2020 Week 13 - That’s What Cheese Said

“The first goal is always the North, and we’re up three with four to play.”

“That was a special moment,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of his 400th career touchdown. 

It was another evening of milestones for the Packers, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 30-16 to climb to 9-3 on the season. Rodgers threw three touchdowns on the night, bringing his total to 36 and making him the first quarterback in NFL history to have five seasons with 35-plus touchdown passes. 

“I can remember all the hundred notches,” said Rodgers, adding that the record is evidence towards career longevity and consistent play at a high level. He’s the seventh player in NFL history to throw for 400 touchdowns and the first to do so before throwing 100 interceptions. 

Wide receiver Davante Adams hauled in 10 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns, including Rodgers’ 400th, bringing his total to 13 on the season in only 10 games. Those 13 touchdowns tie his career high from 2018.

“To be able to get 400, man, it’s awesome,” said Adams, who also caught Rodgers’ 200th career touchdown. It was actually his first touchdown so Adams shared that Rodgers let him keep that ball. 

“Those guys are two phenomenal players. You could argue they’re the best at what they do,” said Head Coach Matt LaFleur of the duo. 

They have a chance to set more records together this season with four games remaining. Adams is currently on pace for career highs in yards per game and catch percentage, with 358 yards needed to set a new career high there, too. 

While the passing game remained explosive, the ground game also got rolling for a second straight week. Aaron Jones finished the day with 130 total yards and a new career-long 77-yard touchdown. 

When the game got close towards the end of the fourth quarter at 23-16, Jones broke free for the longest touchdown of his career and sealed the victory for Green Bay. 

“We’ve talked about it the past couple weeks, playing four quarters and finishing,” said Jones. “We knew we had to get out there and finish. We let a team back in, gave them some hope, and the most important part is we finished. We just have to do that four quarters and not let the team back in.”

On the national broadcast, the announcers commented on the closeness of this Packers team and how the players always celebrate together after a score. Adams mentioned the “BYOJ” (bring your own juice) attitude the team has and the way they rally around one another. 

“That’s what I love about our football team, is guys playing for one another,” said LaFleur. 

One play in particular that stood out to the head coach was the blocking of Marquez Valdes-Scantling on Jones’ touchdown run. “He had no catches, but what’d you see on that 75-yard run? You saw a guy that was battling his butt off making key blocks down the field, and that is the epitome of team. And that’s what I want us to be all about.”

Despite a few errors on the first drive of the game with a fumble and sack to go three-and-out on the team’s opening possession, LaFleur felt his team is playing some of its cleanest football to date. 

“I would say this about the last two games. It is by far the fewest mistakes that we’ve had on the offensive side of the ball all year long, in two years. I think we had five mental errors two weeks ago and four in this game,” he said, adding that you always want to keep the errors under 10 while acknowledging that mistakes do happen. 

Defensively, the Packers were able to bring pressure all game. Regardless of who was in at quarterback for the Eagles, the Packers swarmed the passer and tallied seven total sacks on the day. 

“We had a field day today,” said Za’Darius Smith, who leads the team with 10.5 sacks. 

Second-year defensive lineman Kingsley Keke had his second two-sack game of the season. He now has four sacks on the year and is tied for second on the team with Rashan Gary. 

“Just to be on a team like this that is so talented, we can affect the quarterback pretty well. Seven sacks, that’s a big accomplishment for us,” said Keke, listing players like Smith, Gary, Preston Smith, and Kenny Clark as key contributors and guys who can generate lots of pressure. 

The defense wanted to get back to basics going into this week, with defensive captain Smith telling the media post-game that he went to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine early in the week and asked if they could simplify things and get back to pressuring the quarterback. 

“When something’s not working and we see it on the field, it’s just the communication with them to help us change it. As you can see we get a lot more turnovers and a lot more sacks,” said Smith, adding that Pettine was receptive to the changes and that the coaches are good at listening to their players. 

“I definitely think there’s an openness there and we have to be willing to listen,” LaFleur said of listening to the suggestions of his players.

Keke felt the defense had a great week of practice, adding that stopping the run has to be every defense’s priority first and foremost. “Once you stop the run we can affect the quarterback like we did.”

