The 2022 season is almost here.
But I’m still baffled by how many people blame Aaron Rodgers for the loss that ended the 2021 season.
The Packers were missing their two best offensive linemen, their top tight end, a starting wide receiver, and lost their starting running back (who was drafted specifically for games in those conditions) during the game.
That’s half the starting offense out (not to mention backups playing at both tackle positions).
And they played one of the top defenses in the league, who gave an inspired effort.
Then throw in the fact that the special teams unit turned in one of the worst playoff performances in recent NFL history, letting a field goal get blocked and letting a punt get blocked into the end zone for a touchdown.
That’s a 10 point swing.
In a game that was determined by a last second field goal.
Football is really complex, but sometimes basic math tells the story.
This is one of those times.
Don’t forget that this game was played in blustery conditions that were in no way conducive to passing the ball.
Compare Aaron Rodgers to the opposing quarterback. Rodgers had almost twice as many completions, a far superior completion percentage, threw for almost 100 more yards, the same number of touchdowns, fewer interceptions, had no turnovers, and a quarterback rating nearly 35 points higher.
Some people say that Aaron Rodgers is the MVP and should outperform the opposition.
Well… he did. By a long shot.
Some people say the quarterback needs to raise the level of play of those around him.
Playing behind a MASH unit on the offensive line and missing his deep play threat and his cold weather back, I’d say he did just that.
Should the offense have scored more points?
And they would have.
If special teams didn’t get a field goal blocked after Rodgers led the team into scoring position.
If Aaron Jones didn’t cut inside when he had a clear path to the end zone after Rodger bought time and manipulated the defense to get Jones wide open.
If Marcedes Lewis didn’t fumble after Rodgers got him open in the flat with the offense humming.
Rodgers performed like an MVP in leading a beat-up offense playing a great defense in terrible conditions. The team kept coming up short, but that’s not all on the quarterback. Not by a long stretch.
Could Aaron Rodgers have played better?
Sure, football isn’t bowling – no one ever plays a perfect game.
Could you say “If Aaron Rodgers had played better, the Packers could have won”?
Yeah, but it would be a useless statement – you could say that for pretty much every player on every team in every loss. If Billy Turner would have played better, the Packers could have won. If Henry Black would have played better, the Packers could have won.
When guys play better, the odds of winning go up. That’s the nature of football. It applies to quarterback just like it applied to every other position.
But does that mean it’s Aaron Rodgers’s fault that Packers lost to the 49ers?
Want to learn more!?
The Packers have one of the best rosters in the NFL and a big reason was because of superior drafting. Want to learn more?
Don’t just watch the draft – understand it and learn why GMs make the moves they do.
Get more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)!
Start with a introduction to how the draft works then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team
Then jump into free agency with another #1 New Release: A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits and Misses to better understand this critical part of the NFL offseason and see where teams have found (or missed) success in this critical component of team-building.
Finally, get to the game behind the game with our latest must-have book: A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap – which lays out detailed, easy-to-follow scenarios to explain exactly how contract structures and salary cap rules impact teams. This book explains why teams do what they do in the offseason!
All these great books are available in ebook and paperback – and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!
If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here!
Check out our PFTW 2022 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
Check out Packers Draft Central for all our latest NFL Draft coverage!