Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers went into Minnesota for the 2020 NFL season opener on Sunday and earned a hard-fought 43-34 victory on the road over the division rival Vikings. The Packers offensive production was even more impressive because it came against a Vikings defense many thought to be one of the best in the NFL.
For Rodgers, he knows exactly why the Green Bay offense played so well in the season opener. In an interview on the Pat McAfee Show, the Packers quarterback revealed it’s something the team has been building on for more than a year and he expects it to continue producing positive results throughout the 2020 season.
Green Bay Packers finish one win short of Super Bowl in 2019
Last season was undoubtedly one of the best in the 15-year career of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Pack finished the regular season with a 13-3 record. After defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round of the playoffs, the team fell one win short of the Super Bowl losing in the NFC Championship game to the San Francisco 49ers.
The team’s overall success was a direct result of a top 10 scoring defense and the future Hall of Fame signal-caller who had one of his most efficient years under center. Rodgers finished the season completing 353-of-569 for 4,002 yards.
More impressively, Rodgers threw 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions, the second-lowest total for a season in his career. For his individual efforts, Rodgers was named to his eighth Pro Bowl.
Aaron Rodgers slices up Vikings defense in opener
In the season-opening victory on the road against the rival Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers sent a clear message to the rest of the NFL he’s ready to improve on last year’s performance.
Against the Vikes in an eerily quiet U.S. Bank Stadium, Rodgers dissected the Minnesota defense, completing 32-of-44 passes for 364 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The 43 points are the most scored in a game under second-year head coach Matt LaFleur.
Interestingly, it could have been more. The Packers failed to score touchdowns on three red-zone possessions early in the contest. After the game, LaFleur was happy with the offensive performance, the missed red-zone opportunities notwithstanding.
“Our guys just went out and played great,” LaFleur said. “It’s a credit to our players believing in what we’re trying to get done and believing in each other.”
Rodgers reveals progress under Matt LaFleur is key to success
On Tuesday, Aaron Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show and talked about Green Bay’s win over the Vikings. Rodgers said it was bizarre playing in a completely empty and quiet stadium, which he admitted helped the offense. He added that the offensive production in Minnesota was also a direct result of a year’s worth of experience playing within the Matt LaFleur system.
“I think it’s a natural progression,” Rodgers said. “I think it does help being the second year of the system. I think there’s a lot more comfort for certain guys, myself, and Davante (Adams) and Marquez (Valdez-Scantling), and Allen (Lazard). All those guys made plays.
“I thought Matt had a really nice plan. I thought he got into the flow with the calls. And when we got into a rhythm, we just kind of kept rolling. We did some good things on third down. We were 6 for 11 on third down, which is important.”
All of it combined led to the Green Bay offense controlling the ball for an incredible 41 minutes of possession. That’s the highest number of possession by one team in a game since the league started keeping statistics for the category.
With Rodgers and company setting records in offensive categories during the first week of the season against a top defense, that spells big trouble for opposing defenses and at the same time should excite Green Bay fans about what to expect in the 2020 season.