Setting the stage: Rodgers’ career day wouldn’t have been possible without the Packers’ offensive line having perhaps its best game of the season.
Rodgers was sacked on only one occasion and even then it came on an extended play in the first quarter. Beyond that, Rodgers had a comfortable pocket to throw from the entire afternoon in the fifth start David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner and Corey Linsley made together.
“I feel like as an offensive line we’re doing a good job communicating at the line, understanding the calls, and understanding what we’ve got to do,” Linsley said. “I feel comfortable in that, but we still have areas to improve.”
Finding the fullback: For weeks, the Packers have teased using fullback Danny Vitale more in the pass game. On Sunday, they finally did it against the Raiders.
Vitale saw his most action of the season in several two-back sets, frequently running routes out of the backfield and motioning wide pre-snap, en route to catching two passes for 43 yards.
“It does a lot (for the offense),” running back Aaron Jones said. “He’s always in the right spot at the right time and he’s a weapon with the ball in his hands, as well. I think people underestimate him with his speed. With all those muscles, he still takes off on you. Danny is a special player.”
Delightful way to debut: Backup quarterback Tim Boyle officially played in his first NFL game Sunday, with Rodgers’ 74-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling signaling the end of his career day.
A healthy scratch in all but one game as a rookie, Boyle has served as Rodgers’ primary backup through the first six games but had yet to step onto the field until entering the game with 4 minutes, 36 seconds remaining.
He didn’t throw a pass but kneeled out the Packers’ sixth win of the year.
“It was nice to get that part out of the way,” Boyle said. “I knew eventually there’s going to be a point in the season, whether it’s a situation that I’m forced to go in or we’re blowing a team out. I knew there was going to be an opportunity for me to go in. I’m glad I was there and kind of get my feet wet a little bit so I can understand what to expect next time.”