Aaron Rodgers, honorary San Diegan, looked as comfortable in frosty Green Bay as an expert surfer would in La Jolla or Encinitas.
From the pocket Saturday in his team’s playoff opener, Rodgers made a few throws that neither Chargers Hall of Famer Dan Fouts nor Philip Rivers may have nailed in their prime years. The Californian whipped strikes through the snowflakes, including a second-and-17 fastball from the end zone with rushers converging.
Rodgers, outmaneuvering the NFL’s top-ranked defense, also drew upon out-of-pocket playmaking that separates him from the traditional pocket QBs such as Rivers and Drew Brees.
A bunch of other Packers earned their paychecks, too, in a 32-18 victory against the Los Angeles Rams that advanced Rodgers, 37, to his fifth NFC championship game.
Hitting the Rams (11-7) for 188 rushing yards and four sacks, Green Bay showed more power and explosiveness than the Packers squad the 49ers trampled in the NFC title game last year in Santa Clara.
Rodgers passed for two touchdowns and finished 23 for 36 for 296 yards. The 108.1 passer rating ranked seventh in his 19 career starts.
The 1-yard rushing TD he improvised by pump-faking Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd into the air was his fourth in a postseason.
So, Rodgers was very good, even by Rodgers’ standards.
But here’s the thing about Rodgers and this Packers team.
They received some good luck Saturday. And it wasn’t the first time they turned…