Aaron Rodgers: ‘I’ve played as good’

Many believe quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ final throw in the Green Bay Packers’ NFC divisional playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys is one of the greatest plays in the clutch in sports history. The throw was an off-balanced 36-yard completion to tight end Jared Cook to set up a game-winning 51-yard field goal from Mason Crosby as time expired. Rodgers took time on Thursday to reflect on that play on The Jim Rome Show.

“You know, in that situation, after we had a sack that put us back, after we got out to the forty, just trying to get some yards back and maybe set up a last second Hail Mary,” Rodgers said. “But you know, we talked about something in the huddle, and we executed really well. Obviously the line did a good job of doing their assignments. Lane (Taylor) got out and blocked for me, gave me a little time and then Jared just kept on coming and made an incredible catch on the sideline.”

Rodgers’ focus is now on the Atlanta Falcons, who he’ll face in the NFC Championship this Sunday and the two-time MVP talked about this week’s preparation and how he’s not taking this situation for granted.

“It’s going ok, fighting a little sickness right now. But other than that it’s a good week,” Rodgers said about his preparation. “It’s exciting being one of the last four teams left in this thing. I mean, we put a lot into this starting in April and to still be playing is pretty special.”

After a Week 11 loss against the Washington Redskins, which dropped the Packers to 4-6 on the season, Rodgers made a bold claim about how he sees his team “running the table” for the remainder of the season. Having not lost since that claim, Rodgers told Rome he felt at the time that things were going to click, and he wanted to step out in faith, hoping to motivate his teammates.

“Part of it is we did some things in the Washington game we hadn’t done all season. We got Jared Cook back on the field, and he made some big plays for us, so I felt like him being back was going to open some things up for our offense,” Rodgers said. “Also maybe throw some juice into the locker room and some confidence that I still believe everything is in front of us and when the quarterback and your head coach do that, it kind of takes some of the pressure off some of the other guys for one, but two, kind of starts to light that fire in the locker room again.”

The team’s morale spiked after beating Philly, the first game after his declaration, Rodgers said.

“We lose that game, we’re 4-7 and things look really bleak, and it doesn’t matter what you say, but when you come out and respond and get that first one it starts just a little belief with the guys,” Rodgers said. “Then you come home and we beat Houston and that thing grows even more, then we got a huge chunk of confidence beating Seattle, a very good football team at home, and then we ran the rest of the division out to go 10-6, and it’s exciting, it really is. This is such a great thing that we get to do, playing professional team sports, but there’s nothing like the relationships and the friendships you build with these guys, and you get to play it out with them on the field.”

When asked if he has he ever played better than he has at age 33, Rodgers was honest.

“I think I’ve played as good. I think I’ve gone through stretches where I’ve played as good as I’m playing now,” Rodgers said. “I mean every year you gain more experience and the game looks a little different to you, and if you can hit these strides where you’re playing very fast but your mind, you’re not over thinking and you’re just reacting and trusting those instincts. It’s a fun place to be in, so I think that where I’m at where our offense is at, we’re just clicking at the right time and things are coming together, but it is fun to be in the kind of in this mojo right now because we’ve been on a roll for the last 8 weeks.”

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