GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here's a game of NFL fill in the blank: Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback when it comes to ____.
(A) Staying alive in the pocket for eight seconds to throw touchdown passes
(B) Throwing Hail Marys
(C) Hitting receivers in stride through tight windows
"He’s in a zone unlike anything that I’ve ever seen before," Packers receiver Davante Adams said. "I’m not sure that other quarterbacks around the league can even challenge that. It’s just a matter of when he turns it on, we’ve got to match that."
Rodgers did all of that, and then some, in the Packers' victory at Lambeau Field. He threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns, making him the only quarterback in team history with a pair of four-touchdown playoff games.
It came after the Packers were largely inept early on. They punted on their first five possessions. The last playoff team that did that was the Chicago Bears in the 2010 NFC Championship Game, which the Packers won.
And then Rodgers came alive.
In a touchdown pass reminiscent of the one he threw the week before in Detroit -- where he dodged pass-rushers for more than eight seconds and hit Geronimo Allison in the end zone -- Rodgers pulled it off again for the Packers' first score, a 5-yarder to Adams (who had eight catches for 125 yards). It was just the third touchdown pass of this entire NFL season in which a passer took at least eight seconds to throw. Rodgers, of course, has two of them.
"I was just trying to extend and extend," Rodgers said. "They actually covered down my first and second options, which was the two inside return routes which was Davante and Randall, and kind of came back to [Adams] there late and he was on the same page with me, so it was good."
Then came a 42-yard Hail Mary to Randall Cobb on the last play of the first half. Much like the 61-yarder he threw to Richard Rodgers to beat the Detroit Lions December 2015 and the 41-yarder to Jeff Janis to force overtime at Arizona last January, the ball fell perfectly out of the sky and into one of his receiver's waiting hands. Rodgers has three Hail Marys in the last two seasons. The rest of the NFL has six in that same span.
"It felt amazing," Rodgers said of the Hail Mary. "It felt like it was meant to be today."
Rodgers hit Cobb on the run for two more touchdowns: a 30-yarder on a post in the third quarter that helped offset coach Mike McCarthy's questionable -- and unsuccessful -- fourth-and-1 decision on the previous drive, and a 16-yarder in the fourth quarter that made Cobb the first Packers' player with three touchdown catches in a playoff game since Sterling Sharpe against the Lions in 1994. Cobb (five catches for 116 yards) also became the first player with 100 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a playoff game since the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski in the 2011 divisional round against the Denver Broncos.
"He’s playing [at] a very high level," Cobb said. "He’s been playing [at] a high level for a long time now over the past seven, eight weeks, and I think it comes down to him trusting us a little bit more, sticking on us a little bit more and us being able to make the plays for him. It comes down to executing the offense and he’s done a great job of leading us and putting us in a position."
The Packers couldn't handle the Cowboys at Lambeau Field in Week 6; Dallas cruised to a 30-16 victory on the way to a 13-3 regular season. Back then, however, Rodgers didn't play like this. Since Rodgers made his "run the table" remark, he has 19 touchdowns without a single interception.