Aaron Rodgers and Mike Zimmer have gone head-to-head 14 times since Zimmer became head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, so they know each other as good as any foes in the National Football League.
Rodgers, appearing for his weekly Tuesday chat on the YouTube-based The Pat McAfee Show, provided a detailed breakdown of what it's like to be on the wrong side of a well-designed Zimmer defensive scheme and then what it's like to torch that scheme the next time he sees it.
In Rodgers' words, here's what it's like going up against a "really f****** good pressure" designed by Zimmer (apologies for the swear in the tweet below).
"Mike Zimmer's defense is always going to throw different things at you. They had a couple good wrinkles. They brought a new pressure which they always do. They got it the first time with it and the second time we picked it up really good. On the second time was the 75 yards to Marquez (Valdez-Scantling)," Rodgers explained.
This is the part where Rodgers goes into robot mode and recalls every detail of the play, using some pretty technical language.
"It's a fantastic schematic blitz. The Vikings are known for their Double-A pressures. Obviously they're kind of, Mike and his staff, is kind of the inventors of 7-up, 8-up, double edges, double mug, and what they were doing is they were double-mugging and putting Harrison (Smith) to the strong side and, they've done a number of variations over the years, but they actually brought the strong backer in the strong A and wrapped the backside backer around with a loop by the three-technique. Really f****** good pressure. Schematically, really good."
What did he just say? Basically, Zimmer's scheme fooled him the first time but he wasn't fooled the second time he saw it and he rifled a pass that burned the Vikings for a game-tying 75-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"That's the beauty of the game. It's about making adjustments and being able to adapt."
Here's how Rodgers has performed in 13 starts against Zimmer since 2014 (not included the game Rodgers got injured in in 2017).
- 385 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT (Loss)
- 291 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT (Loss)
- 364 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT (Win)
- 216 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT (Win)
- 209 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT (Win)
- 198 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (Loss)
- 281 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (Tie)
- 347 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT (Win)
- 213 yards, 1 TD, 1 TD (Loss)
- 291 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (Loss)
- 212 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT (Win)
- 209 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT Win)
- 156 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT (Win)
Rodgers is 7-6-1 against the Vikings with Zimmer as coach, though one of the losses was the 2017 game in Minneapolis when Rodgers broke his collarbone just a handful of plays into the game.
Meanwhile, Rodgers and the Packers didn't really have any juices flowing in the first half until they got the ball back after the Vikings tried to run a toss play to fullback C.J. Ham on third-and-one. Green Bay got the ball back and wound up scoring a touchdown right before the half, trimming the deficit from 16-3 to 16-10.
Rodgers said that was "the drive that really got us going," which is interesting because that drive may never have happened had the Vikings elected to try and convert a third-and-one play by getting the ball to one of their playmakers rather than their fullback.
But hey, they won so let's be happy abou