And deservedly so.
Overtime hasn't been kind to Rodgers. In January, his gaffes led directly to a playoff defeat. On Sunday, he tried to force a post route to Jennings on the second play of OT and was lucky when Hall dropped the ball. On the next series, Rodgers threw a bad ball to Jennings that was behind him and intercepted by Landry. Yes, Rodgers had DT Jeremy Jarmon in his face, but if he hadn't drifted several steps to the right a direct throwing lane would have been available. Two of the four sacks and another knockdown were on Rodgers, either for running into them or holding the ball too long. He wasn't decisive or rhythmic. He putzed around in the pocket instead of just making the decision to scramble and go. It seemed that about one of every four of his passes were bad balls. After a fast start, it was mostly downhill from the mid-second quarter on. Rodgers let his receivers down just as they let him down.
That is downright kind compared to what Cliff Christl and Eric Baranczyk had to say:
After whining about not throwing the ball more last week, Rodgers got the chance to do it Sunday – he put it up 46 times -- and played one of his worst games. Donald Driver didn’t do him any favors by dropping four balls. But Rodgers’ decision-making was certainly questionable, especially late in the game.
The first series of the third quarter, second-and-3, Rodgers hit John Kuhn for 1 yard. Crabtree was wide open for a first down. The second series in the third quarter, on third-and-1 prior to the missed field goal, Rodgers threw to Driver – it was a drop – and they had guys wide open everywhere: Quarless on the seam, Greg Jennings on the hash and James Jones on the numbers.
On the sack in the second quarter before Mason Crosby’s field goal, Jennings was open on a post for six.
Rodgers’ reads seemed to be off and there were balls that weren’t thrown where they needed to be. On the fourth-and-1 pass to Quarles in the end zone, the quarterback needs to put a little air under that ball.
Rodgers can do it all. He can make every throw. He can do things with his feet. But he has to make the right decisions and make the plays to win close games. The Packers gave up 13 points in regulation. Even without Finley, how could Rodgers and that offense not score more than 13 points?
I don't really have too much to add other than to say that the Packers have played 5 games - Rodgers has looked pretty bad in two of them (Eagles, Redskins), had another bad half of football (First half vs. the Bills). On the flip side, he has also turned in one of his best games as a pro (vs. Chicago).
The education of Aaron Rodgers continues.
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