GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers understands that the current configuration of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line means that the days of lining up and maximizing eligible receivers while blocking opposing pass rushes with just the five linemen on just about every play are over. Or, at the very least, suspended.
And the Packers quarterback is just fine with that if keeping an extra blocker in to protect him and running the ball more frequently results in victories – even if it means not putting up the monster numbers he did last year in winning the NFL MVP award.
“I think it’s about wins, it really is,” Rodgers said during his weekly radio show Tuesday on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com. “It might not be as pretty at times as it was last year maybe for some of our fans, but it’s a win. That’s got to be the most important thing, whether that’s throwing the ball 50 times and throwing a bunch of touchdowns, or running the ball kind of like we did.
“The line did a good job; we ran the ball well, we controlled the time of possession, especially in the second half and kept the ball away from (Vikings running back Adrian Peterson), who was unbelievable.”
Rodgers enters Sunday night’s game against Detroit having completed 279 of 414 passes (67.4 percent) for 3,124 yards with 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions for a passer rating of 105.0 with four games to play. Last season, Rodgers was 343 of 502 (68.3 percent) with 45 touchdowns and six interceptions for an NFL single-season record 122.4 passer rating in 15 games.
“Personally, in this league, I think I’ve accomplished a lot. Statistically speaking – the recognition last year as the MVP,” Rodgers continued. “I want to win championships. I would give away the MVP award last year, obviously, for a Super Bowl championship.
“Quarterbacks are going to be remembered for the amount of championships that they won unless you’re Dan Marino, because Dan was obviously one of the best quarterbacks of all time and only went to one Super Bowl and didn’t win it. It’s all about winning championships in Green Bay, and that’s what I want to be remembered for. Regardless of how we get there.
“Obviously I want to be impacting the game and making the plays I’m supposed to make – (but) I’m OK if it’s not a Houston game every week as long as we’re winning.”
Against the Texans, of course, Rodgers went 24 for 37 for 338 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions (133.8 rating).
Meanwhile, Rodgers expressed confidence in rookie offensive lineman Don Barclay, who could start at right tackle Sunday against the Lions. Barclay took over there after T.J. Lang suffered an ankle injury, and even if Lang is cleared to play, the Packers could decide to move him back to his customary left guard spot.
“I’m really proud of Don. I think Don did a great job,” Rodgers said. “He did a good job in training camp coming in and winning a spot on the team with his consistent play. And to really not play all season and we’re in Week 13 and … he steps in at an important time for us with a tough match-up (in) Brian Robison, who’s a very good pass rusher.
“Now, we gave him some help, obviously. We didn’t want him to be out there on an island by himself. (So) we gave him some help and I think he did a really nice job – so I’m proud of him.”
Rodgers also liked what coach Mike McCarthy did in altering the offensive approach to keep the Vikings’ pass-rushers off-balance.
“I think we wanted to make sure that we were putting the line in a very favorable position and making sure they had some opportunities to have some help and change the launch angle and do some move-the-pocket stuff,” Rodgers said. “Now, whether it works or not, I don’t think that’s the important thing. It’s that we’re not allowing those (defensive) guys to take the same rush angles every time.
“We did a nice job with that, and I think in general that slowed down their guys a little bit. Then we had some great ball control, in the second half especially, and to have the ball for 11 minutes is pretty phenomenal. To be able to finish that off with a field goal to put us up two scores – that was an important drive for us.”
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