Should Aaron Rodgers take more chances?

A deep dive into the question: Should Aaron Rodgers take more risks with the game on the line?

3 points

Comments (19)

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Leatherhead's picture

July 11, 2022 at 03:02 pm

Turnovers do not help you win games. Incomplete passes do not help you win games. Getting your QB injured because he's extending a play doesn't help you win games. Creating an environment where offensive linemen get called for holding doesn't help you win games. In our most recent losses, it wasn't that Rodgers was too risk-averse, it was that he didn't execute the offense (i.e. did not see open receivers).

It's clear to me that a clear key to winning games is that you need to get the ball out of your QBs hands quickly as often as you can. Your starter takes over 1000 snaps in a season.....how many times do you want to expose him to a legit hit?

Hand it off, throw bubble screens, dump it to the RBs, short routes to the TE.... We are gifted with the best QB in the history of the NFL at protecting the ball, and we know that protecting the ball is one of the key requirements for winning games.

This way, you can maybe set the stage for him to drop back under max protection and throw a strike downfield every now and then.

So no. No to chances. Be boring. Be very, very boring. Let your RBs take the hits. Let your receivers move the ball up the field. We don't need to score 40 points, we just need to protect the ball and score 24.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 11, 2022 at 03:11 pm

C'mon LH!!!

Don't you remember Brent Whats-his-name?

Lets do a little gunslingin'! Make things excitin'! We can always get the durn ball back...

We never lose, we just run outta time...

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Leatherhead's picture

July 12, 2022 at 12:22 pm

In 2009, when he went to the Vikings, I repeatedly trolled Viking websites with this simple message: He will drive your season into the ditch at some point.

And he played really well that season, and I took a lot of shots. And I patiently just kept saying "He'll drive the season into the ditch". And then, that beautiful, magical, too-perfect-for-words moment when he threw away the season. The angst, the pain,....it was great.

I had seen our seasons end in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, and they all involved a QB who simply would not/could not protect the ball when it mattered a lot. You don't turn it over 36 times in one season unless you just aren't trying.

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PhantomII's picture

July 11, 2022 at 07:51 pm

AR does not throw short passes well...

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Leatherhead's picture

July 12, 2022 at 12:32 pm

I had to go and check. I thought, "surely, nobody would say something like this if it wasn't supported by facts".

But alas, that is the case here: You can run Rodgers splits under a variety of parameters and you'll just see that's not true. In fact, when he gets rid of the ball in less that 2.5 seconds, his completion % is 75%. Aaron Jones caught 52 of his 65 targets....that's 80%!!!

I have absolutely no idea was prompted you to say that. I cannot find a single piece of evidence that supports that, and what I do see strongly suggests that it's just not true.

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PhantomII's picture

July 12, 2022 at 09:45 pm

I have seen PLENTY off target balls ahead...behind and over the head of RB's, WR's and TE's. I guess we expect perfection when a guy is wide open and it's 3 feet over someones head or 3 feet in front of the WR in the dirt. I think he throws a lot of balls with great touch.....short passes...not as well. A lot of guys are great receivers if the ball is off target. Bob Tonyan is money...he doesn't drop anything. DA was an acrobat. The percent might be right but guys sometimes have to work to get it and lose yardage when not hit in stride. 2.5 seconds a guy should be 10-15 yds away depending on the route. Behind LOS to 7 yds.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 11, 2022 at 08:39 pm

This sounds straight from the Marty Schottenheimer school of coaching. This isn't the early 70's, explosive plays win games in today's NFL.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 12, 2022 at 12:13 pm

"Explosive Plays win games..."-----LLCHESTY

"Most football games are not won, they are lost" ----Ancient Football Wisdom, first heard by Leatherhead sometime in the 60s, and proven true over and over again.

So I guess we're looking at this from different perspectives. You think it's the stuff we see on ESPN, I think it's about going out and not beating yourself with your own mistakes. And I have found that simple things don't break down as easily as more complicated "explosive" stuff. An explosive play could just as easily be a good block combined with a broken tackle.

Schottenheimer was a good coach, but I think you're confusing him with Bill Belicek. Last year, without Brady and with a rookie QB, the Pats were 6th in the league in scoring offense, better than the Packers. And they did it even though they threw less than most of the other teams in the league.

Schottenheimer's last season was 2006 with the Chargers. He went 14-2. THEY LED THE LEAGUE IN SCORING. And he was fired after losing in the playoffs to the Brady's by 3 points.

Schottenheimer retired. The team he had built was still pretty good for a couple of years, but since Schottenheimer was replaced, this franchise has won 5 playoff games in 15 years. It has never won 14 games again, and it has never gone to the Super Bowl.

You do not have to air it out and be explosive to score points. You do have to protect the QB, protect the ball, and get guys blocked . That hasn't changed in my lifetime.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 12, 2022 at 07:19 pm

Schottenheimer was a good coach who went into the playoffs using your old school 1960s mantra and it cost him every single season. Contrast that with Jimmy Johnson who said big plays win playoff games and looked for ways and players to make big plays when the pressure is on.

