Rodgers, Packers look to get back on track

December 16, 2014

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gestures to the sidelines during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

GREEN BAY Despite having their five-game winning ended, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers still control much of their postseason destiny.

Now if they can just get their offense to look as it did for most of the season.

Even after the worst statistical performance of Rodgers' career, the Packers (10-4) still have solid playoff prospects if they win their final two games.

Doing so would give them the NFC North title.

That would mean winning at Tampa Bay next Sunday and then beating the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Dec. 28.

But first, Rodgers and the rest of the Packers offense need to get back on track.

In Sunday's 21-13 loss to the Bills, Rodgers was 17 of 42 the 25 incompletions were a career high for 185 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 34.3, the lowest mark of his career.

           

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) is tackled by Buffalo Bills' Nigel Bradham (53) in the end zone for a safety during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills won the game 21-13.

He entered the game as the NFL's highest-rated passer (119.0) with 35 touchdown passes and only three interceptions.

"I know Aaron didn't feel very good the way it panned out," coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, as the Packers turned their attention to the Buccaneers (2-12) and a trip to Tampa, Fla., where Rodgers is 0-2 as a starter.

"(But) I look for him to have a big game in Tampa."

Rodgers did not speak to reporters during Monday's availability session his scheduled day is Wednesday but he reiterated McCarthy's stance on the playoff picture and took the blame for the loss after the game.

"It wasn't my best day by any stretch of the imagination," Rodgers said. "I've got to play better for us to win, and I expect more of myself.

"(But) everything is right in front of us. We win out, we still win the North. We're a tough team, a good football team, and we just didn't play very well on offense."

Green Bay Packers fans react during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

No, they didn't. Against a Bills defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown passing in the past four games, Rodgers didn't get much help from his receivers, who by the coaches' count dropped nine passes.

"We had all sorts of chances and just didn't make them, for whatever reason," said leading receiver Jordy Nelson, who dropped what could have been a 94-yard touchdown when he was wide open late in the third quarter.

"Obviously, my drop could have won the game for us. We've got to make those no matter how easy or hard they are."

A second loss to the Lions, who haven't won a game in Wisconsin since 1991, would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Packers.

Having won all seven of their home games this season, McCarthy, Rodgers and others have acknowledged that the No. 1 overall seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs is their goal. But the loss to the Bills made that more difficult for Green Bay.

After entering Sunday's game as the league's highest-scoring offense, the Packers failed to score multiple touchdowns for the first time since their Week 3 loss at Detroit.

Offensive coordinator Tom Clements was brusque in his answers to questions about Rodgers and the offense.

"It just wasn't working," Clements said. "We didn't play as well as we had been playing. You have to give them credit. They won the game, they scored more points than we did, but we certainly weren't at our best."

NOTES: McCarthy did not have an update on right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who suffered a concussion against the Bills. Clements, however, said, "I think Bryan will be available." ... Cornerback Davon House, who suffered a shoulder injury against Atlanta on Dec. 8, said he won't play Sunday but is "praying" to return for the finale against the Lions.

 












 

Associated Press