In the secondary, Darnell Savage snagged his third interception of the season, giving him a new career high. LaFleur heaped plenty of praise onto both of his team’s 2019 first-round picks during his presser, complimenting Savage’s football IQ and Gary’s ability to rush the passer. Both players are still ascending for the Packers defense. 

The Packers will travel to Ford Field on Sunday to face off against the division rival Detroit Lions. 

“I think we’re in a good position as a team,” said Rodgers. “The first goal is always the North, and we’re up three with four to play.”

If the Packers take care of business against Detroit and the 6-6 Vikings lose on the road against the Buccaneers, Green Bay will clinch the NFC North for the second consecutive year. 

Rodgers will look to add to his touchdown total Sunday, and he’d need 10 more on the season to set a new career high at 46. 

“I’m proud obviously of 400. I’m glad I got the ball. I’m gonna hold onto that one. Now I can see if I can get to 500 before I throw 100 picks maybe,” said Rodgers, who has 88 interceptions to date in his career. 

When pressed further about that possibility, Rodgers smiled. 

“Anything’s possible,” he said quoting Kevin Garnett. “I think that would be sweet. I haven’t necessarily identified that as a goal. I’m just living in the moment with this year, trying to enjoy it as much as possible, and hopefully I’ll still be playing to have 500. But we’ll see.”

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

10 points

Comments (20)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Lphill's picture

December 08, 2020 at 01:53 pm

Thank you Maggie, lets not look past the Lions, Stafford put up some big numbers on Sunday ,plus a coaching change , this is no easy game.

7 points
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SuperEeyore's picture

December 08, 2020 at 03:25 pm

Stay focused

1 points
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PeteK's picture

December 08, 2020 at 05:48 pm

Especially a division rival. Wash beating Pitt, unpredictable season. Glad I don't bet much.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 08:13 pm

All their weapons are healthy.

1 points
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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:24 pm

Kenny Golliday?
Kerryon Johnson?

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 09, 2020 at 12:38 pm

Swift, Hockenson, Marv Jones can cause trouble.

0 points
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PatrickGB's picture

December 08, 2020 at 02:05 pm

Win lose or draw, I am proud of this team’s energy and togetherness. It’s nice to root for a team that’s as cohesive as ours.

6 points
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canadapacker's picture

December 08, 2020 at 05:40 pm

As far as I am concerned - this is our biggest game to date. If and when this game we are in the show. It will at least give us a tie if the Vikes win out ( unlikely). I would like to see us to be able to rest a few guys when we hit Chicago - or at least play it like a 3rd preseason game. Now the Lions are not chopped liver - the do have a running back in Peterson and Stafford, I am not a fan of Stafford and I really love to see him lose. My best memory of him is the look on his face as he sat on the bench after AR threw the Hail Mary to Bostick - that was what you could call P R I C E L E S S. Now the Bears kind of chewed them up but they had Montgomery running - until Trubisky started to be Trubisky. But we cant take anything for granted and definitely we need to pile up the points - I dont like these indoor fields but hopefully we get away without any injuries. Would love to see Austin gettng it going

2 points
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Lphill's picture

December 08, 2020 at 05:46 pm

Austin may have to Ervin might be done for the season this time.

2 points
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PeteK's picture

December 08, 2020 at 05:51 pm

I predicted a good season from Swervin. That went into a ditch real quick.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:57 pm

Canadapacker...Bostick did not catch the Hail Mary, Richard Rodgers did. Bostick is the author of Bostick’s Boner, the play that kept us out f the 2014 Super Bowl.

5 points
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Bure9620's picture

December 08, 2020 at 08:23 pm

The Hail Mary was to Richard Rodgers, please do not trigger my PTSD with the Brandon Bostick

5 points
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canadapacker's picture

December 08, 2020 at 09:28 pm

I am sorry folks - I have Covid isolation fever - I mistakenly stated the other day that Rodgers who caught the Hail Mary from Rodgers and also caught one the other nite was the same guy who failed to block on the onside against Seattle - but it was Bostick - now I screwed up again and I guess it was triggered by my covid PTSD. I wonder if he government will send me a cheque?

