FOX Sports Wisconsin looks back at the 2017 NFL season and distributes awards to the top players and moments for the Green Bay Packers.
Offensive MVP: WR Davante Adams
There aren’t too many highlights to boast about when watching the Packers’ film on offense, but Adams was responsible for most of them. Despite Rodgers being out for most of the season, Adams developed chemistry with backup Brett Hundley and recorded 10 touchdowns, second in the NFL among wide receivers, and also led the team in catches (74) and receiving yards (885). His play elevated him to Green Bay’s top option in the passing game and earned him a juicy new four-year contract worth $58 million (with $32 million guaranteed).
Defensive MVP: LB Blake Martinez
By sheer volume, Martinez was among the clear leaders of the Packers' defense in his second season. He led the team and tied for the league lead with 144 tackles -- Jake Ryan ranked second on the Packers with 81 -- while registering eight passes defensed, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble. A Pro Bowl-caliber middle linebacker (and a notable snub), Martinez, 24, is a rising star for the Packers' defense to build around.
Jeff HanischJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Breakout Star: NT Kenny Clark
The phrase "breaking out" might be an understatement for Clark. In his second year out of UCLA, Clark started 15 games (he missed Week 12 due to an ankle sprain) and did nothing but improve as the season went on. He really came into his own in the final five weeks, tallying all of his 4.5 sacks to tie for first in the NFL among nose tackles. His 55 tackles ranked sixth on the Packers, as well. Green Bay’s 2016 first-round pick is turning out to be a gem.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Aaron Jones
The Packers drafted three running backs in April to contribute behind receiver-turned-halfback Ty Montgomery. When Montgomery went down with injury, two had their crack at the starting role: Jones and Jamaal Williams. Although Williams saw more action in the final seven weeks than Jones, the latter had a 5.5 yard-per-carry average and two 100-yard games while Williams' rush average was a pedestrian 3.6 he had but one 100-yard effort. Jones also edges Williams out in terms of the better Twitter handle -- we’ll take @Showtyme_33 slightly over @jswaggdaddy. But it’s close.
Jeff HanischJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive Rookie of the Year: S Josh Jones
The Packers used their first four picks in last spring's draft on defense, assembling a talented group of rookies that featured cornerback Kevin King and linebacker Vince Biegel, as well as defensive tackle Montravius Adams. Jones led the group in reps, appearing in all 16 games and starting in seven. He finished fourth on the team with 71 combined tackles, and also picked up two sacks and had five passes defensed, including an interception. Not bad for a late second-round pick.
USA TODAY SportsDan Powers
Special Teams Player of the Year: WR Trevor Davis
Davis had the raw stats to earn these honors – his 12.0 punt return average ranked third in the NFL and his 22.8 kick return average was seventh. But it was one return that kept Green Bay’s hopes alive (for the moment, anyway) that gave him this hardware. With the Packers trailing by a touchdown to the winless Browns, Davis caught a punt at his own 10-yard line and returned it a career-long 65 yards, setting up a game-tying touchdown reception by Adams and an eventual win over Cleveland.
USA TODAY NETWORKUSA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin-USA TODAY Sports
Play of the Year: Aaron Jones’ game-winner in OT
Apparently one-hit wonders are a thing in football. Stuck on the sidelines the entire game against Tampa Bay in Week 13, Jones entered in overtime and took his only carry of the afternoon 20 yards into the end zone for a touchdown -- and the win. It was the 36th time in Packers history that a player brought his only carry of a game in for six points.
High Point: Comeback in Dallas
In one of the more drama-filled games of the year, Rodgers proved once again that any time remaining on the clock is too much time. After Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott scampered into the end zone to take a three-point lead over Green Bay with 78 seconds left, Rodgers marched his offense 75 yards down the field in nine plays, capping the last-minute effort with a game-winning 12-yard touchdown pass to Adams. The 35-31 victory improved the Packers to 4-1 on the year, and the dream of crossing over the St. Croix River and winning Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis was very much alive.
USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
Low Point: Rodgers injured in Minnesota
It was supposed to be an opportunity to extend their lead in the NFC North. Instead, a Week 6 visit to Minneapolis all but ended the Packers’ season. In the first quarter of a border battle with Minnesota, star quarterback Aaron Rodgers rolled out to his right and threw a laser to tight end Martellus Bennett -- who dropped it, by the way -- and the quarterback winced in pain on the ground. Rodgers was injured when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr finished off a hit -- yes, a legal hit – that broke No. 12’s collarbone. The Packers lost the game, and ultimately, their season.