GREEN BAY—One hundred and twenty minutes of the season remain, provided the Packers negotiate the next 60 minutes.
“I think I’ve got 120 minutes left in me so I’m going to do everything I can to play all of those minutes,” Rodgers said after rallying the Packers to a 26-21, divisional-round playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys that sends the Packers to Seattle and the NFC title game.
He limped slightly as he trotted onto the field in pregame introductions. He threw his first touchdown pass standing on one leg. His trademark mobility was a distant thought. Yet, somehow, Rodgers got it done. The guy is so good he can win with his B game.
“The touchdown to Andrew (Quarless) was a great example of it. As I moved forward in the pocket, I realized I couldn’t do a whole lot,” Rodgers said.
His left calf injury, despite a bye week of rest, wasn’t a whole lot better than it was two weeks ago, when he limped the Packers to a win over the Lions and a fourth consecutive NFC North title.
“The pain in my calf helped me make that decision very easy,” Rodgers said of avoiding running with the ball.
How did it feel after another game of wear?
“A little bit worse. I’ll see how it feels in the morning,” he said.
Hey, it’s his calf.
“Every time I ask him he says he’s fine,” Coach Mike McCarthy said.
“The rhythm isn’t affected by the left calf, just the mobility,” Rodgers added, referring to the up-tempo offense to which McCarthy switched in the second half, when the original plan for running the ball and play action wasn’t scoring points.
“We opened things up and Aaron just did a tremendous job in the spread, wide-open offense we went to,” McCarthy said.
The unavoidable fact of life for the Green Bay Packers is that Rodgers is their star. They win or lose based on how he plays. As the Packers head to Seattle, they are on a three-game winning streak because somehow, some way Rodgers has been able to will himself and his team to victory.
“You’ve just got to be efficient against them, which is tough because they take away just about everything you do. It’s not an intricate scheme, but it doesn’t have to be when you have those kinds of players,” Rodgers said of the Seahawks defense.
“You can draw on the environment. We’re playing obviously a lot different than we did in Week 1.”
These days, Rodgers is playing on one leg, and he’s winning.
Might there be just enough magic left in that leg to carry the Packers through two more wins? COMPLETE GAME COVERAGE