Rodgers on roll for Packers, but seeks improvement
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson couldn’t resist taking a good-natured dig at his prolific quarterback.
Yeah, he’s seen better from Aaron Rodgers, who has 15 touchdowns and just one interception going into this weekend’s game against Carolina (3-2-1).
The one pick came in the season opener. Since then, near-perfection.
”The year we went 15-1, I don’t know, our offense was pretty ridiculous right there,” Nelson said about the 2011 season. ”So I don’t know, but I think I’ve seen better.” Nelson hesitated for a second and smiled, ”I’ll just give it to him that way.”
Green Bay is on a three-game winning streak, tied atop the NFC North at 4-2 with Detroit. In that span, Rodgers is 58 of 87 for 722 yards passing, with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.
That’s not enough for Rodgers. He looks at other numbers.
”I don’t think we’re on a roll yet. I think we’re playing OK, scored enough points to win, but we’re still low in the league in yards per game, low in first-down percentage, low in, um, a lot of stats,” Rodgers said.
But there is no lack in experience or confidence, and those qualities certainly came into play late in the 27-24 victory over Miami last week.
Rodgers ran a 2-minute drill, highlighted by a fake spike play on second-and-6 that resulted in a 12-yard completion to Davante Adams to the Miami 4 with 6 seconds left. The next snap, Rodgers found Andrew Quarless for the winning touchdown.
Rodgers had described the fake spike as ”freestyling.” Nelson wouldn’t let on exactly how often Rodgers veers off script at crunch time.
”Oh, probably more than what we should say,” the Packers’ top receiver said coyly. ”He could have just thrown it out at Davante’s feet and it would have been the same as spiking it. So, obviously, smart quarterback, veteran quarterback, has been in a lot of situations and is in control of our offense.”
Rodgers makes the Packers’ up-tempo attack all the more dangerous, even with limited experience at receiver outside of Nelson and Randall Cobb and limited production at tight end.
The lack of turnovers has helped immensely. Rodgers is already known for not throwing a lot of picks. Already this season, the Packers are tied with the Patriots in turnover differential at plus-9, with the defense having come up with 13 takeaways.
”We do a good job taking care of the football but the defense needs to take it away like they have been doing. We’re still low in areas where we’d like to be better (offensively) to take some pressure off our defense,” Rodgers said.
Coach Mike McCarthy pointed at efficiency with the ball as an area the offense needs improvement overall. But there is little to quibble with when it comes to Rodgers.
”I think Aaron is playing very, very well. I think he’s spoiled us. I’ve seen him play better,” McCarthy said. ”I mean, the way we’re taking care of the football, the big plays and timely plays – exceptional.”
As for that one interception in Seattle, a ball thrown a little behind Nelson deflected off his hands.
”Ha! I’ll take it,” Nelson said, shouldering the blame. ”That way, he’s 15-0. There you go.”
NOTES: Starting CBs Sam Shields (knee) and Tramon Williams (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday after getting hurt against Miami. ”We’ll give them every opportunity to get ready,” McCarthy said about his veteran corners. ”I think Tramon is closer than Sam.” … WR Jarrett Boykin (groin) and DE Datone Jones (ankle) were limited after missing last week. LB Jamari Lattimore was also limited Wednesday after leaving the Dolphins game with a neck stinger.
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