Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had high praise for his quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who battled through a calf injury and led his team to a 30-20 victory over the Detroit Lions. The Packers took home the NFC North division for the fourth-straight year, and earned a first-round bye in the process.
Below is a transcript of what McCarthy had to say after the game.
I'm excited about winning our fourth NFC North division championship in a row. What a great atmosphere tonight, I want to thank the fans for making Lambeau loud, just like it always is. Fine performance by our football team, starting with our defense. Had a good game plan against Detroit. I thought the defense played very well, had some tough breaks go against them.
Special teams, we had the big punt (return) by Micah Hyde, it really got us going. We had some up and down plays here and there, but I thought the coverage units played hard, I thought our physicality was superior than our opponent.
Offensively, really liked our plan, thought we were on a roll, and the plan was to go at an excellent defense, and we went right at them. Big night for us, we're excited about obviously winning the division, the bye week, getting ready for another game here in the second-round at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers, I don't know what to say about him. To come back from the calf injury and to perform and play at the level he continues to play at, was extraordinary. Clearly an MVP performance by Aaron Rodgers.
On what limitations there were for Rodgers:
Well I think moving him around, just the movement was part of our game plan. Did everything from the pocket, kept him in the gun (shotgun), he did a hell of a job.
Aaron Rodgers is the leader of our football team. He's in my opinion, the most valuable player in football this year. I think what he demonstrated tonight in a must-win game, against an excellent opponent, I think it's clear what he means to our football team.
Regarding Ndamukong Suh's step on Rodgers:
I'll say this, I didn't see it live. From what I've been told, I'm told it's ridiculous. There's no place for that, that's where I'm at with it. I don't understand it frankly.
On Eddie Lacy's 100-yard performance, which was the first the Lions surrendered all season:
It was big. That was the plan. I had one goal in mind, to make sure he touched it 20 times. Eddie got his trips to the plate against this defense. I thought our offensive line really looked forward to the challenge all week, both in the run blocking and pass protection, and I thought Eddie definitely delivered.
Regarding the team's seventh blocked kick and special team miscues:
The field goal protection has been an issue. We'll continue to work it, there's no excuse for it. It's obviously an emphasis of our opponent the way they're coming after us. We have to do a much better job there, that's not cutting it.
On Jordy Nelson breaking the franchise single-season record for receiving yards:
I think as a coach, its what you're looking for, he's the example. Couldn't be happier for him, and as a person, he's as fine as a young man that we've had here. Just very proud of what Jordy accomplished today.