The Green Bay Packers quarterback, who was nearly flawless for the second straight week in back-to-back blowouts of division rivals, was still not satisfied following a 42-10 rout of the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on Thursday night.
Rodgers famously advised anxious Packers fan to relax after Green Bay stumbled to a 1-2 start. He backed up that advice by throwing for seven touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 34 of 45 passes in only seven quarters of play against the Bears and Vikings.
After dismantling the Bears in Chicago on Sunday, the short week didn’t seem to bother the Packers’ offense or its trigger-man. Rodgers posted a 151.2 quarterback rating against the Bears and came back with a 138.7 rating to complete back-to-back routs of NFC North foes.
Those performances still weren’t enough to please Rodgers, however, who said the offense is still a work in progress.
“Yeah I think we have some considerable improvements to make and move forward. This was a home game for us, (the) defense played really well and offensively we started pretty good – two touchdowns in three drives,” Rodgers said. “Then we kind of went stagnant for a while, so that’s disappointing, but all in all we’re 3-2 and hopefully we’ll come out of here pretty healthy and get ready for our next one.”
Rodgers didn’t have to be spectacular on Thursday night as a combination of quick strikes, short fields and a dominant defensive performance staked the Packers to a 28-0 halftime lead.
But he was very efficient in a blowout-shortened performance, finishing 12-of-17 for 156 yards and three touchdowns, one each to his top three wideouts.
“We didn’t have a lot of attempts in the passing game and didn’t execute very well on third down. But the bright spots we were 4-for-4 in the red zone and we got Eddie (Lacy) and James (Starks) going,” Rodgers said.
If for no other reason than to take some of the pressure off Rodgers and the passing game, finding an offensive balance has also been a point of emphasis through the first four weeks of the season.
The Packers found some of that balance against Minnesota as its embattled running game got on track with 156 rushing yards with a 5.6-yard average.
Lacy did the majority of the damage, breaking the 100-yard mark and notching his second career multi-touchdown game on only 13 carries.
“I think it was good for him (Lacy) and the offensive line to have the kind of day we had. I think we had 160ish (rushing) yards, which is very good, our best output of the season. Eddie (went) over 100 yards (and) we needed that,” Rodgers said. “The more we can get him going the more play-action comes off of that. He’s a bruising back and we need to find a way to keep him healthy and keep his legs juiced, and that’s why we’re going to use James (Starks) and DuJuan (Harris) at times. But anytime you can get Eddie in space like we did today, good things happen.”
Thursday was also a night to eclipse a career milestone for Rodgers, as he became the second-fastest player in NFL history to throw his 200th touchdown pass. Rodgers reached the mark – in only his 99th career game - on a 11-yard strike to Davante Adams in the second quarter. Only Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino got to 200 passing TDs faster.
“I’m very proud of Aaron. He’s at the point of his career now where it seems like every week or every other week, he’s breaking a record. He’s just a special player,” said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
As with most other aspects of his game, Rodgers was still thinking about ways to improve on an already impressive mark. Following Thursday’s win, he was already talking about the next milestone scoring play, especially since his 100th career touchdown ball was thrown into the stands by James Jones and his 200th score was Adams’ first NFL touchdown.
“My 100th touchdown was in Atlanta and James (Jones) threw the ball about 80 rows up and 200 was to Davante (Adams),” Rodgers said. “(It was) his first touchdown (and) I’m not going to take his ball so hopefully I can get to 300 and throw it to a guy who’s caught a touchdown before so I can keep that one.”
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