Cory's Corner: Aaron Rodgers needs a career game

Now we get to see how good Aaron Rodgers really is.

That’s not to say that Rodgers hasn’t been white hot the last eight weeks. He’s completing 69 percent of his passes, thrown for 2,384 yards with 21 touchdowns and only one interception. He’s got a passer rating of 117.87 during the hot streak and he’s somehow defying physics with another Hail Mary and a 36-yard dart rolling to his left to set up the game-winning field goal.

But if the Packers win a second straight game as underdogs and punch a ticket to Super Bowl LI, it will be Rodgers’ best performance since a near flawless game in Super Bowl XLV. “Our head captain goes down, emotional in the locker room,” said Greg Jennings following the 31-25 Super Bowl win, after highlighting injuries to Charles Woodson and Donald Driver. “Our No. 1 receiver goes down, more emotions are going, flying in the locker room. But we find a way to bottle it up and exert it all out here on the field.”

What else is new? When Rodgers is doubted or when his back is to the wall, he not only succeeds, he employs his razor-sharp focus and squashes everyone.

Think back to Thanksgiving for a moment. When you were passing the mashed potatoes, how many people wrote off the 4-6 Packers? I know plenty of people at my table did — including myself.

The Packers defense is like a Ford Festiva. The gas pedal is buried and the engine is whining like crazy. The secondary has been such a problem with injuries and spotty play that it alone has been leaking oil. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers has done a masterful job of keeping the engine running, but at this point there aren’t any new parts in the body shop. Rodgers overcame that.

Eddie Lacy was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 20 with an ankle injury. To be fair, Lacy was having a strong start by averaging 5.1 yards per carry through five games. Since that time, the Packers have used James Starks, Don Jackson, Knile Davis, Christine Michael, Aaron Ripkowski and now Ty Montgomery as the featured back. It’s not easy for the quarterback to have seven featured backs. Each one likes the ball differently on a handoff, blocks differently on blitzes and likes the ball in certain spots on passes. Rodgers overcame that.

Jared Cook was brought to Green Bay as a free agent to be a more dynamic threat down the middle. For much of the season, he’s been an unknown commodity. He only played 10 games because of injury, but of those 10, he had five games with less than 20 yards receiving. Rodgers overcame that.

Rodgers continues to put the Packers on his back by making once-in-a-generation plays. It would be different if Rodgers were making those plays with probable Hall of Famers like Eli Manning and Dak Prescott.

It’s not a coincidence that the Packers have been called the least talented team left in the playoffs. There are guys that are just filling a void and never imagined they would be getting this many snaps this late in the season.

And, as usual, Rodgers overcame that as well.

The Packers can win on Sunday, but as usual, Rodgers will have to have a historic game to do it. 

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

0 points

Comments (30)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Bearmeat's picture

January 21, 2017 at 06:21 am

Like you said: What else is new? This team - especially the 2016 Packers - revolves around what 12 does. This is nothing different than the 2011 team or the 2009 team, and both those teams could have won it all too.

Is this the strongest Packer team ever on paper? Not even close. The secondary especially is just too banged up. And while Monty has been excellent, the team still misses Lacy.

But in a 1 game playoff, the best team in the NFL doesn't always win. In 2014, GB was the best team in the NFL. In 2003, GB was the best team in the NFL. In 1995 and 1997, GB was the best team in the NFL. None of them won it all.

This team certainly can do so.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jh9's picture

January 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

I just read a great article written by Jared Cook. It isn't directly about Aaron Rodgers, but he, the Packers organization, and Packers fans are prominently featured. If you haven't read this article yet, I recommend you do. Whatever happens on Sunday, it will make you feel proud. http://www.theplayerstribune.com/jared-cook-packers-only-in-green-bay/

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

January 21, 2017 at 02:27 pm

Thanks for posting that article by Cook, that was a good read!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
porupack's picture

January 21, 2017 at 07:00 am

Well said, Bearmeat. Doesn't need to be the best team...

I'm just waiting to hear the next version of 'R-E-L-A-X' or 'run the table' from Aaron, then I'll know whether we're going to win or not.

Sure Aaron has to have a career-like game, but there have to be at least 3 other players with similar near-career game; and at least 2 being defenders making themself a legacy tomorrow. That, and everyone else just do your job for every 60 minutes. It could happen.

Defenders should test the refs with physicality and borderline fouls on Atl WRs, especially in the first Q. Just dare the refs to throw flags, cuz they'll be reluctant at first...and maybe GB D can get a good bounce or two, rattle Atl offense...before refs decide to start getting things under control. It will take that kind of mentality though....

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

January 21, 2017 at 07:19 am

On your point about testing the Refs. The Referee calling Sunday's game calls the least number of Penalties. Here's the link.

http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/229323/nfl-championship-gam...

