GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03: (R-L) Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 and Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers walk through the tunnel before taking on the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 33-7. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-10 in Saturday’s NFC Wild Card playoff game and never really struggled. Though the Packers won the game easily, quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed dissatisfied with the team’s offensive performance.
“Our defense played at a championship level — which you have to have in the postseason,” Rodgers told NBC Sports’ Michele Tafoya after the game. “Offensively, we’ve got some stuff to work on. We doubled up at the end of the first half/beginning of the second half to make it a three-score game, but we got to help our defense more and close out a team like that.”
The Packers scored on their final two possessions of the first half to increase their lead to 17-3 at halftime. Like he said, they scored another touchdown in their first drive of the second half to make it 24-3. They just held steady after that, which wasn’t enough, according to Rodgers.
“They’re a good defense, but we kind of cut it off there in the third quarter,” he said in his postgame interview. “We couldn’t get anything going. We gotta put a team away, especially at home like that.”
Rodgers finished with 23-33 for 274 yards and a touchdown. He mostly took what Minnesota’s defense gave him and settled for lots of screens and dumpoffs. The Vikings wanted to minimize the damage and their plan worked somewhat, but they just didn’t get enough help from their offense. Rodgers recognizes that was the issue.
Even though Rodgers knows the Packers’ offense will have to make more plays to beat the 49ers in San Francisco next weekend, the important thing is that they did not turn over the ball. They lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs last year by committing four turnovers. The Packers have to continue protecting the ball well in order to move on.
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