Last night Aaron Rodgers silenced his doubters with a decisive 35-17 win over the Detroit Lions. However, it was just another spoke in the wheel of a manufactured media cycle.
• 227 yards
• 4 touchdowns
• 0 interceptions
• 145.6 passer rating
• Became 10th all-time in passing yards
— 𝐽𝐸𝑁 𝑀𝐴𝐶𝐾 🧀 (@BigMack_4) September 21, 2021
Rodgers faced intense scrutiny after an egregious 35-point loss to the New Orleans Saints during Week 1. The criticism came mainly from the media, who looked at Jameis Winston’s five touchdowns to Rodgers’ zero as evidence of the Green Bay legend’s business frustrations.
But Rodgers understands how the sports media industry works.
Set up the potential downfall of a legend through a cacophony of overreactions throughout the news cycle week. Judge an entire career game by game. Then sit back and watch a potential dumpster fire of NFL team front office negotiations and label every minute of it microaggressive.
“There’s so many overreactions that happen from a week-to-week basis,” Rodgers said. “So it’s nice to come out, have a good performance and get the trolls off our back for at least a week.”
The best of @AaronRodgers12 against the Lions.
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) September 20, 2021
However, once you torch a team on “Monday Night Football,” the whole process resets, and all is well in the world again.
However, Rodgers also knows that an attitude of gratitude can help perception for an NFL franchise’s leading man.
“I think we maybe tried to show that we cared a little bit more tonight,” Rodgers said at the postgame press conference.
No Bad Energy, Please, No Bad Energy
With the change in attitude and team cohesion, the Packers avoided an 0-2 start. If they had lost to the Lions it would have been their first time starting with two losses since 2006. However, that was two years before Rodgers took the helm as starting QB.
Rodgers and Aaron Jones lit Lambeau Field up last night. Rodgers threw dimes, and critical members of his team were there for it.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 21, 2021
Rodgers completed 22 of 27 passes or 81.5 percent of his attempts. He threw for 255 yards and scored four touchdowns. The Rodgers stats were phenomenal, especially after his previous showing. It was his seventh career game with at least four touchdowns and an 80 percent completion rate.
Rodgers is behind Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in NFL history, with eight career games each with those stats.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Fifth-year running back Aaron Jones scored four times. Jones had 115 total yards from scrimmage, including 67 rushing and 48 passing on 23 touches. In addition, three were receiving touchdowns, the most by an NFL running back in six years. But Rodgers’ deep ball for 50 yards to Davante Adams set up an eventual touchdown catch by Robert Tonyan.
📺 ESPN pic.twitter.com/mdwoP7U0gu
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 21, 2021
Additionally, this season, the Packers’ first sack came at the end of the game versus the Lions. The sack came with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter. When Jared Goff mishandled the ball, Packers defensive lineman Rashan Gary caught him to help pitch a second-half shutout.
The Packers and Rodgers seem to have a symbiosis again. After a summer of discontent for Rodgers and the team, exasperated by the media attention, Rodgers decided to play ball again.
The Lambeau leaps were plentiful, and the state of Wisconsin felt electric again. The media needs to calm down because Rodgers realizes he has lived long enough to go from the hero to the villain and back again.