Aaron Rodgers says clinching NFC North against Vikings feels ‘really sweet,’ recalling injury jeers

first_imgAaron Rodgers described the Packers’ NFC North title as “really sweet” and one that took on added significance to him given it was sealed against the Vikings.The Packers went into Monday’s game as underdogs, but won 23-10 to seal their first division title since 2016, running back Aaron Jones scoring twice. They are still in the running to claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC going into Week 17, a status that would be secured if they defeat the Lions and the 49ers lose to the Seahawks. Rodgers broke his collarbone against the Vikings in 2017 and had the reaction of their fans at that moment in his mind after the Packers (12-3) defeated their divisional rivals on the road.”It feels great to win in this stadium, where a couple of years ago I was jeered leaving the field after breaking my collarbone,” he said. “To be back on the top of winning the North after a couple of years of being down and to win these kind of games feels great.”It’s really sweet, to celebrate in the locker room with those guys. A lot of guys weren’t here in ’16 when we got to put these hats on. There’s nothing like checking off the first box on that goal list and we’re playing for even more coming up next week. Especially with how deep this playoffs and the NFC is, it’s nice to have a chance to have some games at home.”I said earlier in the season, just getting in gives you a legitimate shot, but knowing we could have two home games to get somewhere special changes the whole dynamic.”NFC North Champs #ThePackIsBack | #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/NsMOAMNmMI— Green Bay Packers (@packers) 24 December 2019Za’Darius Smith, a big free agency signing in the offseason, continued his fine 2019 with a 3.5-sack display against the Vikings, whose QB Kirk Cousins is now 0-9 in Monday night games.Rodgers said Smith commands attention, adding: “It’s an energy, it’s a force. He just has a great presence about him.”When he talks, guys listen. He’s meant a lot to our success in more ways than just his play on the field. Guys who can single-handedly take over games, it covers up for a lot of stuff on a squad. We’re pretty lucky to have him. I could tell [in training camp] our defense was different; it just had a different feel to it. “You could see the tempo and size and ability. I felt pretty good about our chances on defense. I knew the offense was going to be a work in progress, but I felt like the defense was going to give us a chance.”There’s a lot of emphasis on looking pretty or dominating, but it doesn’t matter how we get it done as long as we get it done.”The beaten Vikings (10-5) are now guaranteed to finish the regular season as the NFC’s [email protected] was UNSTOPPABLE Monday night #GBvsMIN | #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/ovexrMw7J2— Green Bay Packers (@packers) 24 December 2019last_img

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