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Aaron Rodgers has his game back, but also his edge

Green Bay Packers v Houston Texans Getty Images

For other NFL teams, Aaron Rodgers’ six-touchdown performance Sunday night perhaps shouldn’t be the part that concerns them most.

Such that he didn’t previously, the Packers quarterback has his edge back, and that makes his team dangerous.

From his post-game message to critics through NBC’s Michele Tafoya (“Sshhhhh”), it was evident that Rodgers took the Packers slow start, and the criticism thereof, personally.

I ain’t never seen him that focused. He was extremely focused today. You could see it in his eyes. You could see it when he talked to us,” Packers wide receiver James Jones said via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

“You know, he calls us up before every game, and he was just like, ‘I’m going to be the lead dog. Follow me. I’m going to make some plays. I haven’t been playing that well. I’m going to make some plays.’”

There’s a bit of revisionist history at work on Rodgers part, as he wasn’t exactly Brady Quinn the first five weeks. He did throw 10 touchdowns and had a passer rating of 97.0.

But whether the criticism he used as fuel was real or imagined, and whether that makes him a little touchy, it worked.

“Of course, I heard it,” Rodgers said. “It wasn’t like I paid a lot of attention to it, but people, whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff, friends of mine, they like to tell me what’s being said out there. I’m not somebody that watches a ton of TV or puts a whole lot of worth into some of those comments, but I feel like I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder. It helps when people give me a reason to have that chip.”

He and all his teammates played as if they had something to prove, and now they’re back to 3-3, perhaps not coincidentally the same record they had after six games in 2010, when they went onto win the Super Bowl.

“I said it this week: There’s not any quit in that locker room,” Rodgers said. “It’s almost better when people are doubting us a little bit, I think, and we kind of band together.

“People tried to pull us apart this week and we stuck together and found our motivation within.”

That’s the scary part, that they feel like they have something to prove now.

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41 Responses to “Aaron Rodgers has his game back, but also his edge”
  1. n0hopeleft says: Oct 15, 2012 8:08 AM

    He’s an arrogant SOB, and other teams watching video won’t like it.

  2. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears says: Oct 15, 2012 8:12 AM

    The Super Bowl is not won in October. After the first few games this season, I just hoped the pack could make it too the playoffs and then see what they could do. Solid win. Very solid win. Now, take care of business against the jags

  3. jhein23 says: Oct 15, 2012 8:17 AM

    6 td passes is even more impressive considering the Packers were playing with only 10 players on offense. They didnt’ have anyone lined up at tight end. Well Finley technically but thats the equivalent of Casper the ghost running the route. So thats 10.

  4. mavajo says: Oct 15, 2012 8:35 AM

    It’s ridiculous that people (mostly dumb fans) were writing this team off after five weeks.

    This was the most successful franchise in the NFL over the last two seasons. 29-8 record, with a Super Bowl win and the reigning league MVP.

    Now of course, this beatdown of the Texans doesn’t mean the Packers are gonna win the Super Bowl. Hell, it doesn’t even mean they’ll make the playoffs. But it does show that the Packers aren’t underdogs to anybody in the NFL. Regardless of what the records may say, the Packers are as good as any other team in the NFL.

    The 3 best teams in the NFL were supposedly the Texans, Falcons and 49’ers.

    The Texans were 5-0, but just got drubbed in their own house on primetime.

    The Falcons are still undefeated, but they’ve been winning ugly and barely scraping by bad taems (Raiders, Redskins, and Panthers). Sure, there are no style points in the NFL; winning ugly is still winning. But winning ugly can also be a sign of problems to come, and an indication that you’re not as good as your record indicates — shades of the Packers at the end of last season.

    The 49’ers just got demolished in their own house, and their coach who’s constantly praised as this coaching wunderkind didn’t have a single answer. Good coaches and teams don’t get held to 3 points at home.

    Point is, there’s a lot of season left, and there’s not a single complete or dominant team in the NFL.

