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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers: “A Big Win For Us” : Packers Insider

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers: “A Big Win For Us”

October 25, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Oct 25, 2010 ~ by Jason Wilde, ESPN Milwaukee

~Afterward, the Lambeau Field faithful lingered in the concourse, as if they didn’t want to leave. The roar was almost deafening, and they filed out chanting “Go Pack Go!” seemingly all the way to their cars parked in the front yards of Ridge Road. 

Their beloved quarterback – not the one they once worshipped, but the one most of them have slowly but surely come to embrace – chose not to let the emotion out in such an obvious way. 

Maybe when he got to his Toyota Tundra pickup truck in the players parking lot, or maybe as he turned it onto U.S. 41 headed for home, maybe then he blared the stereo and let out a loud Woo-hoo! for his ears only. 

But in the wake of the Green Bay Packers’ thrilling 28-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings – and, yes, over Brett Favre – Aaron Rodgers kept it all in. Other than a wide smile as he left the field, and another as he sat in his locker, he did his best to act as if it had been just another game.

It wasn’t, of course. But was he going to confess to such a thing? Of course not.

“We knew it was going to be a grinder, character, gut-it-out type of performance,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who had lost three in a row to the Vikings after starting his career with five straight wins against them. “And our guys stepped up big.

“It’s a big win for us,” he said when asked what the win meant to him. “I think with the way we were playing the last three games, it was important to come out here and have a better performance. Other than my careless turnovers, I think we moved the ball very effectively. We ran the ball maybe better than we had hoped. And our defense bailed us out with a big touchdown and played great.” 

Pressed on what his personal feelings were after the win, Rodgers – whose career 1-11 record in games decided by four points or fewer had been a hot topic all week after back-to-back three-point overtime losses – remained elusive. 

“It was a little more special, I think, because of the significance of where we’re at in the season – 3-3 coming in, division opponent, our biggest rival, the close score, the way it ended,” Rodgers said. “Definitely a special night for us.” 

But more special for him, as those closest to him would attest afterward.

Ask defensive end Ryan Pickett. 

“You have to understand, he went through a lot, and he handled it great,” Pickett said, recalling the circus of Summer 2008, when the iconic Favre was traded to the New York Jets following his unexpected unretirement. “The whole thing that happened, it just hangs over him. Brett beat us two times last year. He’s a great quarterback. All the stuff that happened, all the attention, it was all about Brett. 

“So you know it means a lot to him.”

 Or ask backup quarterback Matt Flynn. 

“It means a lot to him. Obviously it’s a big game for us as a team, the way the season has gone. But personally, I think this was definitely one he had circled that he wanted to win,” Flynn said. “I’m happy for him. I’m happy he got it.

“I don’t know how much he tells you all, but this is definitely one he wanted.” 

Or linebacker Clay Matthews. 

“I think honestly, it does mean a great deal to him. We might see it as any other game, but for him, there’s certainly a little something special,” Matthews said. “For him, sitting behind Favre, then coming out and putting together two fantastic seasons and losing to him twice, for him to come out against the guy who – whatever you want to call it, the quarterback who was in front of him – it means a great deal to him. 

“We treat it like any other game, but for him personally, I mean, it’s always gratifying when you can get the best of someone you have history with. I know for me personally it would. You want to show why you’re the guy, why they chose you, why they picked you. I’m sure it’s gratifying for him.”

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