PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush presents a running meter that indicates the Packers' top five MVP candidates up through their most recent game.
1. OLB Clay Matthews: The Blonde Bomber had only three tackles against the Lions and is now fourth on the team in tackles with 24 behind CB Charles Woodson (34) and LBs A.J. Hawk (29) and Nick Barnett (25). But he had a sack to raise his league-leading total to seven and is on pace to register a mind-boggling 28 sacks for the season. He continues to provide relentless pressure, and in the last two weeks he has provided more pass-rush opportunities for the team's interior defenders (B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins each had a sack in Week Four vs. Detroit). Matthews played almost exclusively on the right side against the Lions after being primarily on the left side in the previous three games.
2. QB Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers was inconsistent against the Lions, with only 4-of-8 completions for 50 yards with two interceptions in the second half, but he still finished the day with a 105.3 passer rating. He had a perfect 158.3 in the first half with 8-of-9 passes for 131 yards and three TDs, including two absolutely brilliant TD tosses to TE Jermichael Finley and WR Greg Jennings. And he was deadly efficient and in total control on the game's final 12-play, 73-yard drive that killed the clock and held off the Lions.
3. CB Charles Woodson: Woodson displayed his 2009 PFW Defensive MVP form in Week Four, coming up with a team-leading 13 tackles, three pass breakups and a 48-yard TD for an interception. He also was an exceptional one-man gang on the Lions' final possession of the game, tackling RB Jahvid Best after a one-yard run and breaking up a pair of passes intended for Calvin Johnson after Johnson got the better of him in the first half with five catches for 72 yards, including a 21-yard TD at end of half when the Lions receiver outleaped Woodson for the ball. Woodson's TD was the 10th of his career, putting him in third place all-time behind Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper.
4. TE Jermichael Finley: Jennings and Donald Driver have more TD catches (three each), but Finley had his first TD catch of the season against Detroit and continues to be an obvious mismatch for most defenders.
5. DE Cullen Jenkins: While Matthews has overshadowed him, Jenkins, who is hungry for a new long-term contract, continued to provide a steady pass-rushing presence with his fourth sack in four games.