GREEN BAY, Wis. — With http://www.packersshop.us.com/Jamari_Lattimore_Jersey time to reflect, Aaron Rodgers may see this stretch of football — one that has all sorts of historical milestones that we’ll get too soon enough – as one of the finest of his career.
But late Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, who last week insisted the offense he directs still was not humming along as he would like, remained unwilling to concede that much has changed.
Who knows what it will take to get Rodgers to acquiesce, but apparently this kind of start to a game — touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, punt, touchdown, punt, touchdown — in Sunday’s 38-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers apparently did not satisfy his criteria.
At least he was willing to give an inch or two this week.
“I think we’re getting closer,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers wants Don Barclay Packers Jersey more yards (the Packers managed 363 on Sunday) and more opportunity (they ran just 56 offensive plays). But here’s why it might be time for Rodgers to admit this offense is rolling: For the first time this season, it resembled days like in 2011, when Rodgers was in the midst of his MVP season and had a smorgasbord of options in the passing game.
In Sunday’s dismantling of the Panthers, Rodgers’ 19 completions were spread amongst nine different players, a season high. That’s in contrast to three times this season, including last week’s game at Miami, when Rodgers completed passes to just five different players.
In 2011, Rodgers had seven games in which he completed passes to at least nine different players. Last season, it happened once, and it came against the Philadelphia Eagles when Rodgers was a spectator because of his collarbone injury.
“Back in ’11, I feel like we spread it around a little more,” said Rodgers, who was 19-of-22 for 255 yards with three touchdowns on Sunday. “We’ve had a lot of targets for Jordy [Nelson] and Randall [Cobb] this year, so we’ve tried the last four games to find ways to move those guys around and get them positive matchups.”
This wasn’t just the Jordy Nelson show, although the NFL’s receiving yardage leader entering the week still managed four catches for 80 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown (his fourth straight game with a score).
Five different http://www.chargers.us.com/King_Dunlap_Jersey Packers scored touchdowns, including rushing touchdowns by Eddie Lacy and James Starks (who combined for 99 yards on 19 carries). When Rodgers also can include Cobb (six catches for 121 yards and his eighth touchdown of the season) and Davante Adams (who had a 21-yard touchdown catch) plus completions to two different tight ends, it qualifies as offensive diversity.
“Everybody got involved,” said Cobb, who has matched his career high for touchdown passes in just seven games. “We were able to move the ball really well. Just drive after drive, able to capitalize and put points on the board. At the end of the day, that’s the kind of offense we want to be, continue to be. We ran the ball well, we passed the ball well. Everything was open for us.”
Had Rodgers not sailed a ball over tight end Richard Rodgers’ head in the end zone on his final throw of the game late in the third quarter, he would have finished with four touchdown passes and a passer rating of 157.6 (on a scale in which 158.3 is the max). Still, he finished with just two other incompletions, and a harsh grader might consider both of them drops. When he gave way to Matt Flynn in the fourth quarter, Rodgers’ final rating of 154.5 was the second-best mark of his career.
For the fourth straight game (all wins for the 5-2 Packers) he threw at least three touchdowns without an interception. Only Tom Brady (in 2007) has done that in a season.
He ran his streak of consecutive passes without an interception to 192, his career high and the second-best total in team history behind Bart Starr (294, 1964-65).
All of it is starting to feel like 2011, when Rodgers was on the best roll of his career.
“I’ll say this about Authentic Marcus Gilchrist Jersey Aaron: Aaron is a much better today than he was in 2011,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “His responsibility level has increased a lot since then. So, what he does during the course of the week, during the course of the game, at the line of scrimmage, the communication between Alex Van Pelt and myself, he is, in my opinion, watching him grow throughout his career, he’s clearly a better player.”