Now the subject matter of this article might seem ridiculous but stay with me here. There’s a reason why we made this video, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan. Well, maybe I’m slightly biased. In a humongous nutshell, Aaron Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. The numbers can’t refute that, and neither can the eye test. In fact, you can make the argument that Rodgers has the best arm in NFL history, as evidenced by his amazing hail mary passes to Richard Rodgers and Jeff Janis.
Furthermore, his current 2020 season would automatically give him another MVP Award….that is, if not for a certain quarterback who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs named Patrick Mahomes. But one Super Bowl appearance and victory makes you wonder: How good is Rodgers, and how much of the blame should be on the legendary signal-caller?
Not Blaming Aaron Rodgers for the Packers’ Shortcomings
Look, I get that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t make personnel decisions when it comes to free-agent signings and drafting players. His wide receivers in Green Bay haven’t exactly been the next coming of Terrell Owens, Jerry Rice, or Randy Moss, and that can definitely be blamed on his general managers.
And I get that Rodgers didn’t drop that infamous onside kick during the 2015 NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks.
But at the same time, it’s not as though Rodgers has always put him fantastic passing numbers during his postseason career.
2011 NFC Championship Game: Bears versus Packers
Remember the 2011 NFC Championship Game? B.J. Raji gets all the glory for his game-winning pick-six, and there’s a big reason for that. If not for that famous pick-six, Caleb Hanie and the Bears could have realistically tied up the score at 14 apiece and sent the game into overtime.
A-Aron Rodgers wasn’t exactly spectacular that day in Chicago: He threw zero touchdown passes, got picked off twice, and actually finished with a worse quarterback rating than Hanie. Oh, and by the way, Hanie started the NFC Title Game as the Bears’ third-string quarterback.
But was the 2011 NFC Title Game an anomaly to how Rodgers performs in the postseason? Actually, he has a couple of other playoff stinkers on his resume.
2012 NFC Divisional Round: Giants versus Packers
It’s hard for me to understand why people forget this, but the Packers were once 15-1 when they hosted Eli Manning and the NFC East division-winning New York Giants during the 2012 Divisional Playoffs.
And how did Rodgers and his seemingly unbeatable Pack team play at Lambeau Field? Well, not so great.
A 20-10 halftime deficit, coupled with Rodgers turning the ball over twice, led the Packers to losing by three scores to Tom Coughlin‘s Giants: 37-20.
Now Rodgers of course doesn’t play defense, but sometimes you have to make in-game adjustments when the opposing quarterback is just flat out getting the job done. Rodgers wasn’t great that day by any means, and he had 20 incompletions on 46 total attempts. I don’t expect Rodgers to play shootout football, but 20 incompletions certainly don’t excuse him from at least SOME of the blame. If Eli can throw for over 300 yards on the road, it’s certainly understandable to question why Rodgers, the MVP of the league, is held under 300 at home during a do-or-die playoff game.
The whole debate on if “Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer” is reserved for another article, but if Eli is NOT a Hall of Famer, then is Rodgers slightly overrated? I wouldn’t EXACTLY say that, but it’s important to remember that Rodgers has struggled in the playoffs. If we’re going to blame Peyton Manning for not having more Super Bowl rings, then Mr. Discount Double Check should be also guilty of not being a so-called “Clutch QB.”
By the way, that Giants-Packers playoff game was played on Aaron’s home field. His 264 passing yards, one interception, one fumble lost, and four sacks tell me that either Rodgers wasn’t ready to go, or he’s not as “untradeable” as some NFL analysts would make NFL fans think.
2015 NFC Championship Game: Seahawks versus Packers
Finally, remember that NFC Championship Game where his Packers teammates botched the onside kick and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix couldn’t even knock down the two-point conversion throw from Russell Wilson? These plays can’t be blamed on Rodgers, but blowing a 16-0 lead can somewhat be put on his shoulders. Remember: the Packers were up 16-0 at halftime and then 19-7 with 5:13 remaining in the 4th quarter WITH the ball. If Rodgers could’ve just got another first down late in the second half, then the infamous Brandon Bostick dropped onside kick probably would have never happened. Just something to think about Packer fans, especially since Rodgers finished with under 200 passing yards in the game with two interceptions.
Comparing Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers: Not Fair, I Know
I get that some of these playoff games shouldn’t be blamed on Rodgers. The 2017 NFC Championship Game was Rodgers basically playing with a beleaguered offensive line, and the 2020 NFC Title Game was the Hall of Fame signal-caller not having a chance against that fully healthy San Francisco 49ers defensive line full of first-round draft picks.
