Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on matching '11
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Just about every time Aaron Rodgers stepped on the field in 2011, the Green Bay Packers were a threat to score.
On the way to winning his first -- and to date only -- MVP award, Rodgers set the NFL record for passer rating (122.5) and set franchise records for touchdown passes (45), passing yards (4,643), completion percentage (68.3) and yards per attempt (9.25), among others.
And he did it in 15 games, resting in the season finale against the Detroit Lions to prepare for the playoffs.
As a team, the Packers set club records for points in a season (560), yards (6,482) and passing yards (5,161 gross and 4,924 net).
But you knew all that already.
What you want to know is whether Rodgers and the Packers' offense can ever be that explosive again?
To answer that question, first it is necessary to understand why the 2011 offense was so unstoppable.
"I think our personnel was so good and our confidence was so high, and teams hadn't quite adjusted to what we were doing," Rodgers said in an interview last week. "They were still giving us a lot of one-high [safety] rotation defense because they were worried about [running back] Ryan Grant, and they were worried about us controlling the football the way we liked to.
"And because of that, we had so many one-on-one matchups for [receivers] Jordy [Nelson] and for Greg [Jennings] and for James Jones and [tight end] Jermichael [Finley], and that just allowed us to really be dynamic on defense. At the same time, our defense was giving up some points as well, so we had a lot of opportunities so we put up a lot of yards and a lot of points."
Another productive running back, reigning offensive rookie of the year Eddie Lacy, could force defenses to play the Packers like they did in 2011, when they had to respect both the run and the pass.
"I think there's a chance, but I think that you're still going to see, other than the first game because Seattle is going to play a lot of one-high like they always do, Eddie is going to get a lot of respect this year," Rodgers said. "But I think he's still going to get an opportunity to prove that he can do it again."
Coming tomorrow: Rodgers on relationships with his coaches.