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Rodgers makes Giants latest victim with 'typical' clutch performance

by | CBSSports.com National NFL Insider
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Aaron Rodgers was already likely to win the MVP race. What he did against the Giants sealed it. All other contenders were just eliminated after a beautiful, jaw-dropping performance in what has been a season of beautiful jaw-dropping performances.

Plug in the tape of Rodgers and you'll see the same, a DVR quarterback stuck on bad ass. Rodgers airs a perfect ball. Tape skips. Rodgers leads an impeccable drive. Tape skips. Rodgers throws a pass between three defenders. Skip. Passes that bounce on air currents or shreds them at high velocity. Skip. Different afternoon, same old Rodgers. Cue the tape. Everyone looks the same.

The Chronicles of Aaron, life on Mars, the forgotten Favre.

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The 38-35 Packers win was typical Rodgers and the last drive, the game-winner, is what sealed his MVP supremacy barring an injury or Tim Tebow defeating the Taliban. We've seen quarterbacks play at this level before, going back to Otto Graham, but that doesn't mean this still isn't something impressive, something dumbfounding.

"Shocking?" said Giants coach Tom Coughlin, when asked about Rodgers' final throws that sealed the win. "You sat there and watched it. I don't know how shocking it was."

I don't know what I saw and I was watching it damn closely. That was Joe Montana. That was Jim Kelly. That was Steve Young. That was some of Dan Marino's accuracy. That was some of Michael Vick's footwork.

No, I don't know what the hell I saw on that final drive other than near perfection. The near perfection of the quarterback position and possible perfection of a season.

"Every team is going to give us their best shot," Rodgers said. "Every week is going to be a battle."

CBSSports.com Grades
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
B-
Aaron Rodgers wasn't going to let a little thing like the defense keep the Packers from staying undefeated. Rodgers basically carried an offense that lost its top RB and whose receivers couldn't always catch the ball, as well as a defense that couldn't stop the Giants. Not their best performance but the Packers showed real mettle.
By James Carlton
RapidReports Correspondent
New York Giants
New York Giants
B
Nobody wants to hear about moral victories, but the pass rush returned (two sacks, six QB hits) and RB Ahmad Bradshaw came back from a foot injury to combine with Brandon Jacobs and D.J. Ware for 100 yards, one TD and one two-point conversion on 20 carries. DT Linval Joseph registered nine solo tackles and LB Chase Blackburn picked off a pass on defense.
By Alex Raskin
RapidReports Correspondent

The Giants tied the score at 35 with an Eli Manning pass to Hakeem Nicks and then added a two-point conversion on a run by D.J. Ware.

Earlier in the game, Giants player Dave Tollefson mocked Rodgers' belt dance. Mess with the bull you get the belt. The final drive encapsulated what Rodgers has now done for two years. The Packers had a first down at their own 20 with 58 seconds left. His first pass was to Jermichael Finley for 24 yards. It was a tight, perfect spiral.

His second pass was to Jordy Nelson for 27 yards -- "I saw man coverage," said Rodgers -- and the pass was a high bomb that floated gently into Nelson's hands. The throw started off with power but landed like the game was being played on a low gravity planet. It was that soft. (Speaking of perfect, the pass was reminiscent of the accurate long touch pass Bob Griese used to throw.)

The next play was a pass for a loss but Rodgers' throw on second-and-11 at the Giants 30 went for 18 yards to Greg Jennings. That put Mason Crosby in position for what was officially ruled a 31-yard field goal and the Packers had their 12th win of the season as the clock expired.

From the time Rodgers had a first down with 58 seconds remaining until Crosby's attempt was a grand total of 55 seconds. New York's defense is hurt and average but that's still a pro team and Rodgers made that last drive look like he was going against the Indianapolis Colts.

"I'm sick to my stomach," said Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck.

Rodgers has a way of causing defenses gastrointestinal distress.

It's reaching the point where the Rodgers superlatives are running dry. How many times can you say he's great and accurate and nearly flawless? A hundred? A thousand? A million? A week goes by and Rodgers wins another game in a different way.

"I'm running out of things to say about him," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

I just said that.

Rodgers had Giants players in his face all game and was sacked three times but still finished 28 of 46 for 369 yards. He threw touchdown passes of seven and 13 yards to Donald Driver, 20 to Jennings and 12 to Finley. He'd get hit, dust himself off, and reload.

After awhile, you're just left speechless by how he's playing every facet and angle of the position.

"I'd prefer to win them all," said Nelson of a possible 16-0 season. "Why would anyone want to lose?"

If Rodgers keeps playing like this, they won't. For a long time.

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