The much anticipated debut of Aaron Rodgers versus our conference rival, not to mention division contender, could not have gone much better! My main concern going into the game was not so much whether Green Bay wins or loses the game, but can Rodgers play to his potential and temporarily remove that monkey named Brett Favre off of his back. I think that it's safe to say.....mission accomplished! Not only did the Pack get the W, but Aaron came out and played poised, was efficient, and dare I say was brilliant. 18-22, 2 td (1rushing), and a 3rd 50-60 yard beautiful pump and go to Driver that was null due to an offensive lineman penalty.......again. Not only was the play executed perfectly, but it was an audible made at the line and displayed the raport and comfort level that Rodgers has with his receivers. So, if it wasn't for a Brewers bullpen meltdown against the lowly Reds (of which I didn't find out until I heard it on the radio on the way in to work), I would be in an even better mood than I already am.
A few more notes about the game: The offensive line play was mediocre to average at best. The penalties by them in the first half could have really ruined Rodgers' first start and I would have hated to lose a game due to idiotic play by the O-line. Thank god they didn't. This, I will temporarily classify under the early season rust category. Furthermore, they didn't exactly open very many holes for the rb's. Aside from that 50 yard run from Grant, they were dominated by Minnesota's D-line pretty much the entire game. Their performance was especially unacceptable when they were inside the 5. This is definitely something that needs to improve as the season goes on. Again, I will give them a slight break as the Vikings' D-line is probably the best in football, however I expect them to be a little more confident and tough at home where there isn't a damn viking flute playing in the background at all times. I hate that thing. In regards to the decision to kick at the end of the first half (scott, u knew I was going to say something about this), I still don't understand it. When 14 seconds are left, you have one timeout, and its 3RD DOWN, there is no reason you don't take at least one shot at the endzone. Hek, you can even potentially throw towards the sidelines inside the 10 and still have time for another play if you get the first down. The argument I typically received was "you have the lead, and you don't want to have Aaron make a mistake and ruin his confidence in his debut. Take the 3 points and go in to half with a 7 pt lead". A)Aaron Rodgers is a very confident guy. 1 pick isn't going to shatter him. And if 1 pick does ruin your confidence, you probably shouldn't be an NFL quarterback B) In regards to confidence, I think you shoot down his confidence more when you tell him to wind down the clock 10 more seconds on 3rd down inside the red zone. This tells him that you are afraid to put the ball in his hands because there is a good chance he can make a horrible mistake. C) While the odds of screwing up a FG are not as high as Rodgers throwing a pick or fumbling, there is still potential for it. Meaning the FG is no guarantee either. Case in point, last night, FG gets blocked and we come away with nothing anyway. Sure it's completely coincidental, but it strengthened my argument for taking a shot at the endzone there.
So, considering these are my only 2 topics of disappointment from last night, I think it's safe to say that overall it was a very positive performance and the future, temporarily, looks pretty good at this point (especially when i see how the Lions, Rams, Raiders, and Bengals play......boy am I glad we're not in their shoes). Bring on the cowardly lions!