Aaron Rodgers said he liked neither the tempo nor his feel early in the game. Of course, that was before Rodgers led the Packers on another offensive onslaught, this one resulting in a 49-23 win that humbled the visiting Denver Broncos.
“Numbers can be misleading,” Rodgers told reporters after the win. “It felt a little funny starting off. We weren’t in a great tempo, a great rhythm. I didn’t feel like we’d put up 42 points.”
He’s right. They didn’t put up 42 points. They put 49, but who’s counting?
Let’s take a closer look at those misleading numbers, starting with Rodgers, whose 134.5 passer rating on Sunday will improve what was a league-leading 120.9 passer rating heading into the game.
He’s now thrown for 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The interception he threw against the Broncos was in the fourth quarter, long after the issue had been decided.
Rodgers is on pace to top the 5,000-yard mark and, possibly, set his sights on Tom Brady’s all-time, single-season touchdown passes record, 50. Hey, why not?
Defensively, though the pass-defense has been ranked at or near the bottom through the first four games of the season, the Packers’ eight interceptions are at the top of the league. Charles Woodson, by the way, is now one interception return for a touchdown away from tying Rod Woodson for the NFL record.
Misleading numbers? How about 4-0, is that misleading? The Packers had to hold on to beat the Saints in the opener, but the next two wins weren’t as close as their scores would suggest, and nothing about Sunday’s score would suggest the game was anything but a blowout. Yeah, the Broncos pulled to within 21-17 at one point late in the second quarter, but Rodgers pulled the offense back into the fast lane and blew Denver’s doors off with three consecutive touchdown drives.
If you’re looking for one number that is in no way, shape or form misleading, look at the Packers’ points advantage over its opponents in the first quarter, 42-20. Other than for the Week 2 game in Carolina, that’s where the Packers have buried their opponents. They’ve done it early, under a barrage of points that are the result of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s ultra-aggressive play-calling. Sunday’s game got to 21-3 before the second quarter was three minutes old.
“You want to play to a high tempo. We took a shot on third down and went for it on fourth down,” McCarthy said of the Packers’ first series of the game, “and that was determined by our approach. The most important thing is to attack the defense schematically. You get a bead on how they’re playing you.”
The Broncos were playing the Packers to stop tight end Jermichael Finley, Rodgers said.
“Anything can be stopped. It’s how you want to do it,” he added.
By electing to stop Finley, who was held to three catches for 28 yards, the Broncos opened the field for Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, and Rodgers proved, again, that he has an innate ability to find the open receiver.
I just think we’re in a good rhythm right now. We’re just hitting on all of the marks. We have a lot of weapons,” Rodgers said.
He is the most lethal of the weapons. He even rushed nine times for 36 yards, including touchdown runs of 11 and eight yards.
Six total touchdowns! That kind of dominance is nearly obscene.
“I didn’t enjoy that hit about a yard into the end zone by Dawkins,” Rodgers said.
Yeah, well maybe he didn’t enjoy all of those touchdowns, huh? Additional coverage - Packers vs. Broncos