A weekly analysis of the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback play.
Rewind: Maybe Aaron Rodgers should wake up with a stiff neck on game day more often. After getting an adjustment from a local chiropractor and some treatment from the Packers’ trainers, Rodgers had one of the best statistical performances in team history in Sunday’s 38-20 win over the Washington Redskins. He tied the franchise record for passing yards in a game with 480, while completing 34-of-42 passes. He threw four touchdown passes without an interception and had a passer rating of 146.0. Rodgers took advantage of the Redskins’ soft zone defense and used a variety of short throws that allowed his receivers to run after the catch.
Fast-forward: It’s a safe bet that Rodgers is taking the Cincinnati Bengals seriously. In facing the Bengals on Sunday, Rodgers revisits a team that gave him all kinds of trouble in their last meeting, which came in Week 2 of the 2009 season. Rodgers was sacked six times and completed just 53.8 percent of his passes (the eighth-lowest percentage since he became a starter in 2008) in the Packers’ 31-24 loss at Lambeau Field.
More milestones: Rodgers’ 480-yard passing performance against the Redskins was the third 400-yard passing game of his career in the regular season. Previously, he threw for 408 yards on Dec. 2, 2011, against Denver and 404 yards on Dec. 26, 2010, against the New York Giants. No other quarterback in team history has more than one 400-yard passing game. Rodgers also had one in the playoffs, a 423-yard day against Arizona in a wild-card game on Jan 10, 2010.
Prediction: Don’t expect another 400-yard day. But Rodgers has bettered the 300-yard passing mark in each of his last four regular-season games, dating to last season. Even that number might be tough for him to reach against a Bengals defense that ranked seventh against the pass last season, so put Rodgers down for 299 yards this week.