GREEN BAY—Aaron Rodgers is much more than a passer.
Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements estimates Rodgers’ play-changing success rate to be about “90 percent or above. When he makes the adjustment, it usually works out,” Clements told reporters on Monday when asked about a particular third-and-five play in Sunday’s win over the Browns.
“It was a called pass. It was an inviting look for the run and the line blocked,” Clements said.
As a result, Eddie Lacy gained 13 yards on the play, en route to another productive rushing afternoon. Lacy gained 82 yards on 22 carries against one of the top run-defenses in the league. Lacy is the 11th-leading rusher in the NFC with 352 yards.
Rodgers threw for 260 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 117.8 passer rating. It was a highly efficient and effective performance, but it pales in comparison statistically to Rodgers’ record-setting ways in the 2011 season. That was a different Rodgers. This one does more, as evidenced by his command at the line of scrimmage.
What he did in the win over the Browns is to have unearthed another star receiver, Jarrett Boykin, who led the Packers with eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, just a season after having been cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It begged the question of Rodgers’ impact on the success of his receivers.
“He has great ability and he can put the ball where he needs to give the guys a chance to catch it,” Clements said.
Clements praised the play of the Packers offensive line, especially as it pertained to poking holes in a Browns defense stacked against the run.
“They played a lot of one-high safety, but we got some very nice runs on third downs. We’re happy with what we did,” Clements said.
Clements absolved Browns safety Tashaun Gipson of any wrongdoing in the neck injury tight end Jermichael Finley sustained.
“I think it was a clean play. Jermichael had his head down and the guy tried to hit him with his shoulder and caught him the wrong way,” Clements said.
Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers praised the play of his defense, especially early in the game when it set the tempo of the game with the equivalent of two three-and-outs and one four-and-out in the Browns’ first two possessions. It allowed the Packers to get out to a 14-0 lead.
“It was our best game in terms of not giving up big plays. I like where our defense is heading. We know we have a tough game coming up against the Vikings and we have to do a good job of preparation this week,” Capers said.
Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Slocum had the tough assignment of having to patch several spots with new players replacing injured players. One of those new players, Jake Stoneburner, nearly blocked a punt, but was flagged for roughing the punter when he slid into the punter’s plant leg.
“It’s a challenge to continue to have continuity when you change guys, but we have to get it done,” Slocum said. Additional coverage - Oct. 21