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Aaron Rodgers' Impact as a Mobile Quarterback

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — In the Week 11 matchup between the Vikings and Packers, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers had just three carries for six yards.

But the Vikings know Rodgers impact goes beyond the stat line, as his ability to scramble away from pressure helped extend numerous plays.

"When he's able to escape to his right, that's when he is actually the most dangerous," said Vikings defensive end Brian Robison. "For us, it's about not only keeping him in the pocket but making him nervous in the pocket.

"You can't just let him sit back there and pass the ball and look downfield. You have to get around his feet and get some shots on him."

In the contest earlier this season, Rodgers completed 16 of 34 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns as the Packers won 30-13.

Of Rodgers' 34 attempts, seven came out of the pocket. While he completed two of them, the pair of passes were two of the biggest of the game.

The first was when Rodgers scrambled to his left and found wide receiver James Jones down the left sideline for a 37-yard gain late in the third quarter.

Just a few plays later, the Green Bay quarterback rolled to his right and evaded pressure before finding Jones again, this time for a 27-yard touchdown pass. 

Add in the ensuing two-point conversion in which Rodgers also slithered away from pressure, and the Vikings saw their six-point deficit increase to 14 points.

The Vikings know that even if they contain Rodgers for the majority of the game, it only takes one play for him to strike.

"He's one of the best in the league," said Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. "You know he's going to keep scratching and keep fighting.

"We have to have tighter coverage. When we have to chance to hit him, we have to hit him and get him down. When he scrambles, he can make every throw."

A nine-year veteran, Robison has seen quarterbacks make their share of plays. He said sometimes you just have to tip your cap to them.

"Those times he got out of the pocket were probably mistakes," Robison said. "Hopefully we can eliminate but with a guy like him, he's going to make plays, too.

"He's one of those guys you have to be very aware of."

Rodgers' ability to keep plays alive and frustrate opposing defenses is nothing new to Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy.

"Extending plays is obviously something that comes off training and what's available, too," McCarthy said. "He's excellent in pocket awareness and his ability to transition to the out-of-the-pocket phase of the passing game is obviously unique, but there's also a discipline and decision-making process that all quarterbacks have to go through, and he does a good job with that."

The Vikings have struggled some against mobile quarterbacks this season, whether it's been San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick or Seattle's Russell Wilson.

With the NFC North championship hanging in the balance Sunday, the Vikings face another tough challenge.

"It definitely comes down to all four guys rushing together," Robison said. "If you've got one guy doing the right deal and three others guys not, that's going to hurt you."

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