Aaron Rodgers still defends his stat lines, but he knows he has to perform better in the clutch.
By PAUL IMIGFS Wisconsin
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Now that the
Packers have a 2-3 record and are struggling this season, the questions to quarterback
Aaron Rodgers during his weekly meeting with the media were a bit more direct than usual. Rodgers addressed the offense's issues, his interceptions, playing the undefeated Houston Texans this weekend and much more.
Five question-and-answer highlights:
1. Why do you feel you're not playing as well as you did last season?
RODGERS: I just have to do things I know I'm capable of doing on Sundays. I'm not far off. I think there's guys who would probably trade with me right now, kind of how they're playing (and) how I'm playing. There's plenty of guys that wish they had the kind of numbers I have. But we have to do a better job of finishing out games and I've got to do a better job on third downs.
2. Will having a 2-3 record affect what you do at all?
RODGERS: Nothing. I'm not going to change my preparation. I'm not going to change the way I'm leading these guys. The urgency level, naturally, has to go up. I'm going to try to find ways to get us in good situations on Sunday and make the smart plays. I think as a whole, we just need to be entering the game on Sunday with a greater urgency of how badly we need to play well this week.
3. Will playing the 5-0 Texans bring out your best?
RODGERS: I just think that just the whole ordeal – we're 2-3, it's Sunday night football, very good opponent, road game – I think that should all lead to a good effort from us. We're expecting to go down there and play really well and be in the game and have a chance to win the football game. We take a lot of confidence down there, knowing the impact of this game. We know we were 3-3 a couple years ago and we were able to make a run.
4. What does the loss of Cedric Benson mean to the offense?
RODGERS: It's tough. Ced's been great for us. He's been a leader, he's had a great attitude, he's been a great example for those young guys about what a professional looks like. He's been a leader in the locker room, a leader in that meeting room. With him on the shelf for a while, James Starks hops back in the mix, Alex Green ran the ball well when he had opportunities and Brandon Saine has a lot of fans in the locker room and on the third floor and everybody's excited about him and his opportunity. Those three guys will get some chances and we expect them to play well.
5. What have you thought about the play of Wisconsin native -- and Texans defensive end -- J.J. Watt so far this season?
RODGERS: He's a big-time player. He's very active for them. He does a lot of things inside that you don't see. He's quick, he's got great moves to the passer and he's smart. He knows that when he can't get there, he gets his hands up there. I think he's got 11-plus-inch hands and he's getting his hands on a lot of balls and impacting the game.