December 26, 2011
Aaron Rodgers barely played into the fourth quarter Sunday night against Chicago, throwing just one pass in the final period. But none of his fantasy owners have a reason to complain. If you waited around for Rodgers in Week 16, he did all he could do propel you to a fake-football championship.
In what will surely go down as an MVP season, Rodgers played at the highest level in fantasy's final scene. He completed 21-of-29 passes for 283 yards and a season-high five touchdowns, with the ball barely hitting the turf. Rodgers ended the night with 33.12 points in standard Yahoo! leagues, the best fantasy performance from Week 16. Your move, Saints and Falcons.
Rodgers brought some of his henchmen along for the ride, of course. Jordy Nelson bagged a couple of touchdowns (check out this gorgeous 55-yard rainbow) and collected 116 yards, making him top receiver of the week. James Jones added two scores on four receptions, showing excellent leverage and awareness in the red zone, and Jermichael Finley was productive early (3-20, TD) before he went back to his pass-dropping ways.
Backup QB Matt Flynn mopped up for the Pack, handing off a few times and taking one sack. He didn't get a chance to attempt a pass. It's a good bet he'll play a lot in the now-meaningless Week 17 game against Detroit. Perhaps he'll start the game; the Packers have nothing to play for and nothing to prove. Even if Rodgers does see the field, look for him to leave before he loses the all-time record for QB rating — he's nursing a slight lead over Peyton Manning's 2004 season.
The Chicago offense couldn't keep up on the scoreboard, but Josh McCown was surprisingly competent in this game (19-for-28, 242 yards, one TD, two INTs, 38 scrambling yards). His first pick came on a terrible decision — he threw the ball right to Clay Matthews — but otherwise he showed the world that yes, anyone picked up off the street can play better than Caleb Hanie.
Kahlil Bell also had a snappy night for the Bears (23-121 rushing, 4-38 receiving), though he couldn't convert on a couple of goal-line carries. At least Bell had some fumble luck working his way: on both of his bobbles, a teammate landed on the ball (once it was McCown, and once it was a Chicago lineman — in the Packers end zone). If your league plays through Week 17, Bell is a strong play at Minnesota.
The floor is yours as we finish off the egg nog. Did Rodgers and Nelson boost you, or crush you? Are you thanking Bell for the nifty running, or cursing him for the goal-line fumble? Earl Bennett had a long reception that ended at the one-yard line; how was it for you? Did Robbie Gould's 30-yard field goal with 1:11 remaining help out in any way? Do you have a romantic past with this Packers lass? You oughta know.
If only you'd believe in miracles, so would I.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire