Walkthrough: Racking up the air miles

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews reacts after a defensive stop against the Chicago Bears during the Week 1 game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Green Bay Packers’ first long road trip of the 2015 season finally is here.

While Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., won't be the Packers’ first road trip of the year — they had a 30-minute flight to Chicago — it will mark the first of four westbound flights out of the Central Time Zone in the regular season.

The Packers will rack up 15,016 air miles this season, ranking them 16th among the NFL’s 32 teams. In the NFC North, Detroit travels the ninth-farthest in the league (20,114 miles). Minnesota (14,284, 14th) and Chicago (11,714, 25th) follow.

No team will fly more than the Packers’ opponent on Sunday. The 49ers will lead the NFL with 27,912 miles in 2015. Philadelphia has the easiest travel regimen with a mere 6,890 miles.

The Packers are planning to travel to the West Coast on Friday to better acclimate players to the two-hour time change. They tried a similar approach last January for the NFC title game, leaving a day early for Seattle and conducting their final practice at a nearby facility.

Coach Mike McCarthy says the organization has a schedule mapped out for how it will handle back-to-back trips to Oakland and Arizona in December, but that could be adjusted.

“We’ve always talked about it,” McCarthy said of the decision to leave a day early. “I think a lot of it has to do with where you are as a football team. There’s a lot of input that goes into that, time of year. There’s different factors.”

And another thing…

Aaron Rodgers’ performance in Monday night’s 38-28 win over Kansas City didn’t get high marks from Pro Football Focus, but it was enough to earn him NFC player of the week honors for the 13th time in his career. It breaks a tie for the team record with Brett Favre, who earned the distinction on 12 occasions.

Believe it: Rodgers keeps getting better

Rodgers completed 24 of 35 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns against the Chiefs despite losing No. 2 receiver Davante Adams on the third play of the game and Eddie Lacy being limited with a sprained ankle.

You can check out Pro Football Focus’ rationale for Rodgers’ minus-0.8 grade here.

Rodgers' stability soothes offense

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