Packers Morning Buzz: Aaron Rodgers better off without Mike McCarthy?

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks for room as the pocket collapses against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, December 9, 2018 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis

Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

The Packers made Joe Philbin a winner in his first game as interim coach, guiding Green Bay (5-7-1) to a 34-20 victory over the abysmal Atlanta Falcons (4-9) on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

We'll start with Pete Dougherty's column about how little the Packers' win over the low-flying Falcons means in the big picture.

Pete writes:

If Joe Philbin’s and Aaron Rodgers’ offense shows up against the league’s No. 4 scoring defense and plays with the rhythm it had against Atlanta, and beats the NFC North-leading Bears, then it might mean something.

If you’ve been following the Packers, the main thing you’re wondering is whether Rodgers will play better in the final four games with the change at coach.

Yes, he played winning football Sunday (103.1 passer rating, 44 yards on three scrambles), and maybe he felt more energized or more engaged or more something after McCarthy’s firing. His throwing accuracy might have been a little better than the past couple months.

But it’s only one game, and against a defense that ranks No. 28 in points allowed and defensive passer rating. When Rodgers was playing at an MVP level, this kind of game, even with three backups starting on the offensive line, would have been ho-hum.

Rodgers wouldn’t cop to anything feeling much different even though McCarthy wasn’t at the helm for the first time in the quarterback’s 11 years as a starter. But you have to think he had a little something to prove after his obvious differences with McCarthy boiled over this year.

“I just was trying to have fun out there and lead and inspire,” he said.

You can read Pete's entire column here:

This is the kind of defense Rodgers and the Packers will face Sunday, a defense that throttled the high-scoring Los Angeles Rams:

Tom Silverstein writes that cornerback Jaire Alexander is making the Packers' first-round investment in him look better all the time:

Pete and Tom join Olivia Reiner to discuss the Packers' slim but still-possible playoff hopes:

The Packers' proficiency on third down played a big role in their victory:

Missing three injured starters, the Packers' makeshift offensive line delivered:

He needed some luck, but Rodgers finally eclipsed Tom Brady's record for consecutive passes without an interception:

Rodgers talks about the good fortune involved in breaking the record:

The Packers Insider spotlights a solid defensive effort and some questionable challenge flags from Philbin:

Philbin pokes fun at himself for the premature challenges:

Ryan Wood and Olivia Reiner field questions from fans on Facebook Live after the game:

Former Packers associate head coach Winston Moss, who was fired Tuesday after posting a controversial tweet, was a guest on the Fox pregame show:

Aaron Jones shows his burst in breaking free for the Packers' final score of the day:

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who made the big play Sunday with a pick-6, will appear Monday with safety Josh Jones on "Clubhouse Live":

Former referee Gene Steratore on why no penalty was whistled on this play involving Rodgers:

Jason La Canfora of speculates on McCarthy's future:

And finally ... former Packers linebacker Vince Biegel is celebrating a division championship:


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