Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and RB James Starks have been voted the Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week for Week 2.
Rodgers tied a franchise record with 480 yards passing in Green Bay’s 38-20 victory over Washington. He completed 34 of 42 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions, posting a passer rating of 146.0, the third highest of his career. The 34 completions tied his career best.
Starks took over for Eddie Lacy (concussion) in the first quarter and rushed 20 times for a career-high 132 yards, including a 32-yard TD. He became the first Packers RB to rush for 100 yards in a regular-season game since Brandon Jackson in Week 5 of 2010, and the first to do so in any game since Starks himself rushed for 123 yards at Philadelphia in the 2010 NFC Wild Card playoff contest.
Tags: aaron rodgers, james starks
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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has been named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week after his franchise-record-tying 480-yard passing game on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
Rodgers tied Matt Flynn’s single-game passing mark, originally set in Week 17 of 2011, when Flynn filled in for Rodgers prior to the playoffs. Rodgers completed 34 of 42 passes with four TDs and no interceptions for a 146.0 passer rating, the third highest of his career.
His 34 completions tied his career best, and he became just the second QB in NFL history to throw for 480-plus yards with four TDs and zero INTs, joining Giants QB Y.A. Tittle, who threw for 505 yards with seven TDs and no INTs on Oct. 28, 1962.
This is the eighth time in his career Rodgers has been named NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week.
Tags: aaron rodgers, player of the week
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Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan and running backs James Starks, Marshawn Lynch and Knowshon Moreno are nominees for Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week for Week 2, the NFL announced today.
The vote is in your hands. Read up on this week’s nominees and then cast your vote for the Air & Ground® NFL Players of the Week. Fans can vote for one player in each category until 2 p.m. CST on Friday to determine the winners.
Tags: #WASvsGB, aaron rodgers, air & ground nfl players of the week, james starks, washington redskins
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The Packers’ coaching staff has awarded four game balls to individual players for their performances in the 38-20 victory over Washington on Sunday.
On offense, QB Aaron Rodgers and WR James Jones were recipients On defense, CB Sam Shields was recognized, and on special teams, it was CB Davon House.
Rodgers completed 34 of 42 passes for a single-game franchise-record-tying 480 yards, with four TDs and a 146.0 passer rating. Jones set career highs with 11 receptions for 178 yards, with half of those yards coming after the catch.
Shields was credited with six solo tackles, one assist and four passes broken up, while House recorded a tackle on both kickoff and punt coverage, following up a strong individual special-teams performance from Week 1.
Tags: aaron rodgers, davon house, game balls, james jones, sam shields
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QB Aaron Rodgers latest State Farm commercial features some interesting companions — the superfans of “Da Bears.”
Take a look:
Tags: aaron rodgers, bears, commercial, state farm
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Packers LT David Bakhtiari said his family has had season tickets to San Francisco 49ers games at Candlestick Park since he was a little kid.
How fitting, then, that the rookie will be making his NFL debut this Sunday at the same stadium his family has visited countless times over the years.
“I grew up in their backyard,” Bakhtiari, a native of San Mateo, Calif., in the Bay Area, said of the 49ers. “It’s almost kind of ironic. It will be cool. I’ll see how my emotions are come Sunday.”
His emotions will need to be under control in order to handle one tough assignment — San Francisco pass rusher Aldon Smith, who has 33 1/2 sacks in his first two pro seasons. With veteran Justin Smith rushing next to Aldon Smith, the 49ers have possessed one of the toughest pass-rushing combos to handle in the league.
Bakhtiari has handled everything thrown his way thus far, keeping him confident, yet he remains humble. QB Aaron Rodgers has confidence in Bakhtiari protecting his blind side and said these are the battles he should relish.
“He’s up against a Pro Bowl guy, one of the best in the business, and he’s continuing to get better. You can see it on the film,” Rodgers said of Aldon Smith. “He’s still athletic as all get-out.
“It’s a tough test, but that’s what you want. If you want to be considered an elite player at your position, like I know David does down the road — he’s a confident guy — these are the kind of matchups you want.”
It’s hard to say whether or not Bakhtiari’s parents are thrilled about their son going up against their hometown team right off the bat. Bakhtiari said his dad is going to wear Bakhtiari’s No. 69 Packers jersey with a 49ers jacket over it for the game.
