On the sideline after he threw a touchdown pass to Aaron Jones on the opening possession against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers put a towel over his mouth and said to a mic’d-up coach Matt LaFleur:
“I want five today. That’s one.”
Replied LaFleur. “Hey, that’s the goal. Hey, I want six.”
With LaFleur’s pass-centric game plan, Rodgers got his wish. Rodgers was 25-of-31 passing for 429 yards with five touchdowns and a max passer rating of 158.3 in Green Bay’s 42-24 romp.
LaFleur got his wish, too. Rodgers added a rushing touchdown to give him a total of six touchdowns. It was Rodgers’ first six-touchdown day since throwing for six against Chicago on Nov. 9, 2014. Rodgers wound up with as many touchdowns as incompletions and won his 17th NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award.
The game’s pivotal moment came with the Packers leading 14-10 but the Raiders driving toward a go-ahead touchdown late in the first half. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr fumbled and the Packers were granted possession at their 20 with 1:49 to play. LaFleur came out aggressive.
“That’s all gas, no (expletive) brake,” he said.
Rodgers’ 37-yard touchdown pass to Jake Kumerow was his third of the day and gave Green Bay a 21-10 lead at the break. A touchdown run by Rodgers, a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham and a 74-yard catch-and-run touchdown by Marquez Valdes-Scantling in which Aaron Jones delivered a key block at midfield capped the scoring and allowed Rodgers to reach his goal.
“I appreciate you, man,” Rodgers said to LaFleur.
Even with Davante Adams out and Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison not practicing all week due to injuries, the game plan was to attack Oakland’s pass defense rather than run into the teeth of a strong run defense.
“We knew we had to be aggressive,” LaFleur said after the game. “I thought when we watched the Raiders’ defense, I thought they have a really stout run defense. They tend to load the box up on you and play physical, they play downhill, and I just thought that going through the air might be the best way to attack them.”