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Sunday Night wrap-up: Aaron Rodgers was not his best, and that’s OK

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer) AP

Aaron Rodgers was far from perfect.

And in a sense, that’s the best news for the Packers.

Their former MVP quarterback was not himself, but still led his side to a comfortable 23-16 win over the Giants.

Rodgers’ stat line was pretty bad actually, completing 23 of 45 passes for 259 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

And while his talent makes it easy to point to others as the reason when things aren’t smooth, one thing should be clear — he didn’t play all that well tonight. There were throws he simply shouldn’t have tried, but having gotten away with them in the past, there’s also not that much reason for him not to try.

But he made a handful of those throws that he is uniquely able to make, that that was enough. He was playing against a Giants secondary which was injury depleted and got more so as the night went along (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie couldn’t really run, but definitely couldn’t stop quickly).

And while it wasn’t the kind of performance we’re accustomed to from Rodgers, it was one the Packers needed to see, and overcome.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. After a week spent putting him under the microscope, we didn’t really notice Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tonight until the fourth quarter.

That’s not necessarily the worst thing for the Giants.

While a lack of emotional outbursts was good, there were also not all that many plays made until the final three minutes. He had four catches for 48 yards with a long of 16 yards before his fourth-quarter touchdown.

It’s worth noting that after his late score, he didn’t celebrate, he didn’t preen, he didn’t draw any attention to himself at all. After it was upheld by review, he even went over to a nearby kicking net and hugged it and kissed it, a nod to his punching a similar piece of equipment (who fought back) earlier this year.

He should have been affectionate, as it was his first touchdown of the year.

So as it turns out, Beckham the lover is better than Beckham the fighter. Hopefully, he keeps it that way.

2. Speaking of missing parts of the Giants offense, they miss Rashad Jennings in the worst way.

The veteran running back was inactive again because of a thumb injury, which keeps him from catching passes or pass-protecting with any effectiveness.

And even though he hasn’t been great this year (3.3 yards per carry this season), he’s the closest thing the Giants have to a legitimate every down back, especially without Shane Vereen, who is on injured reserve with a torn triceps.

Without Jennings, there’s no balance to their offense, and if quarterback Eli Manning isn’t sharp (he wasn’t), they struggle.

3. Of course, some of the credit for that goes to the Packers, who lead the league in run defense.

They were allowing just 42.7 yards per game and 1.8 yards per carry entering the game, numbers which led the league by large margins entering the game.

Inside linebackers Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez haven’t been great this season, but they have been solid, at least enough so to allow Clay Matthews to play outside again without hesitation. And with a front that has been very good, it gives the Packers a much more stable base than they’ve had in recent years.

4. For all the attention paid to the return of Jordy Nelson this year (and rightfully so), it was wide receiver Randall Cobb who bailed Rodgers out a number of times Sunday.

Cobb had nine catches for 108 yards, but took a big shot before the two-minute warning.

It was a tough play, allowing the Packers to kneel out the clock. But they wouldn’t have been in that position without him.

5. It wasn’t the debate. Which means only one team lost.

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60 Responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Aaron Rodgers was not his best, and that’s OK”
  1. jimmysee says: Oct 9, 2016 11:47 PM

    Justice triumphs in America!

  2. 250dollarnflowner says: Oct 9, 2016 11:47 PM

    The packers didn’t beat the Giants, the Giants beat themselves

  3. 250dollarnflowner says: Oct 9, 2016 11:49 PM

    remember when the packers looked unbeatable at home? erin completed 50% of passes and two picks. Giants totally wasted that opportunity.

  4. philcodean says: Oct 9, 2016 11:49 PM

    3 Game Balls:
    1. Pack O-Line
    2. Pack Secondary
    3. Randall Cobb= Tough Nut

    Great job Green Bay….plenty to work on…..but a lot of good work by our young guys!

