The season is over and it is time to reflect on how we got there. It’s time to see who did THEIR job and who should be looking for a NEW job.
If there’s one thing I like, it’s judging people. This week I have to judge the quarterbacks and running backs, the bread and butter of the offense.
These two positions were a hot topic in the offseason, especially quarterback, but which position really carried the offense? This is the area most people look at when they judge an offense so hell, I’ll do the same to kick off my 2008 report card series.
*4,038 Yards Passing + 207 Rushing Yards
There was no way the quarterback who replaced Brett Favre would come in and have a good year, especially a first year starter. Right?
After all the offseason drama, we finally got to see what Aaron Rodgers has, and what he has is all the talent and moxy needed to lead a championship team. Every quality you want from a quarterback – toughness, accuracy, power, mobility, leadership, awesome mustache – Aaron Rodgers has.
When giving out these grades I wanted to base them on more than just statistics, so what else is there to judge a quarterback by? How you handle pressure is a big part of it, and I’m not talking about “big defensive lineman running at you” pressure. There’s media pressure, which he handled well during Favre-Gate. There’s also pressure to be “clutch” and put the team on your shoulders. The Packers lost 7 games by 4 points or less and a lot of people want to put that on the quarterback, but 1) You can say that about any loss. “We would have won if the quarterback would have thrown more touchdowns!” and 2) Aaron Rodgers has the most fourth quarter touchdown passes of anyone in the 2008 season. Sounds pretty clutch to me.
Aaron did all of this with what a lot of people would call a questionable offensive line which poses the question: What’s he going to do when he has a GOOD offensive line? Scary.
- Aaron’s 2008 passer rating was 93.8, which is better than 12 of the totals Favre put up in his 16 years in Green Bay!
- Aaron had 4 rushing touchdowns this year.
*5 Attempts in 2008
Matt Flynn was like many backup quarterbacks this year. He didn’t see the field often. He got some rare action on a fake punt and played some snaps in the Bucs game when Aaron Rodgers separated his shoulder, but like most backups, he was the clipboard man all season long.
*1203 Rush Yards
Those numbers above are bad. Four touchdowns by a starting running back who carried the ball 312 times is sad. Last year he scored EIGHT touchdowns on just 188 attempts. This year Ryan Grant was bad. There is no denying that.
Ryan was the most frustrating running back to watch this season. If I had to take a shot every time Grant ran into the back of his own linemen, I would be dead right now. DEAD! I don’t understand how someone with supposedly good vision misses holes on a regular basis and chooses to dart into his own players. When he wasn’t running into his teammates he was running directly into the opposition and going down on the first hit.
This was not the same guy we seen in 2007. Was he dogging it because of his big contract? Was he hurt ALL year? Was the offensive line THAT bad? Some of these questions have nothing to do with the fact that Grant apparently needs contacts, and a new box of tampons. Man up, Nancy.
- Grant lost 3 of his 4 fumbles.
Oh what could have been. A 5.5 average is respectable. It beats the crap out of 3.9 that’s for sure. Getting that average is that much harder when the other team KNOWS you’re going to be utilized when you come in, mostly through the pass game. They KNOW it.
I believe Jackson can be our Brian Westrbook, but he never got the chance. Instead we force fed defensive lines a heavy dose of Ryan Grant. I say defensive lines because that’s how far he usually got.
Jackson is younger, stronger, faster, smarter, is better at pass protection, and has better hands. Basically, Brandon Jackson is better in every way. Grant was rewarded a big contract after a great half-year in 2007. He isn’t living up to it and now it might be likely Jackson takes his starting job next year because when Jackson did get playing time, he was impressive.
I like Wynn. I like power backs with some speed in them. I don’t like guys who get hurt all the time and seem ‘unmotivated.’ But what is Wynn? He’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a fat man’s body.
Wynn rarely gets taken down by the first tackler and that, like his frame, is huge. So what if he’s not a home run threat? He’s a first down threat. Last year he did well but got hurt. This year he did well but got hurt. Can he stay healthy? If he can, he can be a great short yardage back. If not, he’s just taking up another roster spot.
In 2008, Wynn was good when he was actually suited up. That’s all I can really say about it, but hey, I stretched that into three paragraphs!
- Wynn likes porkchops, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, waffles, tacos, and anything else in the fridge.
*1 TD Reception
No spectacular statistic for ol’ Korey Hall’s 2008 season. Hall is just one of those guys who gets things done. He opens up holes and plays the game right. Not once in this season did I say “Damn that Korey Hall!” and that itself should be a statistic.
Hall is a great fullback and I’m glad he’s a Packer.
- Korey is a fullback!
*2 Receiving Touchdowns
This is the guy who motivated McCarthy to pull the Fullback Dive out of his ass. I can only assume he paid off Philbin who brought the idea to McCarthy who signed off on it. Kuhn and Korey Hall are like two pits in a pear.
UP NEXT: WIDE RECEIVERS\TIGHT ENDS
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