Rodgers-Jennings Are Bread-Butter

When the Packers' offense needs a lift, it inevitably will be Aaron Rodgers connecting with Greg Jennings for a big play. We have the supporting video evidence that shows why these players make such a tasty combination.

Some people have bread and butter with spaghetti. Others have it with their ham and cheese omelet. Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, on the other hand, likes his bread and butter on game day, especially when the "bread" is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and the "butter" is wide receiver Greg Jennings or so says the star wideout (2:13).

The funny thing is that Jennings was right with his light-hearted and confident analysis. Rodgers is the bread of the offense, but without Jennings -- the butter -- his and the offense's production would be bland, and not nearly as explosive. In fact, the Packers would probably be sitting at home watching if the flavorful combo wasn't leading the green-and-gold charge.

It's just an assumption that Jennings is Rodgers' best wide receiver. However, after breaking down the numbers and watching a lot of the video from this and previous seasons, No. 85 is more than just an assumed star.

Jennings accounted for 32 percent of Rodgers' 3,922 passing yards and 43 percent of his 28 touchdowns. Jennings also caught six passes of 40-plus yards, which accounted for 60 percent of Rodgers' total. In the last two playoff games, Jennings has accounted for 38 percent of Rodgers' 610 passing yards (54 percent in the NFC Championship) and has come up with 16 receptions.

But what does the video evidence say?

Late in the first quarter in Week 14 against the Lions Rodgers threw a perfect deep spiral that went right through the hands of Jennings and bounced to Lions defensive back Amari Spievey for an interception. Jennings gave up on the play, believing the flag was for illegal contact and the Packers would get an automatic first down, and the Packers' offense pretty much threw in the towel the rest of the way. The result was a 7-3 loss.

One week earlier, with the Packers losing 6-0 in the second quarter to the San Francisco 49ers, Jennings came up with probably the biggest catch of the day -- a 57-yard touchdown. That play started the momentum that led to a 34-16 rout.

In Week 1 against the Eagles, the Packers' offense was struggling late into the second quarter. With the score tied 3-3 and less than 4 minutes left until halftime, the Packers faced a third-and-8 at the Eagles' 36. Rodgers scrambled right and threw a high pass to Jennings, who came down with it in spectacular, one-handed fashion. That drive was capped by a 6-yard touchdown. Again, Jennings' big play created a huge momentum shift when the Packers needed it the most.

Of course, who could forget the lead these two took against the Bears? It wasn't only in the NFC Championship Game, either. Rewind to the final game of the regular season to set the stage for this historic Super Bowl run. All 10 points scored that early January afternoon were set up by passes from Rodgers to Jennings. The final one was huge -- a 46-yard deep wheel route along the right sideline early in the fourth quarter that set up the only touchdown.

My favorite, though, came late last season against the Steelers on a third-and-5 early in the first quarter that set the tone for the offensive onslaught that would ensue. Rodgers lofted a perfect pass over the top of two defenders and in front of Troy Polamalu's understudy, Tyrone Carter. Jennings caught it over the shoulder and in stride before spinning and bouncing off Carter to free a lane for a sprint to the end zone.

So, how did Rodgers and Jennings become such an incredible duo?

Back in late November 2007 against the Dallas Cowboys, Rodgers was forced into the game for an injured Brett Favre. Rodgers finished the first half strong by finding Jennings three times for 63 yards, which included his first NFL touchdown pass (11 yards) with 31 seconds left. Since then, Rodgers and Jennings have been like peanut butter and jelly, chips and dip, and of course, bread and butter.

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Eric Huber is a contributing writer for E-mail him at

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