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Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers rolls after sluggish first quarter

Nov. 21, 2010
 
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sets to throw in the second quarter during Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Rodgers tallied 181 of his 301 passing yards in the second quarter alone.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sets to throw in the second quarter during Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Rodgers tallied 181 of his 301 passing yards in the second quarter alone. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

Slow ascent

Packers passers who threw for fewer than 25 yards in the first quarter of a regular-season game yet ended up with 300 or more yards passing.

1Q Tot Passer Date
0 333 Cecil Isbell 11-1-1942
7 313 Aaron Rodgers 10-5-2008
7 301 Aaron Rodgers 11-21-2010
8 314 Aaron Rodgers 11-2-2008
14 301 Bart Starr 10-17-1965
15 321 Randy Wright 10-2-1988
17 381 Brett Favre 11-22-2007
19 354 Don Majkowski 9-17-1989
22 321 Brett Favre 11-29-1998

Second Helpings

Packers passers who threw for 170 or more yards in the second quarter of a regular-season game.

Yds. Passer Date
190 Brett Favre 11-10-2002
181 Bart Starr 10-23-1966
181 Aaron Rodgers 11-21-2010
178 Aaron Rodgers 11-22-2009
171 Brett Favre 12-22-2003
170 Brett Favre 11-6-1994
170 Brett Favre 10-23-2007

More

Sometimes Aaron Rodgers needs a few throws to get going.

If memory serves, his predecessor occasionally required a few warm-ups as well, especially in games earlier in his career.

Present met past for the second time this season, and for a second time the here and now won out, this time in convincing fashion. Rodgers again outdueled the quarterback he succeeded, Brett Favre, throwing four touchdown passes as the Packers routed the Minnesota Vikings 31-3 at the Metrodome.

It was a series sweep for Green Bay who had most recently taken two from Minnesota in 2007. That season was the last in which Favre donned green and gold.

Rodgers compiled the second best passer rating (141.26) of his career Sunday in Minneapolis. The three-year starter completed 22 of 31 passes for 301 yards without an interception.

The rating was the best by a Packers passer (minimum 20 attempts) at the Metrodome since Lynn Dickey’s 143.33 against a hapless Vikings team that went 3-13 in 1984. Rodgers’ only better showing was a team-record 155.42 mark in a 31-3 takedown of the Browns last year.

Rodgers didn’t look like he had a 300-yard day in him at the outset. His first attempt fell short of tight end Andrew Quarless. His second toss went for 7 yards to wide receiver Donald Driver.

That was the extent of his passing in the opening 15 minutes save for getting sacked twice, once each by defensive ends Ray Edwards and Jared Allen.

But Rodgers came alive and established a team record for the most second-quarter passing yards on the road. Leaving his ground game behind (3 second-quarter rushes), Rodgers threw 20 times completing 12 for 181 yards and two scores.

His effort broke the previous road record of 171 yards set by Favre in a 41-7 win at Oakland in 2003.

Rodgers didn’t catch fire immediately. He misfired on three of his first four attempts in the period, but got on track with a 47-yard strike to Greg Jennings that led to a 42-yard Mason Crosby field goal.

On Green Bay’s next two drives, he was nearly flawless. Rodgers completed his last six to close out the half and forge a 17-3 lead.

Only Favre (190 yards in 2002) and Bart Starr (181 in 1966) had second quarters on par with Rodgers. Both Favre and Starr earned their yardage at home.

Rodgers' big quarter set the stage for an unusual 300-yard outing. Only six Packers have hit that number after having thrown for fewer than 25 yards in an opening quarter, and Rogers is the only one to have done so three times.

Cecil Isbell heads the list. The halfback didn’t even attempt a pass until the second quarter, but wound up with 333 yards in a 55-24 drubbing of the Cardinals in 1942.

Favre, the only other player to show up on that list twice, was relegated to a 17-of-38 performance against Green Bay. He threw for 208 yards and an interception, and his passer rating of 51.2 was 90 points lower than that of Rodgers.

Three in a row

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was not even a month old the last time Green Bay strung together three regular-season games without a turnover. Now, 11 days past his 47th birthday, the leader of the Pack has seen his team tie the franchise record for most consecutive turnover-free games.

On Nov. 24, 1963, Vince Lombardi’s Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 28-10 without losing the ball. Lombardi’s team was again sure-handed in a 13-13 tie with Detroit on Thanksgiving and in a 31-14 win in Los Angeles on Dec. 7.

McCarthy’s club has been perfect in wins over the Jets, Cowboys and Vikings. Rodgers has not thrown an interception in his last 108 attempts, and neither of the team’s two fumbles during this span – both in the Cowboys game – were recovered by the opposition.

Ball security has been emphasized during the McCarthy era. In 74 regular-season games, his team has been turnover-free 22 times. That’s the best by any Packers coach including Mike Holmgren (19 games), Lombardi (17), Sherman (16) or Lambeau (14).

The closest the Packers came to giving up a turnover to the Vikings occurred in the second quarter when safety Husain Abdullah had his hands on a Rodgers’ pass at the goal line.

Eric Goska is a Press-Gazette correspondent, a Packers historian and the author of “Green Bay Packers: A Measure of Greatness,” a statistical history of the Packers. E-mail him at aegoska@sbcglobal.net.

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