Sydney Speaks! Unsung heroes

Brett Favre has had an outstanding season and deserves the accolades that he is receiving, says Harry Sydney, but Sydney also takes a moment to shed some light on other players who have been coming through for the Packers this season.

This was a good win for the Green Bay Packers against the Rams because offensively they didn't play as good as they have most of the year but they did enough to win the game and that's what matters. The Packers had great starting position most of the game because of great effort by many people. This team is standing at 12-2 tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the best record in the NFC.

Because the Cowboys won the head-to-head meeting against Green Bay they would win the tie-breaker, but with two games left you never know what will happen, especially when the Packers will have to face the Bears and the Lions. As I think about facing the Bears on Sunday I'm reminded about what happened last year when the Packers went into Chicago and kicked their butts. You have to know that nothing would make the Bears happier than to know that they had a direct effect on the Packers' season, especially if they could stop the Packers from winning home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But I don't expect that to happen because I believe that the players that Ted Thompson has assembled and that Mike McCarthy has coached believe in their ability and will rise to the occasion and seize the opportunity to perhaps win the most games of any Packer team in franchise history.

Here's the meat of my article: All week long we will hear about Brett Favre and what he has done to the Chicago Bears, or about all his statistics and the records he has broken, which he deserves, because he is one of the greatest to ever play the game, but he doesn't play by himself. He has teammates and sometimes the media and fans seem to forget about them. I think it's time for those players to get some credit for the Packers having the record they have. So this article is for all those guys that haven't broken every record known to football mankind. Make no mistake about it, this isn't to disrespect Brett, but to praise those that just get mentioned but not really recognized for just how good they are playing.

Ryan Grant is just around 200 yards shy of getting 1,000 yards which just might be the biggest impact this team has had on their way to becoming 12-2. Grant has forced defenses to play more honest which changed this team from being a one dimensional threat.

This team was searching for a running game and had tried every running back on its roster and none of them could handle it, whether it was because they couldn't stay healthy, like Vernand Morency or DeShawn Wynn, or like in Brandon Jackson's case he had his opportunity and couldn't do anything with it. Either way, Grant's emergence has had a profound impact on what has happened to this team.

The Packers receiving group is the best in the league hands down. Everyone talks about Brett Favre having fun and playing this game with passion, well, I see the same thing with Donald Driver. Pound for pound, he just might be one of the toughest players in the league as he makes a living catching the ball in the middle of the field. Not only that, but he is willing to take a back seat and share the ball with his other receivers and let them blossom, like Greg Jennings, because to him it's all about doing what it takes to help this team win.

Everyone talks about the two corners in Al Harris and Charles Woodson and how they can cover, or they talk about the motor of Aaron Kampman. However, what Nick Barnett is doing at linebackers is getting overlooked. As you all know, before this year, I never was a Nick Barnett fan, but his play has made me a believer in his ability as a middle linebacker and a leader. It's hard for me to find a middle linebacker playing any better. In the past he showed his speed going from side to side, but now we are seeing him play downhill attacking physically and having excellent results. I don't know whether he will be voted into the Pro Bowl, but he is one of those guys on this team that is having an outstanding year that might be getting overlooked because everyone thinks the only reason that the Packers are winning and having success is because Brett is setting records, but others are helping.

This has been one of the biggest reasons that this team is 12-2. In almost every aspect the Packers have gotten better - from Will Blackmon returning punts to Koren Robinson returning kickoffs. Those two have been giving the offense better field position and have become a threat to take it to the house every time they touch the ball.

I'm not just talking about the return units, either, because the coverage units led by Korey Hall, Charlie Peprah, Tracy White, Tramon Williams and Jason Hunter they have been playing great all year long.

This team's success isn't only based on all the records that Brett Favre is breaking, but more on all the contributions that are being made by all the UNSUNG HEROES.

Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

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