GREEN BAY, Wis. — If the Packers are going to win their sixth consecutive game with a victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers will need to perform better than he did last year in the playoffs when Eli Manning & Co. ended Green Bay’s season prematurely.
In his weekly meeting with the media, Rodgers talked about a growing rivalry with the Giants, leading the NFC North right now at 7-3 and much more.
Five question-and-answer highlights:
1. Is this developing into a rivalry with the Giants?
RODGERS: We played five times now in the last four, five years. Obviously, twice last year and once the year before, so we’re becoming a little more familiar with them. They’re a great team, very well coached, a lot of big-time players both veteran players and young guys who are stepping up and playing well. It’s always a test when you’re playing against a quarterback like Eli Manning, you have to score some points with the weapons they have. We have to start fast, try and get some points early, not turn the ball over and hopefully we can be in there at the end.
2. What was it like having Greg Jennings on the practice field today for the first time in seven weeks?
RODGERS: It was good. It’s been awhile since Greg’s been out there. It’s fun to see him out there even if it’s in a walk-through setting. Hopefully, we can get him back here pretty soon.
3. As a leader of the team, is there anything you say to try to help Mason Crosby out of his funk?
RODGERS: It’s not really my area of expertise, kicking. I actually tried one in eighth-grade football and I don’t think it got over the line of scrimmage. I’m 0-for-1 in my career, I’m going to let him take care of that. He’s a good kicker, we have a lot of confidence in him. We know that when we need it, he’s going to come through for us. He had a big kick in the fourth quarter and hopefully he can start to build on that. It’s really a luxury here we haven’t had here in Green Bay in a long time having a great kicker, punter and snapper, and they’re going to keep on doing their job.
4. Is it more important that the Packers are now leading the NFC North or that the team is starting to get on a roll?
RODGERS: We’re happy to be back up there, especially after starting 2-3, we’re kind of getting on a roll. But even like we said at the beginning of the season, it’s all about playing the right way in December and moving forward. So we’re not quite to December, we’re gaining momentum as we go, but we know we need to play our best late in the season and into the playoffs. We’ve set ourselves up to be at least in the conversation in the wintertime here, which is all we can ask for here in Green Bay. And our goals are still in front of us.
5. Is there an advantage now after having to make a fourth-quarter comeback in order to beat the Lions this past weekend?
RODGERS: Yeah, we already had that confidence. We’ve done it before. I think their might have been some feeling of relief there, because it wasn’t our best game on offense, and 7-3 feels a lot better than 6-4 would’ve been, still a game back in the division. To be tied with the division lead right now with six games left and four of those against our division opponents, four of the last five, we’re right where we want to be.