That, as usual following a Green Bay win, was the biggest takeaway from the Packers' dominating 38-28 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
Rodgers was downright surgical in the opening frame of Monday's contest. He went into the halftime break having completed 16 of his 22 pass attempts for 208 yards. Three of those 16 completions went for touchdowns. His passer rating? A 141.7 mark.
Casual National Football League fans on the East Coast were able to tuck themselves in for the evening well before 11 p.m. thanks to Mr. Rodgers. With under a minute to play in the first half, Rodgers drew Kansas City offsides with his hard count, and he then took advantage of the free play by connecting with James Jones on a 27-yard TD pass. That score put the Packers up 24-7.
Good night, far-right time zone.
Rodgers was slightly more human in the final half-hour of play. The Chiefs moving superstar pass-rusher Justin Houston around the defensive line played a part in this. A rainstorm that persisted throughout the second half was also a nuisance. However, neither of those could keep Rodgers from tossing a touchdown pass in each of the last two quarters.
Rodgers finished the evening with 333 passing yards, five touchdowns and a 138.5 rating. Just another night at the office for the best quarterback in the NFL.
As great as he was, Rodgers was not a one-man wrecking crew Monday. The Packers defense made life rough for Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith, and Smith responded by crumbling under the pressure. There was a point in the game when it appeared as if Rodgers would complete more touchdown passes than Smith would complete total passes:
The hot takes about Smith not being good enough to win a championship were flowing across the Internet, with some predictable sources voicing their opinions on Twitter:
Those opinions may be accurate, but they undersell how well the Packers defense played when the game was in doubt. With the Chiefs forced to pass the ball while playing from behind, running back Jamaal Charles was largely a nonfactor outside of fantasy football purposes. This left Smith in a position where he had to shoot it out with Rodgers.
It did not go well for Smith. Some credit for that has to go to the Green Bay pass rush that hit Smith eight times. Seven of those impacts resulted in sacks. Smith did himself no favors by throwing a terrible interception to Sam Shields halfway through the third quarter. That turnover, which came off of a pass that no NFL QB should ever attempt, was quickly turned into seven points by the Packers:
The score was 31-7 with a little over 22 minutes of football to be played. One could understand why the Green Bay defense took the rest of the night off.
Nobody will confuse the Packers defense with historic units of old. It doesn't have to be elite with Rodgers averaging over a touchdown per quarter. Being good enough versus opponents such as the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and the Chiefs can, in many cases, be enough for this defense.
Two things should be remembered by those who point out that the Green Bay defense was a sieve in the fourth quarter. First is that Rodgers and company had put the matter to bed in the third quarter. Second is that the Packers appeared to have come up with one final stop with under four minutes to play, but the Chiefs were given new life thanks to generous ball placement and the officials choosing to not measure that spot.
The Packers have once again put the rest of the NFC on notice that the road to the Super Bowl will go through Lambeau Field.
Those fawning over the undefeated Arizona Cardinals shouldn't forget that 35-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer is one misstep away from his twice-surgically repaired knee failing him one final time. The unbeaten Atlanta Falcons can no longer beat up on the lackluster NFC East. Neither the Carolina Panthers nor the Minnesota Vikings have a quarterback any knowledgeable football mind would take over Rodgers for a one-and-done encounter.
It was not all sunshine and rainbows for the Packers Monday, as the win did come at a cost.
Wide receiver Davante Adams, who entered the evening with nine receptions and 92 yards in two games this season, reaggravated a high ankle sprain, according to Sports Illustrated. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Monday night that Adams will miss “some time.” Tight end Andrew Quarless also left the game in the second quarter with a left knee injury. His status going forward was not known as of the posting of this piece.
Rodgers is getting used to losing weapons in 2015. Top target Jordy Nelson suffered a torn ACL during the preseason, and Adams was serving as Rodgers' No. 2 WR in place of Nelson. Logic would suggest that a QB would eventually begin suffering from losing his supporting cast to injuries. Rodgers is not your standard QB, and he has made a habit of defying logic during his career.
Don't expect that trend to stop now.