New Math: 12 Greater Than 15

Greg Jennings jumped ship during the offseason, but he couldn't have possibly imagined how any of this has turned out. Aaron Rodgers, the player he wouldn't call by name during the offseason, was a star on Sunday night. Jennings, with just one reception, saved his best moves for after the game.

At the conclusion of Sunday's game, Greg Jennings flashed his best moves of the night.

He sprinted off the field and up the tunnel toward the Vikings' locker room. He then made a quick move to his right and ducked just in time to avoid the goalpost pad, which was being hauled into storage.

Before the Vikings' locker room opened for reporters, Jennings was already on an elevator and leaving the stadium.

Such was the night for Jennings. Facing his former team for the first time, Jennings caught one pass. The Green Bay Packers rolled to a 44-31 victory, a game not nearly as close as the 13-point margin would indicate.

Jennings' decision to jump ship and sign with the border-rival Vikings has been nothing short of a disaster from his perspective. For five years and $47.5 million, Jennings would be the focal point of the passing game and the missing piece to an offense that revolved around Adrian Peterson. And from the Vikings' perspective, taking a proven commodity away from a division rival was like splitting a pair of aces and getting black jack on both.

Instead, Jennings must be wondering what he's gotten himself into.

Sure, he's making a few more millions. He earned plenty of headlines by calling out "12" for receiving too much praise and providing too little leadership. He earned some laughs by accusing the Packers of "brainwashing" their players.

Sunday night, however, was the ultimate reality check.

Jennings hitched his ride to Christian Ponder. Oops. Jennings caught one pass for 9 yards and had just three passes thrown his way. Ponder threw for just 145 yards, a total padded by 50 yards in garbage time.

It's no secret Ponder isn't the answer. Why else would the Vikings sign Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman to create a three-man pit of quarterbacking mediocrity?

And "12"? Well, Aaron Rodgers performed like the Aaron Rodgers that Jennings had played beside and apparently taken for granted over the previous five seasons. With only Jordy Nelson remaining from the four-headed passing attack of Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley, Rodgers completed 24-of-29 passes for 285 yards. While the high-priced Jennings caught just one pass, minimum-wagers Jarrett Boykin and Myles White caught five apiece.

With Rodgers directing the game as if he had written the script, the Packers moved the chains on 13-of-18 third-down plays. Of the five failures, Green Bay moved the chains twice on fourth down.

With Rodgers, the Packers are 5-2 and in first place in the NFC North. Once some of their star players return, this looks like a potential juggernaut. With Ponder, the Vikings are 1-6 and finished.

Afterward, at least for public consumption, Rodgers was in no mood to gloat.

"Yeah, Greg and I talked," Rodgers said of a postgame exchange captured by NBC's overhead camera. "We had a lot of good memories together. I'm not going to talk about what was said. If you want to talk to him about it – I don't know if he's going to say anything but you can talk to him about it."

Not that he'd say it, but you wonder if Rodgers had a hunch that Jennings sprinted out of the stadium without fulfilling his media obligations. Either way, Rodgers was a star on the field and an adult at the podium. Jennings, on the other hand, was invisible during and after the game.

If the unshowered Jennings learned anything, it's that losing stinks.

And "12" is pretty good.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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