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DETROIT – Aaron Rodgers got his job, Davante Adams got his record, and the Green Bay Packers got out of town without more costly injuries heading into the playoffs.
All-Pro left tackle David bakhtiari was tired and called it a day after 27 snaps in his first fight action since tearing his left ACL in training on December 31, 2020. All things considered, the final of the regular season – even with a 37-30 loss to the Detroit Lions – was a success for the Packers.
This match had no bearing on the Packers’ playoff seeding; they secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC with one week left of the season and finished at 13-4. But it was not meaningless for Matt LaFleur and Co., something the coach repeated on more than one occasion in the days leading up to it.
With a farewell to the playoffs in the first round next week, LaFleur was not crazy about his quarterback and others having to be on the sidelines for roughly three weeks if they did not play against the Lions.
And Rodgers was all-in on playing, especially considering that his broken left pinky toe felt just as good as it had done at any point since the injury in November.
He conducted a couple of touchdown drives, both of which ended with passes to Allen lazard, and completed 14 of 18 passes in 138 yards without an interception in the first half. His MVP candidacy will be based on these seasons: 4,115 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 68.9% completion rate for a pass rating of 111.9.
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He finished in a row of seven games in a row with several touchdown passes and no interceptions – the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only Tom Brady (with nine in 2010) has more.
Along the way, he helped Adams set the franchise in a single-season receiving record, breaking Jordy Nelson’s mark of 1,519 in 2014. Adams finished with 123 catches for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns. For the past two seasons, Adams has set Packers single-season records for receptions (this year), yards (this year) and touchdown catches (18 last year).
Jordan love ended the match, his most comprehensive action since his lone start to the season in the loss to Kansas City, throwing a touchdown and two interceptions.
Just about the only other thing that could be of concern is coordinator Joe Barry’s defense, which fell victim to a couple of trick games that led to touchdowns.
The Packers will train a few days next week, but will not know their opponent in the division round until after next weekend’s wild-card game is over.
Rodgers spoke with his teammates about the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity.
“The message was, what are you willing to do to put yourself in a better position to help this team out?” said Lazard. “Over your time? Are you putting the right effort into your film and your practice and recovery? Are you making sure you stay asleep? Are you more focused on what’s going on on social media and stuff like that?
“It was very simple, very ordinary. Nothing out of the ordinary for the message he delivered. But I think you put a ceiling on it, just that everyone is on the same page going forward to the playoffs.”