Coming Up

News

Print
RSS

Points explosion sends message to NFC North

Posted Oct 14, 2012


HOUSTON—They’re back. More importantly, their quarterback is back.

Aaron Rodgers’ six-touchdown performance in the Packers’ 42-24 win over the Texans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday night put a smile on his postgame face reporters hadn’t seen since the Packers offense was in full flight a year ago. The old verve returned to his tone. The MVP was back and that means the Packers are back because Rodgers is the Packers.

“He’s good at celebrating,” Rodgers joked with a subtle jab at Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who mockingly jabbed at the Packers quarterback by doing a “discount double check” celebration following a sack Rodgers said he “stepped into.”

“One of his best performances as a Packer,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said of his quarterback.

Rodgers completed 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards, six touchdown passes and a 133.8 passer rating. More importantly, Rodgers put pressure on the Texans to score points, and that pressure to keep pace with the Packers took the Texans out of their run-the-ball personality and put them squarely into a panic pass mode.

That’s Packers football. It’s the way the Packers won 15 games in 2011 and it’s the way they won this game, which marks a return to the ways of last year before a loss in Kansas City began a mysterious slump.

The slump is over. That’s the message the Packers sent with their explosive performance last night, and it’s a message that will raise the hairs on the backs of necks throughout the NFC North.

“It was a game I was into early. I felt good about the plan,” Rodgers said. “They challenged us. They played a lot of one-eyed safety. We wanted to take some shots early.”

The deep ball returned to the Packers offense at the 11:34 mark of the first quarter, when Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson in stride down the right sideline as Nelson crossed the goal line. It was a scene reminiscent of any number of games last season.

Where had it gone? Nobody knew, but McCarthy challenged his offense to rediscover it, to start gashing defenses with it, and just as McCarthy predicted, the moment it happened the opponent would back off its coverage, which is what the Texans did. With room to roam, the Packers’ receivers ran free on the Texas “prairie” last night.

So ended a week of angst for Rodgers. It was a week that began with a loss in Indianapolis that caused ripples of discontent within the Packers fan base and the media.

“Of course I heard it,” Rodgers said. “Friends like to tell me what’s being said out there. I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder and I like it when people give me a reason for that chip.”

The chip is back, too. Good!

Next up is a trip to St. Louis, the final leg of a three-game road stretch of schedule. A win would send the Packers home 4-3 for games against Jacksonville and Arizona, before a bye week to rest for a finishing schedule that includes five NFC North games. Those games will likely decide the Packers’ fate.

“This is a team that has a lot of pride. It’s almost good when people doubt us a little bit,” Rodgers said, playing the chip card again.

“When things don’t go well, the quarterback takes a lot of the heat,” McCarthy said. “He’s jumped over a lot of bigger hurdles than this week.”

Be that as it may, Rodgers had the look of a guy who was awfully glad to have this hurdle behind him. He was wearing the look of confidence that led the Packers to 19 consecutive wins and a Super Bowl title. He was wearing the look of a guy who knows he’s about to get on a roll.

 

Additional coverage - Oct. 14
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Sound FX: Packers huddle up before Saints game

    (1:33) Posted 10 minutes ago

    Get an exclusive view over the top of the Green Bay Packers team huddle before their preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints.

  • Rodgers, Kuhn dress like pilots at luncheon

    (1:12) Posted 23 hours ago

    After the final training camp practice, the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Welcome Back Luncheon at Lambeau Field.

  • Packers vs Saints: Final Thoughts

    (3:30) Posted Sep 2, 2015

    Packers.com's Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford preview game four of the preseason as the Green Bay Packers take on the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.