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‘It’s completely different with him’: Players amazed by Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers Blog

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Corey Linsley has seen this before. Well, maybe not exactly this because Aaron Rodgers has never finished a game with the best passer rating possible, the maximum 158.3.

But this is Linsley’s sixth season as the Green Bay Packers‘ center and even what his quarterback did in Sunday’s 42-24 dismantling of the Oakland Raiders seemed like old hat.

Five touchdown passes, one touchdown run and 429 yards weren’t completely meh to Linsley, but …

“We see it every day in practice,” he said. “This dude’s ridiculously talented. He’s a great dude. He’s a perfectionist. All the stuff you hear, it’s great to see it come to fruition and have him have this unbelievable game. We’re all happy for him. But honestly, it’s nothing new to us. It seems like another day at the office. It was just, Aaron is on today.”

About the only thing that truly amazed Linsley was the passer rating, something coach Matt LaFleur made mention of in front of the entire team in the postgame locker room.

This is David Bakhtiari‘s seventh season as the Packers’ left tackle and as he leaned against a wall in a victorious locker room at Lambeau Field, the matter-of-factness in his tone was evident.

“Aaron is Aaron out there every week, but I mean, you talk about lights out, yeah,” Bakhtiari said. “Our coach said he had a perfect passer rating for the first time in his career. I told him, ‘We blocked up well, but I felt like if we gave you time you were going to light ’em up, or if we let every single guy come at your face you were going to light ’em up regardless.’ That’s kind of how on he was today.”

It’s not that guys like Bakhtiari and Linsley weren’t impressed, but they have been around long enough to see vintage Rodgers more than once.

But what was it like for those who had never seen it firsthand? Here’s what it looked like through their eyes:

Right guard Billy Turner

Turner spent his first five NFL seasons with the Dolphins and Broncos. His quarterbacks were Ryan Tannehill, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler and Case Keenum. Turner said he had never before seen anything like what Rodgers did on Sunday.

“Only on film. Never been on a team with a quarterback of that caliber who has done things that special with the football.”

Who was that quarterback on the film?

“Him. He’s one of the greatest of all time, if not the best. There’s a lot of guys who are trying to emulate their game after the things he does, and to be able to continue to elevate his game again and again is special.

“When you go into a huddle with a quarterback that’s confident with the football in his hands it’s completely different. I’ve been in a lot of situations where I’ve been in the huddle where guys have come in and lack confidence and as a player, it’s almost like you try to elevate your game and everyone around because it’s almost like you’ve got to pick up the slack. But it’s completely different with him.”

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Aaron Rodgers felt an offensive explosion was coming with how comfortable he’s starting to feel in new head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense.

Left guard Elgton Jenkins

A second-round pick from Mississippi State, the rookie took over as the full-time starter after Lane Taylor was injured in Week 3.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quarterback throw for 400 and five touchdowns like easy. Just being in the huddle, it’s a blessing to have a quarterback of such high caliber.

“He put the ball on the money. My job is to protect and I see that now if you protect and give him time, he’s going to make things happen.”

Rodgers was pressured on just five of his 34 dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s his second-lowest pressure rate (14.7 percent) in the past three seasons. He went 15 of 18 with three touchdowns when given at least 2.5 seconds to throw. In his first six games this season, he completed 55 percent of such passes.

The Smiths

Za’Darius Smith played most of his first four seasons with Joe Flacco as his quarterback in Baltimore before he signed a four-year, $66 million contract with the Packers in March.

“Never [seen anything like what Rodgers did Sunday]. That’s some legendary stuff, man.”

Preston Smith had Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith for most of his four seasons with the Redskins before he signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Packers in March.

“Playing against him three out of my four years and watching, and then actually being on a team with him and seeing him in practice and seeing how he prepares and goes out there in practices, it’s like, man, I always used to be amazed watching him when I was on the field. If he threw the ball, seeing what kind of throw he was going to complete. Watching him on the field. Now, it’s even more exciting to watch him at practice and see him come out here and do it in a game. Everybody is excited, and I’m like, ‘I’ve seen that before.'”