Bakhtiari said the last 49ers game he remembers attending was the 2011 NFC Wild Card game between San Francisco and New Orleans, one that became a playoff classic with multiple lead changes in the waning minutes. He’s not making any predictions as to whether or not Sunday’s game will go down in history somehow.
“I want to make it a ‘W,’” he said. “That’s the biggest thing on my mind. Whether it’s memorable or not, that’s left to the eye of the beholder. I just want to go in there, play good football and hopefully our team comes out on top.”
Additional coverage – Sept. 5
Tags: 49ers, aaron rodgers, candlestick park, david bakhtiari
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For a recap of Wednesday’s practice, which did not please Head Coach Mike McCarthy, and a rundown on some of the team’s injuries, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news & notes:
–On target: QB Aaron Rodgers has done it many times before, and he did it again on Wednesday.
Launching throws from long range toward a netted hoop near the sideline, Rodgers dropped one in from around 40-50 yards away, drawing cheers from the Ray Nitschke Field crowd, which got to see an exaggerated “belt” celebration from Rodgers.
For a video of Rodgers throwing a deep ball into the hoop earlier this training camp, click here.
As for the rest of practice, Rodgers said he feels fine after missing Tuesday’s workout due to a head cold. Acknowledging the starters may not play the entire first half like they normally would in the third preseason game, Rodgers said that won’t impact the team’s readiness for the regular season.
“Anything from this point forward are just bonus reps,” he said. “We practice hard, we practice together, we spend a lot of time talking and working together. We need to go in against a good defense this week and get some reps, stay healthy and get out.”
–Time to catch up: WR Charles Johnson, a seventh-round pick from Grand Valley State, says he’ll be ready to play as soon as the coaches decide to put him in a game, despite the fact that he has hardly seen the field.
Johnson got hurt on the second day of OTAs, returned for the first two training camp practices without pads, but then had not practiced since until Wednesday, when he was very limited but in full uniform.
“The things that have happened to me while I’ve been here have been very humbling for me,” Johnson said. “I used to be the guy who was like, hey, I’ve never been hurt. I’ve never missed a game. But now I can barely get on the practice field. Now I go out there and say every day I have to prove something.”
It would seem awfully soon for Johnson to play on Friday after just one limited day of practice, so his roster fate could very well come down to the fourth preseason game, at Kansas City next week. But he’s willing to take any snaps the coaches want to give him, even if it’s right away Friday night.
“Physically I’m a little bit behind because I’m not getting on-the-field reps. I’m not up to speed with the game like some of the other guys may be,” he said. “But mentally I’m up to speed, I’m at par. I know everything I need to know if I was to get thrown out there in a game. I know all my materials.”
–More on injuries: Undrafted rookie LB Andy Mulumba (knee) missed practice on Wednesday, while CB Loyce Means (ankle) was back in action.
–Play of the day: TE Brandon Bostick made the play of the day, leaping between two defenders in the end zone with one arm reaching straight up, tipping the ball to himself and then hauling it in as he fell to the ground.
“He’s come a long way and I’m proud of him,” said fellow TE Jermichael Finley, who spent time working out with Bostick in the offseason. “I call him ‘Little Finley.’”
Tags: aaron rodgers, charles johnson, Jermichael Finley
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For the rundown on QB Aaron Rodgers’ chat with reporters at his locker, in which he talked about his lighter workload and the “vibe” of the team, check out today’s feature story. Here are some more news & notes from Wednesday:
–Neal flashes in new role: He missed time early in camp due to an abdominal injury and sat out the first preseason game, but DE Mike Neal is starting to look more comfortable in his new hybrid lineman-outside linebacker role.
On Wednesday, Neal was showing up in a number of drills, including the OLB-RB blitz pick-up and the one-on-one pass rush, where he worked from both inside and outside. He also stuffed one running play in team (11-on-11) work and was a factor at the line of scrimmage on a number of other snaps.
“Today was probably the first time we felt what we hope he’s about — his ability to be a difference-maker, the ability to put him in one-on-one situations and for him to win and to win consistently,” Mike McCarthy said. “I think Mike had his best practice today of training camp.”
Neal is taking a liking to the hybrid role now that he’s had more time to absorb the responsibilities of the OLB position, a process that began in OTAs. The next step will be to carry the kind of impact he had on the practice field on Wednesday into the preseason game in St. Louis on Saturday, which he said he’s definitely looking forward to.
