Black and Blue all over: Rodgers shines

Posted by EPSN.com's Kevin Seifert

By all accounts, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers produced a scintillating performance Friday night in Denver.

Rodgers completed 18 of 22 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown in the Packers' 27-24 victory over the Broncos, and in all Green Bay gained 217 yards and 15 first downs when he was in the game. Coming in the most critical of preseason games, the performance eased concerns about his rusty outings in the previous two games.

"I thought Aaron had a very good night," coach Mike McCarthy told reporters in Denver. "I thought he was sharp. I thought he managed the offense, the tempo, was smart with the football, was very good on third down. I thought it was important for our offense to come out and establish some tempo and have some productivity early in the game. We were able to do that and continue it for four quarters."

Rodgers threw a 35-yard pass to tight end Tory Humphrey on the Packers' first play from scrimmage and it was off to the races from there. The Packers also benefited from the return of receiver Greg Jennings, who had four catches for 42 yards.

The night wasn't a total success at the quarterback position, however. In limited time, backup Brian Brohm did not complete any of his four passes. McCarthy indicated Brohm and No. 3 quarterback Matt Flynn will get extended playing time next Thursday against Tennessee.

Elsewhere around the NFC North:

  • The Detroit Lions' key offensive players probably will see only 20-25 snaps Saturday against Cleveland. "Injuries are such a significant part in these preseason games," offensive coordinator Jim Colletto told the Detroit Free Press. "And we can't afford to get anybody hurt."

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (sprained right knee) did not participate in any 11-on-11 drills during practice this week. He is not expected to play in Saturday's preseason game against Pittsburgh.

  • Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is vowing to hold some competitive practices in the wake of his team's defensive breakdown Thursday night against San Francisco. Brandon McGowan and Kevin Payne will continue to compete for the starting strong-safety job.

  • 49ers running back Frank Gore was asked how long it had been since his team's offense had felt as good as it did against the Bears: "A long time," Gore said. "A long time. A long time."