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Cal in NFL: Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff Both Impressive, but Packers Win

Green Bay quarterback rebounds from opening-game stinker with strong Monday night performance

Former Cal quarterback Jared Goff put up impressive numbers for the Lions on Monday night, but he could not keep up with the ex-Golden Bears quarterback on the other team.

Aaron Rodgers bounced back from one of the worst performances in his career with an outstanding showing while leading his Packers to a 35-17 victory over Detroit at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Rodgers was 22-for-27 for 255 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 145.6 passer rating.  That showing was just a wee bit better than his performance in the Packers' 38-3 loss to the Saints last week, when Rodgers threw two interceptions and no touchdown passes while recording a passer rating of 36.8, the fourth-worst passer rating of his career in games in which he started.

"I just think people say a lot of bulls---, and it's nice to come back in here after a game like that," Rodgers said afterward. "I think there's even more now than when I started playing, there's so many overreactions that happen on a week-to-week basis, so it's nice to come out and have a good performance and get the trolls off our back for at least a week."

Rodgers is now 9-0 in his last nine games after a loss. It was also Rodgers eighth straight win on Monday night. During the game, Rodgers moved into 10th place alltime in career passing yardage.

Aaron Rodgers during his postgame press conference, which can be viewed at the end of this story

Aaron Rodgers during his postgame press conference, which can be viewed at the end of this story

Goff was 26-for-36 for 246 yards, two touchdowns and one interception with a passer rating of 97.7, and he led Detroit in rushing with 46 yards.  He was outstanding at the outset, completing 13 of his first 14 pass attempts, with two touchdown passes, while helping the Lions to a 17-14 halftime lead.

But Rodgers and the Packers dominated the second half.

Although he threw four touchdown passes, Rodgers' most important pass did not go for a score.

On the Packers' first possession of the third quarter, the Packers faced a third-and-12 from their own 24-yard line, trailing by three points. Rodgers then launched a perfect deep pass to Davante Adams that gained 50 yards, giving Green Bay a first down at the Lions' 26-yard line and setting up the go-ahead touchdown:

Here is that beautiful pass, which changed the game:

Goff had thrown two first-half touchdown passes to put the Lions ahead.  The first one, a 5-yard scoring pass to Quintez Cephus, gave Detroit a 7-0 lead.

Here it is:

Goff's second touchdown pass, an 8-yard completion to T.J. Hockenson, put Detroit ahead 14-7.

Here is that pass:

Goff did make one significant mistake. With the Lions trailing 28-17 in the closing seconds of the third quarter, Goff fumbled a snap as rain in Green Bay made the ball slippery. Green Bay recovered and scored a clinching touchdown.

Rain has been a problem before for Goff, who has small hands for a quarterback.

As a Cal freshman in 2013, Goff found it impossible to get a good grip on the ball in driving rain in Eugene, Oregon.  He was just 3-for-6 for 11 yards before being replaced in the first half by Zach Kline in that loss to Oregon.

The Packers took command of Monday's game in the third quarter. A few plays after Rodgers' 50-yard completion to Adams, Rodgers tossed a 22-yard scoring pass to Robert Tonyan to give Green Bay a 21-17 lead.

That TD pass is seen here:

Rodgers' fourth touchdown pass was an 11-yard throw to Aaron Jones, who caught three of Rodgers' scoring passes.

This is the TD pass that gave the Packers a 28-17 lead:

Green Bay is now 1-1, while the Lions are 0-2, although Goff has played pretty well in both losses.

Rodgers' postgame press conference:

In the opener, Goff led the Lions back from a 41-17 deficit late in the fourth quarteot against the 49ers. Detroit got to within 41-33 and moved the ball to the 49ers' 25-yard line for a possible tying touchdown before falling short.

He did throw his first interception of the season on Monday in Green Bay, but it came with 3:51 left in the fourth quarter and the Lions trailing by 18 points. Goff was trying to make something happen when nothing was there and forced a pass.


Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers by Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports


Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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