If you spend your off-season digging into ayahuasca and Joe Rogan podcasts… Image: Getty Images
The Green Bay Packers have been a colossal disappointment this season, and it says it well. Aaron Rodgers’ numbers aren’t terrible, but his efficiency has dropped significantly since his previous two campaigns in which he won back-to-back MVP awards. This year he looks done compared to those performances.
All you have to do is watch the Packers’ Week 9 game against the Detroit Lions, a team that Rodgers (like the rest of the league) has dominated throughout his career. Earlier this week, Rodgers had thrown four interceptions in eight games. The Lions forced A-Rod to three INTs in the first three quarters of the game and led 8-6 into the fourth quarter.
Before Sunday’s game, Rodgers had thrown 52 career TDs to just eight INTs against Detroit. Now Rodgers is struggling to complete passes he used to make with his eyes closed. The Lions aren’t suddenly a strong defense that makes it difficult to move the ball around the field. Green Bay’s offense wasn’t what it used to be without Davante Adams catching passes on the outside.
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Rodgers hasn’t developed much chemistry with his young receivers and still doesn’t seem to take responsibility for the team’s struggles on the field. He still points fingers and blames others when it is he who has fallen away. Many of Rodgers’ passes this year are either late, miss the target, or are just plain bad decisions. The throw that used to look so easy, where he turns and throws with his back foot, no longer consistently hits the mark.
By the start of Week 9, Rodgers was averaging just 225 passing yards per game, which is the lowest since he became Green Bay’s full-time starter in 2008. The Packers’ offense averaged nine points against arguably the worst defense in the NFL. In the end, the Lions beat their NFC North rival 15-9. Rodgers completed 53 percent of his passes against Detroit, which is his lowest tally this season.
We can keep blaming Green Bay’s inexperienced wide receivers or young head coach Matt LaFleur, but eventually the finger has to point again at the guy who’s pointing his out. Rodgers clearly isn’t the same quarterback he was last year, and part of that is Adams’ absence, but a big part of that comes from Rodgers being over the hill. It’s time to face the facts. Rodgers and the Packers’ championship competition window has slammed shut, and they squandered it just relying on his arm and not building around it properly.
With the NFC so wide open this year, there’s still an outside shot that could put the Packers in the playoff position, but don’t expect them to win any postseason games. If Green Bay has a chance to do that, they need to get that offensive going again quickly. The Packers fell back to 3-6 after losing to the Lions. Green Bay might not win another three games if they keep producing this type of outing.