GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers aren’t in need of some season-saving slogan or message from Aaron Rodgers. At 8-3 and with a share of the NFC North lead, they don’t need their quarterback to issue a R-E-L-A-X message like he did in 2014 or call for them to run the table like he did two years later.
And there’s certainly no need for a “galvanizing moment” that he called for in the midst of last year’s losing season.
But the quarterback did offer what he thought was a sure-fire way to rebound from Sunday’s disastrous performance in the blowout loss at the 49ers and finish strong.
“Offensively, I’ve got to take the lead and get hot in December here, and we’ve got to start finding ways to get the ball to our guys all the time,” Rodgers said Wednesday.
“And then the defense has to do their part and special teams has to play well. If we do those things, I like the talent of our football team, I like the spirit and chemistry, and I think we’ve got a chance to be in the mix.”
When asked how to get hot, Rodgers said: “Just got to get in the zone.”
Rodgers’ comments came just days after one of his worst performances. He threw for just 104 yards on 20-of-33 passing and was sacked five times in the 37-8 loss at San Francisco. It was the fewest yards Rodgers has ever had in a game with at least 30 passes. His previous low (161) came in the Week 9 loss at the Chargers. His 3.2-yard average per attempt was his career low in an NFL start.
“We’re right in the mix where we want to be, playing meaningful games in December,” Rodgers said. “But I think we’ve got to play a little bit better moving forward if we want to get to where we want to go.”
In perhaps one of the more puzzling turns to the season, the Packers’ offense has actually become less productive since Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams returned from his turf-toe injury. While Adams has caught 21 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown since his return for the Week 9 game in Los Angeles, the Packers have averaged just 14.3 points per game on offense in that stretch. In the first eight games, four of those without Adams, their offense put up 26.9 points per game.
“I obviously don’t want it to be that way with me being out there,” Adams said Wednesday. “The foresight I had going into it was me coming back would make things better. Just trying to, like I said before, just do what I can for this offense to move forward and just enjoy those questions in the meantime.”
Even Rodgers seemed perplexed as to why that’s happened since Adams’ return.
“I don’t know; I’m not sure,” Rodgers said. “I know that it doesn’t have anything to do with him. I don’t think we’ve been forcing the ball to him, either. I don’t know. That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
Adams and Rodgers suggested that a good mix of running back Aaron Jones is a must -- and not just as a rusher.
"Something that’s been working for this team well is moving it around, separating it around to different guys, sharing the wealth, getting Aaron Jones involved," Adams said. "He’s obviously been a big part of our success this year. We just have to get back to doing that, and we’ll win games."
In the three games since Adams’ return, Jones has caught only one pass (for minus-1 yard). In the four games Adams missed, Jones caught 22 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think it’s just more of making sure that we make a concerted effort to have him involved ... especially with some of the pass concepts,” Rodgers said. “I still think it’s good for us long-term to make sure that we get both him and Jamaal [Williams] involved in our plan and have a little bit of a rotation there with those guys. There are certain situations where definitely we want 33 [Jones] in the game.”