When will the media re-evaluate their affection for Aaron Rodgers?
The common misconception is that it’s not Aaron Rodgers’ fault for all of the sacks that he has taken, and instead it is merely the result of a poor offensive line. In fact, in an October CBS Sportsline poll, 66% of people agreed with this very notion.
My counter to that? You’re not watching the games! For anyone who has followed Rodgers’ career closely, it is clear that Rodgers has a fundamental flaw of slow decision making which leads to drive-killing sacks. Sadly, this is a sign of a bad quarterback.
Obviously Rodgers’ supporters would simply point out reasons why Rodgers is a budding superstar, citing his dazzling statistics while playing in the shadow of Packers’ legend Brett Favre. I can’t deny the fact that he indeed puts up great stats, and would be a very good fantasy quarterback.
However, if you look closely, a lot of Rodgers’ great statistics come in situations in which Rodgers can buff his stats when his team is either blowing out a bad team, or playing catch-up vs. a good team in garbage time. In fact, 8 of Rodgers’ 10 career wins were decided by 10 points or more (blow-outs) vs. an opponent’s combined record of 28-78 (26%)! Naturally, Rodgers feasted on these bad teams with great statistics (70% completion, 266.25 ypg, 18 touchdowns vs. 2 interceptions, 120.1 passer rating). In his 16 other starts vs. opponents with a combined record of 119-87, Rodgers’ statistics are much more down to earth (60% completion, 260.19 ypg, 26 touchdowns vs. 16 interceptions, 87.1 passer rating), with his record, 2-14 in those games, being awful.
Also, in games decided by 7 points of less, Rodgers has a career 2-9 record, with a 0-5 record in games decided by 3 points or less. This is a clear statistic indicating that Rodgers isn’t very “clutch,” which adds to the fact that he doesn’t beat good teams. However, this might be the least of his worries…
The issue of any team’s offensive line is that its perception is directly correlated with the success of the offense. However, even if you have a shaky offensive line, your offense can still thrive as long as you have a good quarterback. Look at last year’s Super Bowl champions! When a team has a superior quarterback, every weakness is hidden because the media is distracted by the success that a quarterback is generating. Aaron Rodgers, not Green Bay’s offensive line, is responsible for leading the league in sacks allowed.
Aaron Rodgers has the same qualities that derailed the careers of bust-quarterbacks like Rob Johnson or David Carr, which is slow decision making, and the tendency to hold on to the ball too long.
Facts are facts: Aaron Rodgers is a career 10-14. Under the same coach, Brett Favre went 21-11 In his 24 starts, Rodgers has taken 71 sacks (2.96 per game), including 37 so far this year (4.63 per game!). For comparisons sake- under Mike McCarthy, Brett Favre took a total of 36 sacks total in two years. Favre took one sack every 31.8 pass attempts in that span, compared to Rodgers’ career average of one sack every 10.7 pass attempts. That means Rodgers takes three times the amount of sacks that Favre would take, with essentially the same offensive line and system.
So what I’m suggesting is that the media should officially stop considering Rodgers a top tier NFL quarterback- at least until he wipes all that super glue off his hands!
In the meantime, I will officially refer to Rodgers as “Stop, Drop & Roll.”