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Aaron Rodgers limited, but still shows MVP form in win

At halftime of Sunday's Divisional Round showdown between the Packers and the Cowboys, the Seahawks had to be licking their chops at the prospect of a clearly neutralized Aaron Rodgers hobbling into Seattle next week.

By the end of a 26-21 spine-chiller, Rodgers' second-half magic gave the Super Bowl champions cause for pause.

Constrained to the confines of a tight pocket by an unwillingness to test his strained calf, Rodgers was a sitting duck for the majority of a 90-yard first half. His arm strength and accuracy suffered from an inability to incorporate his legs into his throwing motion.

Despite obvious physical limitations, Rodgers provided two glimpses of hope for the Lambeau Field faithful.

He climbed a muddy pocket, threw off his one good leg and hit Andrew Quarless for a 4-yard touchdown to cap off the opening drive. Ineffective for the next quarter and a half, he still managed to give the Packers a six-point swing entering halftime. With less than 30 seconds on the clock, Rodgers uncorked a 31-yard laser to Randall Cobb, setting up a Mason Crosby field goal to answer Dan Bailey's miss.

When DeMarco Murray dove in for a 1-yard touchdown to stake the Cowboys to a 21-13 lead late in the third quarter, the picture looked bleak for a homefield favorite hamstrung by a limited quarterback.

That's when Rodgers showed, once again, why he's the NFL's most valuable player.

Suddenly gaining a semblance of mobility, Rodgers recaptured dominant regular-season, zipping perfect passes into tight coverage.

He closed out the game with 10 consecutive completions for 163 yards, highlighted by a 13-yard bullet to beat double coverage for the game-winning touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers.

Three weeks after suffering a two-month injury, Rodgers will enter the NFC Championship Game against the most dominant defense of a generation.

The strained calf will be a factor, but Rodgers proved Sunday that he can still channel MVP form for quarters at a time.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Divisional Round game and ranks the remaining quarterbacks still standing. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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