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News: DMN: Aaron Rodgers is on a Tom Brady-like roll, but can he play even better? Packers coach

Discussion in 'Newsfeed Zone' started by NewsBot, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot New Member

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    GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers heads into an NFL divisional-round playoff game against the Cowboys on Sunday riding the hottest of streaks. In Green Bay's last eight games, he has thrown for 22 touchdowns with no interceptions.
    Since 1950, only one other NFL quarterback has been on a roll like this. New England's Tom Brady had 26 touchdowns with no interceptions in 11 games in 2010.

    The best stretch of Rodgers illustrious career?

    Not yet, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. Rodgers can play better.

    "I think it's clearly one of the better stretches," said McCarthy, who elevated Rodgers to starter in 2008. "It's probably as accurate a statement as I can make. He has spoiled us with his level of play around here for so long."

    McCarthy recalled a stretch in 2009, when Rodgers got the Packers into the playoffs. There was the Super Bowl run in the 2010 season, when Rodgers won three road postseason games.

    A year later, Rodgers had 37 touchdowns and five interceptions during a 12-game winning streak.

    "That was an incredible stretch," McCarty said. "That's probably as good a play that I've seen from that position. But this definitely ranks up there."

    What makes this run different is that it came on without warning. Before the Packers went on their current seven-game winning streak, Rodgers and the offense had gone flat.

    The loss to the Cowboys in October typified Rodgers' plight. He missed numerous plays and also had two turnovers on an interception and a fumble.

    The Cowboys frustrated Rodgers with a four-man rush that kept him in the pocket, where he can be uncomfortable. Rodgers likes to roll out and create. The Cowboys also clogged the passing lanes with eight defenders.

    "Nothing I haven't ever seen," Rodgers said on Wednesday. "They were trusting their rush and kind of shadowing me at times, trying to take away the middle of the field a little bit. That's something they did different."

    The harder Rodgers tried, the worse it got. After a loss at Indianapolis, he questioned the toughness of the team. The situation came to a head after a loss at Washington put Green Bay at 4-6.

    Rodgers said the game began to slow down for him against Washington, and he threw for three touchdowns with no interceptions. That pushed him to make the bold claim that the Packers would "run the table."

    His words were prophetic. Green Bay has not lost since. Rodgers recaptured that lost feeling.

    "I just started playing a little better and held onto that feeling," Rodgers said. "I knew that my performance was very important to us having confidence. I felt like if I could raise my game, guys would raise their game as well."

    The sense of urgency brought out the best in Rodgers. He had nine turnovers, seven on interceptions, in the 4-6 start. He has thrown 281 passes without an interception in the winning streak.

    Despite that, Rodgers does not believe every throw is possible. He will not take the playing-on-house-money approach against the Cowboys.

    "There are moments where you're locked in a zone, where you feel like you can put it where you want it," Rodgers said. "But reckless abandon as a mentality has just never come into my mind. It's about being as accurate and as smart as possible with the football."

    Rodgers could be without his favorite receiver Jordy Nelson, dealing with injured ribs. Rodgers hinted Nelson may not play against the Cowboys, saying "we're going to try to get this one and hopefully get him back."

    Rodgers threw for four touchdowns after Nelson went out of the wild-card game against the New York Giants because of the injury. The quarterback is on a hot streak.

    Hot QBs

    A look at the most touchdown passes without an interception in consecutive games since 1950:

    Quarterback Season Games Touchdowns Attempts Yards
    Tom Brady 2010 11 26 326 2,697
    Aaron Rodgers 2016 8 22 281 2,380
    Nick Foles 2013 7 18 191 1,742
    Alex Smith 2011-12 9 13 272 1,960
    Steve DeBerg 1990 8 13 204 1,557

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