GREEN BAY – Head Coach Matt LaFleur said twice in his postgame remarks that there’s “more out there” for the Packers.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers agreed in his own way.
While the two-time MVP appreciates the winning formula the Packers have put together thus far in 2019 – playing splashy, game-changing defense and doing just enough on offense – if there’s one thing Rodgers would change, it’s himself.
“I want to play better,” he said following Green Bay’s 27-16 win over Denver on Sunday at Lambeau Field to improve to 3-0. “I want to score more points. I mean, obviously you love having a defense, but I don’t take any satisfaction in having an ‘oh, OK’ performance. No, I want to have greatness out there.”
Through three games, greatness has been fleeting and not sustained for the Packers on offense. One week after an early 21-point outburst was followed by three shutout quarters, a 40-yard touchdown strike on a free play capped the offense’s only drive of the day longer than 51 yards.
A 2-for-9 showing on third down, only 52 total snaps, several throwaways, and just shy of 24½ minutes of possession doesn’t define “clicking the entire game,” which is Rodgers’ goal. In the literal sense, that may not be realistic, but the realist in Rodgers knows September football is almost over and the Packers can’t count on winning this way every week as contenders start to forge their identities.
Right now, the Packers love their early identity on one side of the ball, but not the other. Progress is continuing, but patience can’t be infinite.
“I feel really good about the offense and the potential, but potential has got to start getting close to the actual performance,” Rodgers said.
Still, it wasn’t all bad. The offense took advantage of two short fields provided by the defense’s takeaways and turned those possessions into touchdowns. Rodgers also was barely touched in 29 drop-backs, perfect timing for a 35-year-old QB who has to suit up again in four days against an aggressive Philadelphia defense.
“I have to say this is one of the cleanest games my jersey has ever looked,” he said. “I took basically one shot. I hit the ground one time, so I'm ecstatic. I've been at this for a long time and to go home with my body feeling this good is a credit to the offensive line for sure.”
Rodgers, who has played more Thursday games than anyone else in the Packers’ locker room by far, emphasized the way Sunday’s game went for him physically was no small thing.
“It feels amazing. It really does,” he said. “Usually these short weeks, your body is killing you until about Wednesday and then the next day you play. That will not be the case for me this week, so I'm feeling really good about that. I really appreciate the offensive line for the way they protected today and it'll be a nice week of preparation.”
There’s little time to celebrate and barely more than that to get ready for another game, and the Packers would love nothing more than to catch their breath at 4-0.
Lambeau Field hosted a Week 3 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos.