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Aaron Rodgers, Packers return to scene of 2017's demise, aim to reignite 2018

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Aaron Rodgers, Packers return to scene of 2017's demise, aim to reignite 2018

-- Sunday marks what has come to be a do-or-die moment for the 2018 Green Bay Packers.

As if it were ripped straight from a script scattered on the desk of some Hollywood producer, the site of this divisional clash between the Packers and Minnesota Vikings just so happens to be at U.S. Bank Stadium -- the same venue where one could argue their season's hopes died last year.

A win this weekend, however, would keep this rendition of the Packers breathing for another week.

"Obviously, I think about that day," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday, referencing the week six meeting with the Vikings last season in which he suffered a broken right collarbone.

Rodgers missed the next two months of football before returning for one week only against the Carolina Panthers, but it was far from the heroic ending that the previously mentioned producer probably would've devised.

"It was a tough day. Especially going out that early in the game and the way we were rolling on offense and as a team through the first five games."

Rodgers, just over a week from his 35th birthday, hasn't exactly been scot-free from injury in his 13th season either. He's been dealing with the ailing results of a knee injury suffered in the team's season opener, presumably impacting his style and the offense's overall performance through the first several weeks.

He won't be 100 percent until the offseason, but Rodgers hasn't worn a brace on his knee since the Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers last month.

"I feel good, my body feels good," Rodgers said. "I’m able to move around the way I want to move around. It’s been a frustrating season at times injury-wise, but you don’t think about getting hurt. You just think about playing and trying to avoid some of those hits outside the pocket."

While Rodgers' 19 touchdowns to just a single interception look intriguing on a stat sheet -- as does being fifth in the league in passing yards with the two leaders having already played their 11th game -- his completion percentage is the lowest its been since 2015 and, consequently, he leads the league in throwaways.

A looming factor in Rodgers' decline in performance this season has been inadvertently passing up underneath targets for bigger plays downfield. Whenever Rodgers escapes the pocket, the group of new -- and essentially foreign in terms of the offense's workings -- receivers have problems finding open spots for him to locate.

Rodgers, who doesn't typically thread balls into confines in which his receiver doesn't at least have even the slightest bit of separation, instead opts to throw the ball away.

This comes as no surprise, as the Packers' quarterback stressed before the season that this group is a work in progress. That's been evident throughout the season, as the Packers have shown glimpses of unmatched potential at times and faltered in others.

"I’m always trying to play the perfect game. I gotta be great with my checks and I gotta continue to find the open guy," Rodgers said. "It’s been a disjointed year at times with our personnel and then you're trying to fit the ball into spots from time to time. But I have to trust our progressions, I have to get the ball to the open guy and I gotta get us playing a little faster.

"The energy and the tempo starts with me in practice, in the game and guys need to feel that even more. So I gotta amp up my level during the game and get us playing faster."

__________________________

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 (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tarynfor12's picture

"I’m always trying to play the perfect game. I gotta be great with my checks and I gotta continue to find the open guy,"

We're ready when you are but...
He does know he's been missing the checks and the open guys. It's on the tape so the question might be...Does he really believe nobody's open or just won't accept his failings.

Bearmeat's picture

I'm not sure they're "failings" so much as predispositions. Everyone has them, and they're all subjective with good parts and bad parts.

Aaron learned not to beat your own team too well from BLF. I don't blame him for that, but I do wish he'd take the easy 3 yard gain more often than he does. He takes too many sacks, and most of them are his fault.

Skip greenBayless's picture

All I want from Aaron Rodgers the rest of the year is two things. 1. Get the ball out quicker and 2. Call his mother.

Bearmeat's picture

Broken families are a tragedy, but the 2nd point is not your business, nor mine. Nor anyone outside of that family.

Jordan Rodgers is a complete tool for trying to glom off his brother's celebrity and turn that into his own media career.

PatrickGB's picture

Dash, you crack me up. And the so-called riff with his family makes news for what reason? I got a few of those in my family and I never make the news. What’s up with that? Waaaay too much attention is paid to the lives of celebrities! I want players to Just play football, I have little or no interest in their personal lives unless they make the news for a serious crime. Even then its iffy.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Thanks Patrick. Gotta have some fun with this stuff. Brothers fighting and Kumerow being compared to Jesus Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving

Bearmeat's picture

Sorry, I didn't catch your sarcasm. haha.

Bearmeat's picture

I hope both he and MM are on the same page on Sunday: Pissed off.

I want the run to start with Minniesoda.

12guage's picture

Couldn't agree more Bearmeat. Jordan just needs to stfu and keep the family business in house. I am believing in a turn around to the Packers season starting with a azz whoopln come Sunday night

Packer Fan's picture

I don't know if AR is holding the ball too long or the line is not as good as they have been in the past. Probably both. Offense needs to get in a rhythm, stick with short passes and feed Jones and Adams. But MM has been too stubborn to change. Just seems all out of wack. What will it take to make a change and fire Mm?

Nick Perry's picture

"Offense needs to get in a rhythm, stick with short passes and feed Jones and Adams."

WOW...When you say it the solution sounds so simple. Truth be told it probably IS that simple. The fact Aaron Jones only had 5 touches in the 2nd half last week AFTER the 1st half he had is inexcusable. Hopefully MM reads the articles & comments in CHTV!

NO...You don't have to be a HC to know this.

Lare's picture

I kind of chuckled when I read the article this afternoon about the Lions getting beat by the Bears. They were criticizing Stafford because all he threw were short, quick passes for lots of completions.

Why can't losing teams find a happy medium?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I would love to see the play get sent in, the team lined up with 18 seconds left and the ball snapped with 11 to 15 seconds still on the play clock. Often.

Lare's picture

Sounds reasonable, but what are they going to do with all those extra timeouts?

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