GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers scored two victories on Monday night.
First and foremost, it was the Green Bay Packers’ 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions. While getting back on track was critical for a team that has talked openly about winning the Super Bowl, Rodgers seemed to take particular pleasure in shutting up the critics who swarmed like jackals following the 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints last week.
“I think we maybe tried to show that we cared a little bit more tonight,” Rodgers said sarcastically.
Rodgers and the Packers came under heavy fire following last week’s game. While there’s no doubt Rodgers and Co. played poorly, the narrative went beyond performance and lingered throughout the week. After a tumultuous handful of months that ended with Rodgers airing his frustrations with the franchise following the first day of training camp, the conjecture – mostly on social media but also among some national pundits – was how Rodgers didn’t want to be in Green Bay, wasn’t interested in winning or was trying to play so poorly that he’d force his way out via a midseason trade.
On Monday, Rodgers had a funny way of showing he’s not interested in winning. In leading Green Bay to a come-from-behind victory over Detroit, Rodgers had almost as many touchdowns (four) as incompletions (five).
“I just think people like to say a lot of bull----, and it’s nice to come back in here after a game like that,” Rodgers said.
With the Packers trailing 17-14 at halftime, Rodgers made two big-time throws to send them on their way. On third-and-12 on the fifth play of the second half, Rodgers went deep to Davante Adams for a gain of 50 yards. Adams had a step on the defender and that’s all Rodgers needed. If Adams wasn’t open by much, tight end Robert Tonyan seemingly wasn’t open at all on the 22-yard, go-ahead touchdown against double coverage on third-and-6.
“Based on the release that Bobby had and the matchup, I felt really good about the opportunity,” Rodgers said. “I put it exactly where I wanted to, threw the ball in rhythm. I think that’s what I didn’t do well last week was throw the ball in rhythm. When I did tonight, I was pretty accurate, which I feel like I should be. So, that’s the things I focused on this week was getting back into that rhythm.”
After the Packers got a fourth-down stop, Rodgers stayed hot. The big play was a third-and-14 in which he caught the Lions with 12 defenders and found Randall Cobb for the first down. Rodgers converted a third-and-7 with another completion to Randall Cobb, Adams made a leaping catch for 22 and Aaron Jones put the Packers up by 11 with an 11-yard touchdown catch with 7 seconds left in the third quarter.
For the fifth consecutive time, Rodgers answered a Packers loss with a four-touchdown, no-interception masterpiece. His passer rating of 145.6 was almost 110 points better than last week.
So, the Packers’ season isn’t over and Rodgers isn’t a quitter.
Who would have guessed?
“There’s so many overreactions that happen from a week-to-week basis,” he said. “So, it’s nice to come out, have a good performance and get the trolls off our back for at least a week.”