  5. chris6523 says: Oct 15, 2012 8:35 AM

    There wasn’t revisionist history on Rodgers’ part. Rodgers hasn’t been close to on top of his game. He’s missed open receivers relatively frequently this season and more than a few of those sacks were a result of him holding the ball way too long. He had 4 picks in the first 5 games which would be a career high. I don’t doubt for a minute that Rodgers feels he hasn’t played as well as he should.

  6. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 15, 2012 8:36 AM

    That’s right, and the ‘skins blew out the viks, who have probably won their last game this year. We will pass them like they’re tied to a post.

  7. chalkruz1989 says: Oct 15, 2012 8:40 AM

    Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers win a game and now it’s time for ESPN and other media outlets to give them their crown and go back to making even more commercials for the team. It was one win, hard to annoint them as back after one performance. And in typical Green Bay fashion, lets have Rodgers pad his numbers.

  8. dougy1970 says: Oct 15, 2012 8:49 AM

    Nobody is doubting you, Aaron. We just doubt that you can overcome the refs who are out to get the Packers.

  9. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:02 AM

    He’s pretty good.

  10. anon5121 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:24 AM

    Why are 6 tds impressive? Feels unnecessary unless you’re a fantasy star or over compensating if you get my meaning.

  11. leatherface2012 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:28 AM

    i loved the one he ran in and put the belt on , and the official says “holding offense # blah blah blah” and then he sulked all over the place. hey gb do all the renovations u want. that dump will never host a super bowl cuz u only have enough hotel space for the tv people

  12. ernie ernie says: Oct 15, 2012 9:43 AM

    Several observations if you will.

    1. I thought all along that there were several people on defense not performing well. Two got hurt and the defense came to life. Seems I was right. I mean anyone thinking Perry is going to be a top number one pick player is wrong-amundo. He is average and that’s all he ever will be. BJ Raji is fat, slow and can’t stop the run if its not coming at him. He has never been a pass rusher so what’s his purpose.

    2. I was dead on about Finley. He can catch passes on the sidelines when he knows he is not going to get hit but anything up the middle, he don’t want any part of that. Time to bench him for Crabtree.

    3. McCarthy at his news conference confirmed for me he is slightly smarter than a rock.

  13. ernie ernie says: Oct 15, 2012 9:45 AM

    And it only took McCarthy 6 games to figure a run and pass combo might work. Duh!
    I know he loves Finley and or he doesn’t like the other tight ends but it doesn’t take a genius to figure at the game six mark, plus last season, Finley is a has been, should be on the bench.

  14. whatjusthapped says: Oct 15, 2012 10:40 AM

    I know trades in today’s NFL are about as rare as a Viking playoff win but Ted Thompson should seriously consider any viable offers for Finley. He’s a cancer in the locker room, a headcase on the field and the Packers are better off without him.

  15. endzonepete says: Oct 15, 2012 10:49 AM

    What’s really funny is that we keep hearing how bad Rodger’s has been this season and yet it only took him one game to suddenly lead the league in QB rating and TD passes.

    If he’s playing that bad, what is everyone doing?

  16. gpack22 says: Oct 15, 2012 10:49 AM

    i loved the one he ran in and put the belt on , and the official says “holding offense # blah blah blah” and then he sulked all over the place. hey gb do all the renovations u want. that dump will never host a super bowl cuz u only have enough hotel space for the tv people
    ———————————————————

    That’s fine, we’ll keep WINNING Super Bowls instead!! If your definition of “sulking” means scoring another TD soon after then you are correct sir.

  17. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    That’s what mediocre teams do – they play well one week and bad the next week. If Rodgers doesn’t play out of this world (and the refs don’t give him multiple opportunities when he isn’t perfect), the Packers lose. That’s a thin tightrope you’re walking.

  18. purpleguy says: Oct 15, 2012 11:22 AM

    Yeah, every major media outlet picks them to win the Super Bowl and suddenly it’s the Packers against the world. Spare me. Other than the usual trolls (yes from my team too), most of the recent whining was coming from cheeseville.