Receiver Jake Kumerow

The former Division III star at Wisconsin-Whitewater caught two passes for 54 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown on Sunday against the Raiders. He’s in his second season with the Packers but barely played last year.

“When we’re out there playing, I don’t even realize how many touchdowns he threw or how many yards he’s throwing for. I had no idea until we got back in the locker room.

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Week 7 of the NFL witnessed Aaron Rodgers’ six-touchdown day, Lamar Jackson on the loose in Seattle and a muddy mess between the 49ers and Redskins.

“In college, we had some good games. My quarterback, Matt Behrendt, threw for six touchdowns in the first half and I had three of them, and then we both got taken out so we didn’t get to finish the game. So we were on a roll to start that one. Other than that, [no]. And that’s a little bit different playing where we were at. It was against [Wisconsin-] Stout. Are they a blue team? Yeah, [it was against] Stout.”

Backup quarterback Tim Boyle

Boyle spent last season as the No. 3 quarterback and is Rodgers’ backup this year. He spent his first three college seasons at Connecticut, where he threw one touchdown and 13 interceptions. In his final season, at Eastern Kentucky, he threw 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

“It is incredible, absolutely incredible, what he did today. … The fact that Aaron played pretty much a perfect game, it really is unbelievable. He stands in there, makes all these throws and gets hit, and he keeps plugging along. Honestly, it’s pretty awe-inspiring to watch on the sideline, just watching how he operates and how smooth he is. His leadership out there is obviously a good example for me, but today was one of those days where everything was clicking and it’s well-deserved. Obviously, we’ve been taking some criticism for the offense and leaning on the defense a little bit, but today was one of those days where it feels good to go out there and finally put up 42.”

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49ers set to embark on historically difficult three-game stretch – San Francisco 49ers Blog

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — To say the San Francisco 49ers’ schedule is about to get tougher over the next three weeks would drastically understate what’s coming.

The journey the Niners are about to begin — with games against the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints — could be the most difficult stretch any team has faced this late in the season in the Super Bowl era.

Through Week 11, those teams have combined for a 24-6 record (all three are 8-2), good for a winning percentage of .800. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, no team has played three straight games against teams with an .800 or better winning percentage this late in the season in the Super Bowl era. If the Ravens and Saints can win their games before facing San Francisco, the Niners would be the first team to face such a stretch.

What’s more, only four teams in the Super Bowl era — the 2007 Detroit Lions, 1999 Cleveland Browns, 1990 Washington Redskins and 1990 Minnesota Vikings — have played three such games (not consecutively) in their 11th game or later.

None of those teams entered such a gantlet with as much on the line as these 49ers, who are 9-1 and in control of the NFC playoff picture.

“This is why you play football, for this kind of a stretch,” Niners right tackle Mike McGlinchey said. “We have put ourselves in a pretty solid position here, but it means nothing if we don’t get our jobs done over these next few weeks. … We’ve got our work cut out for us but we’ve got the right coaching staff to get us in the game plan, and I believe in this locker room to execute and get the job done.”

For much of this season, the 49ers’ turnaround has been met with raised eyebrows. Even after manhandling teams like the Rams, Panthers and Browns, the Niners’ lack of top-tier victories has left skeptics questioning how good they really are. Suffice it to say, definitive answers are coming soon.

ESPN’s Football Power Index rates the 49ers’ remaining strength of schedule the most difficult in the NFL, with the next three games providing the stiffest of tests. FPI gives the 49ers a 61% chance to beat the Packers on Sunday but those numbers drop to 34% against the Ravens and 40% against the Saints. The latter two are the lowest-percentage chances for wins remaining on San Francisco’s schedule, and a Week 17 trip to Seattle offers the only one lower than the Green Bay game.

