GREEN BAY—As wins go, Aaron Rodgers liked it, but he wasn’t crazy about it as all of Packer nation no doubt is.
Is there anything special you’ll remember about this game years from now?
“Not really,” he said. “It was a good win for us. We had some struggles in the red zone. The defense came up big. We just had enough offense to win.”
In his first-ever meeting with Tom Brady, Rodgers scored a clear victory.
“We moved the ball all day. We just stalled in the red zone. When you’re playing a good team like this, you’re fortunate to win when you’re 0-for-4 in the red zone,” Rodgers said.
What was special about this game for Rodgers is what it did for the Packers’ pursuit of homefield advantage for the playoffs.
“We would love homefield advantage, yes,” he said.
“A lot,” he added. “We’re happy about the win, but we have some big goals. We’re getting into December football now, with everything in front of us.”
Rodgers was at his best in this game when he was matching wits with the very witty Patriots.
“They’re a matchup defense. If they want to take away Randall and Jordy, we moved over to Davante. We moved Randall around. We just tried to find ways to get those guys the ball,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers saw something in pre-snap prior to a time out the Packers called late in the first half, with the Packers facing third-and-2 at the Patriots 45-yard line.
“He definitely saw something in the pre-snap before the time out. A lot of it had to do with the matchup and the particular coverage they were playing. It was an excellent play by Jordy (Nelson),” Coach Mike McCarthy said of a play that resulted in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Nelson, staking the Packers to a 23-14 halftime lead and answering a touchdown the Patriots had scored a couple of minutes earlier.
Rodgers played with blood oozing from a cut on his left hand, which he sustained on a 17-yard scramble that concluded with a Patriots player stepping on Rodgers’ hand.
“It was another character win for us. Early on they were playing some two-high (safety) and you have to run the football. Everybody contributed to this win. These are character wins,” he said.
Rodgers was supported by an offensive line that gave him oodles of time to throw.
“A couple of times we had a lot of time, seven, eight, nine seconds, and they locked down our guys pretty good. It’s just a confidence booster. Any time you win against a good team, it builds your confidence. We’ve got to keep rolling at home,” Rodgers said.
With the win over the Patriots, the Packers have scored victories over two nine-win teams in a three-week period.
“It just says we’ve won against those guys at home. This year, we’ve really played exceptional at home,” Rodgers said.
Home is now within their reach.
COMPLETE GAME COVERAGE