  19. contrasuxbalz says: Oct 15, 2012 11:26 AM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    That’s what mediocre teams do – they play well one week and bad the next week. If Rodgers doesn’t play out of this world (and the refs don’t give him multiple opportunities when he isn’t perfect), the Packers lose. That’s a thin tightrope you’re walking.
    ______________
    You are right. That game could easily have went the other way (sarcasm). You are a joke the Texans were out classed from bell to bell.

  20. jhein23 says: Oct 15, 2012 11:59 AM

    How much you wanna bet Shannon Sharpe’s source was Jermichael Finley? Its time to trade that guy. Finley, Starks and a 3rd rd pick to Jags for MJD.

  21. wrm1230 says: Oct 15, 2012 1:48 PM

    Uh Oh….guess which team isn’t dead despite all of the wishing and pleading from all 31 other teams and their fans whose heads are buried in the sand. Yes, I’m looking at you….the Packers are for real and come December, you’re not going to want to play them. Not that you should want to now as the sleeping giant has been kicked….

  22. elgaffo says: Oct 15, 2012 2:00 PM

    hey gb do all the renovations u want. that dump will never host a super bowl cuz u only have enough hotel space for the tv people
    ——————————————–
    If the primiary goal of the organization was to host a superbowl, your comment might matter. As it stands, the goal is to win. This is the primary difference between a team culture like Green Bay and the team culture of the Dallas Cowboys.

  23. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 2:10 PM

    contrasuxbalz says:Oct 15, 2012 11:26 AM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    That’s what mediocre teams do – they play well one week and bad the next week. If Rodgers doesn’t play out of this world (and the refs don’t give him multiple opportunities when he isn’t perfect), the Packers lose. That’s a thin tightrope you’re walking.
    ______________
    You are right. That game could easily have went the other way (sarcasm). You are a joke the Texans were out classed from bell to bell.
    _______

    Yes, and the Vikings totally outclassed the 49ers, Lions, and Titans the last three weeks. That didn’t prevent them from losing to Washington this week. Let me repeat: Mediocre teams play well one week and not the next week.

    Welcome to mediocrity. Unfortunately for you, the Packers are passing through mediocrity on their way down. The Vikings are passing through mediocrity on their way up.

  24. thejohnsmith1122 says: Oct 15, 2012 2:20 PM

    leatherface2012 says:

    i loved the one he ran in and put the belt on , and the official says “holding offense # blah blah blah” and then he sulked all over the place. hey gb do all the renovations u want. that dump will never host a super bowl cuz u only have enough hotel space for the tv people
    ===============================

    And I love how JJ Watts mocked the Aaron Rodgers celebration and his team got KILLED. Obviously he’s one of the few who showed up to play last night BUT at least make sure you’re on the winning end before you start mocking you’re opponents.

  25. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 15, 2012 2:21 PM

    @thankheaven – hey, if by any chance you own an HD TV and a DVR, go back to the Packers-Texans game and look for the steely determination in Aaron’s eyes. The man is on a mission and the mission is a Super Bowl vicotry.

  26. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 15, 2012 2:24 PM

    Re: thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    “The Vikings are passing through mediocrity on their way up.”

    50 + years is a long time time to just be passing through.

  27. tsi431 says: Oct 15, 2012 2:48 PM

    Everyone forgets this “mediocre” team was one terrible fail mary play and a terribly missed field goal away from being 4-1.

  28. deltaoracle says: Oct 15, 2012 4:02 PM

    Discount double gutcheck.
    Looks as if reports of GB’s demise were a tad premature.

  29. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 5:37 PM

    Green Bay fans are the most schizophrenic on Earth. Last week all we heard was complaints about how terrible they are and this week all we hear is how they’re going to win the Super Bowl. Don’t pull a hammy jumping on and off the bandwagon.

  30. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:Oct 15, 2012 2:24 PM

    Re: thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    “The Vikings are passing through mediocrity on their way up.”

