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Aaron Rodgers: 'I know I gotta play better -- I will'

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Aaron Rodgers: 'I know I gotta play better -- I will'

That "galvanizing moment" was nowhere to be found Sunday night in Minnesota.

The Green Bay Packers fell to the Vikings for the fifth time in their last seven meetings, resulting in their third loss at the Vikings' newly-opened U.S. Bank Stadium. The only glimmer of positivity in that statistic is that one of the two games in which the Packers didn't lose was a tie -- a 29-29 mistake-fest earlier this season at Lambeau Field.

The defense, for the most part, handed the Packers' offense enough opportunities to take the lead after sitting at a 14-14 draw for a good duration of the game.

Much like the story has been this season, the unit quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers couldn't capitalize.

"I don’t really feel like I missed a lot of throws," Rodgers said, soon after referencing a ball he threw into the dirt intended for Equanimeous St. Brown late in the game and another shortly after where he overthrew Davante Adams.

"We just weren’t executing."

Rodgers finished with 198 passing yards, his fewest in a game with one touchdown since the 38-8 thumping administered by the Arizona Cardinals in week 16 of the 2015 season. At times in 2018, Rodgers and the Packers looked a lot like that offense in 2015: Sloppy, uninspired and overall lacking a true connection.

At this point, though, it wouldn't be a stretch to think some would actually clamor for that offense again.

But Rodgers, who will turn 35 on the day of the Packers' next game, knows he isn't getting any younger and that the window for a championship is gradually dwindling to a close each year.

"That’s definitely frustrating," Rodgers said. "Obviously got a lot more grey in the beard than I did a few years ago. I know football mortality catches up to everybody, and you never want to lose a season especially when you felt great starting the season.

"We’re in a battle these next five weeks. Put ourselves in position to be in the conversation. Hopefully, it’ll be enough. Like I always say, you just gotta get in."

The Packers wouldn't be able to afford another loss during their last five games of the season. Sneaking into the playoffs with a 9-6-1 record is already asking for a lot, but doing so in a crowded NFC makes the task that much more difficult.

With the odds stacked against them and Rodgers not performing at his typical level of play that has shown to be just enough to carry a sub-par roster into contending position, the 2018 season could already be a lost cause. Sitting with a 0-6 record on the road through 12 weeks isn't a recipe for success in most cases.

But those odds alone could be the galvanizer.

"We all gotta take accountability, myself first and foremost. I know I gotta play better -- I will, and we’ll put ourselves in position.

"We’re going to need some help. We need to win these five and get some help."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (53) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

I wouldn't admit this outside of Packer-safe spaces. (Ugh I hate that term)......

But I would not be upset if this team finished 4-11-1.

Tarynfor12's picture

It's OK to say've been thinking it for a long time....Reality comes to all in time. : )

zoellner25's picture

our 1st rounder from the Saints is looking like a very late pick now. 28-32

splitpea1's picture

31 or 32 unless Brees gets injured. That team looks absolutely unstoppable now. They recently endured three straight 7-9 seasons, but they drafted extremely well and changed their defensive coordinator in 2015. So there's light at the end of the tunnel for the Packers if they draft well and make the coaching changes they need to make. I think the Packers have enough talent for a winning record at this point, but need a couple of good drafts and key free agents to be an elite team. Can't wait for the off-season.

Barnacle's picture

Whatever it takes to get rid of McCarthy and install a management structure(replacing our current management by committee).

My guess is that MM will quit being stubborn and we may win some meaningless games and we could be stuck with him another year, unless Murphy decides to extend him to show support.

This whole management experiment makes me sick. I wish someone would get some gonads and manage this team! We need a real GM.

Mojo's picture

4-11-1 not likely, considering the caliber of opponents we face. I predict 7-8-1 for around a middle-of the pack Pack pick.

Rak47's picture

I want to say I'm with you as I was actually upset last year when Hundley won a couple games to knock us back in the draft to 14. But Gute turned that into Jaire Alexander and I'm pretty damn happy with that result. So whatever pick we get I'm hopeful Gute will be able to duplicate his success from 2017.

TheVOR's picture

"Aaron Rodgers" says 'I know I gotta play better -- I will' - just.... not.... until we get a new president, GM, and coaching staff in place.. And like Meatloaf once said "Two outta Three ain't baaaaad" If we could just get 2 of those 3 out of here. I actually feel like GB might have had the best draft/GM work they've had here in a while! What terrifies me is the Ted Thompson connection to all 3 major offices in GB. It's why I keep saying, just rebuild it 100% from the top down.

