Aaron Rodgers' performance in Packers' win over the Lions should shush critics

Rodgers and Nelson connect for two TDs (0:54)

Aaron Rodgers hits Jordy Nelson two time touchdowns in the first half against the Lions. (0:54)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers shouldn’t have to face the kinds of questions he did last week, when the Green Bay Packers quarterback was peppered with queries about his struggles.

Not after his slump-busting performance in Sunday’s 34-27 home-opening victory against the Detroit Lions.

One of the most dominant first halves of Rodgers’ career should quiet things down for a couple of weeks given that the 34-27 win leads into the Packers’ bye week. Rodgers became the first quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in the first half of an NFL game this season.

Imagine how much grumbling there would be about Rodgers and the Packers’ offense had they scuffled along like they did in the first two weeks -- a run that left them 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game and 29th in total yards after splitting road games at Jacksonville (a last-second win saved the defense) and Minnesota (one of Rodgers’ worst games with three fumbles and an interception).

Through two games, Rodgers had completed just 57.1 percent of his passes, averaged 5.9 yards per pass attempt and had a passer rating of 82.6.

He rectified that in the first quarter alone. After a week in which coach Mike McCarthy stressed the offense would commit to a refresher course on fundamentals, Rodgers and the offense started fast.


He got back to quick-hitting plays that took only seconds to develop and then sprinkled in the occasional freelancing completions when the designs broke down.

The result was a four-touchdown performance in the first half.

In the process, Rodgers’ streak of 14 straight games without a 100 passer rating finally ended. He finished with a 129.3 rating after completing 15 of 24 passes for 205 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown after his four in the first half, during which Jordy Nelson made all six of his catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Still, there will be things to nitpick between now and the Packers’ next game on Oct. 9 against the New York Giants.

The Packers' only points of the second half came via a 46-yard Mason Crosby field goal. The Packers scored on their first five possessions (four touchdowns and a field goal) but their second-half drive chart looked like this: field goal, punt, punt, end of game.