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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers: ‘Down Years for Me Are Career Years for Most QBs’ | Bleacher Report

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Mike Roemer/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have time for anyone who has talked about him having down seasons before 2020. 

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers said “a lot of times down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks.”

Midway through the 2019 season, Ben Baldwin of The Athletic broke down Rodgers’ decline in expected points added (EPA) per play over a four-year span:

“From 2009 through 2014, Rodgers finished a close No. 2 to Peyton Manning among 60 qualified quarterbacks (minimum 500 plays) in Expected Points Added (EPA) per play, a measure of efficiency that takes into account situational factors such as down, distance and field position. However, since 2015, Rodgers’ per-play efficiency has fallen outside of the top 10, currently ranking No. 13 of 48 and behind players such as Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins.”

Rodgers seemed to adopt a conservative style of play in 2018 when Pro Football Focus credited him with 59 throwaways, the most by any player since the 2006 season. 

Even as talk of Rodgers’ decline was getting louder, the two-time NFL MVP threw for 8,444 yards, 51 touchdowns and six interceptions combined in the previous two seasons.

In his second year playing under head coach Matt LaFleur, Rodgers is playing even better so far than he was during those peak years from 2009-14. The 36-year-old has 1,214 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions through four games.   

The Packers offense leads the NFL with 152 points scored and ranks second with 1,782 total yards. They are one of four teams with a 4-0 record. 

Aaron Rodgers thinks “down years” for him are career years for most QBs. Are they?

Aaron Rodgers is on pace to throw for 52 touchdowns this season, which would be second all-time to Peyton Manning’s 55 in 2013.



a man wearing a hat: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers leaves the field following an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday in Green Bay, Wis. (Mike Roemer / Associated Press)


© (Mike Roemer / Associated Press)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers leaves the field following an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday in Green Bay, Wis. (Mike Roemer / Associated Press)

Not bad for a guy in his 13th year as the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback. Or a guy who finished with half that amount last year.

Still, don’t call it a comeback. Or anything of the sort. You might be setting yourself up for a Rodgers retort like this one:

“I sometimes laugh when people talk about down years for me because a lot of times down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks.”

That was part of Rodgers’ response Tuesday when asked on “The Pat McAffee Show” if he was benefitting from being in offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s system for a second season. Rodgers answered that he does feel more comfortable this year before seemingly taking umbrage at the premise of the question.

McAffee and company erupted with cheers following Rodgers’ remark, prompting Rodgers to say, “Hey, it’s just the facts, bro.”

But is it?

First, it must be noted that Rodgers put up some excellent numbers last year as he helped the Packers to a 13-3 record. He passed for more than 4,000 yards for the eighth time in his career and had only four passes picked off. His interception percentage of 0.7 was the best in the NFL, the fourth time he’s led the league in that category.

As far as touchdown passes go, Rodgers threw 45 in 2011 (second to Drew Brees’ 46 that year) and a league-leading 40 in 2016. So based on those stats, it would be difficult to begrudge someone who considered last season’s 26 to be a down year for him in that category.

But what about Rodgers’ claim that it would be a career year for most quarterbacks? Well, quarterbacks have thrown for 27 or more touchdowns in a season 226 times. That may seem like a lot, but, of course, some players accomplished the feat more than once. And considering the number of people who have played quarterback in the history of the game, it’s probably accurate to say “most” quarterbacks would have loved to have thrown as many touchdown passes as Rodgers in any year of his career.

Bottom line, Rodgers has set a ridiculously high standard for himself during a career that will certainly land him in the Hall of Fame. Maybe he comes across as a bit arrogant, but like he said, it’s just the facts, bro.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers zings his 2019 critics: ‘Down years for me are career years for most QBs’

Aaron Rodgers is back to his scintillating best for the Packers and, on Tuesday, he took aim at those who questioned him during the 2019 campaign.

Rodgers’ superb start to the 2020 season has helped the Packers surge to a 4-0 record as they look to go one better than last campaign when they lost in the NFC Championship game.

Green Bay finished last year 13-3, though many believed the Packers were fortunate to reach that record, with Rodgers’ transition to head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense appearing far from seamless.

There can be no doubts the Packers’ 4-0 start to this year is deserved, with Green Bay’s points differential of plus 41 through four games the highest in the NFC.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was asked if being in his second year of LaFleur’s offense is an advantage compared to last year.

“It does help being in a second-year [offense] for sure, I feel a lot more comfortable,” he replied. “But … I sometimes laugh when people talk about down years for me, ’cause a lot of times down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks.”

It is tough to dispute Rodgers’ claim. Though his completion percentage in 2019 dipped to 62 – his worst performance in that category since 2015 – he still had 4,002 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. His interception percentage of 0.7 was the best in the NFL.

Through four games this year, Rodgers is completing 70.5 per cent of his passes and has already racked up 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Additionally, he leads the league in adjusted net yards per attempt with an average of 10.13.

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