Down 0-14 early in the second quarter? No Problem. Kicker Mason Crosby took them half the way, and Aaron Rodgers went on from there, throwing for two touchdowns, 396 yards, leading the Green Bay Packers to 25 consecutive points and a 25-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Best in the NFL? Record says so. So do the Super Bowl rings. The Packers are 5-0, the sixth team since 1990 to carry on from their Super Bowl win to a 5-0 nothing start. All of those teams reached the playoffs the next season. Two of those teams – John Elway’s Denver Broncos and Bill Belichick’s Patriots won the Super Bowl. Both teams had great, hall of fame type quarterbacks. So do the Packers.
Now, regular season, early on, don’t mean nothing sometimes. We can give you the Patriots’ 2007 example, with their perfect, 16-0, regular season, before their offensive line collapsed in the Super Bowl against the Giants. The Indianapolis Colts have had plenty of remarkable starts before bowing out in their first playoff game. And they have a hall of fame quarterback as well for over a decade now.
Should we state the fact that Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL right now? Why not. He simply is. Rodgers threw his 100th and 101st career touchdowns Sunday night. He has been intercepted 34 times, the lowest number of interceptions for a quarterback while he reached the 100 TD milestone. Ever. He has been picked off twice this season. Tom Brady? Drew Brees? Six and Five. Only Matt Hasselbeck with four interceptions and Matthew Stafford with three (Game tonight against the Bears) are close.
More stats about his efficiency? Best QB rating in the league? Check, 122.9 so far. Most yards per passing attempt? Check. Tied with Tom Brady for 9.56. Also like Brady, he has 14 touchdown passes this season, more than anyone in the league.
But this isn’t all about Rodgers. Mostly is, but not only. The Packers just got that swagger right now, and even a 14-0 deficit in hostile territory doesn’t shake them. There was no panic in the locker room. Once we settle in the game and start making plays, we have a good game.
Matt Ryan didn’t get sacked too much, only once, but he got hit. A lot. Clay Matthews (twice) and Erik Walden were in his face during the second half. Like we said before – The Packers don’t have the best defense in the league, at least that’s what the numbers say. But they come up with the big plays. Matt Ryan turned the ball over twice. Remember their playoff meeting less than a year ago? He turned the ball over 3 times back then. But that’s Falcons problems, numerous for a team that was hyped up to be a big NFC challenger this season.
The Packers have already beaten their strongest NFC opposition – The Saints in Week 1, and Falcons just now. The Eagles were supposed to be another part of this race, but right now the Dream Team Project is failing, miserably. Who would have guessed it, but the strongest threat to the champions comes from its own division – The Detroit Lions.