Earlier in the year, Aaron Rodgers was being let down by his receivers and not playing up to his talent. While Saturday's destruction of the Vikings was somewhat aided by the fact that there appeared to be a mini-mutiny by the Minnesota defensive backs (and the absence of star Vikings safety Harrison Smith), it was also an opportunity for us to see an elite quarterback play one of his finest games.
Green Bay's offense hasn't been explosive this season. On Saturday alone, Rodgers had seven different throws of 15-or-more yards. And while some of them were throws into vacated zones or blown coverages, a lot more of them looked incredibly precise and accurate, like this:
Understand that this is not an easy throw to begin with. Now look at exactly where it goes. It literally hits Davante Adams right in the hands. This became a theme as Rodgers teed off on the Vikings. On this touchdown throw to Jordy Nelson, Rodgers had to escape pressure and improvise. And then the throw itself, again, hits Nelson right in the hands.
And it wasn't a one-time occurrence:
Notice how little extension any of these balls require from the receivers. Here's one throw that required a little effort from a receiver, but was perfectly placed to allow only Jared Cook to go get it. Rodgers threw it on the back shoulder here, and there's even tight coverage from Trae Waynes. But the throw and catch are basically indefensible.
Here was Rodgers' best throw of the game in my estimation. A ball that was not actually caught, because life is funny like that:
This ball has to get over two defenders, including tight coverage from Captain Munnerlyn. And it's thrown to a spot where Davante Adams only had to lean backward to catch it. And, again, it hit him right on the hands before he juggled it off his helmet and lost the touchdown.
The Packers were left for dead by many during their lull in the middle of the season. But when Rodgers is throwing like this, no team will want to face him come playoff time.