Throughout the NFL season week in and week out, there are a select few players who go above and beyond and are ultimately the deciding factor in their team securing the win. These select players are honored weekly for their effort with the Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the week award. The accolade is given to the player who made the extra effort in a crucial situation and came through in a clutch situation. In addition to the weekly occurrence, the award has been expanded to award a top player for their yearly performance as well as a specific clutch performance as voted by the fans. This year’s crop of players consistently created highlight plays week in and week out and showed off their clutch instinct ultimately making a very close competition for the honor.
A career year for Mike Evans as he hauled in 96 receptions for 1,321 yards and 12 scores on the season. The biggest catch of Evans season was perhaps his last as in week 17 against division rival Carolina Panthers Evans caught a late fourth quarter touchdown from Jameis Winston. This score would go on to be the deciding factor in a Buccaneers victory that they would go on to win 17-16.
One of the brightest young stars in the NFL Marcus Mariota has a long career ahead of him. One of the defining moments of the young stars career, was his play in week two as a come from behind performance from he and his Titans helped seal the deal. On a fourth down play against the Detroit Lions late in the fourth quarter Mariota connected with future hall of famer Andre Johnson for the game sealing score.
Putting together another solid season Antonio Brown continued to flex his clutch trait week in and week out. Brown finished the 2016 season with 106 receptions for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns. The biggest touchdown of Brown’s season not only helped seal a Steelers victory but clinch the division. In the closing seconds of the game against the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North, Brown reeled in a pass from Ben Roethlisberger falling just short of the goaline, with an extra effort Brown was able to stretch the ball into the endzone. A crucial play as without the extra effort the clock would have run out on the game and perhaps the Steelers season.
Arguably one of the most clutch players week in and week out in the 2016 NFL season, Derek Carr put together for an MVP caliber season. Carr took home the Castrol Clutch player of the week award four times throughout the season. In week 12 against the Carolina Panthers in Oakland Carr led a drive while down in the fourth quarter connecting with Clive Walford for the late victory.
The other clutch Oakland Raider up for the award, Khalil Mack showed that you do not have to be on offense to be considered clutch this season. Another strong showing for Mack as he compiled 11 sacks on the season, the biggest being a strip sack on Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The strip sack would go on to be the deciding factor in an Oakland come from behind win.
Winner: Derek Carr
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