2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rodgers has Packers' balanced offense humming

By GENARO C. ARMAS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-31 16:35

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Yoda would know: Balance in the Packers' offense, Aaron Rodgers senses.

Green Bay is a force again, but not necessarily just for throwing the ball around the field in a ''Star Wars'' kind of pinball game on grass.

Rodgers is playing as well as ever, even with three of his top receivers out with injuries. Only now, the Packers have a running game to help carry the load.

''This year, the yards are way up, and we're running the football a lot more effectively,'' Rodgers said Thursday. ''We're top five ... in throwing it and running it, which I'm sure hasn't happened here in a while.''

The last time Green Bay (5-2) finished the season in the top five in running and passing was 1945, when there were just 10 teams in the league, according to STATS. The impact for this year is clear: The Pack has won four straight to vault back into the NFC North lead heading into Monday's night divisional showdown against the Bears.

Running behind an improved offensive line, rookie Eddie Lacy has 395 yards over the last four games, tops in the league in that span.

And Rodgers is, well, just being Rodgers.

He might be shuffling around the field a little more to make plays, but with typical smarts. The timing and accuracy have been impeccable, like the two touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson in last week's 44-31 win over the Vikings. Pass protection has been solid.

A reporter noted to Rodgers that Nelson wasn't exactly open on both scores.

''Maybe not to you, but I think he was open on both of them,'' Rodgers said.

Good enough.

For the year, Rodgers has completed 67 percent of his 249 pass attempts for 2,191 yards and 15 touchdowns with four interceptions. All this without Randall Cobb (leg), James Jones (knee) and Jermichael Finley (neck) out for varying lengths.

Jarrett Boykin has stepped up with 13 catches and 193 yards receiving and a touchdown in two games as a starter. Myles White had five catches for 35 yards last week.

''We haven't held them back at all,'' Nelson said. ''Everything's been thrown at them just as if Randall and James would be out there ... for the most part making the most of their opportunities.''

Just like Nelson. The top playmaker is being moved around the field more to help keep defenses guessing. His 76-yard catch-and-run for a score last week came on a sharply thrown slant pass by Rodgers with Nelson lined up in the slot.

Coach Mike McCarthy said this week that Rodgers is getting more responsibility, too, in making run adjustments at the line.

''The benefits of running the football, I think you're clearly seeing throughout our whole football team. It's a fabric that you need,'' McCarthy said. ''Balance to me is not 50/50. Balance to me is you run it when you want to and you throw it when you want to.''

Rodgers doesn't seem bothered one bit. He's said several times that winning is the bottom line.

He raises his game another level against divisional foes. Rodgers has a 110.7 career passer rating against NFC North teams in his nine-year career.

This bodes well given it is Bears week.

''In my humble opinion, this is THE game in the NFL,'' McCarthy said Thursday of the league's oldest rivalry: 187 meetings.

Rodgers has been great against the Bears of late, with a 69 percent completion rate for 1,090 yards and 12 touchdowns with two interceptions in the teams' last four regular-season meetings, a 117.2 passer rating.

''Certainly, Aaron is playing at a very, very high level, an elite level,'' Bears coach Marc Trestman said on a conference call.

NOTES: ILB Brad Jones, out the last three weeks with a hamstring injury, was a full practice participant Thursday. James Jones was limited as part of his rehab routine. OLB Nick Perry, out the last two weeks with a foot injury, did not participate ... Finley showed up Wednesday at Lambeau for a team picture. McCarthy said they were still gathering information to determine the tight end's future, but that Finley looked good.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) felt some progress in his sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald was pretty upset [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright has 23 catches on 26 targets this season. 'Every time we throw to him it's a touchdown - we'll try to find him [ More ]

R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 11:43p

The Washington Redskins are planning on benching QB Robert Griffin III for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts in favor of QB Colt McCoy. However, Griffin still [ More ]

Jace AmaroNov 25 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (concussion) is in concussion protocol, according to head coach Rex Ryan, after suffering the concussion in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 04:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was named the starter for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts Monday, Nov. 24, by head coach Jay Gruden, but he left open [ More ]

Michael BushNov 25 04:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent RB Michael Bush (Bears) and cut RB Kerwynn Williams Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Brandon McManusNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos waived PK Brandon McManus Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Connor BarthNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos signed free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Nov. 25, after waiving PK Brandon McManus, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 25 03:13p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he'll be ready to play Thursday, Nov. 27, after missing Week 12 with an ankle injury.

Latavius MurrayNov 25 02:43p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will undergo baseline testing for his concussion Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to a league source. He is feeling good, but he must go [ More ]

Brian HoyerNov 25 01:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer was never in danger of being benched in favor of QB Johnny Manziel in the team's Week 12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, according [ More ]

Blake BortlesNov 25 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles went 15-for-27 for just 146 yards and an interception in the team's Week 12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he hasn't tossed a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group