Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wrap-up: Packers 49, Broncos 23
By Kevin Seifert
A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' victory, a 49-23 win over the Denver Broncos. Ho-hum:
What it means: The Packers remained undefeated with a thorough spanking of the Broncos, who are still winless in the state of Wisconsin all-time.
RodgersWatch: Was this the best game in Aaron Rodgers' career? Statistically, at least, it would be hard to argue. He became the first player in NFL history to throw for 400-plus passing yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for two scores in the same game. That’s a mouthful, but it’s another way of saying Rodgers accounted for an unprecedented variety of touchdowns and production Sunday.
RodgersWatchII: With Ryan Grant sidelined by a bruised kidney, we wondered who would be the alternative to starter James Starks. Answer: Rodgers. He officially had nine rushes in the game, but according to ESPN Stats & Information, eight of them were scrambles off a dropback. Rodgers’ previous career high on unplanned scrambles was seven. He had scrambled only five times in the Packers’ first three games combined.
Play-action redux: In a development that might interest only me and John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information, the Packers scored another play-action touchdown off their relatively rarely-used two-back set. Rodgers’ 50-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson came with Starks and John Kuhn in the backfield.
Injury report: Packers receiver Donald Driver shook off a first-half left knee injury to get in on the fun in the second half, catching a fourth-quarter touchdown pass.
Tackling: If you’re looking for something to complain about, you can question a pass defense that netted one sack, although it had three interceptions, and demonstrated some shaky tackling. Cornerback Sam Shields' attempt on Eric Decker's 5-yard scoring reception was weak.
What’s next: The Packers will return to the scene of their impressive 2010 playoff victory against the Atlanta Falcons. The game will be in prime time Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.