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Packers 60-second rant: Measuring Midseason All-NFL candidates

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 01, 2011 @ 3:33 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Not long after I polish off this latest rant, the Pro Football Weekly editorial staff will be getting together for our annual meeting to select PFW's Midseason All-NFL team for the 2011 campaign. Suffice it to say, I better text my wife and let her know I will probably be home a little late for dinner.

As usual, the meeting figures to be anything but brief, as we collectively attempt to choose the best of the best at each position.

With my mind already working overtime, trying to figure out my personal choices, what better subject for this rant could there be than a rundown of the Packers' players I believe worthy of All-Midseason honors?

Let's start with Aaron Rodgers, a no-brainer as the Midseason All-NFL quarterback if there ever was one.

Amazingly, A-Rod has seemed to get better and better with every passing game. With an off-the-charts QB rating of 125.7 — more than 21 points better than the second-best NFL passer rating through the first eight weeks of the season, belonging to New England's Tom Brady, who couldn't have looked more ordinary last Sunday in the Patriots' loss to the Steelers — Rodgers is clearly having a season for the ages.

OK, that was easy.

Beyond Rodgers, though, I have to say that clear-cut votes for other Packers are hard to come by, Green Bay's spotless record notwithstanding.

How about WR Greg Jennings, you ask? There's no denying, after all, that he has picked up where he left off last season, putting up prodigious numbers for the league's deepest and most talented receiving corps.

But has Jennings been better than Detroit's Calvin Johnson, New England's Wes Welker, Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace and Carolina's Steve Smith, to quickly name a few alternatives?

Uh, I'm afraid not.

Then there's CB Charles Woodson, who is tied with San Diego S Eric Weddle for the league lead in interceptions with five. Problem is, the Packers' pass defense has been vulnerable, to say the least, and Woodson has had as many breakdowns as big plays.

Sorry, Charlie.

OLB Clay Matthews and NT B.J. Raji are great young players, but their numbers so far this season aren't so great, and it would be difficult to select them with so many other worthy candidates at their positions.

Thus, the question must be asked: Is Aaron Rodgers going to end up being the only Packer on PFW's Midseason All-NFL team? Not if I have any say in the selections, my app amigos.

There are two other Green Bay players I will fight hard for in the All-Midseason meeting — C Scott Wells and PK Mason Crosby.

According to the daily team observers I deal with on a daily basis, both Wells and Crosby have been exceptional the first half of the season. I'm guessing you haven't heard all that much about Wells, but when you're talking about centers, that's a good thing, since the more invisible a player is at that position, the better. Usually, the only time you hear anything about a center is when he makes a mistake. And I'm here to tell you that Wells has been as technically sound as humanly possible in Green Bay's first seven games.

As for Crosby, the numbers don't lie. He's a perfect 14-of-14 on field goals, including a team-record 58-yarder in his last game, which would have been good from 70 yards out. He also is a perfect 25-of-25 on extra points, and the majority of his kickoffs have been cannon shots.

And with that, I'm done ranting for this week. It will be interesting to see just how persuasive I can be a bit later this afternoon.

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