  5. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Oct 9, 2016 11:49 PM

    That’s how you beat a team with class. You dominate then on the field. You don’t take out of bound cheap shots and then taunt WRs to incite unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

  6. contra74 says: Oct 9, 2016 11:51 PM

    Easily one of the most boring Sunday night games.

    Might as well have watched the debate.

  7. jag1959 says: Oct 9, 2016 11:51 PM

    Listened to the debate and watched the game, both were ugly

  8. tjacks7 says: Oct 9, 2016 11:52 PM

    Apparently, these refs don’t throw a holding flag unless 4 or more players in green and gold hold. Oh well, I’m hoping Green Bay sneaks into the playoffs since they look like one of the easier outs in the NFC.

  9. vikingsmandotdie says: Oct 9, 2016 11:54 PM

    ooooh baby the vikings are coming packers watch your 6!

  10. usdcoyotesfan says: Oct 9, 2016 11:54 PM

    Again, I’ll take the win, but the Packers need to get rid of Adams. He is awful, and will cost us down the road.

  11. cheddarisbeddar says: Oct 9, 2016 11:55 PM

    Rodgers CAN be talented, but he sure hasn’t shown his talent in over a year now. Not since the Kansas City game in 2015. This team will be lucky to win one game in January, if they make it that far. This offense continue to be too vanilla to compete with good to excellent teams (defenses) – see the Viking game.

  12. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Oct 10, 2016 12:00 AM

    We won! Good job! Glad my Packers are still in second place. For at least two weeks.

  13. redandgoldhitman52 says: Oct 10, 2016 12:06 AM

    Hoyer is playing better than Rodgers. Rodgers is an overrated hypejob. He’ll never be as good as Favre.

  14. zerotrophiessince1961 says: Oct 10, 2016 12:08 AM

    Not many style points. Should have been a blowout. But the offense is clicking on all cylinders yet. MM is using far too much 11 personnel and the WRs just aren’t all pros like they used to be. Nelson still isn’t all the way back. Cobb still is coming out of that slump. And Adams sucks.

    Multiple looks is the way for this offense to go. Was 7-0 very quickly. Should have been 14-0. Phat Ed getting hurt really slowed things down too.

    Bring on the Cowboys.

    PS: I’m very much looking forward to not having to hear from the purple stoopids this week.

  15. 6kings says: Oct 10, 2016 12:10 AM

    Does anyone else think Rogers is on the decline? Maybe that was his best?

  16. canadapackers says: Oct 10, 2016 12:27 AM

    Time to cut a punter. He is horrible – and the weather aint bad yet. Bring back Mastay before somebody else does. AR was not great but how many times do you see dropped balls come back to haunt you. Starks drops a screen pass – he probably walks in for a TD – a couple of plays later Jordy gets hit in the hands and it goes for an INT instead of up by 14 – only 7. Richard Rogers drops a TD in the end zone – and we only get a field goal. Love our defense though – but we wont beat Dallas unless we get some D backs – Elliot is a beast running the ball as is the Dallas QB.

  17. In Teddy We Trust says: Oct 10, 2016 12:33 AM

    You say Aaron Rodgers wasn’t himself, but at some point we’re going to have to acknowledge that this is the new Aaron Rodgers. Maybe we should start calling him Average Aaron.

  18. youbettercallsaul says: Oct 10, 2016 12:34 AM

    I guess the mediots will have to wait another week for Beckham to implode. However, seeing Mike Tirico in the postgame show was frightening, he looks vaguely like George Costanza.

  19. coltluger says: Oct 10, 2016 12:35 AM

    Congrats on the victory.

  20. tjacks7 says: Oct 10, 2016 12:46 AM

    The Packers have yet to beat a team over .500 this season. But they’ve narrowly escaped 3 games against sub .500 teams.

  21. packertruth says: Oct 10, 2016 12:54 AM

    Viking fandom in comments early again. Clearly a fanbase unaccustomed to continued success.

