INDIANAPOLIS – The last time Aaron Rodgers was in this city, he was here to pick up the NFL MVP. And right after he did, the Green Bay Packers quarterback predicted it would difficult for him to replicate the 45-touchdown, six-interception season he’d had in 2011.
But there’s no way he thought it was going to be like this.
The Packers fell to 2-3 on the season with Sunday’s 30-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and Rodgers still hasn’t gotten his MVP mojo back. His numbers weren’t bad – 21 of 33, 243 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, 103.5 rating – but he was sacked five times (all in the second half), threw a costly interception (his fourth on the young season) to cornerback Jerraud Powers and has now lost more games than he had in the previous 22 months combined.
On the season, Rodgers has now completed 130 of 189 passes (68.8 percent) for 1,307 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions (a 2.1 percent interception rate) with 21 sacks for a passer rating of 97.0.
Asked to assess his performance on Sunday, Rodgers replied curtly, “My performance? I can’t turn the ball over. I think we can all play better. If we do that for 60 minutes, we’ll probably win these games.”
Rodgers said he believed the interception was tipped at the line of scrimmage, which altered its path toward wide receiver James Jones.
“I felt good about the throw, good about the route,” he said. “The ball got tipped slightly and went from back-shoulder to front-shoulder."
That pass didn’t bother him as much as the one he missed on the opening drive of the game, when on third-and-6 from the Packers’ 33-yard line he had a wide-open Jordy Nelson behind Powers for what would have been a 67-yard touchdown. Considering the Packers’ longest passing gain this season is 49 yards after being so explosive last season, it was a huge miss when Rodgers overthrew Nelson.
“We just didn't make any plays,” Rodgers said. “They got a little more pressure in the second half. We turned the ball over and got them into a two-score game and then the kind of got back mentally into the game and then we couldn't put any points on the board to put them away."
Meanwhile, Rodgers appeared to hold onto the ball too long on one or two of the sacks, although he wouldn’t say if he had no one open on the plays or what happened.
“I'd have to check the film,” he said.
At other times, Rodgers took off running, finishing with a team-high 57 yards on five scrambles.
“It was just that I had to run today,” Rodgers said. “It was more me running. We didn't make the same second-reaction (pass) plays that we usually do. (The Colts) played a fair amount of man coverage with two high safeties, which means I'm kind of free (to run). So when you get outside the pocket, you're usually going to have a good lane to run."
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