ATLANTA -- Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes on Sunday. Three of them went to receivers who had never before caught one in an NFL regular-season game. The other was the 55th of Jordy Nelson's career.
Better late than never for an offense that struggled until last week’s breakout game against the Chicago Bears. At 4-3 and one game shy of the midway point of the season, the Packers find themselves at a bit of a crossroads.
“This will be an important time for us to stick together and figure out what we’ve got to do to go on a run,” Rodgers said.
Those on the offensive side of the visitor’s locker room at the Georgia Dome spoke in encouraging tones.
There was Geronimo Allison, whose first NFL reception was a 4-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
“I think it just shows the chemistry that we have as a team, the brotherhood that we have among each other, how each and every guy is a valuable part and can go out there and help,” said the undrafted rookie who was promoted from the practice squad just last week.
There was Trevor Davis, the rookie fifth-round draft pick who showed off his speed on a 55-yard punt return and had three catches for 24 yards, including a diving 9-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
And there was Jeff Janis, who finally backed up his stunning performance in the playoffs last season with his first career regular-season touchdown.
“I think it shows the type of guys we have in our room,” said Janis, who had four catches for 30 yards that included the 7-yard touchdown to give the Packers a six-point lead with 3:58 to play. “Somebody goes down, we’ve got guys who can step up and make plays, and I think that’s huge going forward in this season.”
It was Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb who were down against the Falcons. Montgomery didn’t play because of a kidney-related ailment and Cobb was scratched because of a hamstring injury. Also missing was tight end Jared Cook, who might be on the verge of returning from his Week 3 ankle injury.
Davante Adams finally backed up a big game with another; 12 catches (giving him 25 in the past two games) for 74 yards and some snaps out of the backfield to offset the lack of a traditional running game, and Nelson finally made a big play deep (a 58-yarder for his longest catch since 2014).
“We did a lot of stuff out there, a lot of good production, especially given the situation with the running backs and things like that,” Adams said. “A lot of guys did a lot of things they haven’t done before and it’s like I said, there’s a lot of good in there.”
Most encouraging of all was Rodgers’ play. He scrambled for first downs, rushing for a career-high 60 yards on six attempts, and completed 28 of 38 passes to seven different receivers, threw for 246 yards and finished with a 125.5 passer rating.
“We’d love to get Jared back soon; obviously, Randall and Ty, getting those guys back would help,” Rodgers said. “Personally, I’m just really proud of those guys who made plays [Sunday]. We got Jordy going early with the big completion but we had three touchdown passes -- one each to Geronimo Allison, who wasn’t on the opening-day roster, to Trevor, who’s had limited opportunities, and Jeff Janis for the go-ahead touchdown. I’m just so proud of those guys and the way they battled.”