Aaron Rodgers' performance against the Houston Texans spoke loudly on Sunday. But did it speak loudly enough to quiet those who had been doubting him as the Packers scuffled to a 2-3 record to start the season?
The 2011 NFL MVP sure seemed to think so.
Leading up to Sunday night's showdown with the undefeated Texans, Rodgers and the Packers were under fire for their offensive struggles, lack of takeaways on defense and that losing record (just the third time under .500 in coach Mike McCarthy's seven-year tenure in Green Bay). Following a record-breaking performance in Reliant Stadium and a 42-24 blowout, Rodgers was happy to answer one last question before heading into the locker room.
"What do you think you told the critics tonight?" asked NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.
"Shh," Rodgers said as he walked away.
Rodgers picked apart the Texans' secondary all game, tying a franchise-record with a career-high six touchdown passes. He hooked up with Jordy Nelson for three touchdowns, connected with James Jones for a pair and found Tom Crabtree for another. It was Rodgers' 2011 backup, Matt Flynn, now holding a clipboard in Seattle, who previously held the record alone after he threw six in last year's season finale against Detroit.
"We were all just tired of answering questions about, 'What happened to the Packers?' (and) 'What happened to me?' It was a good team effort tonight," Rodgers said after the game (but before Tafoya's last question), via USA Today. "Just getting back to the way we were capable of playing. We haven't gone anywhere."
Having evened their record at 3-3, the Packers will play a third straight road game, heading to St. Louis to face the Rams. After that, the Pack finally returns to Lambeau for home games against Jacksonville and Arizona.
If the Packers keep up the kind of execution they displayed in Houston, they could atop the NFC North by their bye (Week 10). If that happens then Rodgers may have to quiet those trying to hype up expectations for another deep postseason run.