Great teams are led to big games by big-time players, there’s no question about that. When teams make deep runs into playoffs they are always equipped with great amounts of talent, a capable quarterback that knows how to manage a game in difficult situations and that makes the right decisions even under pressure, a defense that knows how to stop the opponents limiting their respective offense or creating turnovers with blitzes or interceptions, and normally a running game that permits to manage the clock and the time of possession.
We all know how well Aaron Rodgers has performed successfully cementing his franchise-qb status succeeding to Brett Favre. Everyone can recognize Greg Jennings and Donald Drive as high-profile receivers. Clay Matthews has become the new face of the heavy-pressure defense managed by a veteran coach like Dom Capers, and finished second in the Defensive Player Of The Year award ballot won by Troy Polamalu. And we know that Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, AJ Hawk and many other well-known faces all did a great job carrying the Packers on their way to Dallas.
However, many contributions arrived from a small group of lesser-known players, that made enough big plays to change their low-profile status, emerging out of nowhere. Here they are.