Rodgers dodges Favre's shadow with successful debut
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- About an hour before he made his first-ever regular-season NFL start, Aaron Rodgers sat quietly in the Green Bay Packers' locker room. That's when wide receiver Ruvell Martin, who was signed by the Packers the same year Rodgers lasted until the 24th pick of the 2005 draft, leaned over and said, "It's finally here."Rodgers knew what he meant. Everybody did. Rodgers was about to make Packers history. He was about to become the first Green Bay starting quarterback in 16 seasons not named Brett Favre. By the time his "Monday Night Football" debut was done, Rodgers had led the Packers to a penalty-soaked 24-19 win against the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, it was an evening of firsts: first start ... first rushing touchdown ... first Lambeau Leap. "I've been dreaming about that for four years, to be honest," Rodgers said of his helmet-first jump toward the end zone bleachers. "I heard he didn't make it all the way up," Packers linebacker Nick Barnett said, smiling. If true, it was one of the few mistakes Rodgers made the entire game. In his first start, played against the mouthy Vikings, and in front of a national television audience and the largest regular-season crowd in Lambeau Field history, Rodgers delivered a victory and more.
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