2018 Aaron Rodgers – Flip or Flop


There are strong opinions that Aaron Rodger’s 2018 Season was a complete Flop and the Packers should seriously begin the search for his heir apparent. The opposing school of thought is to Flip the page on 2018 and write it off as a season of too many key injuries, including Rodgers himself, inexperienced youth, and a game plan that had possibly grown predictable. 

I believe one has to examine the numbers to determine which of these views you favor. I’m a firm believer in statistics, because they are the true indicator of performance. “You are what the numbers say you are,” might be a way to summarize my opinion. 

The NFL compiles statistics and rankings for each position and player at the conclusion of the Regular Season. A Composite Score or Ranking is assigned for each position. Aaron’s performance in 2018 earned him the 6th spot in the QB ranking. The NFL utilizes 16 QB Categories to evaluate and assign the final Composite Score.

These 16 Categories range from Attempts/Completions (per game and total), Completion %, 1st Down %, 3rd Down %, Number of TD’s, Longest TD, +20 yd, and +40 yd Completions, INT Total, QBR, and so on. Aaron’s average ranking in these 16 categories was 8.5. The highest he achieved was #1 in two categories, INT (2) and most 40 yd completions (tied with Big Ben @ 16). His worst ranking was 24th, 62.3% Completion Rate (Career 64.8%, not too far off). Aaron holds the NFL Record for highest Career QBR of 103.1, with a high point in 2012 of 122.5.

He finished 2018 12th with a QBR of 97.6.I maintain that while 97.6 is not very Rodger’s-like it is not unacceptable either. A capsule of Aaron’s 2018 closing stats are 4,400 yds, 25 TDs vs 2 INTs, 277 yds/gm, and a QBR of 97.6. These stats would constitute a successful season for most QB’s and teams. I must admit they don’t rise to the level we and Aaron have come to expect.

It has been said that Aaron was inaccurate in 2018. I found a stat which showed his inaccuracy (19.9%) was surpassed by Tom Brady (20.1%) and 3 other QB’s (led by Josh Allen’s 23.7%), with Stafford (19.4%) following  Aaron. 

Recently and throughout the later parts of 2018 it has been speculated that Aaron and Mike McCarthy had conflict concerning game plans and on the field play calling. I will say any good NFL QB does and should call audibles based on what is determined at the line of scrimmage.

Lance Kendrick recently explained, once the play is called in the huddle, Aaron views the “Match-ups” at the line of scrimmage, presented by the Defense and will audible appropriately. I find this expected and normal.

Aaron’s on the field attitude has also been called into question. I’ve noticed at times his displeasure/frustration with himself and his young WR corps. I attended 4 games at Lambeau this season.  I myself noticed receivers not completing their routes or running improper routes.

These young receivers were pressed into action due to unexpected injuries, and struggled with consistency. Other than Adams and Cobb (when healthy) Rodgers had very few reliable targets. The Offensive Line had many different combinations due to injury as well. Blocking for Aaron is a difficult task at best, because he extends plays by scrambling which means holding blocks much longer. Obviously a difficult task with linemen fluctuating weekly. 

When one examines the failures of the 2018 Packers season, the blame can be spread around to all four phases, Offense, Defense, Special Teams and Coaching. I don’t feel anyone is blameless for this seasons short-comings and failure to meet expectations. I conclude that Aaron was not a Flop in 2018. He just did not perform to the lofty MVP standards that we as fans have come to expect.

All great QB’s have gone through disappointing seasons. Look at Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan for examples. The Packers and Packer fans must Flip the page on 2018, and move on to 2019. In the Off-Season, the Packers need to hire a great coach to replace Mike McCarthy, get healthy, sign some key Veteran FA’s, and have a successful Draft. Accomplish these tasks and they can be back at the top in 2019!

PackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter
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