From the outside, Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary prowess is a remarkable feat of quarterbacking skill
For Rodgers, it’s more about the trigonometry.
“The plays that happen on the field, the throws, I’ve done all those in practice,” Rodgers said on Wednesday, a few days after his Hail Mary touchdown pass shocked the Giants and a few days before leading the streaking Green Bay Packers into Sunday’s NFC Divisional playoff game at Dallas.
“So, even the Arizona throw, the Detroit throw and this last one, I’ve done similar plays where we’re moving the pocket slightly or not moving the pocket or escaping and resetting the edge, and then you’re throwing it as high as you can and trying to judge trajectory and distance and then how hard you’re going to throw it and how high you’re going to throw it. It’s a matter of a quick mathematical equation in your mind based on your feel and your muscle memory.”
The Packers’ offense was inept for much of the first half against the Giants, but his end-of-the-half Hail Mary touchdown to Randall Cobb gave the Packers a 14-6 lead. Green Bay went on to blow out New York in the second half to earn a 38-13 victory.
The challenge will only stiffen at Dallas. The Cowboys finished 13-3 and blasted the Packers 30-16 at Lambeau Field in Week 6.
Dallas coach Jason Garrett is leaving no stone unturned in getting ready for the rematch. After all, Rodgers has three Hail Mary touchdowns in the past 12 1/2 months.
“We’ve certainly seen the (Hail Marys) he’s hit over the past couple years,” Garrett said during a conference call. “We’ve watched the one from the other day a number of times. He’s just very good at it, obviously. They do a good job up front for him, but he does a good job buying time, and he throws the ball as well as anybody on the planet. He does such a great job elevating the ball and getting his receivers a chance to get down there. Then they have playmakers on the other end, guys who can go up and make those plays. They’re awfully good at it. Certainly, it’s been a big play for them over the last few years.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.