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Aaron Rodgers, Packers dismantle Seahawks

The Green Bay Packers played their best game of the season in a lopsided 38-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14. Here's what we learned:

  1. Putting the offensive handwringing of October and the defensive meltdowns of November in the rear-view mirror, the Packers authored their most impressive all-around performance in over two years. After shredding Seattle's secondary with pinpoint throws for three quarters, a gimpy Aaron Rodgers was put on ice with nearly 12 minutes remaining in a 28-3 game. His 150.8 passer rating was the highest against the Seahawks in any regular-season game since Pete Carroll took over as head coach in 2010. Led by Datone Jones and a ballhawking secondary, Green Bay's suddenly swarming defense harassed Russell Wilson for three sacks, nine QB hits, seven passes defensed and five turnovers.
  1. FOX game analyst Troy Aikman, who met with Packers players and coaches late in the week, said he felt "an energy coming from this group" that hasn't been there all season and most of last year. Mike McCarthy's club firmly believes they are peaking at the right time. It's hard to argue with that sentiment after the last three games generated an 86-36 scoring differential over the Eagles, Texans and Seahawks. It can be argued that they are playing as well as any NFC team outside of Dallas. A half-game out of the conference's No. 6 playoff spot, the surging 7-6 Packers face the NFC North trio of Chicago, Minnesota and Detroit in the season's final three games. The division title will be up for grabs in the regular-season finale only if Detroit loses either at the Giants and Cowboys the next two weeks while Green Bay handles the Bears and Vikings.
  1. In a performance reminiscent of the first 56 minutes of the 2014 NFC Championship Game, an errant Wilson threw a career-high five interceptions. Wilson was off the mark against a pressuring Green Bay front seven, but also got little help from his receivers. Two interceptions went right through his targets' hands, while another intended for Jermaine Kearse bounced off of Ladarius Gunter's back and into the waiting arms of Quinten Rollins near the pylon. Tyler Lockett simply dropped a third-down pass, thwarting one drive. With difference-making cornerback Damarious Randall finally healthy, though, this Packers secondary bears no resemblance to the one that was torched to an embarrassing degree during a four-game midseason losing streak.
  1. Rodgers said he injured his calf on the first third down of the game, potentially as a result of compensating for the aforementioned hamstring issue. This is a situation to monitor entering Week 15, as Rodgers is starting to draw MVP buzz with a 67.9 completion rate, 22:3 TD-to-INT ratio and 108.3 passer rating over the past eight weeks in a one-dimensional offense. His 32 touchdown passes lead the league this season.
  1. Rodgers toyed with the defense in the Seahawks' first game without All Pro safety Earl Thomas, but there were extenuating circumstances. Davante Adams beat Jeremy Lane's single coverage for a 66-yard touchdown down the sideline. The next two scores came on short drives following a Wilson interception and a short Jon Ryan punt. Seattle's offense put the defense in poor situations throughout the game.
  1. Nobody is bemoaning Green Bay's slow receiving corps these days, as Adams and Jordy Nelson have emerged as one of the NFL's most effective tandems during Rodgers' recent renaissance. Nelson's 12 touchdowns are the most of any NFL wide receiver. Adams is on pace for 78 receptions, 1,103 yards and 11 scores in a long-awaited breakout season.
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