CHICAGO—He told you to relax. Now you can.
"I know it's a long season. There are always going to be many freak-outs along the way. Mike (McCarthy) said trust the process. I just wanted to remind everybody that at some point we'd get this thing figured out," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said following one of the most efficient and explosive performances of his career in a 38-17 win over the Bears at Soldier Field.
Yeah, Packers fans were freaking out last week following a 19-7 loss in Detroit in which the man that has always given Packers fans a relaxed feeling, gave them reason to be tense. At 1-2 heading into Sunday's game against the red-hot Bears, the cheese in Wisconsin was beginning to sour.
All of that was changed by Sunday's win over the Bears. Rodgers is Rodgers again and the Packers are the Packers again, a team of pretty passes and plenty of yards and points. They don't always play great defense, but they almost always play great offense.
"I was confident. It was a good week of practice," Rodgers said.
His postgame press conference was a big I told you so.
"In a game and in a season there are going to be some frustrating spots and exhilarating moments," Rodgers said.
The exhilarating moments in the win over the Bears occurred nearly every time the Packers had the ball. Rodgers and the Packers offense were playing racehorse football.
We got the Packers' game plan on their first possession. Pass for 9, pass for 43, pass for 17, pass for 10, incomplete pass, 2-yard touchdown run. The drive was 81 yards in six plays and a whopping two minutes and 22 seconds.
"That's how we want to play. At one point, we had 44 plays and 38 points. That's pretty efficient. That's how we want to play," Rodgers repeated, for effect.
The Packers' no-huddle offense was at the center of a mini-controversy last week. It was being blamed for the team's lack of offensive production. Maybe the Packers should huddle, huh?
Coach Mike McCarthy ended the controversy. He upped the tempo. Huddle? No. Play faster. The Packers did.
The Packers used their no-huddle offense to blow away the Bears in the Windy City. The final time the Packers had the ball in the first half, they went 61 yards in seven plays and 2:47. Rodgers threw 23 yards to Randall Cobb for a touchdown and the Packers had the lead for good, 21-17.
So, was it scheme? Did the Packers make those adjustments to which Rodgers had alluded in the aftermath of the loss in Detroit?
"This was about execution and efficiency today, and we did a pretty good job of that," Rodgers said.
One more thing: This one was also about Rodgers putting the Packers on his back and carrying them to victory, which has often been the case during his years as the team's star. He's "The Man." He's still "The Man," the guy who plays his best football when he has a chip on his shoulder.
"It's sure nice when people doubt us to have a performance like this. That's what I like to do as a leader, put the pressure on myself," Rodgers said.
He did. Relax. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE - SEPT. 28