NFC Matchups: Where else to start but Brady and Rodgers?
But Gronk in particular has always been a big-play guy in big games for Brady, and Green Bay doesn't have linebackers who excel in coverage. Green Bay will do some blitzing, though not as much as Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles figures to do. Unlike Brady, Rodgers can create outside the pocket, and he's especially dangerous when doing so. Veteran placekicker Mason Crosby is solid, making all 16 field goal attempts, but missed four PATs for Green Bay. Tampa Bay's Ryan Succop, now in his 12th pro season, made 28 of 31 field goal tries but missed five extra points.
Ted Thompson, 68, GM when Packers won last Super Bowl, dies
Thompson was Packers general manager from 2005-17 and drafted many notable players on the current roster, including two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)GREEN BAY, Wis. – Ted Thompson, whose 13-year run as Green Bay Packers general manager included their 2010 Super Bowl championship season, has died. Mike Sherman had been working as Packers coach and general manager up to that point. With Thompson as general manager, the Packers made eight consecutive playoff appearances from 2009-16, including the Super Bowl championship season in 2010. Gutekunst, who had been working with Thompson as player personnel director, was promoted to general manager and remains in that position.
Packers realize how much Rodgers has at stake this weekend
Rodgers gets a chance to make amends for that performance Sunday when the top-seeded Packers host the Bucs in the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken, File)Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers teammates understand what this NFC championship game means to the All-Pro quarterback’s legacy. Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl crown in the 2010 season, but hasn’t brought them back since. Green Bay led Tampa Bay 10-0 early in the second quarter back on Oct. 18 until Jamel Dean scored on a 32-yard interception return. There’s no one who’s been better.”This marks Rodgers’ fourth NFC championship game appearance over the past seven years.
Chiefs advance to 3rd straight AFC title game at home
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The AFC title game is returning to a familiar place in Kansas City. The question all week will be whether Patrick Mahomes will be able to play quarterback for the Chiefs. Coach Andy Reid’s gutsy call helped make sure the Chiefs would become the first team to host the AFC championship game for the third straight year. New Orleans (13-4) is hosting Tampa Bay (12-5) later Sunday for the right to visit Green Bay in the NFC title game next week. The win sends Rodgers to his fifth NFC title game as starting quarterback and the first at home since taking over from Brett Favre in 2008.
Rodgers leads Packers into title game with 32-18 win vs Rams
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers defeated the Rams 32-18 to advance to the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are making a return trip to the NFC title game and this time they get to play it at home. Rodgers and the Packers will host the winner of Sunday’s game between Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game Jan. 24. Green Bay allowed no sacks and committed no turnovers.
Top cornerbacks standing out on NFL's Super Bowl hopefuls
Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent's top receiver all by himself. The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference's four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay's Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans' Marshon Lattimore. Staley's scheme has employed Ramsey in multiple roles throughout the season, and his job often changes from play to play. Oddly enough, the remaining playoff team perceived to have the least dominant cornerbacks is defending champion Kansas City, the favorite to make it back to the Super Bowl. “Some of the best cornerbacks happen to play on the best teams, that’s all I can say,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
Aaron Donald, Travis Kelce unanimous AP All-Pro Team choices
Donald was selected Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to The Associated Press All-Pro Team. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce are unanimous choices Friday for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team. It is the sixth All-Pro selection for Donald, who has helped the Los Angeles Rams to the top-ranked defense in the NFL, and the third for Kansas City's record-setting Kelce. Rounding out the offense are Cleveland right tackle Jack Conklin (second selection), and Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (first). The long snapper position is new to the All-Pro Team in 2020, and Baltimore's Morgan Cox is the choice.
Rodgers leads Pack to top of NFC after draft disappointment
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011, at Arlington, Texas. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014, at East Rutherford, N.J. Last year: No. The Bears’ leading tackler left in the first quarter of the Green Bay game with an elbow injury. DBs Buster Skrine, rookie Jaylon Johnson and Deon Bush missed the loss to Green Bay.
Week 17 scoring bonanza caps record-setting season
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The Week 17 scoring bonanza provided the perfect finish to a record-setting season on offense. Teams combined for 100 touchdowns in the final week of the season for the second-most in NFL history in a single week behind only the 104 scored in Week 14 of the 2013 season. He became the first player with at least 4,500 yards passing, 35 TD passes and five TD runs in a single season. The Browns joined the 2012 Colts (minus-30) as the only teams to win 11 games in a season when they were outscored. EVEN STEVENIn a bit of a statistical oddity, the Vikings gained the exact same number of yards this season as they allowed: 6,292.
