(AP) – Adrian Peterson has played against Aaron Rodgers more than a dozen times and knows not to be surprised by anything.
So when the prolific quarterback led the Green Bay Packers to a comeback victory in Week 1 and played well on an injured left knee in Week 2, it was par for the course.
“You see him hobbling around last week and how effortless he was making plays,” Peterson said. “That’s one thing I learned: When you’ve got Aaron Rodgers on your team, you’ve always got a chance to win a game.”
Peterson and Rodgers meet on an NFL field for the 15th time Sunday. While Rodgers is showing he can still produce at less than 100 percent health, Peterson is now 33 and with the Washington Redskins, who have their sights set on containing Green Bay’s offense in the hopes of bouncing back from a bad loss to Indianapolis.
“You’ve got to prepare every day like it’s a championship game,” Washington safety D.J. Swearinger said. “You’ve got to give (Rodgers) different looks on defense, you’ve got to confuse him and you’ve got to send pressure at him. That’s the only way you beat the greatest – by moving him off the spot and switching up the looks.”
Rodgers’ ability to keep plays alive and ad-lib when options aren’t there are things that make him one of the NFL’s best. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Rodgers: “You don’t want anyone to be injured, but that’ll help a little bit because one of the strengths of his game is his ability to create off schedule.”
Neither Packers coach Mike McCarthy nor Rodgers will say how injured the 34-year-old is. Rodgers said his knee was still sore even as he continues to play through the pain.
“It’s just going to be something you’ve got to deal with for a while,” Rodgers said. “Take it week by week. It doesn’t seem like there’s a major setback at this point, so just being smart about it and trying to get ready to play.”
One way to limit Rodgers and the Packers (1-0-1) is holding on to the ball, something the Redskins (1-1) struggled with against the Colts when they went 5 of 15 on third down. Part of that is getting Peterson going like he did in Week 1, and this may be the perfect opportunity because his 1,779 yards rushing against Green Bay are the most of any opponent during his career.
“I don’t think anything brings out the best,” Peterson said. “Any game I’m a part of, I’m giving 110 percent. Obviously, the Vikings and Packers is a rivalry game, highly anticipated, so I don’t know if other guys play extra hard. I was giving all I had each time I played those guys.”