- Aaron Rodgers
- Green Bay Packers
- Packers 28, Saints 27
- 31-for-41, 319 YD, 4 TD, 1 INT
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- Peyton Manning
- Denver Broncos
- Broncos 37, Raiders 6
- 30-for-38, 338 YD, 3 TD, 0 INT
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The Pregame Pressure
Rodgers had the tough assignment of leading the Green Bay Packers through an emotional few days following their controversial Week 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers were set to face Drew Brees and a New Orleans Saints team that was desperate to collect its first win of the season. This game figured to be a high-scoring affair; Rodgers was facing pressure to ignite an aerial attack that had produced just one touchdown pass in the Packers' previous two games.
There was plenty of pressure on Peyton Manning heading into Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders. The Denver Broncos were coming off two straight defeats, including a tough home loss in Week 3 against the Houston Texans. A home loss to a divisional opponent like the Raiders would have put the Broncos in a huge hole in the AFC West. With tough road games against the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers next on the schedule, this was as close to a must-win game as it could have been.
The In-Game Performance
Rodgers returned to his MVP form, helping the Packers secure a very close win over the Saints. After going three-and-out on his first drive of the day, Rodgers threw touchdown passes on his next three possessions. His fourth touchdown pass wouldn't come until the fourth quarter, but it would prove to be the winning score. He did toss one interception, but otherwise, he was outstanding, completing 75.6 percent of his passes for over 300 yards. After getting a beating in Seattle, Rodgers also avoided taking a single sack on Sunday.
Manning was nearly flawless in the Broncos' destruction of the Raiders, completing 78.9 percent of his passes for well over 300 yards and tossing three touchdowns. He didn't turn the ball over or take a single sack, and completed five or more passes to four different receivers. The Broncos scored on all but four possessions (one ended in a Demaryius Thomas fumble, one ended with an unsuccessful fake field-goal attempt, and two ended in kneel-downs prior to the end of each half), and didn't punt a single time.
The Post-Game Pick
Both quarterbacks played exceptionally well in their teams' victories, but in my opinion, Peyton Manning had the more impressive outing. Manning threw for more yards and had a higher completion percentage while taking better care of the football. Despite playing against a slightly tougher defense, Manning was more efficient and produced more points than Rodgers. Thanks to Manning's performance, the Broncos' season is back on track as they pursue a second straight trip to the playoffs. -- Daniel Jeremiah