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: Despite sitting out the Week Six loss in overtime to Miami with a hamstring injury, Matthews remains the NFL leader in sacks with 8½. His presence against the Dolphins was sorely missed, as a pass rush that had been consistently effective the first five games was completely shut down by Miami.
2. CB Tramon Williams: How good has he been starting in place of the injured Al Harris? So good that it seems hard to fathom Williams returning to a nickel corner role if Harris is healthy enough to start playing right away after coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list. Williams had seven tackles against Miami, and for the second consecutive week he registered an interception. He also recovered a fumble on special teams, and while Brandon Marshall was a force for the Dolphins with 10 catches for 127 yards, Williams did a decent job helping to hold the Dolphins' new star wideout in check. Marshall's longest catch was 23 yards and he did not score.
3. NT B.J. Raji: The Packers' "other" 2009 first-round draft pick besides Matthews definitely has been pulling his weight. Despite being double-teamed all afternoon by the Dolphins, Raji registered seven tackles and a huge pass deflection. He has stayed on the field and been a consistent force inside.
4. DE Cullen Jenkins: Jenkins' numbers have been scant the past two games, but he continues to give his all on the Packers' undermanned D-line despite playing with a club on his hand that would render most D-linemen totally ineffective.
5. QB Aaron Rodgers: On a team widely known more for its offense, Rodgers' slipping status on our meter speaks volumes, with four defenders each making more valuable contributions in our eyes than anybody on the other side of the ball. Put simply, Rodgers is still putting up decent enough numbers (18-of-33 completions for 313 yards and a TD vs. Miami), but he also continues to be really up and down, especially in third-down situations, which was his specialty last season.