NFCN Barroom 6-Pack: Premium Pours for Week 14

NFCN Barroom 6-Pack: Premium Pours for Week 14

Originally established as the Central Division in 1967 as part of the NFL Western Conference prior to the AFL-NFL merger, what is now commonly regarded as the NFC North Division has long inhabited many of the league’s most outstanding athletes. Throughout its nearly 50 years of existence, Hall of Fame careers have been solidified, legendary coaches have passed through and a handful of the greatest teams in league history have thrived. The NFCN Barroom 6-Pack is our way of paying homage to the athletes and coaches who make the NFC North Division an emotional rollercoaster every single week without fail.

BUD LIGHT AWARD: QB AARON RODGERS | GREEN BAY

The Bud Light Award is presented to the NFC North quarterback who proved ‘Up for Whatever’ challenge thrown his way.

The Seattle Seahawks defense has been widely regarded as arguably the best unit in professional football for the better part of the past half-decade. But you certainly wouldn’t know it based on the way Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers carved them up this past Sunday afternoon.

Rodgers, who has had definitive top quarterback spot in the North division questioned in recent weeks, reaffirmed to the world why he should be regarded amongst the very best at his position. The Packers signal-caller produced 246 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-23 (78%) passing — which amounts an absurd per-attempt average of 10.7 (the 13th-highest per-attempt average of his 139-game career) — en route to a decisive 38-10 victory over Seattle to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive.

RUNNER UP: QB Matthew Stafford, DET

THE CORONA EXTRA: WR DAVANTE ADAMS | GREEN BAY

The Corona Extra is presented to an NFC North offensive skill player who produced a difference-making effort in a complementary role.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

The North division did not produce many impressive rushing performances in Week 14 — or all season with exception to Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard, honestly — which left this award to fought over by an array of impressive receiving performances. While he did not lead the division catches or receiving touchdowns this week, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams produced not only the most explosive play of the weekend but yet another outstanding statistical line as well.

Adams, a third-year wide receiver out of Fresno State, collected his fifth career 100-yard receiving day (four of which have come during the 2016 season) through amassing four catches, 104 yards and one receiving touchdown against a vaunted Seattle defensive secondary.

Most importantly, however, Adams set the tone for Green Bay’s 28-point victory with a 66-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the Packers’ opening offensive drive.

RUNNER(S) UP: WR Adam Thielen, MIN; WR Jordy Nelson, GB

THE ROLLING ROCK: DE EVERSON GRIFFEN | MINNESOTA

The Rolling Rock is presented to the NFC North defender who guarded his end zone with consistency and dominance through the final whistle.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

 

Green Bay managed to force Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson into throwing five interceptions while allowing only 10 points overall, but it was Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen who produced the most consistently dominant defensive effort during Week 14.

While Wilson’s unorthodox number of interceptions was inflated by multiple miscues by his receivers, Griffen collected a pair of sacks, a pass defended, three quarterback hits and three combined tackles in an effort that saw the veteran edge-rusher disrupt both Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and running back TJ Yeldon equally for a complete 60 minutes of play.

In addition to leading the Vikings to a 25-16 victory on the road, Griffen picked up sack Nos. 7 and 8 on the year via his 8th career game in which he has totaled two-or-more sacks.

RUNNER(S) UP: CB Damarious Randall, GB; CB Cre’Von LeBlance, CHI

COORS LIGHT CROWN: K KAI FORBATH | MINNESOTA

The Coors Light Crown is presented to the NFC North special-teamer whose veins turned blue with the pressure on.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

Minnesota, a team which typically wins with strong defensive play and just enough offense, may have picked a good one off the scrap heap following the release of Blair Walsh. In search of a reliable kicker to fortify an offense that struggles mightily in the red zone and has lacked consistency moving the ball throughout the year, the Vikings turned to veteran Kai Forbath — a placekicker with a résumé that hardly treads water on the intrigue of the name written on his birth certificate.

Forbath, who in four previous seasons with the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints had connected on 69-of-82 (84.1%) field goal attempts and 124-of-127 (97.6%) extra-point tries, has been a revelation since joining the Vikings. The rebirth of his career has seen him convert all 10 of his field goal attempts and nail 5-of-7 (71.4%) of those pesky extra-pointers — it should be noted that both of said misses were as much the fault of Minnesota’s field-goal kicking unit as his won.

Against Jacksonville, “Supreme Kai” notched all four of his attempts — three from 40-plus yards away — and shot 50 percent on his pair of extra-point tries (though it could very easily have been 100% minus ANOTHER untimely false start penalty) en route to a 13-point performance amounting to over 50 percent of the Vikings’ 25-point total.

RUNNER UP: KR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN

MILLER LITE MEDAL OF HONOR: HC MIKE ZIMMER | MINNESOTA

The Miller Light Medal of Honor is presented to the NFC North coach who best proved that games are as much won on the sidelines as they are on the field.

Credit: NFL Game Pass

Minnesota’s head coach did not just lead his team to a postseason-saving win on the road in Jacksonville, he did so despite being forced to wear an eye patch and “special” sunglasses as a result of his most recent medical procedure to repair a torn retina.

Mike Zimmer’s impact on the Vikings goes beyond his defensive expertise and play-calling; he is a rock for a team that has been on a rollercoaster ride since mid-July. While he was not ultimately forced to do so, the Minnesota coach was ready and willing to drive from Minneapolis down to Jacksonville in order to be there for his team’s critical Week 14 matchup.

Enough said, really.

RUNNER UP: HC Mike McCarthy, GB

DOS EQUIS CAN’T-MISS PLAY: QB SAM BRADFORD | MINNESOTA

I… I don’t even know, man.

RUNNER(S) UP: WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (45-Yard Diving Catch); CB Cre’Von LeBlanc, CHI (24-Yard Pick-Six)

 

Did we get it right? Let us know on Twitter @NFCNBarroom or comment below to have your say!

Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference, unless otherwise noted. Film clips courtesy of NFL Game Pass.

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BJ Reidell

BJ Reidell

Robert "BJ" Reidell IV is a St. Paul, Minn. native currently living in beautiful Bismarck, N.D. He began writing about the Minnesota Vikings and NFC North division shortly after graduating from Marquette University in 2014 with the goal of turning his favorite hobby into a career. In addition to contributing to NFCN Barroom, he is a full-time Sports Reporter for the Bismarck Tribune, an NFL Analyst at Vikings Territory, Co-host/Producer of About the Labor: A Minnesota Vikings Podcast and a Fred Biletnikoff Award voter. You can find him waiting in line at Chipotle, enjoying a cold soda at Plums Bar & Grill or on Twitter @RobertReidell.



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