I especially like the comment about "Roughing the Passer" penalty. BEAT the hell out of Ryan. If you don't sack him then hit him, push him to the ground, do something to him because he's a statue back there, especially if he can't get off in 2 seconds.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

January 21, 2017 at 07:12 am

Rodgers playing the one guy that will probably steal his 3rd MVP Trophy. He's probably watched and listened to all those who feel his team doesn't stand a chance against the "Mighty Falcons". It's ALL about how great the Falcons offense is and how bad the Packers Defense is. The Falcons like the Cowboys have a lot of Rookies playing, especially on Defense. Keep talking everybody, keeping feeding the monster.

Can you see the chip building on his shoulder??

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
chugwater's picture

January 21, 2017 at 07:32 am

I was thinking this too.

If I were AR and aware of what the narrative has been this week, I'd be stirring the pot with my teammates.

I'd get my O line together and tell them no one has said one peep about how well they pass block. It's been ATL defense is coming on strong as of late. Beasley is a beast. The Falcons have great team speed. Blah blah blah.

I'd tell Cookie that he's been an afterthought as a receiving threat since Tuesday despite having the game of his life two days earlier with over 100 yds, one TD, and a 3rd-and-20 clutch catch that will forever live in Packer history.

I'd tell Cobb that everyone has forgotten about him, and Adams that no one thinks he can be effective on a bad ankle.

I'd tell Janis, Davis, and Allison that everyone has already dismissed them despite each scoring a touchdown the last time they played in the Georgia Dome.

Just keep stoking that fire...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
chugwater's picture

January 21, 2017 at 08:18 am

I went to school with someone who has a similar name as Trevor Davis's and for the life of me can't keep the names straight.

Corrected again (for the last time, I promise).

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Gforcetrivers's picture

January 21, 2017 at 08:23 am

From Aaron earlier this week.

“I like the challenge. I like when the odds are stacked against you, when the expectations are low for certain circumstances or games, I’ve just always enjoyed that role,” Rodgers said on Friday in his final remarks to the media before Sunday’s NFC title game in Atlanta.

“Now, around here we haven’t been the underdog too many times, but we are this week, and we’re going into a tough environment, and there’s expectation outside of the building that they’re going to win.

“I like our role and I like our chances.”

Read more: http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/article-player-feature/article-1/...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RobinsonDavis's picture

January 21, 2017 at 07:49 am

Love the points Nick, Cory, and Bearmeat!
Aaron is so talented and competitive that he always gives the Packers a chance. But we also need to remember he is human and:
*Is playing with the flu now.
*May not have 2-4 of his WRs for this game
* Is playing with a banged up O-line
* Is up against another high powered offense which could pressure the Packers if we are slow to start

Looking at the replays that are presented on the key plays from the Cowboys game, you see receivers that are all covered, except one...Aaron quickly recognizes it AND throws a TD. Another, you have 3 out of 4 receivers open, including one WIDE open underneath for a sure 10 yards or more, yet Aaron decides to throw it to the deeper receiver with pinpoint accuracy. Who am I or anyone to believe it can't happen again. This will be amazing if he and the Packer's players and coaching staff can overcome all the obstacles! Go Pack!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
tm_inter's picture

January 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

Not only was Aaron Rodgers sick, but three of his receivers as of today are questionable: Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison. Hope that 12 can find ways to score TDs to keep up with the Falcons' scoring machine.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Ferrari Driver's picture

January 21, 2017 at 09:00 am

The ball is not round and Sunday I hope we get at least a couple of them to bounce the Packers way.

side note: While Ryan is having a career year, playing with a very talented team and is projected to be voted the Most Valuable Player, it's Rodgers who is the real NFL MVP.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Savage57's picture

January 21, 2017 at 09:58 am

Sometimes, fate and events stack the deck against you to such an extent that it just can't be overcome,

But not Sunday.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
carusotrap's picture

January 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

Just going to sit back and enjoy this one, win or lose. After 4-6 and what this team has gone through, anything they do tomorrow is gravy.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

January 21, 2017 at 10:19 am

This has to be the most injured team in history. Every year guys dropping like flys. Rodgers will have to be superman to pull this game off. So far he has been, but this seems to be asking to much. Even if Adams and Jordy can go, they will be far from 100%. We will find out if Janis is NFL material of just a fast guy who can't get open. Rodgers will have to take chances, something he doesn't like doing.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

January 21, 2017 at 10:32 am

Wouldn't it be nice if someone besides Aaron Rodgers had a career day. Maybe someone, anyone on the defense. Maybe Daniels or CM3, or Perry or heaven forbid Datone Jones. Maybe one or two of those guys could actually take over a game and wreck the Falcons offense. I means Rodgers has only carried the team through the last 8 games already. I agree that Rodgers needs to play well for the Packers to win but it would be nice if he received some help from the defense especially our well paid and alleged defensive stars. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

January 21, 2017 at 10:59 am

Exactly, this team has several 1st rounds picks, a big FA Peppers on defense. It is time, for these guys to make a difference. Maybe the least paid guy, Elliot will make some plays if he can play. I'd be elated with a 23-20 win.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
lebowski's picture

January 21, 2017 at 11:07 am

Excellent post

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
mrtundra's picture

January 21, 2017 at 11:09 am

It wouldn't take much for Datone to have a career day, so I'd go with Perry, Peppers, Matthews or Daniels on that.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
chugwater's picture

January 21, 2017 at 01:13 pm

Let's be fair here. The defense HAS made significant contributions in the playoffs thus far.

