Craig: A stats double-check on Rodgers

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 1, 2012 - 6:13 PM

Yes, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers has had a passer rating of above 140 in his past three starts against the Vikings.


Aaron Rodgers

Photo: Tom Lynn, Associated Press

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Zygi Wilf owns the Vikings, but Aaron Rodgers really owns the Vikings since Brett Favre's Revenge Tour '09 ended.

Asked why he thinks Rodgers has been even better than his usual level of greatness against the Vikings, new defensive coordinator Alan Williams smiled and said: "I'm not sure I'd say better. Whether he's better or worse, I'm not sure about that. You'd have to look at the stats to kind of see that."

Here's a good one: In eight starts against the Vikings, Rodgers has posted three passer ratings above 140. That equals the total he's had in 72 starts against the rest of the league.

Here's another good one: Those 140-plus ratings against the Vikings have come in each of the past three meetings. That makes Rodgers the first quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to do that in three consecutive games against the same opponent, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Ultimately, whatever the quarterback rating is, we want to make sure we win the football game," Williams said. "But our job is to make sure that he doesn't score, and the No. 1 goal is we come out of it as a team winning the football game."

Rodgers' NFL starting debut came in the 2008 season-opening win over the Vikings. He's 5-3 overall against the Vikings, including 4-0 the past two seasons.

In his eight meetings with the Vikings, Rodgers has completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 2,172 yards, 19 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 116.5 passer rating. He's also had five different players lead the team in receiving in those eight games.

Heading into Sunday's Vikings game at Lambeau Field, Rodgers directs one of the more diverse passing attacks in the league (duh). Only Rodgers' Packers, Peyton Manning's Broncos and Drew Brees' Saints have four receivers with at least 35 catches and more than one touchdown. And now here comes Greg Jennings back into the Cheesehead mix after missing the past seven games because of a hernia surgery.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform every week," Rodgers said. "I understand I have the ball in my hands every play and have a chance to have a direct impact on how our offense plays.

"We also have an expectation around here in Green Bay that the next guy up is going to step in and play well. There's not going to be big drop-off in production. That's just the way we operate. So we call upon a lot of young guys to do that. And, for the most part, they have."

Williams said the Vikings have done things that have worked against Rodgers in the past.

"But it just hasn't worked consistently enough in terms of the execution," he said. "We've done a good job of game-planning and taking away what they like to do best, which is take away the deep shots down the field. We just have to do it more consistently in terms of when he does scramble and he does leave the pocket, we play deep to short and take away the deep balls.

"If he scrambles for a first down or throws a check-down, let him have that and line up and play again instead of having it be a touchdown."

The Vikings seem to have a harder time doing that than any other team in the league. The stats back it up, too.

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