Monday, January 24, 2022

After Packers' Latest Playoff Choke It's Time To Part Ways With Drama Diva Aaron Rodgers


The 'great' Aaron Rodgers after another Niner Sack

"- Poof.

Just like that, with everything aligned and the road to the Super Bowl going through Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers’ 2021 season is kaput.

And suddenly, unexpectedly early, the franchise-shifting decisions of the 2022 offseason are on the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. There is plenty of responsibility to go around for the Packers’ stunning 13-10 loss to San Francisco in the divisional round of the playoffs Saturday night. The special teams that had been a disaster all season will deservedly get blame, though they hardly stand alone.

The truth is, the NFL’s presumptive MVP has to shoulder the bulk of responsibility for this defeat. Putting up only 10 points in a playoff game at home was stunning when this team had chance after chance to pull away. But the real killer was that with the Packers’ season on the line and the chance to engineer a game-winning drive in the final 4½ minutes, Rodgers went three-and-out.."- Pete Dougherty, 'Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Must Shoulder Blame For Brutal Loss',   Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel  Sunday

"Aaron Rodgers seemed tired and uninterested, almost as if working overtime to spread fake science and conspiracy theories was more important to him than getting the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl ....Rodgers is as self-centered and arrogant as star athletes come, convinced perhaps by his stint hosting “Jeopardy!” that he knows answers others can only guess. He had no compulsion during the season pretending he was vaccinated, disrespecting his teammates and putting them and everyone else at Packers headquarters at risk of catching COVID-19..- Tim Dahlberg, Denver Post

Look, this stuff isn't rocket science or Mensa test material:  the aim of a truly elite quarterback in the NFL is to win high profile playoff games, get to the Super Bowl, and win it.  As Exhibit A, Tampa Bay Bucs QB Tom Brady who has won a total of seven.  (Ok, Brady lost Sunday to the LA Rams, but with the clock at 3:30 left in the 4th he took the Bucs down for two scores to tie the game at 27 all. Rodgers? He had 4:30 left with the score tied 10-10 and punked out, as in '3 and out'.)

 While Brady has a 34-12 playoff record- even after Sunday's Bucs' loss to LA -  Aaron is at 11-10, which is so-so, or what an academic marker would score a "gentleman's C" - not elite by any standard.  His performance in Saturday night's game against the San Francisco Forty Niners exposed all the flaws and criticisms we've seen over the last 10 years, namely that this guy can't meet the higher pressure levels and the intensity endemic to the playoffs.  He can 't make the key (as in accurate) throws when the game is 'one and done'. He proved it again Saturday, and is now 0-4 against Kyle Shanahan's Niners in playoff games.   

I recall on our way to Telluride back in September, stopping in the town of Gunnison for the night, and the next morning watching an episode of 'NFL Pro Football Talk' with Mike Florio.  Florio was expounding to a colleague on why Rodgers and the Pack haven't been able to get to the pinnacle since 2011.  Basically, Rodgers has not performed at the level needed, and a major reason is he has not been provided the supporting cast like Brady has - whether in NE with the Pats, or Tampa with the Bucs. Florio also noted that if you look at really elite QBs - say Tom Brady- you don't see an endless ongoing drama unfolding or distracting the team. 

Florio has a point: AR is way too caught up in himself, his head and his personal dramas. But also there is the need - even if the Pack finally splits with him- to go out and get higher priced free agents (especially on special teams and RBs)  to support any future Pack QB. This in contrast to the Packers organization's Brian Gutekunst's  inclination to 'grow' their own talent in house from the ground up, i.e. from draft picks.  There have been exceptions, like Za'darius Smith a stellar linebacker who they recruited from the Ravens for $55 m.    But what about the critical O-line, key to protecting any respectable quarterback?  Well, mainly staffed with draft picks who have not been able to perform at the standout level of say  Trent Williams of the Niners.  

Then there is the wide receiver corps.  The Pack, apart from Davante Adams, has Allen Lazard who is good, so is "MVS" - Marquez Valdez-Scantling.  But they're inconsistent - which is why Rodgers didn't throw to them as optional receivers  vs. SF- as opposed to going to Randall Cobb and Davante Adams -who were often double teamed.  (To be fair, Rodgers did miss seeing a wide open Lazard on 3rd down with the final possession, and the score 10-10.)

It's now evident that - following Florio's arguments - the current combination of team and quarterback for the Packers hasn't been good enough to get them past the NFC championship . Ultimately, Green Bay has failed in the playoffs and fallen short of the Super Bowl. The standard may have been lofty, but the Packers built those expectations with their performance only to disappoint when it mattered the most. 

Rodgers should look at this as the out he wanted this past offseason when he issued a litany of complaints—including the front office's handling of veteran free agents, his lack of involvement in roster decisions and the absence of a long-term commitment from the team. I already noted this in an earlier post, e.g.

Eventually, the icy relationship thawed, and Rodgers returned. The Packers also reworked his current deal and provided him with some upfront money in the form of a new signing bonus   Ultimately, Rodgers buried whatever concerns he had and got back on the field to be one of the league's best quarterbacks once again. At least in regular season. But things again got unhinged with yet a new off-field drama that included Rodgers misleading the media about his vaccination status. Also,  his weekly rambling appearances on The Pat McAfee Show  confirmed a disruptive drama queen.  I had lambasted this infernal imbecilic imp- with no apologies-  in a blog post at the time, e.g. 

Add to that his plaintive cries that he's been censoredand you have some idea of the level of distraction  exposed to by this drama queen's antics

The Packers lost two consecutive NFC Championship Games before bowing out in the Divisional Round this year—and it appears rational to say that a clean break might be just as good for the Packers as Rodgers. Let Rodgers go his merry and individualist "free thinker"  way, to Denver or wherever, and let the Pack start building from the ground up.  

Rodgers sees the writing on the wall,  and we (Pack fans) should too!  Keeping Rodgers for another season is what Einstein would call insanity.... "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

 See Also:

by Jaime O’Neill | January 24, 2022 - 7:25am | permalink


 in expressing vague doubt that Biden had won the election against Trump, Rodgers shows himself to be under the spell of Joe Rogan, the guy who taught him all he thinks he needs to know about controlling a pandemic. "I guess he got 81 million votes," says Rodgers, and who could question his skepticism about the election, or his decision not to get vaccinated. He went to Butte College, after all, though he never earned a degree. But he loves him some Ayn Rand, and he doesn't want anyone telling him what to do unless they're paying him beaucoup bucks. Even then, he'd prefer his "freedumb." And isn't that just the kind of sports hero young people need these days? . . 

When I think of Aaron Rodgers now, I think of phrases like "pride goeth before a fall." I think of the word "hubris." But my thoughts are entirely disconnected from judgment about the reasons for that Green Bay loss to San Francisco. It was just a blocked punt followed by a fluke touchdown that determined how the Packers lost.

Aaron Rodgers, who now seems firmly in the Fox/Trump/Alex Jones netherworld, was, for awhile there, the hero I thought would diminish the stereotype that football players are just dumb jocks with gold chains, big mansions, fancy cars, and nary a book on their shelves.

So, who's the dumb fuck now?


Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers must shoulder blame for brutal loss (

No comments: