With the scapegoat gone and the struggles continuing, at what point should we start worrying about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers?
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a two-time MVP, a Super Bowl champion and was just selected to his seventh career Pro Bowl. However, given everything that has happened this season, is it appropriate to start worrying about the 35-year-old quarterback?
Sky-high expectations for the Packers heading into the season have been met with a harsh reality and a brutal 5-8-1 record heading into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. The struggles of the offense ultimately led to the firing of head coach Mike McCarthy, who received a large portion of the blame for the team’s ineffectiveness.
However, even with McCarthy gone, there have been a number of instances the past couple of games where we have seen some less-than-stellar throws from Rodgers. Poor footwork and awkward throwing mechanics have led to some inaccurate passes, including this one on Sunday.
Granted, Rodgers faced some pressure in the pocket on this one, but these are the kinds of throws we used to see the 35-year-old make regularly for the Packers, and were the kinds of throws that made him a sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback.
Some may argue that there’s nothing wrong with Rodgers because they look at the box score and see that he’s thrown 23 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Rodgers even broke the NFL record for consecutive passes without throwing an interception, throwing over 400 passes between picks.
However, the reason Rodgers has thrown so few picks is because he’s taken so few chances throwing downfield. The Packers superstar leads the NFL heading into Sunday with nearly 60, while no other team in the NFL has thrown more than 30.
It’s also crazy to consider that Rodgers wants to stay out and play in meaningless games as the season winds down. He’s dealt with a number of injuries this year, and has clearly not looked like his usual self. I get wanting to play for pride and for your teammates, but risking a chance to get injured and impact your ability to play at the start of 2019 doesn’t make too much sense.
It’s clear that the QB needs to reinvent himself this offseason. He’s going to have a new head coach to work with, which will likely mean a chance in the team’s offensive scheme and philosophy. But Rodgers will also need to rework his mechanics, starting with his footwork and base, to continue sustaining a high level of play as he approaches the twilight of his career.
The Packers window to win a Super Bowl is closing, and the leader of the team is going to need to do some soul searching before the 2019 season.