Tarynfor12's picture

" But those odds alone could be the galvanizer."

Old Jedi Mind Trick

Weak minded sign up here:
Who'll be first.

zoellner25's picture

Just freaking hit the short routes and wide open guys without jumping around on your back foot. is that so hard?

edp1959's picture

Go ahead and get out there and let us know how easy it is with this offensive line since you want to complain about it so much.

Handsback's picture

Too many injuries, thin roster and a HOF QB that's playing like he's a third year pro.....not a chance for the playoffs.

edp1959's picture


Mojo's picture

They'll probably go 3 and 2 the next five games, losing to Chicago and one of the other hack-teams.

Let's face it, getting a few wins during the rest of the season isn't going to be that beneficial going forward. The HC is likely gone so it's not like they're going to build on this season. It's already a disaster. The only thing left for MM to clean-up is his office. I'm not in the hate MM camp, but something is broke in GB and it has been for a couple years. The QB isn't going anywhere so that leaves ....

They need an influx of talent and the higher the picks the more likely they hit on some. No guarantees, but regardless of what some might think, the higher the choices the better the chance of finding difference makers.

Need to add three or four above average starters as free agents.

Need Rodgers to take check-downs when needed like every other f'ing QB in the league. It'll keep drives alive, our defense off the field and ARod with much less punishment. For such a bright guy, Arod is stubbornly stupid at times.

And the clock thing. I noticed in the first half they got to the line quickly and lo and behold, they move the ball. They seemed to get away from that in the second half and did their usual sputtering act. They've had their most success this year when the offense is quick tempo, yet they never maintain it. Is that the QB? If it is, yet another thing to work on next year.

Free agent's picture

I would include the Packers as one of those “ hack-teams” this season. I see them losing to the Bears and Falcons, flip a coin with the other 3 games.

TXCHEESE's picture

Even my wife, who only watches a game every now and then, mentioned that something is not right with AR right now. She said "He looks haggard, like he's sick or something".

He just put the ball where he wants to these days. I don't know how he plans on just playing better, as if he can somehow just flip a switch. He'd be better just hitting the obvious open receiver now and then.

A Pickled Packer's picture

Funny you mention that, my wife said the same to me five games ago. The ladies have intuition, maybe coming off a crushed collar bone, a bum knee and a beat coach isn't that easy an to shake off.

pacman's picture

Conversation between AR and his new QB coach that he didn't want:

Coach: Aaron, let's just practice a few short scramble throws.

AR: I know what to do. When they pay you $30M a year, then you can talk to me. Just shut up and pretend you are working.

Bert's picture

That's why I'm hoping the next HC is somewhat of an asshole. Would AR steamroll over a young guy with new ideas? Possibly. I think a cranky HC (a la Holmgren, Belichick) who isn't intimidated by a superstar with a big ego would be needed. Not sure who.

Skip greenBayless's picture

We need to do a reverse John Hadl trade with Rodgers. This is our chance to make up for one of the worst trades in NFL history in 1974. The Packers traded for an old bald 35 year old former great qb with a big beer gut from the the L.A. Rams in exchange for a mind blowing first, second and third round picks in the 1975 draft as well as first and second round picks in 1976.

Ok, now what team has the draft capital to give us something similar? The Oakland Raiders of course. Moving to Las Vegas and they have an aging Aaron Rodgers as the star of the town and to sell tickets. I think we can do this and they'll go along. We'll get Derek Carr, 2 first round draft picks minimum and we actually can improve our team significantly by a major subtraction. John Hadl can officially rest in peace. Throwing it out there for discussion. Do you think Gute would think of doing this or something similar?

Lare's picture

Whoever made the decision to sign Rodgers to his huge contract extension won't ever trade him. If that person was no longer with the Packers, it's possible.

A Pickled Packer's picture

What a dumb comparison, Aaron's been playing on a bum knee, a porous offensive line, a beat coach, rookie WR's and a crushed collarbone. He's not superman, it take's 11 guys to field a team. The QB position is the least of our troubles and in fact is the strength of our team. Remove the foundation and the house will crumble. A couple of key FA acquisitions, improving the offensive line and a descent draft is all we need and we'll be ready to rumble all over again.

Skip greenBayless's picture

"The QB position is the least of our troubles and in fact is the strength"

Let's see. You just said Aarons been playing on a bum knee and crushed collarbone and you call that a strength? lol

Ram, I'm comparing the two trades in terms of the similar costs it might take for it to happen. I want to win this second time around and give the other team the lemon. The Packers totally screwed themselves giving up all those draft picks in 1974. It would probably take something similar to get Aaron Rodgers in terms of draft picks etc. I would say it's a very fair comparison. You claiming Aaron Rodgers is the least of our troubles with the mammoth contract he just signed, his recent bad health and poor play clearly are not paying attention.