    A step in the right direction for the Pack, offense showed a little more creativity. Need to get the timing on the screens down, but love seeing the linemen getting out in front of people (and also joining the Ripkowkski scrum in the 4th to gain 10 more yards).

    Mike Daniels is severely underrated….he’s playing at a really high level — and good to see Fackrell and Clark combine on the sack/fumble recovery. The Punter doesn’t look like he’s going to cut it, and Janis needs to start returning the kickoffs that are only three yards deep…..Pack will need to win on special teams this year.

  22. vikingjack73 says: Oct 10, 2016 1:16 AM

    The Packers leading the league in rush defense in the most misleading stay in the NFL right now

    In four games they have faced the #31 #32 rushing attacks in Jacksonville & MN
    Faced a Detroit team without their leading rusher from last year (Abdullah)
    And now a Giants team without its top two RBs (Jennings & Vereen)

    When they give up 150+ rush yards to Dallas next week, they will finally be exposed in that area!

  23. ariani1985 says: Oct 10, 2016 1:47 AM

    the packers didn’t win, the giants beat themselves! right coyote UND?

  24. bartpkelly says: Oct 10, 2016 2:23 AM

    Lacy … 11 carries and 80+ yrds… should have been one of these story lines…

  25. toocoofoo84 says: Oct 10, 2016 4:27 AM

    Aaron Rodgers was far from perfect alright. He’s been far from perfect for awhile now, and that’s not ok. Either he needs to get back to his old self, or he’s become stagnant with the offensive scheme. Maybe they need a coaching change

  26. nyfootballgiants says: Oct 10, 2016 7:08 AM

    Giants got no pass rush on D, and couldn’t block anyone on Offense.

    Brutal game – but Packers should have run away with this game, and they didn’t….

    Don’t see either team doing anything this season….

  27. gmen32 says: Oct 10, 2016 7:58 AM

    Rodgers throws and Jenkins intercepts. Rodgers leaves pocket to try and stop Jenkins on his return.
    Rodgers is pushed to the crowd by a Giant attempting to make a block. Sure enough, a flag is thrown. I just shake my head watching this sport.
    So just to confirm, a quarterback CAN make a tackle on an interception return, but no one is allowed to touch him? Got it.
    Honestly, it doesn’t suprise me that TV ratings are finally decreasing. Although I still watch, I have to admit I just don’t care the way I used to.

  28. hodag54501 says: Oct 10, 2016 8:00 AM

    What I saw was a quarterback in control of the offense and a nice balanced attack that ultimately won the game.

    Fantasy freaks: big stats don’t win REAL football games. Scoring points(or preventing them) DOES.

    You can win the Super Bowl and score 60 points the entire season and post season: a field goal x 20 games. If the other team doesn’t score, you win. You have statistically the worst offense in the league yet the team won the Super Bowl.
    As the most- of- the- time- hapless Vikings are proving, defense wins.

    The interceptions: both of them bounced off the hands of his butterfingers receivers. Can’t blame the QB on those.

    I’ll take a” mediocre” Aaron Rodgers any day to almost any other QB in the league. Just ask Jets fans.

  29. gtodriver says: Oct 10, 2016 8:05 AM

    “Aaron Rodgers was far from perfect.”

    Understatement of the year.

    The reports of the return of the Packers passing game after beating the Detroit Lions 2 weeks appear to in error.

    After a one week blip of a QB rating over 100 for the first time since October of last year, Rodgers came back to reality and delivered a more “normal” rating of 65.

    To put that in to perspective – that’s over 20 points lower that future “HOF’er” Kirk Cousins had a couple of weeks ago against the same defense.

    Any thoughts of Rodgers currently being a Top 5 NFL QB at this time are ludicrous.

    He’s 28th in YPG, 40th in YPA, tied for 27th with passes of over 40 yards, tied for 14th in INT’s, and 25th in QB rating.

    Rodgers is still the career QB rating leader (for the time being) with a 103.6 career rating.

