McCarren: Highly-motivated Rodgers, Packers pass defense key to beating 49ers

CREATED Jan 11, 2013

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  • Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

GREEN BAY - In the modern age of football, the biggest key to winning comes from the play of your quarterback.

Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Packers color commentator and TODAY'S TMJ4/NBC26 reporter Larry McCarren says that with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers may have the ultimate advantage going into Saturday night's divisional playoff showdown with the 49ers.

"If you look at passer ratings and the discrepancy (between your team and your opponents), it makes all the difference in the world in winning a football game," explained McCarren on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News." 

"When the Packers' defense has held a football team to a rating of 80 or less, they are 40-2.  It makes a difference.  Aaron Rodgers is always going to be (at a) 100 (rating) or above.  The other quarterback has to play lights out, because Aaron, week in and week out, plays a lights out game."

Rodgers may have extra juice for Saturday night, since his Packers will be playing close to his hometown of Chico, Calif., and the 49ers (with current Packers coach Mike McCarthy as offensive coordinator) passed up on Rodgers for Alex Smith with the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

"Aaron Rodgers has made it clear in the past, saying almost verbatim, 'I've got a long memory.'  I don't think he puts things aside.  It was years ago, to much of the Packers good fortune.  I'm sure it's stuck in Aaron's craw.  Anytime you play in an area where you grew up, it adds a little."

However, Larry adds, "I don't think Rodgers or anyone else needs anything to add to the party.  We're talking about the divisional playoffs.  This thing, when you look at the way it sets up, could be the crucible for the Packers to get to the Super Bowl.  I don't think anybody needs anything on the periphery to get jacked up for this one."