GREEN BAY – The quarterback was exceptional Sunday. The play-caller, not so much.
That’s how Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy saw his offense on film on Monday, one day after a 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
While Rodgers’ numbers weren’t out-of-this-world impressive (19 of 27, 236 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 106.4 rating), McCarthy praised him for soldiering on through less-than-ideal circumstances against a formidable four-man front while leading an out-of-rhythm unit. Rodgers made the plays when it mattered, making the proper adjustment and throw on tight end Jermichael Finley’s 40-yard catch-and-run, and lofting the game-winning 22-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb.
“I thought our quarterback was exceptional. When you think of Aaron Rodgers you think of big plays and tight spirals and just doing all these big things. A game like that for a quarterback is hard,” McCarthy said. “I think that shows you the true character of a tough, championship quarterback, just to stay the course. We put him in some tough spots. It wasn’t the best game that I called as a play caller, but I just thought the way we grinded that thing out.
“It wasn’t our best day on offense, by no means, but the way they kept grinding and grinding and was able to score there at the end, I thought that’s something that we can really build off of.”
Asked what he didn’t like about his play-calling, McCarthy was prepared to answer, if not share specifics.
“I knew that was going to be a follow up, so I’m ready for this,” he replied. “When you go back and watch the game last night, there’s calls that you don’t like. There’s a few too many frankly. Didn’t adjust as well or as quickly to some things as we should have. But once again, it’s about information that you’re given and obviously you have the pictures. I probably would’ve went a different direction earlier in the game.”
According to Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, the Lions played Cover-2 defense almost the entire game, which has been increasingly the approach for Packers opponents.
“They played a 2-shell almost exclusively. I don’t think they blitzed once. Aaron still completed 70 percent of his passes and threw for two touchdowns and had the winning touchdown to Randall,” Clements said. “He was productive, he was under pressure at times and he handled it well, didn't let it affect him. When we needed him to play well at an important time, he did.”
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