The Green Bay Packers sent one message to their critics and their fans that had already marked their season as lost. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers perhaps said it best in a post-game interview with NBC:
The Packers upset the previously undefeated Houston Texans 42-24 in their own building to move to 3-3 on the season. It was an emphatic win that put the rest of the NFL on notice that there is nothing wrong with Aaron Rodgers and that despite the loss of three members of the defense (Nick Perry, D.J. Smith and Sam Shelds) to injury, the defense could make plays and shut down one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks.
It was stunning victory even the most optimistic Packer fan didn’t see coming.
Who stepped up this week and who stepped down?
QB Aaron Rodgers
All week, Rodgers took questions about what was wrong with the Packers and more specifically what was wrong with him. Rodgers to his credit put full blame on himself, saying that he needed to play better.
On NBC last night, Chris Collinsworth mentioned when he and Al Michaels met with Rodgers in the days before the game and they both noted how angry the reigning NFL MVP sounded. They said he told them he was sick and tired of being asked about what was wrong with the Packers. Michaels and Collinsworth quoted Rodgers as saying, “The sky is falling on the outside, but everything is just fine on the inside.”
Rodgers took those words and took out his frustration on the Texans in his most brilliant game this season and perhaps even one of the most brilliant of his career. Rodgers tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes as he completed 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards.
Want proof Rodgers played with extra fire? Even though it was called back due to a holding penalty, when Rodgers scrambled for a touchdown run he spiked the ball incredibly hard in the end zone and performed his “title belt” celebration with more fire than anyone had ever seen before.
Rodgers was playing angry. If that fire continues throughout the rest of the season, the rest of the league is in deep trouble.
WR James Jones