GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Take it from Aaron Rodgers himself. This one was special.
His winning touchdown pass lifted Green Bay to a 33-38 victory at Chicago on Sunday, giving the Packers the NFC North championship. The 48-yard pass to Randall Cobb came with 38 seconds to go.
"It was just one of the most amazing feelings ever," Rodgers said on his weekly radio show Tuesday. "I just blacked out. It was amazing."
It was the culmination of a tale of two halves for Rodgers, who was playing his first game since breaking his collarbone against Chicago on Nov. 4.
In the first half, Rodgers completed 14 of 22 passes for 145 yards, with two interceptions and a dismal passer rating of 44.7. In the second half, Rodgers completed 11 of 17 passes for 173 yards, with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 137.6.
Rodgers, however, said rust from an eight-week layoff wasn't a factor, even though the NFL's career leader in interception percentage had just the ninth multi-interception game in 87 professional starts.
"My arm felt good. Mentally, I felt good," Rodgers said on ESPN Milwaukee. "I prepared hard all week, but there's always going to be some sort of reindoctrination period, if you will. It was kind of like the preseason for me. I wanted to take that first hit, get that first throw in a live game rep. I've played a lot of football. It didn't take long to get into the mix."
Rodgers didn't take many hits. He was sacked three times and hit on just one other occasion. He also was on the receiving end of a late hit by Shea McClellin — who sacked Rodgers when he was hurt on Nov. 4 — though Rodgers said he didn't think the latest hit was a dirty play. He said most aches in his calves, which cramped up following a third-down scramble on the winning drive.
"I was conscious about it early," Rodgers said. "I don't want to take any unnecessary shots, so I made sure I got down on that first slide (on the first series of game) pretty early. That late third-and-4, it was purely reactionary."