    But that number is dropping with almost every game he’s played in the last 12 months. It’s just a matter of time before #2 Russell Wilson surpasses Rodgers.

    2015 QB rating – Wilson 110.1 – Rodgers 92.7

    2016 QB rating – Wilson 99.3 – Rodgers 87.7

  30. 13xworldchamps says: Oct 10, 2016 8:09 AM

    Nice win guys, running game and defense did well, the rest will come….we need a new punter….

  31. leatherface2012 says: Oct 10, 2016 8:20 AM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Oct 9, 2016 11:49 PM

    That’s how you beat a team with class. You dominate then on the field. You don’t take out of bound cheap shots and then taunt WRs to incite unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

    YOU MEAN LIKE CLAY MATHEWS

  32. mnfaninil says: Oct 10, 2016 8:42 AM

    Wow, once again another sub-par performance from Rogers. I think its safe to say that his better days are behind him. But of course his receivers must have dropped some balls, his protections was not good enough, the receivers ran the wrong routes, bad play calling….lets see, what are some of the other dozen excuses for Rogers we’ve heard? See you in December.

  33. jakethesnake123 says: Oct 10, 2016 9:17 AM

    Can not blame it on no Jordy Nelson this year.

  34. fartweasel says: Oct 10, 2016 9:19 AM

    Another Packer home win, big surprise. Wonder why Rodgers had 10 minutes to throw the ball? Watch the tape of the O-line holding, because they excel at it. The lineman push their hands up and into the shoulder pads of the defensive players, and don’t get called for it. There is tape from the Detroit game that just confirms they are masters and it continued last night. Don’t play good football, subvert the rules instead and cheat where you can. The Green Bay way.

  35. pkrlvr says: Oct 10, 2016 9:27 AM

    Why is the comment section on a game between the pack and giants lousy with Viking fans? You guys need some other activity besides focusing on us.

  36. greenmtnboy31 says: Oct 10, 2016 9:41 AM

    More excuses for a mediocre QB. Face it, the hype has caught up with Erin and he just isn’t living up to the lofty projections. He’s average on a good day.

  37. whatjusthapped says: Oct 10, 2016 9:41 AM

    The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. The idea is to survive your bad games and get on a roll in December.

    For as bad as Rodgers has played this season, I prefer to view the glass as half full. If he hits his stride in December, he is capable of winning games that the Packers should rightfully lose and that has to scare the hell out of all Viking fans.

  38. tritz32 says: Oct 10, 2016 9:41 AM

    vikingjack73 says:
    Oct 10, 2016 1:16 AM

    The Packers leading the league in rush defense in the most misleading stay in the NFL right now

    In four games they have faced the #31 #32 rushing attacks in Jacksonville & MN
    Faced a Detroit team without their leading rusher from last year (Abdullah)
    And now a Giants team without its top two RBs (Jennings & Vereen)

    When they give up 150+ rush yards to Dallas next week, they will finally be exposed in that area!

    ==================================

    Maybe, just maybe the Packers run D (playing at historic levels) has something to do with those rankings…..

  39. thisistheonlygame says: Oct 10, 2016 9:59 AM

    pkrlvr says:
    Oct 10, 2016 9:27 AM
    Why is the comment section on a game between the pack and giants lousy with Viking fans? You guys need some other activity besides focusing on us.

    ———————————————

    This comment should really come from someone that isn’t regularly making comments on Vikings threads.

    However I get your point.

  40. gtodriver says: Oct 10, 2016 10:14 AM

    packertruth says:

    Viking fandom in comments early again. Clearly a fanbase unaccustomed to continued success.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    From a fan of the only team in the NFL that went 25 consecutive full regulation seasons without scoring a single TD in the playoffs, that comment is hilarious.

    Talk about being “unaccustomed to continued success”….

    Do you have any more funny comments?

