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. QB Aaron Rodgers: After sitting out the Week 15 game against the Patriots with his second concussion of the season, all Rodgers did was rebound with probably the best game of his career in Green Bay’s 45-17 rout of the Giants — a game the Packers had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Rodgers’ 404 passing yards were his most ever in a regular-season game. He completed 25-of-37 passes to nine different receivers, threw four TDs to four different receivers with zero interceptions and registered a 139.9 passer rating. He also ran effectively as usual, scrambling for 26 yards on two carries. Heading into the regular-season finale, Rodgers has a 27-10 TD-interception ratio and needs 307 yards to reach the 4,000-yard passing mark.
2. WR Greg Jennings: Jennings did not have any TD catches against the Giants, after managing seven in the previous six games, but he was the best receiver on the field, catching seven passes for 142 yards (both team highs) matched up against a very good cornerback in the Giants’ Corey Webster. Jennings had one beautiful fingertip grab and gained 53 yards after the catch.
3. OLB Clay Matthews: Matthews has come down to earth in the sack department lately, but his relentless hustle paid big-time dividends against the Giants when he caught up to RB Brandon Jacobs after a 21-yard gain and punched the ball loose. He also earlier fought off a block by the Giants’ Bear Pascoe to tackle Jacobs for a one-yard loss and registered five tackles for the game. Tied for the NFC lead with Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware with 12½, "The Claymaker" appears to be a lock to receive a Pro Bowl berth early this evening.
4. CB Tramon Williams: Williams was far from perfect against the Giants, getting beaten by Mario Manningham for an 85-yard TD and also drawing his first pass-interference penalty of the season. But he came up with the first of Green Bay’s four interceptions of Eli Manning and did an excellent job defending Manning’s back-shoulder passes that had proven so deadly a few years back in the 2007 championship game.
5. NT B.J. Raji: Raji continued to be a dominant interior force up front, spearheading a run defense that limited Giants RBs Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to a combined 78 yards on 20 carries. Raji also had a sack (three in the last two games) and three tackles.