In the first half, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers carved up the Indianapolis secondary like so many others he’s faced during his stellar NFL career. He had already thrown two touchdowns and guided the Packers to a 21-3 halftime lead. With the Packers getting the ball to start the second half, it appeared that the Colts’ undermanned secondary was ripe for Rodgers to deliver the death blow.
After Rodgers scrambled 12 yards for a first down, it looked like the Packers were ready to do just that. Jerraud Powers had other ideas. On a third down and two, Rodgers called a pass play intended for James Jones who was covered by Powers. Jones ran his route down the right sideline and pulled up ready to bring in one of Rodgers’ patented back-shoulder throws that are virtually impossible to defend. Nobody told Powers that though.
Powers read Jones perfectly and stepped in front of the Rodgers pass for an interception, giving the Colts their first possession of the second half. Andrew Luck would convert the short field into a touchdown, giving the Colts the needed confidence to go on what would be an incredible comeback victory. It all started with the veteran Powers stepping up to make a play when the opportunity came to him.
“Any time you face the Packers, it’s going to be tough,” Powers said after the game. “We knew we were going to have opportunities because they throw it so much. As a corner, that’s what you want, the opportunity to make plays.”
“I was reading the receiver and saw which way he was going to turn. I read the play and the ball was right there.”
One of the reasons Rodgers was picking on Powers was because of the play of Cassius Vaughn, who was making only his fourth NFL start in place of injured starter Vontae Davis. Rodgers went at Vaughn early in the first half, but except for a questionable pass interference penalty, he didn’t find much there when he looked Vaughn’s way.
For Vaughn, he was just happy he acquitted himself well for his teammates and Coach Pagano”
“I was out there for myself and out there for Chuck. All I wanted to do was make sure my teammates and everybody here knew that I could be accountable.”
“I knew they were going to try me early and if I gave them anything, they were going to keep coming after me.”
Vaughn’s performance caused Rodgers to look elsewhere for success. This allowed the front seven time to get to Rodgers, which they did five times overall.
For the game, Rodgers threw for only 243 yards. He had only one score in the second half.
With the Colts secondary banged up and facing one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, most pundits (including this one) expected the Packers to have their way in the passing game. Jerraud Powers and his fellow defensive backs had other ideas.
Chuck Chapman is entering his second season as the editor and lead writer for Colts 101. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals for the Sports Media 101. Chuck and his family are originally from Ohio, but have settled in Central Indiana and become big Colts fans. You can read Chuck’s other writing about the Colts at www.colts101.com.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Cassius Vaughn, jerraud powers
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