Though their season ended on a sour note, the Green Bay Packers again were successful under Mike Sherman. A handful of individuals made a difference last year for the Packers and would like to honor them in its first annual web site edition of Packer Report Awards. The drum roll, please ....<p>

Most Valuable Player: Quarterback Brett Favre

This is no-brainer. Favre fell four votes shy of the National Football League MVP award to Oakland's Rich Gannon. Favre may have hurt his chances of winning this MVP award in Green Bay's regular season finale loss to the New York Jets. He completed only 16 of 33 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and a costly interception. He was pulled from the game after three quarters.

Gannon, 37, led the NFL in passing yards with 4,689 and a passer rating of 97.3. Favre finished with 3,658 yards passing and a rating of 85.6. Gannon threw 26 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Favre threw 27 touchdown passes and was intercepted 16 times. Gannon's completion percentage was 67.6% to Favre's 61.9%.

Close second to MVP: Mike Flanagan. The versatile offensive lineman played center, guard and tackle this season due to injuries to other players, and was effective. He also played tight end in practice.

Rookie of Year: Safety Marques Anderson

Anderson took over for the injured Antuan Edwards in Week 4 and never relinquished the starting safety job. He won three rookie of the week awards this season, including back-to-back awards for his performances against the New England Patriots in Week 6 and Washington Redskins in Week 7. He also won the award for his Week 10 performance against the Detroit Lions. The Packers won all three of those games.

Anderson started 11 games for the Packers, recording 41 tackles, ranking second on the team with four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and had seven passed defensed. He was the Packers sixth-leading (non-kicker) scorer and had an 11-tackle effort against New England in Week 6. He was nominated for the award four times.

Game of Year: Win over New England Patriots

Nobody expected the Packers to beat the defending Super Bowl champs, but Green Bay marched into Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on a rainy, gray afternoon and upended the Patriots 28-10.

The Packers played without five starters on defense, then lost left tackle Chad Clifton early on, but took advantage of four New England turnovers, 12 Patriots' penalties, and another stellar performance by Favre.

Favre, the NFC's player of the week a week earlier in Green Bay's Monday night win over the Chicago Bears, threw for three touchdowns, completing 17 of 27 passes for 147 yards. Green Bay scored 28 unanswered points before the Patriots scored their first touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Running back Ahman Green led a solid rushing game, racking up 136 yards on 31 carries and one touchdown. He also caught three passes for 21 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass.

Play of Year: Defensive tackle Rod Walker against Chicago Bears

Brett Favre completed dazzling passes to Donald Driver and Terry Glenn. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila had a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Bears. Darren Sharper and Ahman Green had some big plays. But defensive tackle Rod Walker gets the prize here for not only making a big play but using a little creativity to do it.

Walker, starting in place of the injured Gilbert Brown, helped save the day in the Packers' 30-20 win over the Chicago Bears Dec. 1 at Lambeau Field.

With Chicago up by one and at the Green Bay's 1 yard line midway through the third quarter, Walker was able to penetrate and knock the ball out of Bears center Olin Kreutz's hand right as the snap was taking place. Walker recovered the fumble, and the Packers turned the miscue into three big points when they embarked on a 14-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a Ryan Longwell 27-yard field goal. The play was huge because Green Bay was able to regain the lead at 16-14 rather than fall behind by eight points. As a result, the Packers never trailed the rest of the way.

"I was just anticipating the snap count and put a hand on the ball," said Walker. "When you're that close to the goal line, you just got to try to make plays and try to make something to turn it around.

"Luckily it worked. But if it wouldn't have worked, it probably would have been real ugly for me."

That's because it initially appeared Walker had lunged into Kreutz prior to the snap. But no whistle was blown and the Packers were able to take over from there.

"I actually got my hand on the ball," Walker said. "It came right back to me, and I just laid there." Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell credited Walker with making a big-time play since swiping the ball away at the snap is not normally worked on in practice.

Most Improved Player: Wide receiver Donald Driver

Driver entered training camp last summer as the team's No. 3 receiver and finished the season as Green Bay's go-to guy.

Driver led the Packers in the regular season with 70 receptions for 1,064 yards and nine touchdowns. In his first three seasons, Driver totaled 37 catches for 520 yards and three touchdowns.

"I have to ask myself, and I hate to put this out there, 'Why didn't he play more last year?'" Sherman said. "You watch him practice and you watch him play, he does it the same way. He's a lot like Brett that way — he practices the way he plays on Sunday. I love players like that."

In a display of loyalty and toughness, Driver played in the NFC Wild Card playoff despite a badly bruised/sprained shoulder suffered a week earlier against the New York Jets. He scored Green Bay's only touchdown but was unable to continue after falling hard three times on the injured shoulder.

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