Later today at PackersNews.com you will find a complete list of my first-half Packers awards. In a sneak preview, I will reveal that tight end Tom Crabtree is receiving the Unsung Hero Award.
Crabtree has six receptions this season, but three have gone for touchdowns. His latest score helped seal the Packers' win over Arizona last Sunday.
The 72-yard TD reception was the longest by a Packers tight end since Paul
Coffman scored on a 78-yard catch at Miami on Oct. 28, 1979.
It was Crabtree's second touchdown catch of 45-plus yards this season. He also caught a 48-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter against Houston.
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Crabtree is the first Packers tight end since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to have two touchdown catches of 45-plus yards in a season.
Crabtree's other TD reception this season came in Week 2 when he scored on a 27-yard shovel pass from punter/holder Tim Masthay on a fake field goal.
Crabtree has a remarkable 49.0-yard average on his three TDs this season, and his average is 30.5 yards on his six catches.
Crabtree's long catch against the Cardinals came on the final play of the third quarter and gave the Packers a comfortable two-touchdown lead.
Crabtree admits he heard footsteps when he was rumbling toward the end zone.
"Oh yeah, I did, thatís why I kept checking," said Crabtree. "I think (there was) a linebacker to my right, a DB coming up to my left. The DB eventually caught up to me as he should I guess. Heís 180 pounds but I just snuck in there. I wouldnít have heard the end of it if I got tackled at the 2 or something. That would have been heartbreaking."
Crabtree isn't known for his blazing speed. He receives much more credit for his blocking ability than pass-catching prowess.
"The goal line seemed like it was running from me," said Crabtree. "I felt like I was on a treadmill. I knew I just had a couple of guys chase me down. It was just a matter of who was going to get there first."
Before the game Packers coach Mike McCarthy promised his team extra time off during the bye if they beat the Cardinals.
"Thatís all I was thinking about on that play," said Crabtree. "I wanted to help my guys out. Get us healthy, get the week off."
For a complete list of Packers first-half award winners, check PackersNews.com later today.