Lare's picture

"I know I gotta play better -- I will, and we’ll put ourselves in position."

Didn't Rodgers have an interview just a few days ago where he said he was going to get plays called quicker, get the ball out sooner, hit the open receivers, etc.?

I didn't see a whole lot of that last night.

Tarynfor12's picture

This is Rodgers version of the standard apology after committing a crime(s) against the team and it's fans.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Hey Aaron, the time to play better ended yesterday

Tme for the BENCH!

Boyle or Kizer need to start.

The season is OVER!!

Get EVERYONE in who hasn't played.

My lordy.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Oh, I would absolutely love it to see Tim Boyle start the remaining games but I know they won't do it because they traded for Kizer and he would get first chance. I think Boyle has a chance to be special. He has all the physical tools especially one hell of an arm.

edp1959's picture

Ha...seems I heard those very words 2 years ago. Trade AR and let Huntley start. The QB guru has him prepared. Guess we saw that show last year, and here you want it again.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Good point Doug. Start developing the young talent that has been keeping the bench warm and see who can get the job done and who can't. There's nothing to lose now. As you stated there will be no post season and may as well use the next 5 games to see who wants to be a Packer and who don't.

dobber's picture

The key to this team getting better is getting #12 straightened out and he's not going anywhere for at least 3 years unless he retires. What do you gain by putting him on the bench? He needs to play...and he needs to play better.

Lphill's picture

Maybe Alex Van Pelt was the x factor in all this, why was he let go when he got along so well with Rodgers?

Lare's picture

It was Van Pelt's decision to leave. His contract was up and he wanted to be free to explore possible OC opportunities. Didn't help when McCarthy hired Philbin instead.

Rak47's picture

deleted, sorry for double posts.

Rak47's picture

I always liked Van Pelt and thought with him being still young and a former QB that he would make a very good coordinator, but for some reason McCarthy was stuck on Edgar Bennett and we all saw how that worked out. it would be ironic to see Van Pelt end up back in GB before all is said and done.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Breaks his leg, shoulder or cracks his neck. It is stupid. There's no point. Absolutely no point. Tears ACL well that's 12 months.

Since '61's picture

First off I'm glad to see Aaron take accountability for his play. Probably should have come a few games ago.
Secondly, given his supporting cast I'm not sure that his playing better would have or will make a difference.
Thirdly, this supports that he is trying to carry this team by himself yet again but he cannot do it by himself. After Adams he doesn't have any weapons to support him. His OL is porous at best, he TE non-existent, WRs are young inexperienced and don't get any separation even when they make a catch, and his RBs don't scare anyone. He is basically playing by himself out there.

He defense still gives up leads as soon as the Packers get one and then collapses during the second half while enduring a plaque of injuries. Beyond that the STs continue to hurt the team with a least one bad and/or stupid play per game.

Listening to Brian Billick on WFAN - NY last week when asked about the Packers by Mike Francesca, Billick responded, "The Packers just aren't a very good team right now beyond Aaron Rodgers." That just about sums up where we are at least for this season.

So yes, I agree that Rodgers needs to play better but so does the rest of the roster, if they can. If not, even if Rodgers plays better it really doesn't matter. Thanks, Since '61

Samson's picture

Again, this season is not a surprise to many, including myself. -- This is a transitional season. Season 2019 the Pack will reappear (from the abyss) & rejuvenate themselves & the fan base.

This will happen in 2019>>>> MM will be unemployed. Gute will jump into free agency with an intensity that GB has never seen. Gute will orchestrate one of GB's best drafts in decades. AR will return from his funk & re-establish himself as a future HOF QB.

The best team in the NFC in 2019? Maybe. (2020, for sure)

HankScorpio's picture

Rodgers' post-game pressers are beginning to sound like MM's post-game pressers. When the same issues keep popping up, he has the same canned response.

Skip greenBayless's picture

I thought the same thing Hank. Very similar responses.

PAPackerbacker's picture

I'm frustrated with excuses all the time from MM and AR. Excuses don't mean squat when you don't learn from past mistakes and keep making the same ones over and over again. Quit saying you're going to do better and start doing better. Quit saying we have work to do then go back to the same old BS that doesn't move the team forward. Excuses will not win games. Dedication, execution, and hard work ethics will win games.

nostradanus's picture

Sorry A.R. that time has come and gone

Lare's picture

Pretty interesting article over at by Andy Benoit on the Rodgers-McCarthy situation.

packergal's picture


Agree with you on the SI article.

