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Trap game? Letdown? 'We don't talk like that'

Plus a history of Aaron Rodgers-led Packers facing backup QBs

QB Aaron Rodgers and Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer
QB Aaron Rodgers and Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer

GREEN BAY – The Packers are coming off an emotional, exhausting and dramatic win over an NFC contender, they're facing a backup quarterback, and they're off to London in a few days for the first international regular-season game in franchise history.

But don't go calling this a "trap game" or say the Packers are due for a letdown when the Patriots visit Lambeau Field on Sunday.

"No, because we don't talk like that in the locker room," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "That's outside the locker room. Nobody ever talks about letdowns or emotional setbacks or trap games or any of the codewords you guys (in the media) use.

"We have a standard of which we play and that's the standard. If it dips below that, we don't attribute that to anything other than the preparation we put in, the way we practiced and the focus for that game."

Head Coach Matt LaFleur was adamant this week the Packers would not be looking ahead to the London trip, because that's how "you get your (butt) whipped, bottom line."

There's also the matter of the opponent this week being coached by Bill Belichick, even if it's a backup in Brian Hoyer taking over at quarterback.

"With Belichick, week by week, they've got a game plan for you," veteran safety Adrian Amos said. "They know what you do well or what you don't do well, so they will try to attack that."

The Packers have plenty of respect for the veteran Hoyer. LaFleur's brother has coached him with two different teams and spoken very highly of him. Hoyer also filled in for the Bears against the Packers back in 2016 and had Chicago right in the game until leaving due to injury.

Rodgers mentioned he's gotten to know Hoyer, who spent two different stints as Tom Brady's backup in New England, over the years at the Kentucky Derby, where the two future Hall of Famers annually bring a contingent of friends together.

"He's a good dude," Rodgers said. "He's been around the league for a long time, obviously, and he's had some stretches as a starter with a lot of success. But he's around the league because he's smart, he knows the schemes that he's in and he can come in and execute as well as they want him to."

All that said, the Packers' history against backup quarterbacks in the Rodgers era is pretty good, as expected.

Dating back to 2008, when Rodgers took over as Green Bay's starting QB, the Packers have played 30 games against other teams' backup QBs and have gone 27-3.

Moreover, all three of the losses were games Rodgers exited with an injury. So in looking at the games Rodgers started and finished, the Packers are 27-0.

Now, admittedly, there's some subjectivity in determining who qualifies as a backup quarterback. For the list of results published below, a backup is defined as a quarterback who did not begin that season as the opponent's starting QB. Also, any substitute quarterback who played a considerable amount that year is still considered a backup if he was never viewed as a potential long-term starter at the position for his team.

That's why Minnesota's Case Keenum in 2017 makes the list, even though he started the bulk of the games and took the Vikings to the NFC title game that year. Sam Bradford was the Vikings' starting QB before getting hurt early on, and Minnesota moved on from Keenum after that season.

It's also why Arizona's Josh Rosen in 2018 is not listed below. He had taken over at QB early in the year (coincidentally, also for Bradford) but was a first-round draft pick in the team's long-term plans. Even though the Cardinals ended up moving on from Rosen, too, when a coaching change was made in 2019 and another first-round pick was immediately spent on a QB (Kyler Murray), Rosen was the team's starter and QB of the future at the time he faced Green Bay.

So, as noted, there's some subjectivity.

If Rosen is considered a backup QB in 2018, then that would mark the Packers' only defeat against a backup with Rodgers playing the entire game. The loss to the Cardinals that year turned out to be Mike McCarthy's last game as Green Bay's head coach.

Here's the full list:

Packers vs. backup QBs, Aaron Rodgers era (opposing QB starter in parentheses)


  • Week 7 vs. WAS (Taylor Heinicke), W 24-10
  • Week 15 at BAL (Tyler Huntley), W 31-30
  • Week 17 vs. MIN (Sean Mannion), W 37-10


  • Week 8 at SF (Nick Mullens), W 34-17
  • Week 9 vs. JAX (Jake Luton), W 24-20


  • Week 8 at KC (Matt Moore), W 31-24
  • Week 10 vs. CAR (Kyle Allen), W 24-16
  • Week 17 at DET (David Blough), W 23-20


  • Week 6 vs. SF (C.J. Beathard), W 33-30
  • Week 10 vs. MIA (Brock Osweiler), W 31-12


  • Week 4 vs. CHI (Mike Glennon), W 35-14
  • Week 6 at MIN (Case Keenum), L 23-10*


  • Week 7 vs. CHI (Brian Hoyer), W 26-10
  • Week 15 at CHI (Matt Barkley), W 30-27


  • Week 14 vs. DAL (Matt Cassel), W 28-7


  • Week 11 vs. PHI (Mark Sanchez), W 53-20


  • Week 2 vs. WAS (Ryan Griffin), W 38-20
  • Week 7 vs. CLE (Brandon Weeden), W 31-13
  • Week 9 vs. CHI (Josh McCown), L 27-20*


  • Week 9 vs. ARI (John Skelton), W 31-17
  • NFC Wild Card vs. MIN (Joe Webb), W 24-10


  • Week 16 vs. CHI (Josh McCown), W 35-21


  • Week 4 vs. DET (Sean Hill), W 28-26
  • Week 9 vs. DAL (Jon Kitna), W 45-7
  • Week 13 vs. SF (Troy Smith), W 34-16
  • Week 14 at DET (Drew Stanton), L 7-3*


  • Week 6 vs. DET (Daunte Culpepper), W 26-0
  • Week 7 at CLE (Derek Anderson), W 31-3


  • Week 6 at SEA (Charlie Frye), W 27-17
  • Week 17 vs. DET (Dan Orlovsky), W 31-21

*Rodgers left game due to injury

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