It all starts with the Packers traveling to Levi’s Stadium as the Niners look to win the one home game of the three. At a combined 17-3, the combined .850 winning percentage is the best in a game between these historic rivals in the Super Bowl era.

At stake? A spot in the driver’s seat for the NFC’s No. 1 seed. FPI gives the 49ers a 45% chance at the NFC’s top spot with a win and just a 10% shot with a loss. Green Bay would have a 44% chance at the 1 seed with a victory and 4% with a defeat.

None of that includes juicy subplots such as the first meeting between quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Garoppolo and the offensive battle of Mike Shanahan coaching-tree luminaries Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur.

“It will be another unique battle,” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said. “It’ll be a play style similar to what we see week in and week out with Kyle and their offense. So we’ll prepare for that. A-Rod is one of the best to ever do it. So it will be a tremendous challenge for us, and we’re excited about it.”

A win against the Packers would go a long way before heading on another weeklong stay on the other side of the country. Like they did earlier this year — when they went to Tampa Bay and Cincinnati with a week in Youngstown, Ohio, in between — the Niners will travel to Baltimore, play the Ravens, travel to Florida for the practice week and then head to New Orleans before returning to the Bay Area.

If the 49ers can pocket a victory against Green Bay, it would mean a split of the two road games would keep them in a prime position for a bye and the top seed, especially if that win came in New Orleans. It would also likely mean losing both games wouldn’t be a death knell to their hopes of advancing directly to the divisional round.

“Week in and week out, you always find out stuff about your team,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said. “You find out about people. There’s lots of football here to play. Each game’s going to be huge, so just trying to take it one week at a time and make sure we don’t look too far down the road because everyone’s in this it seems like right now.”

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Los Angeles Chargers’ Michael Davis suspended 2 games for violating NFL’s substance abuse policy

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COSTA MESA, Calif. — Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Michael Davis has been suspended two games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The Chargers (4-7) are on their bye this week. The suspension will cover road games against Denver (Dec. 1) and Jacksonville (Dec. 8).

Davis, who is in his third season, has started nine games this year and has an interception along with 27 tackles.

General manager Tom Telesco said in a statement that Davis is a good person who made a “significant mistake this past offseason.”

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Washington Redskins place TE Vernon Davis (concussion) on season-ending injured reserve

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ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins placed tight end Vernon Davis on injured reserve Friday, ending his season and leaving his career in doubt.

Davis, 35, suffered a concussion in Week 4 and has not played since, though he had been limited in practice for most of that time. Davis missed the last two games of 2018 with a concussion. Another Redskins tight end, Jordan Reed, has missed the entire season because of a concussion as well.

For Davis, this could mark the end of a productive career. He caught 583 career passes and his 63 touchdowns ranks sixth on the all-time list by a tight end. Davis, the sixth overall pick in 2006 by San Francisco, played nine-plus seasons for the 49ers’ and remains their all-time leader in receptions (441), receiving yards (5,640) and touchdowns (55) by a tight end.

Losing Reed and Davis were severe blows to the Redskins’ offense. The Redskins rank 28th in the NFL with only 28 receptions by a tight end this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Davis spent half a season with Denver in 2015, winning a Super Bowl ring. He signed with the Redskins that offseason and caught 122 passes with eight touchdowns playing for his hometown team. Davis grew up in Washington, D.C. and played collegiately at the University of Maryland.

Davis is signed through 2020, but with the Redskins needing to undergo a major rebuild this offseason – they will have a new coach – it’s hard to see him returning. He’ll then have to decide if he wants to continue playing elsewhere.

If this is the end for Davis, he already knows at least one thing he wants to do next: act. Davis has already acted in several movies, including “Hell on the Border”, which will be released on Dec. 13.

The Redskins also promoted defensive lineman Ryan Bee off their practice squad to take Davis’ roster spot.

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