Rodgers throws 4 TDs, Packers beat Bears 35-16 for top seed
The Green Bay Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC by beating the playoff-bound Chicago Bears 35-16 on Sunday. “This is a special season," Rodgers said. And the Packers beat Chicago again after pounding the Bears at Lambeau Field to start their win streak. Green Bay then drove 76 yards, with Jones scoring from the 4 to make it 28-16 with 3:47 remaining.
Adams shines in snow as Packers trounce Titans 40-14
The Green Bay Packers teammates would love the opportunity to produce plenty of similar scenes next month by staying home throughout the NFC playoffs. Rodgers threw four touchdown passes as the Packers trounced the Tennessee Titans 40-14 for their fifth consecutive victory Sunday night. I think we proved that tonight.”Playing in the cold at Green Bay is tough for road teams, anyway. With snow falling throughout the first half and continuing to cover much of the field the rest of the game, Green Bay moved the ball at will all night. Green Bay pulled ahead 19-0 when Rodgers threw touchdown passes on each of their first three possessions.
A bonus for NFL fans in Week 16: 4 straight days of games
They do have a sack in an NFL-record 71 straight games and have sacked Philip Rivers 15 times during seven games while he played for the Chargers. Rivers has had two or more TD passes in five straight games. He had career bests of 10 catches for 163 yards last week, and Ridley's seven 100-yard games lead the NFL. The 19 straight seasons without losing both games to a divisional opponent is an NFL record. The Jaguars have allowed at least 24 points in each of those 13 games, an NFL record.
Packers outlast Panthers 24-16 for 4th straight victory
Aaron Rodgers threw for a season-low 143 yards but produced a touchdown pass – his 40th of the season – and a touchdown run for the Packers. Green Bay (11-3) won its fourth straight and took a half-game lead over New Orleans (10-3) in the race for the NFC’s best record. Mason Crosby gave the Packers some breathing room with a 51-yard field goal with 3:39 left, but the Panthers wouldn't go away. The strategy didn't work then Green Bay stopped Carolina on its final possession. Green Bay hosts Tennessee in another night game on Dec. 27.
A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes
1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind. Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes. The Bills (11-3) scored twice in a 17-second span in the third quarter to ice their fourth straight victory that officially ended the New England Patriots’ 11-year reign atop the division. The Ravens have run for at least 100 yards in 36 straight games, seven short of the NFL record set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. Baltimore is averaging 173.8 yards on the ground and topped 200 yards in each of the past two games.
NFC East stages late-season turnaround
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)The NFC East is no longer the laughingstock division in the NFL. In all, NFC East teams have an 8-5 record the past four weeks when playing games outside the division, the most wins of any division in that span. For the season, NFC East teams are 10-23-1 (.309 winning percentage) when playing teams outside the division, the worst in the NFL this season. The NFC East is actually outperforming its mark from last season when its teams went 12-28 outside the division. With two wins in the final six-non division games this season, the NFC East can top that mark.
Rodgers-led Packers beat Lions 31-24, clinch NFC North title
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Detroit. Rodgers ran for a tiebreaking score in the third quarter and threw three touchdown passes, lifting the Green Bay Packers to a 31-24 win over the the Detroit Lions to clinch the NFC North title. “To have the whole thing come through Green Bay is something we’ve talked about for a long time," Rodgers said. “That would definitely be in our favor with the weather that we have in Green Bay. Green Bay repeated as division champion with its win and Minnesota’s loss to Tampa Bay earlier in the day.
Packers withstand late rally to outlast Eagles 30-16
The only other players with at least 400 touchdown passes are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Philip Rivers. He has 36 touchdown passes this year and is the first player to throw at least 35 in five separate seasons. Rodgers doesn't have the footballs from his 100th, 200th or 300th touchdown passes. His 400th touchdown pass was a 9-yarder to Adams that capped a 99-yard drive in the third period. Philadelphia’s rally started with Hurts' 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward on fourth-and-18.
The Latest: Pats' Newton hits rushing TDs milestone for QBs
Hurts’ only pass during that drive was a 34-yarder to Jalen Reagor, the Eagles’ second completion to a non-tight end in the game. ___5:15 p.m.Green Bay’s Davante Adams has caught a touchdown pass in seven consecutive games. Until Ryan’s TD pass, the only points against New Orleans in the past three games were scored on seven field goals. Mayfield may top those numbers before halftime with Cleveland routing the Tennessee Titans 31-7 still in the second quarter. ___1:50 p.m.New Orleans quarterback Taysom Hill has thrown the first touchdown pass of his NFL career.
