NFL

Rodgers emotional after leading Packers to victory in return

By Sports Desk November 14, 2021

After an emotionally charged couple of weeks, Aaron Rodgers finally had a release on Sunday as he walked off the field following the Green Bay Packers' 17-0 shutout of the Seattle Seahawks. 

Rodgers missed the Packers' loss at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9 after testing positive for COVID-19 and has been at the centre of a public debate ever since. 

Though he was far from his best after missing two weeks of practice, reigning NFL MVP Rodgers was grateful just to be back in his comfort zone at Lambeau Field as he led the Packers (8-2) to another victory. 

"Good to be back with the guys, good to be back at home, good to be on the field, really," Rodgers told reporters via videoconference. 

"The most emotions from the whole night was probably walking off the field after the game. It definitely got me a little misty."

Asked why he thought he felt that way, Rodgers responded: "I don't take these things for granted, walking off the field as a winner." 

Rodgers completed 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards in his return, but the Packers' only touchdowns came on fourth-quarter runs by AJ Dillon. 

On a night that saw his counterpart Russell Wilson become the latest star quarterback swallowed up by the Green Bay defence, Rodgers threw a key interception in the end zone late in the third quarter but otherwise avoided major mistakes. 

"I felt pretty good for the most part," Rodgers said. "I feel like I played fairly solid. Obviously I had the one bad decision in the red zone and probably missed a couple of throws."

Rodgers did acknowledge afterward that he felt a bit like "Anchorman" character Ron Burgundy, merely repeating what Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur said via his headset to the team in huddles because he did not have a feel for the flow of the game after missing so much practice. 

The 37-year-old quarterback also told reporters after the game that he was tired – "It's been a long 10 days" – and LaFleur echoed that sentiment about the team as a whole. 

"I think our team is tired, to be honest with you," LaFleur said. "It definitely felt like you could feel the energy was maybe a little bit off." 

The good news for the Packers is their defence is showing no signs of fatigue. Facing Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray the last three games, the Packers have allowed just 34 points. 

"It's so important to be able to win games in different fashions in this league," LaFleur said, "and I thought our defence really carried the night."

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    Cincinnati regained possession with 20 seconds left, setting up McPherson's late field-goal chance, when Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill's pass was intercepted by Logan Wilson. Tannehill completed 15 of 24 attempts for 220 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

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