Upon Further Review: Rodgers’ ‘perfect game’ guides first-place Packers to win
We’re calling it the “perfect game.”
In baseball, a perfect game is when a pitcher doesn’t allow a single opposing batter to reach base across nine (or more) innings. In bowling, it’s when a player gets a strike in every frame and rolls a 300.
On the gridiron, it’s what Aaron Rodgers did Sunday afternoon.
The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback put together one of the best -- if not the best -- game of his career, throwing for 429 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions on 25-of-31 passing.
Oh, and he also ran one in for six points from three yards out.
It all added up to a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Green Bay followed Rodgers’ lead and put the game out of reach with three touchdowns in the second half to beat Oakland 42-24 at home.
The defense was far from perfect, but Mike Pettine’s unit stopped Oakland from scoring in the red zone three times on a fumble, interception and big goal-line stand.
The Packers improved to 6-1 on the season, the franchise’s best start to a season since 2015.
Here’s a recap of Sunday’s game (Story | Photos):
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It’s Rodgers. Duh. Let’s dig deeper into his stats. His perfect 158.3 passer rating is (obviously) the best all-time in Packers’ history, besting his own record -- 155.4 in a 31-3 win over Cleveland on Oct. 25, 2009. If you’re curious, Hall of Famer Brett Favre’s best passer rating was 154.9 in the memorable game in Oakland one day after his father passed away from a heart attack. Rodgers’ big performance also marked just the sixth time in NFL history that a quarterback notched a perfect passer rating with 30+ pass attempts. Oddly enough, three of those have come this season (Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott). Jared Goff (2018), Kurt Warner (2000) and Ken O’Brien (1986) are responsible for the other three.
What does 158.3 look like?
Recapping @AaronRodgers12's "perfect" performance on Sunday. #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/ZPo3VHUiVO
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 21, 2019
DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME
Linebacker Blake Martinez matched a career high with 16 total tackles, the first time he’s done that since his sophomore NFL season in 2017. Martinez also forced a big fumble late in the first half that changed the feel of the game. Speaking of that …
Oakland had two leads in this game – 3-0 and 10-7. It almost had a third. With under two minutes to play in the first half, the Raiders were rolling down the field. Oakland was facing a second and goal from the two-yard line when quarterback Derek Carr scrambled for the pylon. Martinez knocked the ball loose and it bounced through the end zone for a touchback, switching possession back to Green Bay. Eight plays later, the Packers scored on a 37-yard reception by Jake Kumerow to extend their lead to 21-10 before the break.
More on Rodgers, of course. He’s the third player ever to post 400+ passing yards, 5+ passing touchdowns and at least one score on the ground, joining Norm Van Brocklin in 1951 and Mark Rypien in 1991. Rodgers has now registered four games of 4+ passing touchdowns and 1+ rushing touchdown, which is the most in NFL history (including postseason). Wow.
The 74-yard strike is the FIFTH touchdown pass for Aaron Rodgers today! (via @packers)pic.twitter.com/gjwYYieQ9n
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) October 20, 2019
THEY SAID IT
“Our offense came to play today. I was really happy. We had a lot of guys step up, specifically Marquez (Valdes-Scantling) and G-Mo (Geronimo Allison). Shoot, two days ago, we didn’t even know if they were going to play. I thought those guys put together great performances.” -- head coach Matt LaFleur
“I still don’t understand how they put that rating together, but it does sound pretty good.” -- quarterback Aaron Rodgers on his perfect passer rating
“Defensively, we bent a little bit and gave up a lot of big plays. But I’ll tell you one thing -- that’s a resilient group. We talk about keeping them out of the end zone, and our guys did that. There were three trips down there when Oakland came away with no points. I really thought that was the difference in the game.” -- LaFleur
Green Bay takes its 6-1 record into a primetime collision with Kansas City (5-2) on Sunday Night Football. This matchup looks much less scary than it did a few weeks ago, as reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes suffered a knee dislocation injury Thursday night against Denver. The good news is Mahomes’ injury isn’t as serious as it looked. There’s not a clear timeline for Mahomes’ return to the field, but we can assume he’s going to miss Sunday’s game.