The author states that while MM offense has been stale, in some cases, MM IS creative but Rodgers just refuses to execute.

HERES ONE EXAMPLE the author cites during the Miami game:

"...The Packers faced a 4th-and-2 near midfield...McCarthy put in a fourth receiver and aligned Davante Adams in the backfield, so their top weapon could run his route against those overmatched Miami linebackers.

Adams did, breaking open on a short-angle route right in Rodgers’s immediate line of vision. The play worked perfectly. And Rodgers, for reasons not even Sigmund Freud could figure out, tried to break down and extend the play...."

Read more here:

HankScorpio's picture

The SI article hits on an interesting point--the tension between designing an offense to run on rhythm vs designing one to take advantage of QB improvisation. Those two things look different and depend on different ways to attack defenses. With the veteran WR group they had for most of the MM/AR years and the best improviser in the game, they skewed toward the latter.

The article mentions that MM has worked in some rhythm offense stuff lately. But Rodgers doesn't want to come along for the ride. Many on this board have made similar comments that Rodgers won't take a check down and/or MM never calls shallow routes or the like.

It's very strange that a QB that is as TO/risk adverse as Rodgers (which is good) is also loathe to take the simple chain-moving play. One would think that the aversion to risk would make him in love with short passes.

Rak47's picture

Honestly the whole thing smells fishy concerning Rodgers. He just got paid and now refuses to run the offense by taking what's given. Hard for me to believe that with his skillset that he can't run it, as if it's beyond him to do so. I watched the game closely and saw that McCarthy did indeed get more creative with his offense by running some Jet sweeps, as well as some bunch formations, and RPO's and in the first half Rodgers established a bit of rhythm during the 3 scoring drives. Then comes the second half and Rodgers starts holding the ball and looking waay downfield, taking sacks on 3rd down and refusing to take his check downs. I have been more apt to blame McCarthy for the teams struggles offensively but it is becoming more and more apparent that the issue is Rodgers and that my friends is a much bigger problem. I have to wonder, is Rodgers doing this intentionally to flex on McCarthy and show him who really holds the cards within the organization, or is this an erosion of skills? Neither option is good for this team and is a much harder fix than just replacing McCarthy as Rodgers has the entire organization held hostage with his current contract. There is also a third option where Rodgers gets very comfortable after his contract signing and doesn't put in the time needed at 34 to be ready for the season. I'm thinking this would be the best case scenario and easiest fix of the 3. If that's the case and Rodgers takes responsibility there is a chance McCarthy returns. However it plays out it will be interesting to see what Gute has in store for us all.

Lare's picture

Rodgers isn't the first professional athlete to go into "coast" mode after getting a huge contract, and he won't be the last.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Nick Rodgers?
I mean, Aaron Matthews?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

You tell me that your sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around
And say

That it's too late to apologize
It's too late

Said it's too late to apologize
It's too late

ricky's picture

"Turn out the lights, the party's over...."

stockholder's picture

Admission of Guilt. Guilty! The extension should not have been signed. We must now spend money. Money to make up for inconsistent play.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Well look on the bright side. The money we gave Rodgers helped him afford part ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks.

mamasboy's picture

": The 2018 season is over. Who cares if this team makes it to the playoffs this year. They aren't going anywhere. Some chump Packers fans may be under the illusion that there's some magic Rogers can come up with, where the Pack is suddenly the 2010 team again. Those days are LONG gone

HugePackersFan's picture

The Packers have no chance to reach the Playoffs this season and accordingly, I would start DeShone Kizer at QB for the balance of these next 5 games. Maybe with some luck the Pack may reach 6-9-1 at year end, woefully short of what the two NFC wildcards will achieve. Fire McCarthy, Bulaga, Cobb, Matthews, Pettine, Graham and draft or trade for 3 new Offensive Linemen, 2 New Tight ends, 2 outside Defensive Pass Rushers, 5 new Defensive CB/SS. and overhaul the Special Teams mediocre players. Hire an experienced OC, but let ARod call his own plays when he wants to. Our new RB's are both great and rotation keeps them both fresh. Start the 2019 season with ARod restored to full health, positive mind set, implementing new gadget/trick plays, taking risks on 4th down and short yardage, and improve defense and special teams tackling skills. Our fans across the country deserve better performance with skilled players who know how to win. You need only look at the Browns this season vs past seasons to see what a properly coached, inspired to win football team can accomplish!!

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