For two weeks, we heard that Aaron Rodgers would be limited by a strain in his left calf – and for the better part of three quarters against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, that proved to be the case.
The Packers took an early 7-0 lead over the Cowboys but were then limited to just six points over the next two-and-a-half quarters. Green Bay trailed 14-10 at halftime and 21-13 with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter.
And then Rodgers took over.
He found Davante Adams for a 46-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within 21-10, and then Rodgers gave the Packers the lead for good, finding Richard Rodgers for a 13-yard touchdown pass to culminate an eight-play, 80-yard drive with 9:10 remaining.
What did (Aaron) Rodgers do in the second half that allowed Green Bay to pull out a victory?
“Well, the most impressive thing about Aaron Rodgers’ ability in the pocket is he is so sudden,” Fox Sports football analyst Brady Quinn said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Meaning that he can make one little movement or subtle adjustment in the pocket to avoid the rush and be able to make a ridiculous throw – and we saw that on a couple of his touchdown passes and even just plays to keep (drives) alive. I think that’s one of the things that makes him so effective being a pocket passer because right now his athletic ability is limited. He’s a great athlete when he’s 100 percent and healthy. He’s able to get outside the pocket and extend plays and take big shots down the field or even run with his legs as well. But right now he’s hampered by that calf, but he still seems to be so effective. That’s why he’s, to me, the best quarterback in the game of football right now.”
As a reward, Rodgers gets to play the Seahawks in Seattle this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET. The Packers, who went 4-4 on the road this year, lost in Seattle, 36-16, in the first NFL game of the season. Rodgers was 100 percent healthy in that game; he won’t be in this one.
Is there anything to make us think the Packers can beat the Seahawks this time around? Especially since the Seattle defense has allowed an average of just eight points per game in its last seven games?
“Well, the biggest thing for me looking at this matchup in particular is will the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line be able to protect Aaron Rodgers enough from that pass rush of the Seattle Seahawks?” Quinn asked. “Because the secondary for the Seahawks is not going to allow the Green Bay Packers to get open, especially early on with some of his progressions. He would have to normally extend plays or find ways to move in the pocket and avoid the rush, and unfortunately, I don’t think he’s going to have that luxury up in Seattle in a loud environment against that defense. So I think the Packers are going to struggle mightily going into that game.”