    50 + years is a long time time to just be passing through.
    _________

    Let’s define mediocre as within one game of .500. Since divisional play began in 1968, the Packers have had 16 “mediocre” seasons, 14 “good” seasons, and 14 “bad” seasons. That’s the epitome of mediocrity. The Vikings, meanwhile, have had 19 mediocre seasons, 18 good seasons, and 7 bad seasons.

    In that same time, the Vikings have had a better record than the Packers 23 times, the Packers have had a better record 16 times, and they’ve had the same record 5 times.

    That doesn’t include this season, by the way.

  31. lambeauandlombardi says: Oct 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    That’s what mediocre teams do….

    Welcome to mediocrity. Unfortunately for you, the Packers are passing through mediocrity on their way down. The Vikings are passing through mediocrity on their way up.

    ……………………………………………………………………..
    Didn`t realize this story about the Vikings. And if the Vikings are on their way up does that mean another 50 years of futility?

  32. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 6:07 PM

    @Carl –

    If by chance you own a dictionary, look up how to spell. If you can tear yourself away from gazing into Aaron’s eyes, that is.

  33. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 15, 2012 6:35 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:Oct 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:Oct 15, 2012 2:24 PM

    Re: thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 AM

    “The Vikings are passing through mediocrity on their way up.”

    50 + years is a long time time to just be passing through.
    _________

    Let’s define mediocre as within one game of .500. Since divisional play began in 1968, the Packers have had 16 “mediocre” seasons, 14 “good” seasons, and 14 “bad” seasons. That’s the epitome of mediocrity. The Vikings, meanwhile, have had 19 mediocre seasons, 18 good seasons, and 7 bad seasons.

    In that same time, the Vikings have had a better record than the Packers 23 times, the Packers have had a better record 16 times, and they’ve had the same record 5 times.

    That doesn’t include this season, by the way.
    ________

    How many SUPER BOWLS have you won?!

  34. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 15, 2012 6:41 PM

    @thankheaven -really? How many Super Bowls have you won?

  35. csghostrider says: Oct 15, 2012 7:49 PM

    4, actually. Not counting the 9 we won before the superbowl era.

  36. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 15, 2012 8:25 PM

    lambeauandlombardi says: Oct 15, 2012 6:05 PM

    “Didn`t realize this story was about the Vikings.”

    It’s their inferiority complex that comes from being the red headed step child of the division.

    Given ~50 years you would think even the most mediocre franchise would accidentally stumble across at least 1 Lombardi Trophy.

  37. pack13queens0 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:01 PM

    The Pack is back & so is A-Rod. This year we get that one for the thumb & Title #14 overall. Nobody can stop America’s Team now!

  38. packersownerandshareholder says: Oct 15, 2012 11:03 PM

    It’s on like Donkey Kong! GO PACK GO

  39. thetokyosandblaster says: Oct 15, 2012 11:17 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:

    Let’s define mediocre as within one game of .500.

    —-

    Fine. Let’s define it that way.

    Let’s define being terrible as never winning a Super Bowl.

    After all, we can just decide how we define things so that they help our arguments.

    Idiot.

  40. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 16, 2012 1:08 AM

    Yeah, I’m the idiot. Your team plays one good game and you forget about all the problems they’ve had the whole season and declare them 2013 Super Bowl champions.

    And how would you define mediocre?

  41. thetokyosandblaster says: Oct 16, 2012 7:30 AM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Oct 16, 2012 1:08 AM
    Yeah, I’m the idiot. Your team plays one good game and you forget about all the problems they’ve had the whole season and declare them 2013 Super Bowl champions.

    And how would you define mediocre?

    —-

    Did I declare them Super Bowl champs?

    Nah. Actually, the praise I mustered for the Packers after the win was “good win.”

    Making the jump from “good win” to “declaring them Super Bowl champs” is like you saying “Ponder is playing well” and me reading it as “Ponder is the best QB in NFL history.”

    I would define mediocrity in sports a little differently than in life. Probably a team that can’t win on the biggest stage. For instance: The Brewers are mediocre. I love them, but they’re mediocre.

    You see, I don’t let blind jealousy of everyone else dictate my arguments. You should try letting go.

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