We all saw flashes of it in the first few weeks. The Packers offense putting the pieces of the puzzle together for short stretches. On Sunday against the Raiders, it all fit as Green Bay’s offense and Aaron Rodgers played a near “perfect” game.
The word perfect is key. Aaron Rodgers was statistically perfect, as in a perfect passer rating. The first in Packers history.
While most of the football world was in awe of what the Packers quarterback had done, right tackle Bryan Bulaga was not surprised.
“I’ve been spoiled for so long these are common. Maybe because I’ve seen so many of them you don’t understand how special they are. I get it. Perfect passer rating and all that. That’s crazy stuff. I’m just so used to him doing this, I don’t want to say it’s common when he does stuff like this I don’t double check the stat line. He’s one of the best to every do it. He can do that at any given time. Just another day for him, I feel,” said Bryan Bulaga.
Rodgers not only finished with 429 yards passing, but also threw for five touchdowns and ran for another. All the while seemingly executing head coach Matt LaFleur’s game plan perfectly against the Raiders defense.
That relationship between the quarterback and new head coach as a topic for much of training camp and the first few weeks of the season. Of course on Monday it came up yet again.
“I just think any time as a player caller relationship, that relationship with a quarterback is absolutely critical. Whether it’s here or it was in my past at Tennessee, where it’s been, I’ve always valued that relationship because you’ve got to be on the same page. The way I view the quarterback is it’s an extension of the coaching staff. We’ve got to be on the same page. Just like any relationship it takes time to make sure the communication is on point. I like where we’re at right now, but we’ve got to continue to work each and every day just like any relationship,” said head coach Matt LaFleur.
It should be noted that Rodgers did all of that without star wide receiver Davante Adams on the field. Adams missed his third straight game due to turf toe.
That opened more opportunities for younger receivers to make plays.
A total of eight different players caught balls from Rodgers. That included touchdowns by receivers Jake Kumerow and Marquez Valdes-Stantling. In addition to 42 yards on three grabs by Allen Lazard, and 33 yards on four catches by Geronimo Allison.
“I definitely think it’s going to benefit us. You look at a guy like Allen Lazard, whose put together two back to back games of pretty good play together. The more reps you get as a player, I think naturally the more comfortable they get, the more confident those guys will get. You hope that produces better results,” said LaFleur.
The offense may not necessarily be better without Adams, who has 378 yards in four games, but it has found different ways to distribute the ball. Specifically with more production in the passing game coming out of the backfield.
Running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both contributed a touchdown, and had four catches against the Raiders. Fullback Danny Vitale also accounted for 43 yards on two catches against Oakland.
Adding more depth to the Packers offense with more weapons on the field.
“Ultimately you’ve got to have the people to be able to do some of the stuff that we’re doing with those guys, and thankfully we do. We have players capable of performing, catching the ball out of the backfield. They’re pretty versatile guys,” said LaFleur.
Now the Packers look to consistently have the same level of production. Bulaga, who isn’t surprised by what Rodgers can do, doesn’t seem to think this is the best the offense can do either.
“I’ve been saying it the whole year. I think we’ve improved every week, but there’s a lot out there for us. Just a couple of those series we didn’t execute well enough. I get it, we scored 42 points, guys were open, and five different guys scored touchdowns. That’s all good stuff. I still feel like we can be cleaner. There’s still stuff we can do better. While it’s been good to see us improve every week and do small things better, there’s more out there for us to do and there’s more potential out there for the offense,” said Bulaga.