If you want to see fireworks and an Aaron Rodgers light show, then get ready for Sunday afternoon.
The Packers are coming off a disappointing loss in San Francisco that saw Rodgers get bear hugged as the final seconds ticked away. The NFL’s best quarterback never got a chance to unleash a 42-yard seed to give the Packers a huge season-opening upset win.
Now Rodgers has had to face questions this week about closing out and winning tight games from his local media. That chip that tends to resurface when his play is questioned made appearance. He then quickly shot back, “You can win them, you execute on both sides of the ball.”
That was a warranted question. But now the Redskins have to face Rodgers’ wrath. This is a guy you do not want to torque the wrong way.
If Rodgers can get peeved at a Packers fan for calling him short, it surely won’t take much to stoke his motivational fires in Week 2.
Let’s take a quick peek at last year. After “losing”14-12 in the famed Fail Mary game, Rodgers responded with 319 yards and four TDs vs. New Orleans. After losing a heartbreaker in Indy, he threw a 338-yard, six-TD gem at Houston.
His whole career is dripping with disappointment that has led to personal inspiration, which has turned him into a Pro Bowl perfectionist.
The Redskins are going to try to stop Rodgers. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will throw the kitchen sink at him perhaps by sending London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo on blitzes to disrupt his timing. That stuff works on guys like Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman but not Rodgers.
Coming into this season, the Packers weren’t even the third best team in the NFC by many analysts. Now Rodgers is on a crusade to prove that his team isn’t just adequate but superior enough to push San Francisco and Seattle for a spot in the Super Bowl.
However, that can’t happen unless the Packers earn its 21st win in 22 tries at Lambeau Field. I hate classifying games as “must wins” but if the Packers come up short on Sunday there is a chance they could be staring at 0-3 before the bye with a tough trip to Cincinnati to face the much-improved Bengals.
But that won’t happen. Even though Rodgers was under fire most of the game from Aldon Smith and Justin Smith, he managed to throw for 333 yards and three scores. That was the first time since Nov. 25, 2012 in a loss at the Giants that Rodgers finished a game with a completion percentage under 60.
And let’s not forget that the Redskins allowed 263 rushing yards last week. A lot of those were due to Washington’s defense feeling gassed after getting Chipped with an offense that was deemed not to work in the pros. Expect Mike McCarthy to follow the same script and keep his foot on the gas by going with the no huddle as often as he can.
It’s the home opener, the Packers are coming off a loss and Rodgers has yet another proverbial chip on his shoulder.
It doesn’t matter how questionable the defense looked last week. Rodgers will slice up the Redskins secondary with the delicacy of a surgeon.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn