DeMarco Murray has been one of the biggest surprises of this young season. And there’s a good reason why he’s receiving MVP consideration. The fourth-year running back has tied Jim Brown’s record with six-straight 100-yard games to begin the year. If he hits the century mark in Week 7, he has an NFL record for a surging Cowboys team.
Amazingly enough, there have been MVP whispers for J.J. Watt. The Houston Texans would not be anywhere close to 3-3 without the omnipresent services of the fourth-year defensive end. But it’s highly unlikely that he’s going to get the top prize.
The one guy that isn’t getting any MVP love is Aaron Rodgers. He has brought the Packers back from the dead and after a three-game win streak, has Green Bay tied for the fourth-best winning percentage in the NFC.
Rodgers’ biggest hurdle is probably himself. Most people are accustomed to seeing him zip precision passes. When the Packers struggled out of the gate with a 1-2 record, much of the blame landed on his shoulders.
Well, if that argument is true, then when the Packers are winning, he has to be showered with credit.
What’s most impressive is that Rodgers has 15 touchdown passes and just one interception. And the only reason that pass was hauled in by Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell was because it trickled off the hands of Jordy Nelson.
He’s also proven this season that he can respond to adversity. After the offense gave up nine points in a devastating loss at Detroit, Rodgers bounced right back. He was only 7.1 points away from a perfect passer rating with a dominating win at Chicago the following week.
Once again, Rodgers has played through musical chairs at offensive line. From the slow and underwhelming Derek Sherrod at right tackle to sparking confidence to untested rookie center Corey Linsley.
And then there’s Lacy. Last year’s Rookie of the Year is 22nd in the NFL with only 51 rushing yards a game. He is 140 yards off his pace from last year through six games. That’s at least a game and change that Rodgers has to make up for.
Finally, Rodgers hasn’t had the benefit of an athletic tight end to ease the burden in the red zone. With the loss of Jermichael Finley, the Packers still have a vacancy for a dynamic tight end that cannot be guarded with a lone linebacker or defensive back.
Add in the gaggle of special plays that define who Rodgers is. The absurd 22-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb placed just past the left hand of Bears cornerback Isaiah Frey at Chicago. The 66-yard bomb that seemed to float from heaven to an open Jordy Nelson vs. Minnesota. The five-yard touchdown missile to Cobb on the run with three Miami defenders closing in ready to tear Rodgers’ head off. The courage to hang in the pocket on fourth-and-10, take a hit, and complete an 18-yard pass to Nelson at Miami. And finally the four-yard touchdown pass to the seldom-used Andrew Quarless with three seconds left for the win in South Florida.
Rodgers is the best quarterback in the game. Period. He has Peyton Manning’s intelligence, Ben Roethlisberger’s elusiveness, Tom Brady’s poise and Drew Brees’ accuracy. He is the reason the Packers will win the NFC North for the fourth straight season — even though the defense has shown glaring inefficiencies.
The fact that Rodgers hasn’t been mentioned as an MVP candidate is because it’s understood that he already is one.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn