all three of those things this week.

Smith had a big sack in the first half that helped the bend-not-break defense keep the game close early on. That sack was important in holding the Chargers to just a field goal on that drive. He also had seven tackles, five of them solo. Tackles can be a deceiving stat, especially for a run defense that had holes like a sieve all game long, but he usually did his job in holding the edge pretty well. Finally, he dropped into his zones from the line of scrimmage well, which doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet.

Special Teams MVP – Tremon Smith

Yes, his lone punt return was ugly, but I actually thought that he did a good job returning kicks this week. This felt like the first time that kick returns were consistently getting at least past the 20 yard line and usually to the 25.

This season, Darrius Shepherd averaged 16.3 yards per return. Yesterday, Smith’s average return was 24.6 yards with a long of 36, which was great to see. The offense couldn’t capitalize on the slightly better field position, but if this could continue and Smith can provide just competent returns, that would do a lot for the Green Bay Packers’ field position game.

Timber Award – Jimmy Graham

Every time he catches a pass and a defensive back cuts him down at the legs, he falls like a tree in the forest and there’s plenty of people there to hear it and, unfortunately, see it. Jimmy Graham had four catches this week for 17 yards, a 4.3 yard average. This low average is mostly due to his complete inability to create yards after the catch.

Every time he splits out in the slot and runs a two yard flat route, I die a little inside as I watch him slowly barrel forward for maybe a three yard gain before an opposing defensive back does their best lumberjack impression. There are so many young and talented players on the roster to throw short passes to in order to get them the ball in space. Jimmy Graham is not one of them.

Best Celebration – Za’Darius Smith

This week, Za’Darius Smith paid homage to a former Green Bay Packers’ great, Gilbert Brown with the “Grave Digger” celebration. It’s his third time this season using a copycat move and they’ve all been for different purposes.

The Ray Lewis dance was a comeback at the former Ravens’ Iinebacker for saying the Packers had no leadership in the front seven, the Pennywise dance was for Halloween, and this week was a tribute to a legend.

Also, Honorable Mention goes to Melvin Gordon for the Carlton dance after his touchdown, because he’s a former Wisconsin Badger, I was entertained, and the Packers didn’t have much to celebrate this week.

Packers at Chargers: Studs & Duds. dark. Next

I also would like to preemptively apologize to people who saw Gilbert Brown play for having the Grave Digger celebration at the bottom of my list. I wasn’t old enough to witness his greatness so I can’t appreciate this as much. On the bright side, Lazard’s flag point is out of the cellar. As always, if there is anything you would change in the rankings or any thoughts about this week’s game in general, put them in the comments below or @DairylandXpress.

1. Aaron Jones wave goodbye

2. Aaron Rodgers Belt

3. Za’Darius Smith Ray Lewis impression

4. Za’Darius Smith Pennywise dance

5. Mason Crosby Lambeau Leap

6. Allen Lazard flag point

7. Za’Darius Smith Grave Digger