Aaron Rodgers admits to drawbacks of getting pulled early in blowout of Bears
The Green Bay Packers not only called off the dogs in its laugher of a blowout win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, the team wisely pulled Aaron Rodgers with more than 10 minutes left in the third quarter as the game already was well in hand. Being up 42-0 en route to a 55-14 thumping of a free-falling division rival makes resting an all-world quarterback possible.
But to hear it from Rodgers, there was a drawback or two in getting pulled so early in a game. For one thing, he wanted a crack at the single-game touchdown pass record.
Rodgers left the game with six touchdown passes and had he thrown one more, he would have become the eighth quarterback in NFL history to notch seven TD passes in one game. But he left with the Packers up 45-0, which probably was the most responsible decision despite the QB being close to tying an NFL record.
“Yeah, I knew what the record was,” Rodgers admitted Tuesday on his weekly radio show that airs on ESPN Milwaukee, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “It would’ve been nice to get seven. We’re still playing. I know it’s 42-0 (at halftime), but it’s the NFL still. There’s talented guys who are getting paid on both sides. So we were still playing football there in the second half.”
Rodgers noted that at some point, though, a team has to show some semblance of respect for its vanquished opponent in a game like the one on Sunday.
“I think you owe it to the game to keep playing in similar situations, but there’s a time and a place,” he said. “We weren’t going to stay in a no-huddle mindset there in the third quarter. We huddled up, we kind of were a little more deliberate on offense. That’s respect for the opponent and respect for the game.
“I believe in respect for the game, respect for your opponents, winning with class and losing with class.”
Rodgers did note that there was pitfall — on top of missing out on making NFL history — that came along with getting sat early. He said that standing on the sideline for so long without playing caused his back to stiffen up a bit.
“My low back was actually hurting,” he said. “I think it attribute that to standing around the entire time in the second half. The guys took really good care of me on the field. I barely got touched all game, but my back actually got a little tight on the sideline. I forgot what a strain that can be to stand there and watch. It’s more fun, obviously, to be out there and play.”
Rodgers of course knows all about standing around on the sideline and watching after backing up Brett Favre during the 2005-2007 seasons. That all seems a distant memory now, as Rodgers obviously stepped out of Favre’s long shadow and become arguably an even better quarterback than his Packers signal-calling predecessor.
Another sign things are going more than a-okay for Rodgers? He’s dating actress Olivia Munn, who he stepped out with on Monday to attend a Milwaukee Bucks game.
Everything’s coming up Rodgers, that’s for sure.
(image credits: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel, Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)