Officially Out of Superlatives For Rodgers

What more can be said about Aaron Rodgers? His brilliant performace against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night was actually his second-worst of the season, statistically speaking. Yes, that's how high the bar has been set for the NFL's best player.

Aaron Rodgers is like the U.S. Postal Service.

Not crowd noise, not inexperienced offensive tackles, not a team hell-bent on revenge can stop Rodgers from delivering the mail.

Rodgers' performance on Sunday night in leading the Green Bay Packers to a gutty 25-14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons wasn't quite as awe-inspiring as his 31-of-36 game at Atlanta in the playoffs last season. But Rodgers was, as usual, brilliant.

As if "brilliant" captures his excellence thoroughly enough. Simply, he's become the NFL's best player as he befuddles defensive coordinators that had all offseason to find a chink in his armor.

It took the great Brett Favre until his 42nd start with the Packers to have five games of 110-plus passer ratings. Rodgers has done it in five consecutive games to start the season. Raising the bar to insane heights, Rodgers completed 26-of-39 passes for 396 yards, with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a rating of 117.0.

Rodgers is football's version of a .400 hitter, when even a 1-for-3 day drags down the average. How's this: His 66.7 percent accuracy was his second-worst performance of the season, as was his passer rating. His two touchdowns matched his season low.

Clearly, the guy is going through a slump.

And clearly, if you're in the mood for more sarcasm, the Falcons have his number.

Including playoffs, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is 21-4 at home. Two of those losses have come against Rodgers, who's thrown for 762 yards and five touchdowns in those games.

"I do," Rodgers said when asked if he likes playing at Atlanta.

The Packers had averaged 37 points in their first four games but managed just six at halftime as Ryan successfully played keepaway, just like he did when the Falcons beat the Packers at the Georgia Dome in Week 12 of last season.

It appeared the Falcons had Rodgers right where they wanted him. The Falcons were leading and their offense looked too powerful. Those factors had turned the Packers one-dimensional as they tried to survive with Marshall Newhouse at left tackle and Derek Sherrod at right tackle instead of Chad Clifton at left tackle and Bryan Bulaga at right tackle.

Instead, after a three-and-out to start the second half, Rodgers led the offense to a field goal and back-to-back touchdowns. On the drive that ended in Mason Crosby's 56-yard field goal and cut the deficit to 14-9, Rodgers avoided a sack and hit James Jones for 30 yards on third-and-11. On the first of the touchdown drives, Jones appeared to be blanketed by safety Thomas Decoud but Rodgers threw a pass so perfectly placed that he couldn't have done better had he walked over and handed the ball directly to Jones. DeCoud missed the tackle and Jones was off to the races for a 70-yard touchdown – the 100th of Rodgers' career. On the second touchdown drive, Rodgers hit Jermichael Finley for 22 yards on third-and-10 and Randall Cobb for 10 yards on third-and-3 before hitting Greg Jennings for a 29-yard touchdown.

"I think we have a lot of confidence," Rodgers said. "This is a different football team than in years past. We expect to win when we take the field. I think there was no panic in the locker room. We were down 14-6 and we just knew that we had to put together a couple of drives and have our defense hold. The defense held, Mason made a real big kick and I had a couple of big plays. It was one of those games where a lot of stuff didn't go your way. We didn't run the ball that well, we dropped some passes, I missed a couple reads. It was just a choppy game. But we did enough on third down in big situations. Jermichael came up with a big catch, James came up with a big catch and we made enough plays to win."

Rodgers would have recorded back-to-back 400-yard games if not for a few drops, including two on third down by Finley. But Rodgers didn't shy away from his big tight end. Facing second-and-18 following a busted play, Rodgers hit Cobb for 16 yards and Finley for 24. Those were the key plays of the Packers' final scoring drive, which resulted in the clinching field goal after taking 6:22 off the clock.

"We kept persevering and dealt with adversity well like we have all season," Rodgers said. "I'm proud of our guys. We made some mistakes. Everybody did. But Derek stepped in and did a nice job. Marshall moved over to left tackle. It's just one of those games where you're just proud of the guys, the way we competed and the adversity we had to deal with."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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