QB Watch: Packers' Aaron Rodgers

October, 23, 2013
10/23/13
9:00
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A weekly examination of the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback play.

Rodgers
Rewind: That seldom-used receiver Jarrett Boykin, who made his first NFL start in Sunday’s 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns, was able to catch eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown probably says as much about Rodgers as it does about Boykin. Take nothing away from Boykin, who was pressed into action after injuries to Randall Cobb and James Jones, but Rodgers’ ability to get him involved in the offense was a critical aspect to the game. Rodgers broke his streak of three straight games without multiple touchdown passes by throwing three -- one to Boykin, one to tight end Jermichael Finley and one to Jordy Nelson -- as part of his 260-yard, turnover-free passing performance.

Fast-forward: Rodgers managed to deal with the losses of Cobb and Jones by getting Boykin involved. His challenge this week in preparing for the Minnesota Vikings is to find someone to replace Finley, who sustained a neck injury against the Browns. The most logical candidate is backup tight end Andrew Quarless.

Batting .900: The Packers give Rodgers freedom at the line of scrimmage to change plays if he sees fit. One such occasion was a third-and-5 play against the Browns in the first quarter, when coach Mike McCarthy called a pass play. Rodgers changed the play at the line of scrimmage and gave the ball to running back Eddie Lacy, who picked up 13 yards. Offensive coordinator Tom Clements said Rodgers' percentage on audibles this season has been at least 90 percent. “When he makes the adjustment, it usually works out,” Clements said.

Prediction: In his past six games against the Vikings, including playoffs, Rodgers has combined to throw 17 touchdowns and just one interception. That trend will continue. Look for Rodgers to throw two touchdown passes without an interception.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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