The Green Bay Packers beat the Falcons 30-16 Monday night to remain undefeated, so it’s time to hand out some awards.
Offensive MVP – Robert Tonyan
Robert Tonyan has been slowly getting more and more touches every week this season, and he broke out in a huge way Monday night with six catches for 98 yards and three touchdowns. He made contested catches, ran after the catch, and was a great red-zone target for Aaron Rodgers.
The Green Bay Packers had a tough challenge offensively with their top two receivers out and knew they’d have to use running backs and tight ends more in the passing game. Honorable mention for MVP to Matt Lafleur, who utilized tons of different personnel groupings, including multiple three running back sets to keep the defense guessing. Another honorable mention to Jamaal Williams, who quietly had eight catches for 95 yards. The focal point, of course, was Tonyan, who came up big all night long and is showing that he can be another real impact player for this Green Bay offense.
Defensive MVP – Za’Darius Smith
Za’Darius Smith had been fairly quiet through three weeks, only making two sacks and three total QB hits. This week, he racked up three sacks, totaling four tackles for loss and five QB hits. If you were worried about Smith having a down year, he quelled many of those fears Monday night.
Last season, Smith was often the defensive player of the game, and this might start his run of dominating this category again this season. Also, we’ll continue the honorable mention fest this week with Jaire Alexander. His stat line of six tackles, and nothing else doesn’t tell the story. The stat line that tells the story is Calvin Ridley’s stat line of 0 catches for 0 yards on five targets. Ridley is easily the Falcons’ best receiver, especially with Julio Jones playing an extremely limited amount, and holding him to nothing was absolutely huge for this defense.
Ear Sore – ESPN Announcers
ESPN is bad at broadcasting sports. Here’s a shortlist of things that they did wrong during the game: Called Matt Ryan Aaron Rodgers at one point, said Robert Tonyan was Malik Taylor when he caught his third touchdown, utterly failed to pronounce Marquez Valdes-Scantling, failed to show a first down catch by Valdes-Scantling early in the second half.
How you don’t know what a guy looks like when he catches his third touchdown is beyond me. If you watched the Brewers on ESPN a few days ago, you could probably see this inept performance coming. For a company that’s the world leader in sports, they consistently show how incapable they are of getting good staff to broadcast them.
Having Fun Award – Aaron Rodgers and Jamaal Williams
If you want to see two guys that love playing the game of football, look no further than Rodgers and Williams. For the past few seasons, Rodgers has been carrying a lot on his shoulders, from injuries to a coaching change to whispers that he isn’t what he once was. This season, he’s seemed to let go of that and decided to have fun slinging the ball all over the field.
He’s a legitimate MVP candidate again, and my advanced metrics tell me his smiles per game are up 284 percent. He’s loosened up and is back to playing top tier football. He also grinned late in the game when he looked down the sideline and pointed Tim Boyle into the game to take the final snap with a look that said, “Yeah, it’s that time again, go ahead.”
Honestly, I could give out this same award to Jamaal Williams every single week, so I couldn’t neglect him when I was already handing it to Rodgers. He’s constantly dancing, and they even showed a montage of him dancing before the game, one of the few good things that ESPN did last night. Jamaal dances in good times and in bad, but I’m sure it feels even better dancing into the bye week at 4-0
Celebration of the Week – Za’Darius Smith
After his sack late in the second quarter, Za’Darius Smith revealed a t-shirt under his jersey that read, “Rest in Heaven Breonna Taylor.” We’ve seen Smith use this t-shirt reveal twice before – once to show his feeling about being snubbed from the All-Pro team and once to show support for a staff member’s mom who had been diagnosed with cancer.
This week, he went a step above those to show compassion for Breonna Taylor and use his place on a national stage to call attention to racial justice issues. We saw the Milwaukee Bucks boycott a game just a few weeks ago, and seeing another Wisconsin athlete follow suit in bringing awareness to these things should make us all proud to be Wisconsin sports fans.
Ok, one more honorable mention to Aaron Rodgers for his mini flex after one of his touchdown passes.
Za’Darius Smith honors Breonna Taylor. pic.twitter.com/wRRSJHKXBg
— NFL (@NFL) October 6, 2020
Celebration of the Year Leaderboard
What did you think of the Green Bay Packers week four win? Do you agree with my celebration leaderboard? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @DairylandXpress.