Packers 2017 Recap: QB Aaron Rodgers
The expectations placed on Aaron Rodgers from his coaching staff, teammates, the media and Packers fans may be greater than any other player in the NFL.
The expectations Rodgers places on himself, however, may be even higher.
From his day-long wait in the green room of the NFL Draft, the Packers starting quarterback plays the game with a chip on his shoulder.
That competitive edge shows up when Rodgers was quoted as saying Green Bay’s mantra for 2017 was “just no excuses.” Ironically, his collarbone injury wound up being the main excuse why the Packers missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.
- Started 7 games
- 154-238, 1675 yards, 16 TD, 6 INT, 97.2 passer rating
- 2 fourth quarter comebacks
- 2 game winning drives
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met
What we said after last season
Packers 2016 Recap: QB Aaron Rodgers – The Packers ended their season in the NFC Championship game in large part because of Aaron Rodgers, but It’s important to remember that the Packers started the 2016 season 4-6 in large part because of Aaron Rodgers.
Analysis: Rodgers’ injury doomed Packers season
When Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a broken right collarbone this season, it was clear how the MVP quarterback covers up many of the team’s warts single-handedly.
Consider the team’s two signature wins this season – an overtime thriller against the Bengals and a last-second, go-ahead touchdown pass from Rodgers to Davante Adams against the Cowboys. Both are remembered as signature wins, but the MVP quarterback overcame a number of hurdles in both.
Against the Bengals, Green Bay’s defense allowed quarterback Andy Dalton to put together his most complete game of the season. Late in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati soaked six minutes off the clock and kicked a field goal to extend their lead to 24-17. Rodgers and the offense had just over three minutes to go the length of the field just to tie the game.
Against the Cowboys, the Packers defense allowed a 17 play, 79 yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that took almost nine minutes off the clock. Rodgers took the field down 31-28 with just 1:13 remaining.
The injury he suffered exposed a number of the team’s flaws, from a leaky defense to slow wide receivers.
Like the 2013 season, Rodgers successfully rehabbed and returned from his broken collarbone. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know just how much work the quarterback put into his comeback. Here was a man doing everything in his power to return and save the Packers’ season, likely spending countless hours in physical therapy and mentally replaying the tackle that broke his right collarbone.
By Week 15, Rodgers convinced everyone inside Lambeau Field that he was healthy enough to rejoin the team. Green Bay was on the edge of the postseason and needed not only to win the season’s remaining three games but also have a few other games end in a favorable outcome.
Rodgers stumbled in his return against the Carolina Panthers, throwing three interceptions for just the third time in his career and the first time since 2009. In addition, he needed to call three time outs to avoid penalties for a delay of game. The Panthers blitzed more than half of the game, keeping Rodgers on the move all game long.
Even still, Rodgers had the Packers within 30 yards of a game-tying touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter when Geronimo Allison fumbled and the Panthers recovered.
The magic Rodgers seems to possess showed up throughout the 2017 season, but he wasn’t on the field enough to lift the Packers into the postseason.