Another week, another great set of NFL football games, especially as the playoff picture comes in to sharper focus. Following their surprise Week 15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were back to their gunslinging best, piling more misery on the free-falling Chicago Bears. The Indianapolis Colts eked out their second win in just five days, to on the one hand continue their damage limitation exercise but on the other further jeopardize their sure shot at next year’s number one draft pick. The Giants and Jets squared off in a crucial early-afternoon matchup for both squads’ flickering playoff aspirations. And while the Giants took home city-bragging rights and all but ended the Philadelphia Eagles’ post-season hopes, Vick and the Birds still didn’t pass up the opportunity to whoop some Dallas Cowboys behind. With so many big game players putting in big game performances, it was hard to pick just a few standouts, but we’ve managed to whittle the list down to four for Week 16.
Aaron Rodgers, #12, Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, is having a career year. In orchestrating yesterday’s 35-21 beat down of “da Bears”, he’s showing no signs of slowing down either. In yet another career night, Rodgers threw for 283 yards and his first ever 5 TD game, breaking former Packer franchise record of 4,458 single-season passing yards all against one of the league’s most miserly defenses. That’s the tenth (tenth!) time this season Rodgers has thrown three or more touchdowns in a game, and brings his season tally to fourty-six on the year with just six interceptions. With the number one NFC seed now locked up and just one regular season game left, it’s unclear whether the Packers will rest him or let him keep marching irrepressibly to more records and personal bests. One thing we know for sure is that this guy has enough BadaSSitude to fill the entirety Lambeau Field.
Reggie Wayne, #87, Wide Receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, has had a tough year when you consider the pedigree of the veteran, former Superbowl champion wide-out. We can probably stop short of calling this current two-game Colts winning streak a resurgence, but Wayne has been played a key role in both victories. His day’s work included 8 receptions for 134 yards, and a game-winning touchdown grab with 19 seconds left on the game clock. There’s been a lot of talk of him retiring recently, so what better way to sign off with a final home win, and a potential BadaSSitude Player of the Week award in the bag?
Rashard Mendenhall, #46, Runningback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, had a big day too as last year’s Superbowl bridesmaids shutout the St. Louis Rams. Though Rams’ run defense may not be much to write home about, the Steelers still had to make they secured a much-needed win to keep pace in the tightly contested AFC North, especially with QB Ben Roethlisberger out injured. Mendenhall ran for 116 yards and a touchdown, including a lung-busting 52 yard carry in the second quarter to set up teammate’s John Clay’s first NFL carry and career touchdown. The Steelers have long been proponents of smash mouth, power football, and in this respect Mendenhall is one of their stalwarts.
Drew Brees, #9, Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, has never been hesitant to air the ball out and Monday night’s encounter with the Atlanta Falcons was no different. Brees threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Saints to a decisive 45-16 victory, and leave him with 5,087 passing yards on the year. Brees not only become the new benchmark for NFL players with the most 5,000+ yard passing seasons (with two) but also break Dan Marino’s single-season passing yard record that’s been in place since 1984. The Brees-inspired win clinches the NFC South title for the Saints, and with this man at the helm, makes them a very daunting opponent this post-season.
Tell us what you think with your vote.
Who Was Your BadaSSitude Pro Football Player of Week 16?
- Aaron Rodgers, #12, Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (34%, 25 Votes)
- Drew Brees, #9, Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints (30%, 22 Votes)
- Reggie Wayne, #87, Wide Receiver for the Indianapolis Colts (21%, 15 Votes)
- Rashard Mendenhall, #46, Runningback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (15%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 73