Aaron Rodgers Is Proving He’s Still Got It
Last night went like most of the season has for the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers played great while leading the team to a victory. Green Bay defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30–16 on Monday Night Football. Rodgers was the star of the show yet again, finishing with 327 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Last night was just another chapter in Rodgers spectacular season so far.
Things didn’t appear as smooth during the offseason however. Many were wondering if this was the year Aaron Rodgers would begin to decline. The former MVP would turn 37 this season; not to mention the Packers traded up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the NFL draft. The team appeared to be expecting the end of the Rodgers era sooner rather than later.
The superstar quarterback had other plans.
Aaron Rodgers is currently near the top of the MVP discussion, with Russell Wilson being his main competition. This year he has appeared to be the Aaron Rodgers of old. The former MVP who was being discussed as one of the greatest players of all time. Rodgers has been nothing short of fantastic this season. He currently has the fifth-most passing yards (1,214), the second-most passing touchdowns (13), the fewest interceptions (0), and the highest QBR (92.8). Rodgers is also the main reason Green Bay’s offense currently ranks near the top in many statistical categories. This season the Packers are averaging the second-most total yards per game (445.5), and the most points per game (38).
These stats are already impressive without context. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see how truly special Rodgers has been this season. The Packers have been without their top receiver Davante Adams for most of the season. Adams has missed the past two games, while leaving injured during the second half of Green Bay’s second game of the year. The team’s number two receiver Allen Lazard looked to be filling in nicely for Adams. That was until Lazard was placed on IR and missed Monday’s game against Atlanta. The talent at the receiver position has been depleted to say the least this year.
That hasn’t effected Rodgers though.
Green Bay’s quarterback hasn’t missed a beat despite the injuries to his receivers. Rodgers will just make the other guys look like stars. Last night it was tight end Robert Tonyan, who has never had more than 10 catches in a season. That didn’t matter to Rodgers. Against the Falcons Tonyan caught six passes for 98 yards and three touchdowns. Previously it has been a guy like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who’s career high receptions in a year is 38. Yet Rodgers still looked his way against Minnesota. Valdes-Scantling finished that game with six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.
It doesn’t matter who’s out there for Green Bay. Like most of his career, Rodgers is used to throwing to non-first round skill players. He just takes what the team gives him and makes it look effortless.
It is worth wondering how much better would Rodgers’ impressive numbers be this season had Green Bay selected a receiver. Guys like Brandon Aiyuk and Justin Jefferson have shown their ability already. They however would’ve required the Packers to trade up. There’s no excuse for Green Bay to pass on players like Tee Higgins, Laviska Shenault, and Chase Claypool though. All three receivers have scored touchdowns this season, while being selected after Jordan Love. Add any of them to Green Bay, and Rodgers perhaps would already be running away with the MVP.
But that’s just hypothetical. What we do know is Aaron Rodgers still has it. He’ll be competing for the MVP, while likely competing for a Super Bowl berth as well. Adams and Lazard will return this year, only boosting Rodgers’ already impressive numbers. A motivated Rodgers is nothing the rest of the NFL wants to see. Unfortunately, for the rest of the league, that’s what they got.