“I think it best suits me. Just using my athleticism is probably the biggest thing,” Neal said. “The learning part of it is what they wanted me to (accomplish) so I can put myself in those positions.”
–Young to get more plays: McCarthy said he’s seen a lot of progress in QB Vince Young now that he’s been in camp for a week, and he plans to get Young more snaps with a larger play selection in Saturday’s game.
Young took a number of snaps in the team drills on Wednesday and appeared to be getting the ball out of his hand faster on pass plays, an indication he’s understanding the scheme more and more.
“It’s important for Vince to be able to call it, see it in his mind and be able to execute,” Rodgers said. “Seven days after he’s been here he’s definitely improved with the verbiage and he’s making some plays.”
–Injury update: WR Randall Cobb (bicep) and RB James Starks (illness) sat out practice, while G T.J. Lang (back) returned and TE Ryan Taylor (knee) was back on the field for the first time since the Family Night scrimmage. DE Ryan Pickett also returned after missing a day for personal reasons.
RBs Eddie Lacy and DuJuan Harris were cleared for more contact, with Lacy doing more in the team drills than Harris did. Lacy didn’t appear to have any issues with his hamstring, but he stopped short of saying he would for sure have clearance to play on Saturday in St. Louis. Both Lacy and Harris missed the first preseason game last week.
“Most likely they’re going to make the decision, but you have to look at the bigger picture,” Lacy said. “Preseason is a time for you to go out there and showcase what you can do and get a taste of how it is, how it’s going to be when the season gets here. But if you’re not 100 percent or don’t feel you can go, then don’t risk it.”
–Plays of the day: Two of the rookie stars thus far in camp have been undrafted WR Tyrone Walker and fifth-round CB Micah Hyde, and the pair made two of the highlight plays in practice again on Wednesday.
Walker made a nifty tip-toe catch right at the front pylon of the end zone on a throw from QB Graham Harrell after Harrell scrambled to his left to buy extra time.
Then, moments later, Hyde was in coverage on a fade to the corner of the end zone to WR Myles White. With his back to the ball, Hyde turned his head at just the right time to see it and deflect it. As he fell to the turf, the ball then hung on Hyde’s hip and he was able to tip it back to himself, make the interception and get up to run.
The grab looked similar to Antonio Freeman’s “Monday Night Miracle” against the Vikings in 2000, only it was a great defensive play rather than an offensive one.
“I knew it didn’t hit the ground,” Hyde said. “Luckily I was able to tip it back into my hands.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, dujuan harris, eddie lacy, graham harrell, micah hyde, mike mccarthy, mike neal, tyrone walker, vince young
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HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
(On his impression of the team in the first half) “Well, just what I told the football team, obviously on offense we’ve got to take care of the football with two turnovers, obviously led to scores. And finish drives. We’ve been moving the ball, a lot of productivity, but we’ve got to finish drives and get the points. Defensively we need to tackle better, tighten up the coverage. We need to take away the football. So with that, we need a big play on special teams. We’ve just kind of gone back and forth and hopefully we’ll get it right here on the kickoff return.”
(On what he told the team in the locker room and what he wants to see in the second half) “Win the damn game. We’re here to win. Get the energy up. It’s been a long week, we’ve got that. A lot of guys are getting a big opportunity here in the second half, playing more football than they would normally in Week 1 and just take advantage of it.”
QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
(on finally going against another team) “It felt good. I thought we moved the ball pretty well. We would have liked to get that last one in. It looked like James (Starks) might have been able to stick it over the line there with his knee up. We moved the ball, converted a third down, but wish we could have had some points there.”
(on the long throw to James Jones) “James is an excellent route-runner and he does a good job with his hands. He got on top and he flashed on me and I was able to put the ball in a good spot. It is something we have been working on in practice, just trying to get on the same page and get the timing down. James is going to be a big-time player for us this year.”
(on how much it bothered him to not punch the ball in) “Yeah, it is frustrating. We had a good drive there, started back in our zone. We took it down the field and it would have been nice to have been able to finish that one off and get seven on the board. But it is about improving in the preseason. I thought we got better tonight and we’ve got to get better next week.”
WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES
(on his 50-yard reception) “We got one-high, press-man coverage and I was able to knock my guy’s hands down and get on top of him. A-Rod threw a great ball. Man, I didn’t keep my feet though. I was trying to put my hand down, but I think that was a mistake. All my momentum brought me down.”
