NFL: Aaron Rodgers feverish to walk the field in London
The game between the Giants and the Packers will be shown Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on RDS and RDS.ca.
Giants v. Packers
WATFORD, UK — Aaron Rodgers might need a quick chat with head coach Matt LaFleur about the Green Bay Packers’ strategy ahead of their first game in London.
After the team’s arrival in the British capital, LaFleur wasted no time in pointing out the importance of the ground game, this Sunday against the New York Giants, holders of the best ground attack in the National League of football.
But American football fans across the UK have been waiting a long time to see Rodgers’ mighty arm in action, with the Packers the last of 32 NFL teams to play a game in London.
So does the veteran quarterback feel extra motivation to put on a show by focusing on the aerial game?
« Of course, » Rodgers replied. “Matt is in a bit of a grumpy mood right now. When he gets some rest, he’ll be in a better mood. We will then discuss playing through the pass some more. »
If that comment was clearly teasing, there’s no doubt that Rodgers and the Packers will be the main attraction at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Giants took part in the NFL’s first ever regular season game in London in 2007 and also came there in 2016.
But as LaFleur pointed out, both teams could spend a lot more time running the ball than passing it through the air.
The Giants’ Saquon Barkley leads the league in rushing yards while the Packers’ offense is largely centered around the tandem of running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
« Our running backs are two of our best players and we need to involve those two players, » LaFleur said after the team arrived at a luxury hotel in northwest London.
The Packers and Giants players arrived Friday morning, which will give them only two days to recover from the trip and get used to the jet lag.
Rodgers, who is known for his frequent trips abroad during the offseason, said he wished he had left sooner.
“Many of those who like to travel would have liked a Monday start to enjoy some good food, some culture and maybe a Premier League game,” Rodgers admitted.
« But regardless, we’re excited to be here, » he added. And it’s not a trip abroad like the others even if the instructors’ speech is always ‘Hey, we’re here to win a game, patati, patata’. There is no doubt that it is more special. (…) These are the kind of matches you will think of at the end of your career and tell yourself that it was a special moment to play in front of the fans here. »