Offensive Player Rankings

Aaron Rodgers guides the Packers back atop NFC North

The Jacksonville Jaguars' Rashad Greene, Indianapolis Colts' D'Qwell Jackson, Denver Broncos' Brock Osweiler, Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers and Arizona Cardinals' Chandler Catanzaro each had the strength to come through during a key moment and contribute to wins during Week 11.

Thanks to those strong performances, each player is up for Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week honors. This is a deeper look at the significance of those conquests.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Strong stats to consider:
» The Packers only have two teams left on their remaining schedule that currently have a winning record, the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings. The Packers visit Arizona in Week 16 and host the Vikings to close out the regular season.
» After Sunday's 30-13 win over Minnesota, Packers coach Mike McCarthy is 14-4-1 against the Vikings.

Power of the moment: Perceptions can change really quite profoundly in a very short period of time. A week ago, the Packers were getting written off as a contender after what was a historic win by the woeful Detroit Lions at legendary Lambeau Field. Headlines such as "Packers at a crossroads," "Packers' world crumbling" and "What's going wrong for Aaron Rodgers?" filled time slots on many pro football talking-heads shows. Rodgers and the Packers rebounded against the Vikings, and recaptured the NFC North lead after briefly surrendering it to Minnesota. It was a big-time momentum grab for the Packers, who host their longtime rivals -- the Chicago Bears -- on Thanksgiving night in what should be an emotionally charged evening at Lambeau.

Rashad Greene, Jacksonville Jaguars

Strong stats to consider:
» The last time the Jaguars started 3-6 and then won in Week 11 was in 1996, when the team went 6-1 in its final seven games. That team made the playoffs as a wild-card team, pulled off a shocking playoff upset and advanced as far as the AFC championship.
» The 19-13 win over the Tennessee Titans gave quarterback Blake Bortles his first back-to-back wins in the NFL. The last time he won two consecutive games were against SMU and Baylor while playing for Central Florida in 2013.

Power of the moment: To the surprise of mostly everyone outside of Jacksonville, the Jaguars are just a game out of first place in the AFC South. Adding to the optimism surrounding this team is the fact that it plays three of its next four games at home: vs. the San Diego Chargers (2-8) in Week 12, at the Tennessee Titans (2-8) in Week 13, vs. the Indianapolis Colts (5-5) in Week 14 and vs. the Atlanta Falcons (6-4) in Week 15. That's not a daunting stretch of games and could position the Jaguars for a more lengthy run at the postseason.

D'Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis Colts

Strong stats to consider:
» Jackson is the first Colts player with a sack and an interception returned for a touchdown in the same game since Ray Buchanan did it in Week 14 of the 1994 season.
» Jackson's pick six with the opponent inside their own 10-yard line with a lead of seven or fewer points in the fourth quarter was the first one since Week 5 of the 2013 season, when the Miami Dolphins' Reshad Jones had a pick six in a game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Power of the moment: With the Houston Texans on a bit of a winning run and the surging Jacksonville Jaguars right on their heels, the Colts are in must-win mode with backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck at the helm in place of injured Andrew Luck. The Colts rallied from a pair of two-touchdown deficits to prevail on the road against the Falcons, a team that is in the thick of the NFC playoff race. Jackson's pick six provided the game-turning moment with the Falcons buried deep inside their own territory.

Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos

Strong stats to consider:
» The Broncos' 17-15 win over the Chicago Bears was the team's third win this season in which it scored fewer than 20 points.
» The Broncos have been held to fewer than 25 points in seven of their 10 games this season. In 2013-14, the Broncos were held to fewer than 25 points in seven of 32 games.

Power of the moment: Happy, happy birthday. Osweiler's start in Peyton Manning's place turned out to be historic -- not to mention very helpful to the Broncos' playoff hopes. Osweiler became the only quarterback in the Super Bowl era to make his first career start on his birthday and emerge victorious. Osweiler turned 25 years old on Sunday. Previously, Mark Brunell made his starting debut for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 on his 25th birthday, but lost to the New York Jets. Tom Kennedy made his starting debut for the New York Giants in 1966 on his 27th birthday, but lost to the Washington Redskins. As Osweiler proved on Sunday, you can have your cake AND eat it too.

Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona Cardinals

Strong stats to consider:
» Catanzaro's kick assured that the Cardinals would win their 29th consecutive game in which they held a fourth-quarter lead. That's the longest such active streak in the NFL.
» Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is pacing alongside the New England Patriots' Tom Brady for the NFL lead in touchdown passes. If Palmer can somehow finish the season as the league leader, it would make franchise history. No Cardinals quarterback has ever led the NFL in passing touchdowns.

Power of the moment: The Cardinals and Bengals are each in the weekly struggle for prime playoff positioning among their conference rivals. The Cardinals' win built a three-game cushion over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West race. The Bengals, meanwhile, have seen a healthy division lead dwindle due to a two-game losing streak. The Pittsburgh Steelers now trail the Bengals by just two games.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Earl "Curly" Lambeau, 37, coach of Green Bay Packers of National Football League, poses in 1931, location unknown. (AP Photo)

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.