(on the rhythm of the offense) “It felt good. We were in and out of the huddle and established some tempo like we wanted to do. We drove the ball down there. We’re going to get into trouble because we didn’t put it in. A good drive, but we’ve got to score in the red zone.”
(on the performance of the starting offensive line) “A-Rod had a lot of time. He was throwing the ball well. He had a lot of time to get the ball out. He didn’t really run out of the pocket too much or have to scramble. They did their job.”
Tags: #AZvsGB, aaron rodgers, arizona cardinals, halftime quotes, james jones, mike mccarthy
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For the latest injury news and a recap of Wednesday’s practice skirmishes, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news and notes:
–Young more involved: New QB Vince Young took far more snaps in the team (11-on-11) drills than he did his first day, and the uneven results were to be expected. It appeared on one play that Young’s cadence caused someone to false start, and later he overthrew TE D.J. Williams, leading to an interception by S Chaz Powell.
He came back from that to make a good throw to WR Jeremy Ross, only to have it knocked away at the last moment by CB Loyce Means.
“Vince Young is on Day 2 in a new offense,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “One of the reasons why we signed Vince Young is he knows how to play quarterback. He knows how to win. He’s played in games. He has experience. The hard part is what he’s going through right now. It’s a whole different verbiage.”
–Kickers even: In a brief kicking session, both Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio went 3-for-4 on field goals. Crosby was good from 36, 46 and 48 but missed wide right from 50. Tavecchio was good from 36, 48 and 51 but missed wide left from 46.
Not to get lost in the competition is the burden placed on holder Tim Masthay, who has to switch back and forth holding for both a right-footed (Crosby) and left-footed (Tavecchio) kicker from snap to snap.
“I feel like it’s come along pretty well,” Masthay said. “Ever since we signed Giorgio, I’ve taken a ton of snaps here. I’ve got a Jugs machine at my house and I’ve been catching left-handed field goal snaps for quite a while now and I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable with it. I feel good going into the game.”
Masthay also has been taking regular reps kicking off, and he did well in last Saturday’s scrimmage, but he was audibly upset at himself when he flubbed a low line-drive kickoff in practice on Wednesday. Masthay kicked off in college at Kentucky and enjoys getting his swings in.
“I was so mad at myself. It’s been quite a while since I mis-hit a kickoff like I did on that one today,” he said. “I don’t know if I just got a little too juiced up trying to crush it or something.”
–Different perspectives: Whether or not the post-whistle skirmishes witnessed Wednesday are good for the team depends on the point of view. DL Mike Daniels, who has been one of the more outspoken and feisty players throughout camp, loves it.
“The monotony of training camp, you see the same people every day, you eat the same grilled chicken every day, you should lose your mind,” Daniels said. “You should be angry when you hit the field. You should want to beat the crap out of each other. We’ve been doing that, and like I said, I can only imagine what we do when we see somebody we don’t like.”
QB Aaron Rodgers chalked up the extracurricular activity to fatigue and didn’t particularly care for it, but he agreed that it’s simply time to play against an opponent.
“Guys are grumpy and just don’t really take any of that extra stuff,” he said. “That’s part of camp. Some people like it more than others. I’d rather not have our guys punching each other in the helmet, hurting their hands, so hopefully that nonsense is done with. We’re excited about moving on to face somebody else.”
–Next man up: Rodgers called his new left tackle, rookie David Bakhtiari, “raw” and said he’ll be learning “in the fire” if he’s indeed the Week 1 starter.
Bakhtiari will be charged with handling the opponent’s best pass rusher on a regular basis, and Rodgers will need to have confidence that his blind side isn’t constantly under siege.
“There’s usually a tough guy at that position rushing at my back side against every team, and against their best pass rusher you need a lineman who can hold up,” Rodgers said. “Obviously we believe in David.”
Another injury on the offensive line could be problematic, though, Rodgers suggested.
“I’ve said before in this camp it’s impressive the kind of depth that we have, and now our depth is going to get tested,” he said. “We need those guys to step up and play well and be healthy. There’s fluke injuries in this thing and they’re frustrating, but from this point forward it’s going to be important that we keep all those guys healthy.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, david bakhtiari, giorgio tavecchio, mason crosby, mike mccarthy, tim masthay, vince young
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