The Green Bay Packers offense dominated again in a 42-21 week two victory, so it’s time to hand out some awards.
Green Bay Packers’ weekly awards are back starting this week, and if you’re new to it, there are around five awards each week. Every week, there is the offensive and defensive Most Valuable Players, a few quirky awards that deal with a certain play or observation, and it always ends with Celebration of the Week, which is a year-long competition in which the players don’t know that they’re having to outdo each other in order to be crowned with the best celebration of the season.
Last season, the victor was Aaron Jones waving goodbye on his way to the end zone, and you can see last season’s full leaderboard for that here. Now, let’s get into the awards.
Offensive MVP – Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones is starting out his “show me the money” campaign very strong with back-to-back great games, and this week was even better than the last. This week, he ran wild for 168 yards on 18 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown to open the second half. An average of 9.3 yards per carry is just insane, and he complimented it well with two rushing touchdowns.
He was also the Green Bay Packers leading receiver this week. He led the team in both receptions and yards with four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Valdes-Scantling wasn’t far behind with three receptions for 64 yards, but Jones showed his value as a weapon, not just a running back.
Last season, getting Jones touches in the run and pass game was the name of the game, and Matt LaFleur knows that. He’s been scheming up plenty of easy completions for Jones to get him in open space and shots down the field to him too. If they keep using him in creative ways, he’ll have performances like this throughout the season.
Defensive MVP – Chandon Sullivan
After not having much of an impact on last week’s matchup, Sullivan came through in a big way this week. He came up with the big play for the defense with a pick-six in the third quarter. There was pressure on Matthew Stafford on that play provided by Rashan Gary, who is the honorable mention this week because of that pressure and his 1.5 sacks.
In addition to Sullivan’s huge interception, he had two passes defended and was excellent in coverage all day. He allowed Lions’ slot receiver Danny Amendola to get the best of him early, but he then got in the zone, and Amendola finished the day with just two catches for 21 yards on seven targets. Chandon Sullivan has big shoes to fill, taking the snaps that belonged to Tramon Williams as the starting slot corner last season, and it looks like he’s up to the task so far.
Most Missed Player – Kenny Clark
Kenny Clark sat out this week with a groin injury, and it was blatantly obvious early that his talents are essential to the Green Bay Packers’ defensive success, especially against the run. On the Lions’ first drive of the game, they drove down the field for a touchdown with little resistance and ran it six times while throwing it only three. Their second scoring drive was more balanced, but their biggest play was an Adrian Peterson 25 yard run.
Thankfully, the Green Bay Packers were able to get a lead big enough that the Lions were forced to throw the ball for much of the second half and ended the game with just 20 running back carries. If the Lions had the lead or it was just a one-score game, we would have seen probably closer to 30 or more carries and a lot more of Adrian Peterson, who averaged 5.9 yards per carry on the day.
Tackles never tell close to the full story, but Kingsley Keke led Packer defensive linemen in tackles with two, and Tyler Lancaster had zero. There is little disruption in the middle of this defensive front without Clark, and they need him back for when they face more formidable opponents, and they can’t let the offense bail them out.
Lions Defensive MVP- Packer drops and penalties
Much like the robot in the first Incredibles movie, the only thing that could damage this Packers offense was itself. The drops were unbelievable this week, and they happened at every position. Tight ends, wide receivers, and running backs all dropped catchable passes and a few that were wide open. A couple of Aaron Rodgers’ throws weren’t perfect, but for the most part, he was on again this week, and LaFleur’s playcalling did a great job of getting guys into open spaces. Guys in the NFL have to catch the ball; it’s as simple as that.
The penalties weren’t bad, but the few times that the Packers had a penalty, it killed the drive more than anything the Lions did to them. A David Bakhtiari hold in the second quarter resulted in a 1st and 20 and an eventual punt. While a Lucas Patrick holding call resulted in the only other punt of the game before garbage time.
Quite literally, the only reason the Packers didn’t score on every drive was because of a couple of penalties. Both these issues came to a head on that Lucas Patrick play when Sternberger also had what would’ve been his second drop of the day if the play would’ve counted.
Celebration of the Week – Aaron Jones and Chandon Sullivan
Aaron Jones and Chandon Sullivan were the ones with the most to celebrate this week, and they both kept a long Green Bay Packers’ tradition going with Lambeau Leaps, even without fans to catch them. Sure, Robert Tonyan’s spike was nice, but the iconic nature of the Lambeau Leap and the carrying of a tradition is enough to net Jones and Sullivan the win for this week.
It’s tough to give the edge to either one of them as Jones was the first to do it and had said before the game that he would continue to Leap this year, but Sullivan added a bit of extra flair with a flex while perched atop the barrier.
In the entirety of the season, this will probably end up somewhere near the middle to bottom of the rankings, but for now, Sullivan and Jones share honors as number one on the Celebration of the Year list, with Jones looking to defend his title from last season. Here’s the Sullivan pick and Lambeau Leap:
🚨 PICK-SIX 🚨
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 20, 2020
What did you think of the Green Bay Packers’ performance this week, and did you think that Rashan Gary deserved Defensive MVP over Chandon Sullivan? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @DairylandXpress.