Aaron Rodgers has been around long enough to know not to underestimate the New England Patriots as long as Bill Belichick is patrolling the sideline.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback, despite being favored by nine points for Sunday's game at Lambeau Field, is expecting a heavyweight bout. He spoke Thursday about the challenges the Patriots present with their variety of coverages while sharing extremely high praise for New England's legendary head coach.
"They have a lot of schemes they can get to. They’re very well prepared, very well coached,” Rodgers told reporters. “You’ve got to beat every coverage pressure. Zero, drop eight, a lot of different things. A lot of respect for coach Belichick, he’s the best coach in the history of the game I think.”
That's a heck of a compliment coming from the franchise QB of the organization that once employed Vince Lombardi. Of course, Belichick has six Super Bowl rings to Lombardi's two as a head coach.
The Patriots defense certainly could help keep the Week 4 matchup close, but it's no secret why Green Bay is heavily favored. The Matt Patricia/Joe Judge-led Pats offense has struggled mightily through the first three weeks of the campaign. And with second-year QB Mac Jones likely out with a high-ankle sprain, New England will have to lean on veteran Brian Hoyer, who's 0-11 in his last 11 NFL starts.
Rodgers is 1-2 against Belichick and the Patriots in his career. Sunday's showdown will mark the first time he's faced a New England team without Tom Brady as its quarterback.
Patriots (1-2) vs. Packers (2-1) kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET.