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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
1. OLB Clay Matthews: The league's leading sacker had a quiet night on the Packers-Vikings Week Seven stat sheet with only one tackle and two QB hits, but he still continued to make his presence felt when it counted most. Matthews' pressure that led to Vikings OLT Phil Loadholt's costly personal-foul penalty — when Loadholt grabbed Matthews' helmet late in the fourth quarter — was a huge play.
2. CB Tramon Williams: Williams continues to play at a Pro Bowl level in the minds of many observers, outperforming 2010 PFW Defensive MVP Charles Woodson. Williams had three tackles and one special-teams tackle against the Vikings. He also provided solid coverage on the Vikings' wideouts, none of whom had more than 65 yards receiving or five catches.
3. NT B.J. Raji: Raji continued to excel above and beyond the call of duty against Minnesota, anchoring a depleted defensive line that was reduced to just him, Jarius Wynn and rookie C.J. Wilson after DE Ryan Pickett reinjured his ankle two snaps into the game and DE Cullen Jenkins came up lame with a calf injury while warming up before the game. Raji had four tackles.
4. QB Aaron Rodgers: He continued to make un-Rodgers-like throws against the Vikings, as evidenced by his two very ugly and ill-advised interceptions, but he outplayed Brett Favre for the first time (84.8 passer rating, compared to Favre's 50.4 rating) and looked very sharp early in the game. Finally winning a close game should work wonders for Rodgers' confidence.
5. OLT Chad Clifton: With solid outings the previous three games, the 34-year-old Clifton reached a higher level with his outstanding prime-time performance against the Vikings matched up against Vikings DRE Jared Allen, who had one combined tackle, one QB hit and two passes defensed, one of which was an interception right into his hands from Rodgers. Clifton has battled knee problems all season, but you certainly wouldn't know it watching him play Sunday night.