Green Bay Packers: Divisional Round MVP and Other Awards

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 16: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 16, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 16: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 16, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Offensive MVP – Aaron Rodgers

Since Aaron Rodgers became the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback, he’s wanted an NFC Championship game at Lambeau. On Saturday, he would not be denied that chance, throwing for 296 yards and two touchdowns while running one in as well. His quarterback rating for the game was an astounding 92.1 out of 100.

The 37-year-old signal-caller has put together possibly his best season in the National Football League and continued that into the playoffs against the best defense in football. He made some vintage Rodgers plays, extending the play while moving around the pocket and finding an open receiver downfield. Every one of the three defenses left in the playoffs should be shaking in their boots right now at the thought of facing Rodgers and the Pack. He’s relaxed, locked in, and lethal, and he’s coming for his second Lombardi Trophy.

Defensive MVP – Rashan Gary

If there were still people badmouthing the pick of Rashan Gary at 12th overall in last year’s draft, that should all be put to bed after this game. He was the Packers’ highest-graded player on defense according to PFF, and he had a game-high seven total pressures.

Three of those seven pressures led to quarterback hits on Jared Goff, and he finished with 1.5 official sacks on the day. Kenny Clark had a similar output, adding a sack and a half of his own. The Green Bay pass rush hasn’t been as good as last year, but it’s peaking at the right time with both Smiths, Gary, and Clark all playing well. Each one recorded at least one QB hit on Saturday, and when teams get to third and long, they’re in deep trouble trying to stop this quartet.

Real CB1 Award – Jaire Alexander

There was a lot of talk before the game about the matchup between Davante Adams and Jalen Ramsey. Could Ramsey really shut down the best wide receiver in the NFL? No, no, he could not. Adams made nine catches on ten targets for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, there was another corner on the other side of the ball, who was truly elite. Jaire Alexander played blanket coverage all day, being targeted only twice the entire game. The one catch that was made with him as the closest defender was behind the line of scrimmage, and he dropped Robert Woods for a three-yard loss. Never. Throw. A. Screen. At. Jaire. Ever. An even bigger test is looming next week with the talented stable of receivers that Tampa Bay possesses, but he’ll be up to the challenge as he has been all year.

Redemption Award – Allen Lazard

With 8:34 to go in the third quarter, Lazard dropped a deep pass that could have been a kill shot and put a huge nail in the Rams’ coffin. The Packers were forced to punt on that drive, which led to a Rams touchdown that made it a one-score game with plenty of time to go. It was a stressful time as the game hung in the balance.

Then, after a punt by each team, Rodgers went back to Lazard off of play-action. Lazard came off the line looking like he would block the safety, then he burst past him and into wide open grass. Rodgers’ throw was a little low, but Lazard wouldn’t let two big opportunities slip through his hands as he hauled it in, kept his feet, and sprinted to the end zone to make it a two-touchdown lead. The trust that Lazard has built with Rodgers was vital, as it wouldn’t be shaken by one bad play, and he got his playoff moment.

Celebration of the Week – Aaron Rodgers

There were fans back in Lambeau Field this week, and no one was happier about it than Rodgers. He talked after the game about how much he loved the support and the volume from them, especially the MVP chants that filled the air as the game neared its end. Honorable mention to the fans this week for those chants and for making it loud all game long.

The celebration came in when he gave one of those fans one of the best souvenirs any Green Bay Packers fan could ever hope for, a game ball that was ran into the end zone by the MVP. It’s something that he couldn’t really have done all year to any effect, but this time he could. He’s been in a spirit of giving lately, recently donating $500k to the Barstool Fund, and Saturday, he gave away a ball.

Celebration of the Year Leaderboard

  1. Aaron Rodgers – Hingle Mccringleberry
  2. Soul Train Line
  3. Za’Darius Smith – Rest in Heaven Breonna Taylor
  4. Aaron Rodgers – Michael Jordan Shrug
  5. Adams and Lazard – Crowning of Rodgers
  6. Aaron Rodgers – The Belt
  7. Aaron Rodgers – I Love Gold
  8. A.J. Dillon – Second Lambeau Leap (Allen Lazard assist)
  9. Jamaal Williams – Being a complete goofball
  10. Packers Defense – Hitting the Woah
  11. Packers Defense – Love Don’t Cost a Thing
  12. Aaron Rodgers – Throwing Football Into the Stands
  13. Chandon Sullivan – Lambeau Leap
  14. Ifeadi Odenigbo – Premature Airplane