Another year under Matt LaFleur, another successful start to the season. The Green Bay Packers, despite some bad news in recent days, are soaring at the top of the NFC with a 7-1 record.
Coming off a win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8, the team isn’t necessarily firing on all cylinders due to multiple injuries – but they’re still playing at an elite level.
There has been ups, there has been downs, but now it’s time to hand out the mid-season awards for the 2021 Green Bay Packers.
Most Improved: Edge Rashan Gary
Note: This award only applied to players that were on the team last year.
Rashan Gary is having a breakout year for the Packers, and it’s coming at just the right time. The team will have multiple question marks at the pass rusher position in the offseason – but Gary isn’t one of them as he’ll still be on his rookie deal.
Gary is set to double, if not triple his numbers from last year. He’s currently on pace for 7.0 sacks, 40 QB pressures, and 52 combined tackles. There’s no doubt that Gary’s playing time came as a result of Za’Darius Smith’s injury – but the former first-round pick is making the most of it.
Honorable mentions: Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Billy Turner
Rookie of the Year: CB Eric Stokes
Stokes doesn’t have much competition here, but he still deserves credit for the heart he’s shown on the field. The 22-year-old was essentially thrown into the fire very early into the season but has made it work and shown great progression over time.
For a rookie corner, Stokes has been impressive. According to Pro Football Reference, Stokes has allowed 27 completions on 49 attempts and has only given up two passing touchdowns – giving him a 82.6 allowed passer rating on the season.
Honorable mention: Josh Myers
Best Offseason Addition (Trade or Signing): LB De’Vondre Campbell
Let’s be honest here: This award isn’t even close. Campbell is by far the best free-agent signing that the Packers made coming into this year, and his on-field play is proving that.
Campbell is seemingly everywhere on the field at all times and is involved in nearly every successful tackle. His Pro Football Focus rating of 86.7 is among the best in the league for linebackers, his run defense has been excellent, his pass coverage is superb, and he’s on pace to have 140+ tackles.
What more could you ask out of the best inside linebacker the Packers have had in years?
Honorable mentions: Rasul Douglas, Randall Cobb
Underperformer of the Year: S Darnell Savage
This isn’t an award that I want to give out, but Darnell Savage has been underwhelming this year. After watching Savage’s Pro-Bowl like play last year, I was personally excited to see him take another step forward in 2021 – but he’s taken three steps back instead.
Savage is giving up a 99.5 passer rating on the year and has allowed a 71% completion percentage, which are awful numbers considering he gave up a 67.3 passer rating and a 54% completion percentage last year.
Honorable mentions: Robert Tonyan, Allen Lazard
Most Valuable Player: QB Aaron Rodgers
This award could either go to Aaron Rodgers or Davante Adams, but given that Rodgers was able to pull off the Arizona win without Tae – this award goes to #12.
This isn’t new, Rodgers has been the guy for years upon years but this year feels a bit sweeter given the off-season drama. Rodgers is on track to put up MVP numbers yet again, but this season also includes a promising defense and a front office that seems to be in a “win now” mode more than ever.
He’s also the Most Valuable Owner.