Matchup of division leaders: Seahawks vs Giants. The Giants?
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)In this strangest of NFL seasons in this weirdest of years, here's a matchup of division leaders you wouldn't expect: Seattle hosting the New York Giants. “If you win your division, you win your division,” Carroll says, and he knows: Seattle went 7-9 in 2010 and won the NFC West, then beat New Orleans in a playoff game. Patrick Mahomes has thrown for at least 300 yards seven times this season and has 22 straight games with at least one TD passing. New England has won the past five meetings, including a 2018 divisional playoff game. Chargers WR Keenan Allen leads the NFL with 85 receptions and has a TD catch in five straight games.
A look at who's up and who's down at midpoint of NFL season
Midway through the 2020 season, performance has altered perception all around the NFL. Here’s a look at who’s up and who’s down:UPDALVIN COOK: While running backs have generally been devalued during this pass-happy era, Cook is showing the impact a big-play back can make. He leads the NFL with 858 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing one game with an injury. He’s the first NFL player with at least 50 catches, 600 yards receiving and eight touchdown receptions over his first six games of a season. Evans has been a productive threat near the end zone with seven TD catches, but six of those have come on passes from inside the 10.
Aaron Rodgers leads Packers past undermanned 49ers, 34-17
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, bottom left, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrate after connecting on a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Aaron Rodgers took advantage of the undermanned San Francisco 49ers rather than sympathizing with the team that dominated his Green Bay Packers twice last season. Rodgers threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns and the Packers overwhelmed the depleted 49ers 34-17 on Thursday night. DEPLETED ROSTERThe run of injuries and coronavirus rules left the 49ers with a shell of a roster, especially on offense. 49ers: CB K’Waun Williams (ankle) and S Jaquiski Tartt (toe) left the game and didn’t return.
Cook's 4 TDs help Vikings knock off Packers 28-22
Green Bay had the ball at Minnesota's 41-yard line with 12 seconds and no timeouts left, but D.J. Each of the Vikings’ first four possessions ended with Cook touchdowns. Green Bay went a 2-point conversion got within 28-22 when replays determined the ball crossed the goal line on Jamaal Williams’ inside run. Green Bay got the ball back and reached Minnesota’s 41-yard line with 12 seconds and no timeouts left, but D.J. Four times in the second half, Green Bay reached Vikings territory without scoring.
The Latest: Broncos top Chargers on Lock's last-play TD pass
The Denver Broncos have completed a remarkable comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers, with a 31-30 victory on Drew Lock's 1-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Dalvin Cook scored four times for the Minnesota Vikings, who held on for a 28-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Cook has scored six touchdowns in two games against Green Bay this season. The Vikings and Green Bay Packers are tied 7-all in the final minute of the first quarter. This is shaping up to be a windy day in Green Bay.
Broncos clear RB Lindsay in return from concussion
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has cleared concussion protocol and will play against the Los Angeles Chargers. Bears: WR Ted Ginn Jr., DB Duke Shelley, RB Artavis Pierce, OL Cody Whitehair, WR Riley Ridley, LB Trevis Gipson. Seahawks: RB Chris Carson, RB Carlos Hyde, DE Benson Mayowa, CB Ugo Amadi, SS Jamal Adams, CB Shaquill Griffin. ___LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MIAMIRams: RB Raymond Calais, OL Brian Allen, WR Trishton Jackson, TE Brycen Hopkins, DL A’Shawn Robinson. Dolphins: RB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr., RB Salvon Ahmed, FB Chandler Cox, CB Jamal Perry, RB Jordan Howard, DE Jason Strowbridge.
Texans look for answers after latest loss leaves them at 1-6
HOUSTON – Interim coach Romeo Crennel was asked what’s next for the Houston Texans after yet another loss this weekend dropped them at 1-6. Houston held the Packers to 96 yards rushing with Aaron Jones out with an injury a week after allowing a season-high 263 yards rushing in an overtime loss to Tennessee. “You are what your record says you are.”WHAT’S WORKINGQuarterback Deshaun Watson continues to make the team’s passing game the bright spot in this dismal season. He ranks second in the NFL with 2,095 yards passing and hasn’t thrown an interception in two games. Johnson managed just 42 yards rushing and lost a fumble after a reception in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers throws 4 TDs as Packers beat Texans 35-20
HOUSTON – Aaron Rodgers threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers rebounded from their first loss with a 35-20 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Green Bay made it 35-13 when Jamaal Williams scored on a 1-yard run with about four minutes to go. The home crowd, which was limited to 13,000, because of coronavirus restrictions, was filled with Green Bay fans in the team’s first trip to Houston since 2012. The Packers took an early lead when Adams grabbed a 3-yard touchdown reception on the first possession. Watson threw for 309 yards with two touchdowns and former Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb had 95 yards receiving.
