Every year I like to contemplate the Packers yearly awards at the bye week of the season. It is just insane to me that I had to wait until Week 14, the middle of December, before I was able to do this. For the Packers, the season is looking closer to being over than to the midway point of the season. So with that being said, let’s get into it. With four games remaining in the 2022 NFL regular season, these are my Packers Yearly Awards at the bye.
Defensive Side of the Ball
Defensive Comeback Player of the Year
This one goes to the highest paid corner in the NFL, Jaire Alexander. Alexander has played phenomenally this season, shutting down most receivers he has played against and has a career high four interceptions. He has played off ball a ton due to a lackluster defensive scheme which has caused him to give up some yardage. He has also let up a few big plays due to his aggressive nature. Overall, Alexander coming back from last year’s injury makes him this year’s Defensive Comeback Player of the Year at the bye.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Kingsley Enagbare looks like a future stud and was a great draft pick in the fifth round of this past year’s NFL draft. Devonte Wyatt has seldom played but when he has, he has always made the most of it. But this year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year has to be Quay Walker. Walker has been a tackling machine. He has made some great defensive plays including a couple of forced fumbles. He even stepped into the role of having the green dot while De’Vondre Campbell was down with his injury. Walker has had his rookie moments, for sure, but is definitely this year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year at the bye.
Defensive MVP of the Year
Rashan Gary went down with a torn ACL in early November but his season up to that point cannot be ignored. He had six sacks through nine games and was in the top five with quarterback pressures in the NFL. The QB pressure, after his injury, has gone down significantly and at times the opposing quarterback has had all the time in the world to scan the field. This alone just shows how great Gary had been. Rashan Gary is the Defensive MVP of the Year at the bye. A great season ended earlier than it should have.
Special Teams Player of the Year
Keisean Nixon is the Special Teams Player of the Year for the Packers. He has significantly improved the return game for the Packers in ways I haven’t seen since Micah Hyde. Keisean Nixon has even been getting a ton of votes for the Pro Bowl. So if you haven’t already, go vote!
Offensive Side of the Ball
Offensive Comeback Player of the Year
David Bahktiari is your Offensive Comeback Player of the Year at the bye. He hasn’t played every game this season but when he has played, he has played at that All-Pro level we expect from David Bahktiari. He has helped shore up the offensive line that was atrocious at the beginning of year. Bahktiari is your Packers Offensive Comeback Player of the Year at the bye.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
If the bye week would have been before week nine this season, then the recipient of this award would have been a different player, but Christian Watson has become a superstar. Having scored nine touchdowns on the season, he is in the top five for scoring for wide receivers in the NFL. His confidence has skyrocketed as of late. Because of his jump in production, the Packers have looked better. Christian Watson is the Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Green Bay Packers at the bye.
Offensive MVP of the Year
The Offensive MVP isn’t just for the four-time NFL MVP anymore. In prior years this award would have easily gone to Aaron Rodgers, but this season is different. The other Aaron gets the nod at this point in the season. Aaron Jones is completely deserving of this award. Anytime Aaron Jones gets a chance with the ball in his hands, good things tend to happen and the Packers win. Aaron Jones is and has been the spark this offense needs. This years Offensive MVP at the bye is Aaron Jones. Get this man the ball!
And that is my Packers Bye Week Yearly Awards. I don’t foresee many changes in these between now and the end of the season but who knows? A lot can happen in four games. The Packers could go on a miracle run here at the end. Or the season could just end unceremoniously in week 18. Either way, keep perspective and enjoy the journey.——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.