3 points
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Since'61's picture

December 08, 2020 at 07:04 pm

I would like to see the Packers clinch their division this week with a win over the Lions and a Vikings loss to the Bucs.

By the time the Packers play the Lions they will know the outcome of the Vikings game. Hopefully that result will provide the Packers with the motivation to play solid football for 60 minutes and take the division.

The question will then become can they maintain their focus to earn the #1 seed. Don’t want to be greedy but this team needs to play at home during the playoffs not to mention the importance of a bye week after 12 consecutive weeks without a break.

Packers need to put pressure on Stafford and contain the Lions run game. If they can do that Rodgers & CO. will do the rest. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

4 points
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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 08, 2020 at 08:55 pm

Considering that the Saints (and Bucs) are more physical than we are, I was wondering if we'd be better off playing the Snakebitten Saints at cold Frozen Lambeau with no fans, or in the 75 degrees Superdome with no fans. The same place we scored 37 in a win earlier this season.

3 points
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Mojo's picture

December 08, 2020 at 11:28 pm

For the record, I've said "anything's possible" too.

3 points
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fastmoving's picture

December 09, 2020 at 10:46 am

"Lets not look past the Lions, They are strong as hell. Trap game written all over it"

IF WE BEAT THEM (record 10 and 3)
"So what, they are just bad, just like a HS team, wait till the playoffs when we get destroyed. We only got holes in our team."

OR IF WE GOT AN L (record 9 and 4)
"Everyone needs to be fired. That needs to stop! Now! Enought is enought. Worst team in history, by fare. So soft and all these bums who get the paycheck for nothing. I could play way better and Im 50, 5 foot 2 and 300, football smart as hell of course and hard as nails also. I would never kneel because I dont care about my country anyway. I said it all the time, the last 30 drafts produced nothing. If I had picked we would have 9 new, cheap starters every year. Could be that hard. Anyway, we are doomed. We need finally a guy like Rex Ryan to light a fire under them and Jerry Jones should buy all the stocks (and the City) to bring back the trophy. We just need bright, strong guys like that, who had only success whatever they did. Are you to blind to see that? And yes, I looking at you Mr. Murphy! So sad, so sad....... THEY WASTING MY PRIME!!!!! Dont let the other teams steal the SB every year, just because they have more points on the scoreboard. This goes on for far to long. Did I already say....so sad so sad?"

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NickPerry's picture

December 09, 2020 at 05:24 am

What Cheese NEEDS to say is the Packers should go sign Kenny Stills. IMO Stills would be a awesome addition, especially for those deep shots MVS has dropped.

I'm not saying to give up on MVS, but Still is a PROVEN deep ball receiver. This Packers team can beat ANYONE any given Sunday. It feels like IF the Packers are going to make another SB run, THIS would be the year.

The Packers aren't going to find a difference maker on defense, but Stills could be a hell of an addition to this offense. SPEED kills an Stills has a ton of it plus he has pretty good hands and tracks the ball extremely well.

0 points
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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 09, 2020 at 05:41 am

Way too late in the season to add a 2nd brand new WR who has no clue about the playbook and all the intricacies on each route against each look to please Rodgers.

MVS may have the worst hands since Qadry Ismael, but he's fast & knows the playbook & gets open.

Stills would lead to some wrong routes & ints. No thanks.
He's not that good either, by the way. Tavon Austin is more talented & one WR new to the offense is enough for December/January.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 09, 2020 at 10:17 am

Stills? Seriously? We are the league’s top passing team and we need an old, small guy.?

I know people seem to believe that he’s the speedster he was when he was young, but I’m not and he isn’t. He’s still fast, but he’s not faster than MVS, or Adams, or even Lazard and EQ by more than a hair. He doesn’t improve the #1 Offense. He’s a shiny hood ornament at this point......he doesn’t make the car run any better.

As Gene Hackman said in Hoosiers “this is our team “. We’re 9-3. Winning our next four makes us the #2 seed, or possibly #1. This team can win those games without Stills, or anybody else.

0 points
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