Handing out the Week 16 NFL game balls

Let’s hand out some game balls from the Week 16 NFL schedule. Five players that stood out from my perspective.

Cam NewtonICONNewton posted 4 total TDs in Carolina's 48-16 win over Tampa.

Cam Newton, Panthers: The QB is the clear choice for Rookie of the Year honors and we saw his unique ability again on Saturday vs. the Bucs. Newton throws for 3 TDs (12-17-171-yards) and adds in another score on the ground with a 49-yard run. And on that TD run the Tampa secondary looked scared trying to tackle him in the open field.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Five TD passes (21-29-283) in the win over the Bears on Christmas night to lock up the No.1 seed in the NFC. Rodgers took advantage of Lovie Smith’s Cover 1 defense inside of the 5-yard line throwing the one-step slant and the back-shoulder fade. That’s 46 TD passes on the season—MVP numbers.

Victor Cruz, Giants: Three receptions for 164-yards and a TD. Not bad vs. the Jets’ secondary. The play that stands out is the 99-yard TD reception on a route designed to move the sticks. Cruz runs an intermediate concept, makes two guy miss and then outruns the safety (making the angle disappear) to the end zone. Huge play in a win that sets up the Cowboys-Giants matchup on Sunday night for the NFC East title.

Matthew Stafford, Lions: Detroit is heading to the post season for the first time since the 1999 season and when you break down this offense is starts with the production at the QB position. Stafford lit up the Chargers’ secondary (29-36-373-3 TDs), spread the ball around and once again found WR Calvin Johnson in the red zone.

Reggie Wayne, Colts: I’m giving the Colts’ WR a game ball because he showed up vs. one of the top defenses in the NFL. Forget the talk about Andrew Luck in Indy on Thursday night, Wayne posted 106-yards on eight receptions including the fade route from QB Dan Orlovsky to beat the Texans.

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