Pro Football Focus uses a complex system to analyze every NFL player involved in every snap in every game and assigns a grade based on how he performed on that play, with each position having its own set of grading guidelines. Plus/minus scores are given in 0.5 increments and a small normalization factor is applied to make 0.0 the average grade for a game or season. To learn more, visit www.profootballfocus.com.
How rough of a night did Aaron Rodgers have Sunday in the Packers’ 29-10 loss to the Broncos? His regular box-score statistics (14-for-22, 77 yards, 69.7 passer rating) only begin to tell the story.
Rodgers’ average of 3.5 yards per passing attempt ranked dead last among the NFL’s 28 quarterbacks in Week 8 (Peyton Manning, meanwhile, ranked first at 11.7).
Accuracy wasn’t the problem: Rodgers’ 78.9 Accuracy Percentage was ninth-best in the NFL for the week, slightly better even than Manning’s 75.0. The issue was Rodgers’ inability to throw for any distance.
In a continuation of the Packers’ season-long inability to stretch the field without deep threat Jordy Nelson, Rodgers had no attempts targeting receivers deeper than 20 yards. His longest completion was a 17-yard pass to Randall Cobb in the third quarter.
Part of the problem was Denver’s fierce pass rush. The Broncos, who entered the game leading the NFL with 26 sacks, chalked up three more Sunday and pressured Rodgers on 51.9% of his dropbacks (the only QB who felt more heat was the Bears’ Jay Cutler, pressured on 55.6% of his dropbacks against the Vikings). On those plays in which he was pressured, Rodgers was 6-for-11 for 35 yards, with one hit while throwing, one throwaway and the three sacks.
Rodgers was forced to rely on short throws: WR screens, HB routes and quick outs made up 64% of the routes he targeted.
Rodgers’ overall PFF grades for the game: -1.6 passing (largely due to his strip sack), +1.0 running, -0.4 overall. In contrast, Manning had a +2.7 passing grade and +2.8 overall.