  41. allight59 says: Oct 10, 2016 10:23 AM

    Wow, Eli and Aaron used to be play off calibar QBs, last night they both looked like the worst of the NFL…

  42. pkrlvr says: Oct 10, 2016 10:28 AM

    More excuses for a mediocre QB. Face it, the hype has caught up with Erin and he just isn’t living up to the lofty projections. He’s average on a good day
    ———
    Maybe you should try watching the game your trolling. Rodgers had a third of pass called back on a procedure flag and a fourth dropped in the end zone by the tightend. One pic bounced off Nelson’s hand so your basically spewing this crap because Rodgers had a 4 td 1 int night.

  43. senxic says: Oct 10, 2016 10:42 AM

    Far from a polished performance. The defense really seems to have stepped up, especially against the run. Our secondary and offense needs to make big improvements.

    We have only played 1 good team, and lost so far. Our offense has spurts of great play, but it sputters out in the second half. We need to stop getting complacent with the lead..

    Our punter is atrocious and I have NO idea why they got rid of Masthay. Garbage punt puts the Giants mid field, our D stops them and then we get pinned because of the field position.

    Adams continues to ruin big plays for us. AR is playing like garbage. Win goes to the O and D lines. Everyone else needs to step up.

  44. The Almighty Cabbage says: Oct 10, 2016 10:46 AM

    While the other winning doggies are frolicking and having fun, the sad little purple doggy still sits on the porch, yip-yapping at the big dog walking by.

    Yip-yap, little doggy! Yip-yap!

  45. mnvikes1961 says: Oct 10, 2016 10:56 AM

    So when does this downward trend become accepted as the status quo?

    The Aaron of old is not coming back. It was supposed to happen with Jordy being back on the field- guess that didn’t happen. What are the excuses now? Eddie looked fine. Rodgers not so much.

  46. truthbetold109 says: Oct 10, 2016 10:57 AM

    tjacks7 says:
    Oct 10, 2016 12:46 AM
    The Packers have yet to beat a team over .500 this season. But they’ve narrowly escaped 3 games against sub .500 teams.
    _________________________________

    And the queens beat the Packer’s by a field goal at home.
    Can’t seem to get the Pack out of your head I see.
    I guess I can’t blame you, it has been years since your team has been relevant. Bask in your 20 seconds of glory.
    Still need to win a playoff game though.

  47. mnvikes1961 says: Oct 10, 2016 11:02 AM

    Gotta love the butt-hurt Cabbage is feeling right now. You can just feel his pain in every comment he posts.

  48. tjacks7 says: Oct 10, 2016 11:55 AM

    I believe this is the 14th or 15th game in a row that the Packers “aren’t firing on all cylinders” and “Aaron Rodgers didn’t look like himself”.

    Ever stop to think that this is the Packers firing on all cylinders and this is the new and declining Rodgers we’ve been watching for almost an entire season now?

  49. The Almighty Cabbage says: Oct 10, 2016 12:01 PM

    Butt hurt? Not hardly. My team is 3 -1, with their only loss by a field goal in a game where they clearly did not play their best. I can live with that. I would rather they had won that game but winning them all isn’t easy. I’ve seen hot starts turn to garbage and cold starts turn into Super Bowl victories. Pity you can’t say the same.

    I’m just enjoying your continued misery. You people are so conditioned to your little loser doggy mentality that you just can’t get the big dog out of your heads. And you further prove my point with every post.

    Yip-yap, little doggy! Yip-yap!

  50. Bluestree says: Oct 10, 2016 12:06 PM

    As always Viking trolls on full display. It begs the question, what is wrong with these people? Someone should do a doctoral dissertation on the psychology behind the phenomenon. The effect of of forty-five years of coming up short, and the obsessive and deep seated hostility toward a successful rival that creates. Just imagine if the Vikings ever actually won a championship? The trolliphile fanbase would easily become the most reviled in all of sport.
    As to the game, the Giants defense is very well coached, and they played tough on the back end, considering the injuries. There’s some good young talent there. Eli was terrible, and has been whenever he perceives any pressure. Two decent tackles and they would be on top of their division.

