Rodgers doesn’t sleep much after games, and that night was no exception. His mind kept running through the plays he’d missed. He went home and talked to his girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn. She asked him what he thought about 4-6. “I really think we’re going to turn this thing around,” he told her. “I think we could win our next six and make the playoffs.”
“Really?” she asked.
He went over his plan, and a couple of days later, Rodgers told the local news media the same thing. “I feel like we can run the table,” he said.
In Eastern Wisconsin, winters are filled with inevitabilities: The earth will freeze, the beer will flow, and when Aaron Rodgers makes a bold statement, the tables will turn.
Aaron Rodgers said he spent the first nine games of the season feeling out of rhythm.
It might sound silly, that eight little words could alter a team’s season and a quarterback’s legacy. These are grown men, this is the NFL, and speeches are kind of like fairy tales. But the Packers won that next game at Philadelphia, then beat Houston and throttled the Seattle Seahawks. By the time they looked up, they’d won six straight and were in the playoffs, then it was seven, then eight straight games.
Now they’re in the NFC Championship Game after a breathtaking win at Dallas in which Rodgers threw a laser across his body, perfectly into the hands of a toe-dragging Jared Cook on the sideline with three seconds to go to set up the game-winning field goal.
His linemen can handle the defensive line, then the real game begins with the remaining two levels, using peripheral vision to scan intruders off the edge. When running inside zone, he wants the linebacker to think he’s going outside or cutting into a different hole.