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Packers Talkback: Does Aaron Rodgers deserve A-minus?

Jan. 14, 2014
 
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Kyle Bursaw/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Kyle Bursaw/Press-Gazette Media

Readers responded to my player-by-player grades of the Green Bay Packers during the 2013 season, and not everyone thought Aaron Rodgers deserved an A-minus:

Andrew Bleick

Letís get to your assessment of Aaron Rodgers. An A- rating for the 2013 season. Really! Here is my analysis and reasoning:

1. He missed half the season with injury. That in itself should knock him down some.

2. He was 1 for 3 in leading the team back in the 4th quarter. (Remember the 1st S.F. game and Cincinnati) That is the most important statistic in football.

3. He failed to lead the team to a score on 1st and goal against S.F. in the playoffs to put the game away.

Those 3 reasons alone should knock that score down to a B- or C+. Iím not anti- Aaron Rodgers. But letís be realistic about what has been happening in these games where we have a chance to come back. It hasnít been happening for a lot of years. Quick Test: Think of 3 great 4th quarter comebacks that Aaron Rodgers has lead. I know you canít. I just sat here for 10 minutes and could only come up with two. Both against the Bears. Remember, comeback victories and playoff wins are what make legends!

My response

Right or wrong, I gave Rodgers an A-minus grade based on his performance in games he played and didnít downgrade him for missing half the season with the broken collarbone. It was apparent that Rodgers remains an elite-caliber NFL quarterback.

The Packers were lost without him, when they stumbled to a 2-5-1 record. With him, they went 6-3 and were a playoff-caliber team. Rodgersí numbers were near or better than his career averages.

As for fourth-quarter comebacks, he had the big one in Chicago with a playoff berth/division title on the line. They donít get bigger than that in the regular season.

I believe the knock on Rodgers and his lack of comeback victories is much ado about nothing. I wrote a column back in September and attempted to debunk the theory that Rodgers and McCarthy canít win close games. (http://pck.rs/1gFEZ4L)

In that column, it was pointed out that since Rodgers became a starter in 2008, seven times he helped put the Packers ahead in the fourth quarter, only to see the defense give up the lead and lose those games. I also pointed out that in five overtime losses Rodgers helped put the Packers in position to win and actually performs well in the clutch.

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