  51. skittlesareyum says: Oct 10, 2016 12:06 PM

    vikingjack73 says:
    Oct 10, 2016 1:16 AM
    The Packers leading the league in rush defense in the most misleading stay in the NFL right now

    In four games they have faced the #31 #32 rushing attacks in Jacksonville & MN

    —————–

    This may blow your mind, but when a team dominates in rushing defense their opponents tend to have a low ranking in the rushing department, especially after only 4-5 games.

    Not that I think they’ll finish the season a #1 rushing D, but to ignore the cause-and-effect is silly.

  52. The Almighty Cabbage says: Oct 10, 2016 12:10 PM

    I wonder how many of you little purple doggies were up half the night, thinking “Oh, I’m really gonna tell that darn Cabbage THIS time!”

    Tell me what? That you’re so obsessed with the Packers that you can’t even find joy in the best start your team has seen in years? You don’t have to tell me… you make it abundantly clear with every post.

    A good portion of the usual purples are even acting like the sane Viking fans of old, and they’re out enjoying their team’s good fortunes. It’s only you truly obsessed little doggies that are still yip-yapping from the porch.

    Yip-yap, little doggy! Yip-yap!

  53. nrns77 says: Oct 10, 2016 12:38 PM

    If Jordy Nelson doesn’t drop about 5 or 6 passes, Rodgers’ stat line becomes something like 30/45 for about 300 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 int. See how stupid stats are?

  54. packertruth says: Oct 10, 2016 1:04 PM

    “Your team stunk three to four decades ago”. yes I recall that.

    When was the last season an NFL team employing Mike Zimmer won a playoff game?? Never. 16 consecutive full regulation seasons…… and counting. Not sure how his peewee teams fared in the 80s however.

    —————————————————–
    gtodriver says:
    Oct 10, 2016 10:14 AM

    From a fan of the only team in the NFL that went 25 consecutive full regulation seasons without scoring a single TD in the playoffs, that comment is hilarious.

    Talk about being “unaccustomed to continued success”….

    Do you have any more funny comments?

  55. gtodriver says: Oct 10, 2016 1:30 PM

    @packerlies post above….

    Mike Zimmer is a Super Bowl winning coach.

    To earn a Super Bowl ring, it is necessary to win playoff games.

    It must really suck to have your lack of football knowledge exposed… 😀

  56. cmstrick says: Oct 10, 2016 6:45 PM

    250dollarnflowner said:
    Oct 9, 2016 11:49 PM
    remember when the packers looked unbeatable at home? erin completed 50% of passes and two picks. Giants totally wasted that opportunity.

    ———————————————

    And yet the Pack won anyway. That was kind of the point of the whole article: the Packers are not a one-trick pony any more. They can still get it done even when Rodgers has an off night…

  57. taintedsaints2009 says: Oct 10, 2016 8:16 PM

    As a Vikings fan I just think Green Bay is better built for a strong playoff run. Their offensive line is healthy and they can stop the run. If they get their corners back their pass defense will be vastly improved. and of course, Rodgers just knows when to dial it up and shred you.

    It will be interesting to see who wins this division. Not sure the vikings can hold on much longer with their battered offense, even though they are playing very efficiently.

  58. andrwken says: Oct 11, 2016 10:42 AM

    Didn’t Minnesota win Sunday?

    My goodness. Do you trolls even remember the Viking game?

    SMH

  59. allight59 says: Oct 11, 2016 1:06 PM

    Elliot will expose their vaunted run D….they haven’t played anyone with a good rushing attack. 34-21 Dallas. Erin will have a couple more INT

  60. allight59 says: Oct 11, 2016 1:09 PM

    Dallas will expose their running D. They haven’t faced a good running team. 34-21 Dallis. Colin Herd has it right today. This is the Vikings division for the next several years.

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