Or another SB winning coach Brian Billick
"In a more recent trend, because of the changes in rules that promote the passing game, explosive differential now rivals turnovers as the key determinant of success. Explosive differential is the difference between the number of explosive plays (more than 20 yards) that you earn as an offense, compared to how many you give up on defense."

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HarryHodag's picture

July 11, 2022 at 05:07 pm

39 wins and ten losses in the last three regular seasons and someone asks this question.

Lets pose another question: if he took more chances and they lost three more games would that be better?

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 12, 2022 at 06:00 am

Yes, to three more losses in regular season if Rodgers taking more chances provided more victories in playoffs! :)

In all seriousness I do wish Rodgers would do the following which I do not think equates to taking riskier chances:

1. Throw to the open WR and not focus on just one WR. This is QB 101
2. Even just an extra one or two passes down the middle of the field to the TE to help keep defenses honest opening up opportunities along the sidelines for WR's. Firmly believe Tonyan is going to have a big season, particularly if Rodgers focuses a little more on him.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 11, 2022 at 06:23 pm

It is days like this and columns like this one that make me observe two things...

I appreciate the efforts of all of the writers at CHTV (except for that guy who is never right).

I wish I was more of a baseball fan.

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NoNonsense's picture

July 11, 2022 at 08:45 pm

Id like to add a caveat to the question in my answer. When behind in the 4th quarter or maybe in the playoffs, I'd like to see Rodgers take more chances. Otherwise I do believe the quick passing game suits Rodgers and this offense best.

Now that there is a little more speed in the WR room, with Watson, Watkins and Doubs, I would like to see Rodgers throw a few more deep passes per game or shot plays if you will.

I know we had MVS for the last 4 years who was tall and fast but what some don't know is he couldn't really jump (30 inch vertical) and as we could all see, he didn't have much wiggle to his game. He would beat guys with speed and that was it.

Christian Watson on the other hand has RB like skills and wiggle and boasts a 38.5 inch vertical. All of which can help create separation either within his routes or at the catch point. It may not seem like much but those 8.5 inches create a much bigger catch radius than when Rodgers was throwing to MVS.

I remember a few times a game Rodgers would fire a deep shot to MVS only to see it end up nowhere near being caught. Didn't know if Rodgers was basically throwing it away because he didn't trust MVS to come down with a 50-50 ball or if his timing was off throwing to one of the fastest WRs hes ever had.

As a rookie Rodgers targeted MVS 73 times and he only caught 38 of those passes. I will bet money that if Rodgers gives Watson that many targets as a rookie he will catch quite a few more of those targets and do a lot more with those catches in both yards and TDs.

So yes with another caveat. I'd like to see Rodgers take more chances when it comes to targeting his new rookie WRs as well.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 12, 2022 at 07:00 pm

Christian Watson does not have RB wiggle. He had a slower 3-cone than MVS. He also dropped quite a few passes in college. I'll be happy if he can come in and play the MVS role as a rookie. If he can do that and make something happen with a few gadget plays even better.

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Manitou's picture

July 11, 2022 at 10:18 pm

Rodgers is at his best when there is one minute left in the game and he gets the ball on the 20-yard line. He will hit a receiver just prior to him stepping out of bounds. Last season the Packers won every game in which Devonte Adams did not play. Remember in Arizona a few years back when a third-rate receiver caught consecutive TDs to win the game. When the playoffs come he becomes conservative. He hesitates on his throws more. Last year in the playoff game, he threw 70%??? of his passes to Adams who was usually double covered.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 12, 2022 at 02:05 am

37.9% to Adams (11 targets), 35% to Aaron Jones (10 targets). Deguara got 2 targets, but no receptions.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 12, 2022 at 12:53 pm

You throw 30 passes in a game. 21 of them are to two guys. All the other skill position guys combined for 9 targets. That doesn't indicate the ball is getting spread around.

We scored 10 points, at home, including a TD on our first possession. Take that drive out of the equation and you really see how feeble our offense was. We had 10 possessions. We scored on the first, turned it over on the second, and then had 5 three and outs, which usually featured incomplete passes and sacks.

When your QB gets sacked 5 times, that's not a sign that you're doing a good job of protecting him. He still averaged over 7 yards/attempt.....that's considered pretty good.

Let's line up for 2022, do a little better job of protecting our QB, do a little better job of spreading the ball around. I'm not ready to hang this all on Rodgers.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 12, 2022 at 07:12 pm

"Last year in the playoff game, he threw 70%??? of his passes to Adams who was usually double covered."

This is a lie. He threw 11 targets to Adams out of 29 passes, or roughly 37%. Jones had 10 targets but I don't hear anyone bitching about that. The simple fact was without MVS to stretch the field the 49ers had no fear of anyone but Adams beating them deep and took advantage of that. If Watson can't come in and play the MVS role it will be up to Doubs to be the deep threat or every team will play the Packers like the 49ees did.

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Since'61's picture

July 12, 2022 at 09:29 am

So we’re asking if Rodgers should take more chances by throwing to double covered receivers like he did on the throw to Adams in the 4th quarter of the playoff game?

How did that work out? Got it, right OK.

I agree with Leatherhead’s post 100%. Keep it boring but execute. It worked out very well for the Lombardi Packers.

Thanks, Since ‘61

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