Coming off of their first loss of the season last week, the GREEN BAY PACKERS were able to get back on track by beating a long time rival in the Chicago Bears and clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Packers offensive line allowed AARON RODGERS (California) enough time to have a personal best five touchdown passes while allowing only one sack. This impressive performance by the injury plagued offensive line establishes the Green Bay Packers as a contender for the third annual Madden Protectors Award. The award honors the NFL’s best offensive line and will be presented during the week of Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis. Past Madden Protectors Award recipients include the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2010) and the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2009).
The Madden Protectors Award recognizes the fundamental role offensive linemen play in their teams’ success by providing consistent and powerful protection day in and day out.
The Packers continued their dominance throughout this season as they notched their 14th win of the year and can now rest easy until the second round of the playoffs. The offensive line was missing three of their four top tackles and still managed to only allow one sack and only two hits on Rodgers. The offensive line starts in the middle with center SCOTT WELLS (Tennessee), who is flanked by guards EVAN DIETRICH-SMITH (Idaho State) and JOSH SITTON (Central Florida). Providing powerful protection on the outside are tackles MARSHALL NEWHOUSE (Texas Christian) and T.J. LANG (Eastern Michigan). Offensive line coach JAMES CAMPEN is in his fifth season with the Packers and in each of his first four years, the Packers have finished in the top 10 in the NFL in total offense. The offensive line allowed for Rodgers to throw for 283 yards and 5 touchdowns. With the combination of RYAN GRANT (Notre Dame) and JAMES STARKS (Buffalo), the Packers were able to rush for 81 yards on the day.
“The Packers offensive line played a great game against Chicago on Sunday night,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN.
Other offensive lines from around the league delivering powerful protection during Week 16 were the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (463 total yards, 307 passing yards, 164 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 2 QB hits allowed) the BUFFALO BILLS (351 total yards, 191 passing yards, 160 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 2 QB hits allowed), the BALTIMORE RAVENS (284 total yards, 122 passing yards, 162 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 2 QB hits allowed), the CAROLINA PANTHERS (433 total yards, 163 passing yards, 270 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 1 QB hit allowed), and the PITTSBURGH STEELERS 377 (total yards, 208 passing yards, 169 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 1 QB hit allowed).
Tags: evan dietrich-smith, james campen, john madden, josh sitton, madden protectors award, marshall newhouse, offensive line, scott wells, t.j. lang
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