It was the defense who held the Giants at bay and carried the offense for nearly the entire first half while the offense was sputtering in the wildcard round.

Also, there was a player who stepped up last week vs Dallas. Micah Hyde's pick was a huge momentum shift right when we needed it. Oddly enough, it was Rodgers who gave the ball away a few minutes later. If AR gets the ball to Adams, it's a guaranteed touchdown and we go up 35-13 in the middle of third quarter. It's an entirely different ball game from that point on if we had converted the turnover into points.

I agree AR is the reason we're in the playoffs on the verge of going to the Super Bowl, and that the defense will need someone to step up in the game tomorrow, but let's give credit where it's due.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

January 21, 2017 at 03:17 pm

Chug - I gave credit in my posts to the appropriate articles on the Giants and Dallas games. We're talking about the Atlanta game in this article. Also, be careful about the defense in the first half of the Giants game. Beckham and Sheppard(sp?) both dropped TD passes and had the CB beaten and the Giants settled for FGs. That game could easily have 14 - 0 instead of 6-0 when the Packers got back in the game late in the 2Q on a great throw and catch from Rodgers to Adams. Also note that Rodgers throw to Adams in the 3Q in Dallas would have been perfect except that there was illegal contact by the defender on the play which was not called and Adams was unable to catch up with the throw. Rodgers saw the illegal contact and was expecting a flag when he threw the ball. After Rodgers and MM complained to the officials they did get the call on the throw to Monty later in the game. As for Hyde I selected him for a game ball after the Dallas game. He played a great game for the Packers. I try to be fair in my posts and to continue to be fair I think that most would agree that we're not concerned about AR or our offense for tomorrow but we are concerned that our defense will be the reason why we don't reach the SB again. Fair enough? Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
chugwater's picture

January 21, 2017 at 03:30 pm

Not sure I saw the illegal contact on the play. Was it on Adams or away from the ball?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGpsR-aC90k

Either way, I think we are in overall agreement. Just approaching it from different angles this time.

Go Pack Go!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

January 21, 2017 at 11:00 am

just leave.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
chugwater's picture

January 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

He won't.

ATL defense is nothing like the 2014 Seahawks or the 2011 Giants.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Time for someone on D to have a career game and or someone on O not named Arod. Its that time instead of yet another making a name other than by injury.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Glad to see everyone's avatars back. A sign???

PS. Does Cow have one? We should have a contest to pick one for him. Eeyore?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

January 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Al, you NEED to make this happen!

HAHAHAHA!!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Spock's picture

January 21, 2017 at 01:00 pm

What the… Hey, I’m Spock’s human half: we/I are doing a Mind/Meld and somehow I’m separated! Okay, I’ve only got a few minutes. Dudes, you’ve got to read My/Spock’s last Star Log. Go, Pack, Go!!!
“Star Log (Earth Gregorian calendar: 01/21/2017):
Curious. I’m finding myself deeply interested in the human game called Football. Strangely, I feel a deep need to root for the team called, “The Green bay Packers”. Most Earth people know that Vulcans have green blood. What they may not know is, unlike the iron-based red blood of humans, Vulcan blood also contains elements of gold. Vulcans, of course, bleed green and gold. I have found myself oddly torn between my half Vulcan logical self and my half human emotional self. I’ve even found myself yelling at the Earth television during Packer games (such as: It’s a quarterback draw! it’s almost as if I’m approaching my Amok time; a strange, uncontrollable, sensation!) during the recent Packers/Cowboys game. Fascinating! I now feel a need to calculate the odds of the upcoming Packers/Falcons game. With the data at hand I calculate the odds of the Packers winning at 97.964%. However, if some of the players currently listed as “questionable” are able to play I would list the odds as 99.99%. I’ve been reading the comments on the CHTV site, and find it strange that much is made of comments from a certain bovine creature. I accessed the ship’s logs and have determined that this creature, known as a Cow, is a member of an unintelligent species which provides meat and milk to humans but, otherwise, is chiefly responsible for greenhouse emissions. It seems that the guts of cows emit carbon dioxide. To put it in Earth terms: smelly farts. End of Log.”
Hey. I’m still here! Looking forward to kicking the Atlanta Falcons (Aaron’s done it before in that dome!)
Go, Pack, Go!!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PETER MAIZ's picture

January 21, 2017 at 09:35 pm

The Packers are all banged up. Aaron has the flu. I personally don't think the Packers will win, but you never know. I know a Green Bay cornerback that has to step on somebody's toe "accidently". Generally, I'm a nice guy and not cut-throat, but when push comes to shove....I've seen worst things happen.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

January 22, 2017 at 08:49 am

These guys are professionals and anyone of 22 players can make a major statement today. You hope that those statements are from Green bay's side of the field. It's going to be a hard game to win, but so were the Giants and the Cowboys. Take care of the ball and make the Falcon's one dimensional.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.