Last night marked the end of an extended Week 16 of the NFL season, with the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles playing a game that was postponed due to inclement weather. With the NFL Playoff picture taking shape, it’s time to point out the best individual performance from last week’s games.
A couple of surprising quarterbacks were in contention for the Week 16 nod. Carson Palmer helped the Cincinnati Bengals play spoiler, throwing for 269 yards and 4 touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers. Second year sensation Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tossed a career high 5 touchdown passes against the Seahawks to keep his teams playoff hopes alive. However, it was the returning Aaron Rodgers who truly stole the show, carving up the vaunted New York Giants defense for 404 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. This big time performance lands Rodgers Eastbay’s Player of the Week honors.
The Giants have a reputation for taking quarterbacks out of games, a fact that couldn’t be ignored when Rodgers was cleared to play after sitting out last week’s game with a concussion. Rodgers threw caution to the wind though, coming up with one of his best performances in a must-win game for the Pack. After failing to do much with their first possession, it didn’t take long for Green Bay to find paydirt on their second. With 1st and 10 on their own 20, Rodgers connected with a wide open Jordan Nelson for an 80-yard touchdown pass. Then, with a little less than 2 minutes left in the first quarter, Rodgers avoided two potential sacks on 3rd and 3 to find James Jones for a touchdown, increasing Green Bay’s lead to 14-0.
Rodgers’ confidence was not shaken when the Giants rallied to tie the game in the second quarter. Regaining possession with about 5 minutes left in the half, he picked apart the Giants secondary for another scoring drive that was capped off by an 8-yard John Kuhn touchdown run. Green Bay would not surrender that lead for the rest of the game, adding two more Rodgers touchdown passes, another Kuhn run and a Mason Crosby field goal to blast the Giants 45-17.
The Packers will host the Chicago Bears on Sunday. With a win, Green Bay would secure a playoff spot.
images via Yahoo