The season for the Green Bay Packers began with a lot of hope, quickly took a downturn but ended in a flurry with a trip all the way to the NFC Championship. FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look back at the key players and highlights from the 2016 season.
Offensive MVP: Aaron Rodgers
For the sixth time in his career Rodgers topped 4,000 yards passing -- 4,428 to be exact -- and for the first time he led the NFL in touchdown passes, with 40. Rodgers finished with a 104.2 passer rating and just seven interceptions. From Week 10 to Week 17, Rodgers averaged just over 288 passing yards per game, registering a combined 69.71 completion percentage and a 120.0 passer rating while throwing 18 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He stepped up even further in the Packers' wild-card playoff win over the Giants, torching New York's secondary for 362 yards and four touchdowns. He finally threw an interception in the divisional round win over Dallas, but still managed 355 passing yards and two touchdowns.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
Defensive MVP: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
While the Packers' pass defense struggled to another mediocre performance -- finishing 31st in the NFL after allowing 269.2 passing yards per game -- Clinton-Dix was a revelation in his third season. A second-team All-Pro, Clinton-Dix registered 80 tackles, seven passes defended and 0.5 sacks, while playing all of the Packers' defensive snaps. Clinton-Dix nearly doubled his career interceptions total, racking up five, including two takeaways in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He did it again in Chicago, picking off Bears quarterback Matt Barkley twice.
Breakout Star, Defense: Nick Perry
A former first-round pick, Perry may not have lived up to the hype during his first four seasons in the league, but he broke out in a big way after returning to the Packers on a one-year deal. Perry finished the season with 52 tackles, 11 sacks, four passes defended and an interception, all career highs. Not even a broken hand could slow him down as Perry had one of his best games of the season in the Packers' playoff win over Dallas, registering four tackles and sacking Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Breakout Star, Offense: Ty Montgomery
Green Bay's ground game was looking listless following injuries to Eddie Lacy and James Starks, but while the Packers' brass promoted practice squad running back Don Jackson and signed Seattle Seahawks castoff Christine Michael, the unexpected solution to their problem was a little-used wide receiver. Montgomery played just 17 snaps on offense through the Packers' first four games, before racking up 12 targets in Week 6 and running the ball nine times for 60 yards in Week 7. Montgomery finally burst onto the scene in Week 15, gashing the Chicago Bears for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. He finished the season with 457 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 77 carries, as well as 348 receiving yards on 44 catches, raising significant questions about the future of the Packers' backfield and surely making Starks -- a pass-catching back with a similar skillset -- a little uncomfortable.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Geronimo Allison
An undrafted free agent who was released in the final cuts before the season and signed to the practice squad, Allison rejoined the roster in Week 8 and was targeted just nine times in eight games. He found his footing in Week 15, hauling in four catches on seven targets for 66 yards, then grabbing four catches on six targets for 91 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's regular-season finale. His production fizzed a bit in the playoffs as Davante Adams and Jared Cook handled a bigger part of the passing game, posting just five catches for 65 yards.
USA TODAY SportsAdam Wesley
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Blake Martinez
Martinez stepped in at inside linebacker and immediately impressed, registering five tackles in his first game as a pro. Martinez also was given the duty of calling plays, which showed the confidence the team had in him. He helped ice the Packers' 26-10 win over the Bears in Week 7 with a fourth-quarter interception, finishing the season with 69 tackles, third amongst Green Bay linebackers, with four passes defensed. He had a season-high seven tackles during a loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10, before suffering an MCL injury that kept him out for three games and slowed him up in the postseason.
USA TODAY SportsDan Powers
Special Teams Player of the Year: Mason Crosby
Forget his NFC Divisional game heroics -- OK, don't forget it, but consider that during the regular season Crosby missed only four field-goal attempts. His 86.7 percentage on attempts was the second highest of his career (behind 89.2 percent in 2013). Crosby also had a game-winning field goal as time expired in a 30-27 Week 16 win at Chicago. OK, you can consider that game-winning kick against Dallas, too.
USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
Comeback Player of the Year: Jordy Nelson
After missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL and then not playing in the 2016 preseason, if Nelson had some rust it would be understandable. Instead, he was just like the Nelson of old, catching six passes in his first game in two years and finishing the season with 97 receptions (one shy of his single-season career high) for 1,257 yards and an NFL-leading 14 touchdowns (his most since 2011 when he had a career-high 15). Nelson had five games of 100+ yards, including a 156-yard, two-touchdown effort in a Week 16 win vs. Minnesota and 12 catches for 126 yards and a TD in a loss at Tennessee. And we didn't even mention that playing despite broken ribs things. Really, an amazing season for Green Bay's top receiver.
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Play of the Year: Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook in NFC Divisional game
Yes, Mason Crosby won the game against Dallas with a 51-yard field goal but it was the play that set up the kick which gets the nod. With just 12 seconds left in the game -- and overtime seemingly on the docket, Rodgers rolled left then while on the run and slightly off-balance threw a laser to Cook by the Dallas sideline. The throw itself is worthy of this award. But it was Cook's catch which sealed the deal, and the game. While sliding and falling to the ground, Cook somehow kept both his feet inbounds as he hauled in Rodgers' pass -- and slid out of bounds to stop the clock, leaving the Packers three seconds for Crosby's boot. It was an incredible play that will be replayed for years to come.
USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
Low Point: 42-24 loss at Washington
The Sunday night loss to the Redskins was Green Bay's four consecutive defeat. The Packers gave up 31+ points in each of those games. The loss meant Green Bay was 4-6 and two games out of the division lead. The "Fire Mike McCarthy" and "Aaron Rodgers has lost it" chants grew louder and louder as the playoffs seemed to be just a dream.
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High Point: Last-second win over Dallas in the NFC playoffs
After fulfilling Aaron Rodgers' prediction that Green Bay could "run the table," the Packers won the NFL North and easily beat the New York Giants in a wild-card game at home. Taking on the top-seeded Cowboys in Dallas was a tougher task but after Mason Crosby's second field goal of 50+ yards in the last 93 seconds went through the uprights, it was pandemonium in Wisconsin and the feeling (at least for a few days) that no one could beat the Rodgers-led Packers.