Rodgers has made some out-of-these-world plays in the playoffs. But at the same time, have you ever wondered why he’s had to pull a rabbit out of his hat? Think about it like this: If Rodgers is 100 percent better than Brett Favre, why are the Packers always in these seemingly unwinnable positions?
Come to think of it, when Favre was at his best, I don’t remember Favre having to throw a prayer up to Jeff Janis or a spectacular sideline dart to Jared Cook. The point that I’m trying to make is you can hate on former general manager Ted Thompson and former head coach Mike McCarthy all you want. But until you start to at least question why the Packers are always one or two wins shy from playing on Super Bowl Sunday, then it’s quite possible Green Bay might never play for the Lombardi Trophy again with Rodgers under center.
How Much Should We Blame Rodgers?
So with all of that being said, is Rodgers the sole culprit for playoff disappointments? Absolutely not. His playoff duel with Kurt Warner is one of the greatest games ever by a quarterback, and his masterful performance against Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys was probably even better.
But here’s another point that I need to make: Some of his greatest playoff performances were all on the road. The Larry Fitzgerald overtime game? That was in Arizona. The Jared Cook sideline toss? That was at Jerry’s World in Dallas.
If Rodgers is the reason they’re in the playoffs and completely blameless for any wrongdoing that may come the Pack’s way, then why are the Packers consistently the lower seed in the playoffs?
So with all of that in mind, what’s the reason for this video? Basically, I want the Packers to consider life without Rodgers. And honestly, they’ve probably already begun doing that when they drafted Jordan Love in the first round.
Why the Packers Front Office Would Consider a Blockbuster Deal for Rodgers
It’s no secret that Rodgers isn’t the easiest person to play with on the gridiron. Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley, two of his former pass-catchers, have openly criticized Rodgers as not being a naturally born leader. You can call it “sour grapes” all you want, but why would Jennings and Finley want to talk about Rodgers all these years later? Are they talking about Rodgers being an okay leader because they hate Rodgers or because they want their former employer to succeed?
I don’t know the answer to those questions, but it just makes me think. Has Rodgers been destroyed by a bad front office, or is he just Dan Marino-esque in how he sometimes fails when the lights are the brightest?
However you want to answer those questions, the Packers need to consider life without Rodgers if they miss the Super Bowl in 2021. Rodgers is getting ever closer to age 40, and if you wait too long, you won’t get nearly as much as you would if you traded him in the next couple of months.
Antisocial Aaron Rodgers
Not that this matters, but Rodgers has reportedly been antisocial to his own family. He reportedly skipped his grandfather’s funeral, and he and his brother Jordan barely speak to each other. Not getting along with your family doesn’t mean that you can’t be a leader on the gridiron. However, I feel like if Rodgers is so antisocial with people who raised him, perhaps he isn’t the best listener or likable person in the locker room?
A Theoretical Trade Scenario
Anyway, back to the editorial. What would the Packers need if they moved on from Rodgers? Well, a lot of first and second-round picks are obvious. A playmaking wide receiver would be nice as well, but I don’t know if there are that many teams (if any) who would trade a first-rounder, a second-rounder, AND a Pro Bowl-caliber wide receiver in the same trade.
The Pack would most likely have to get a third team involved to get more of what they want. The only non-tradable player seems to be Davante Adams, but the Packers would also like to keep Aaron Jones on the roster if they can.
My Final Consensus
The overall theme of this editorial is to just have you take a closer look at Rodgers. He’s a tremendous athlete, sure. But being an all-time great quarterback is also about leadership and playing phenomenally when your offensive line and defense can’t bail you out.
I’m sick of hearing the excuses that Ted Thompson failed Aaron Rodgers. It is so hard to find marquee free agents who want to play in Green Bay. Be honest here. Would you want to play in Green Bay during the months of December and January, even if your contract came with $25 million in guaranteed money?
Rodgers is on my list of Top 10 all-time great quarterbacks, but when you’re Packers general Brian Gutekunst, you need to play the return on investment game. Rodgers has already given you a great return on investment, but you want Super Bowl victories. Otherwise, Rodgers is basically just draining your salary cap without any Super Bowl TV revenue.
So will the Packers trade Rodgers after the season? It really just depends on how they perform in the playoffs. I can’t imagine that they’ll miss the Super Bowl this upcoming February, but anything’s possible. The Los Angeles Rams defense is excellent, Tom Brady is still playing decent football, and Drew Brees has more than enough left in the tank.
Here’s my final prediction: If the Packers lose in the NFC Championship Game or before that, then Rodgers will be on a new team. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it. I’m even tempted to make a bet on PointsBet.
But what do you think? Should the Packers trade Aaron Rodgers if they miss the Super Bowl for the 10th straight year? Feel free to comment below and like this article.