Brady outplays Rodgers, Buccaneers rout Packers 38-10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)TAMPA, Fla. – So much for Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers. A stingy Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense turned a rare meeting between the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks into a mismatch on Sunday. Safety Mike Edwards ran the other back 38 yards to the Packers 2 to set up another TD. Gronkowski led the Bucs with five receptions for 78 yards — his best game since ending a one-year retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay. BRADY VS. RODGERSBrady and Rodgers split their two previous head-to-head meetings, with the Packers winning 26-21 in 2014 at Green Bay and New England winning 31-17 at home in 2018, while Brady was playing for the Patriots.
Rodgers, Tonyan lead Packers to 30-16 victory over Falcons
Tonyan caught three of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes, Za'Darius Smith recorded three sacks and the Packers remained unbeaten with a 30-16 victory over the winless Atlanta Falcons on Monday night. “I just had to continue to do what I've been doing, just keep playing well and stick to the game plan,” Tonyan said. Green Bay star receiver Davante Adams sat out a second straight game with a hamstring injury and Allen Lazard is on injured reserve with a core problem. Tonyan has scored in three straight games and now has five touchdown catches to match Tampa Bay's Mike Evans for the NFL lead. Defensive tackle Kenny Clark (groin) missed a third straight game.
Rodgers, Packers unbeaten with 37-30 victory over Saints
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass under pressure from New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Malcom Roach in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)NEW ORLEANS – Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers sounds increasingly enamored with the scheme and play-calling philosophy of second-year head coach Matt LaFleur. The Packers are unbeaten and putting up some of the best offensive numbers in the NFL. Rodgers passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and the Packers scored 10 points in the final nine minutes to pull out a 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. Emmanuel Sanders caught a 10-yard scoring pass at the end of the first half that gave the Saints a 17-13 lead.
Barkley, 49ers hit with potentially season-ending injuries
Start with running back, where Giants star Saquon Barkley is believed to have torn the ACL in his right knee early in their loss at Chicago. The 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo tried to play through a right ankle injury before Nick Mullens took over for the second half. Tevin Coleman also left San Francisco's win over the Jets with a late knee injury. Along with Lock and Sutton, the Broncos lost defensive end Dre'Mont Jones to a knee injury in their defeat at Pittsburgh. Washington guard Brandon Scherff, who left early in Arizona with a knee injury, was among the offensive linemen hurt around the NFL on Sunday.
Jones' big day helps Packers beat Lions 42-21 in home opener
Jones rushed for a career-high 168 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 75-yard breakaway, as the Green Bay Packers rallied from an early 11-point deficit to beat the Detroit Lions 42-21 on Sunday. After his first touchdown of the day, a 7-yard reception from Aaron Rodgers, Jones did a different kind of Lambeau Leap. Rodgers was 18 of 30 for 240 yards with touchdown passes to Jones and Robert Tonyan. Green Bay took the lead for good 17-14 on Rodgers’ 11-yard pass to Tonyan with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Packers receiver Davante Adams (hamstring), center Corey Linsley (hand) and running back/receiver Tyler Ervin (concussion) left in the second half.
Rodgers at ease as Packers roll past Vikings 43-34
Davante Adams was predictably the biggest beneficiary, with a career-high, franchise-record-tying 14 catches for 156 yards and two scores. Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, who posted their highest score against the Vikings since a 44-31 victory at the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013. Jaire Alexander, who also recorded a safety on an untouched cornerback blitz in the second quarter, made the bobbling interception. When LG Lucas Patrick (shoulder) was forced out in the second quarter, Jenkins moved back to his original spot and free agent addition Rick Wagner entered at RT. ... DT Kenny Clark (groin) was hurt in the second quarter during Alexander's interception and didn't return.
Rodgers says Packers' decision to draft Love surprised him
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2019, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers speaks during a news conference following an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers in Kansas City, Mo. Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre predicted on The Rich Eisen Show earlier this month that Rodgers would finish his career somewhere other than Green Bay. When asked whether the Packers draft choices might motivate Rodgers, LaFleur said the veteran quarterback doesnt need any extra incentive. Favre was 35 when the Packers drafted Rodgers. The difference is that Favre openly pondered retirement at the time the Packers drafted Rodgers, and Rodgers has talked about how he wants to play several more years.