In the 2010 season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a victory in Super Bowl 45, giving the franchise their fourth championship since the NFL went to their current format. Rodgers was 27-years-old at the time, and there were many people (myself included) who felt that wouldn’t be the last time he and his Packers teammates bring a title back to Green Bay.
Fast forward to current times, and it has turned out to be the only time Rodgers and the Pack would win it all. In fact, they haven’t even been back to a Super Bowl since then, and to compound things, it’s all but certain Green Bay will move on from Rodgers as soon as the New York Jets, a team the now 39-year-old QB intends to play for, can offer trade compensation the Packers can agree to.
For insight on what the Aaron Rodgers trade means for the Jets, listen below:
With the storied career of Rodgers playing in Green Bay heading to a close, we’re left to wonder what could have been. Most people would love to have at least a Super Bowl title attached to their name, but it seems like the quarterback should have had that and so much more. Now, it’s time to ask the question why. How does a career so storied seem so incomplete?
To be far, Rodgers’ career is anything but incomplete. He’s commonly regarded as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the league, and he has the individual numbers to back that up. He has four regular season MVPs and four first-team All-Pro votes to go with the aforementioned Super Bowl title.
Unfortunately for Rodgers, his individual success hasn’t translated to the team, at least not to the point where they could add more rings. It’s not like the Packers haven’t had their share of chances to win more titles. More on the specifics in a bit, but they have had at least a few occasions where they had home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, only to go home (or stay home) earlier than expected.
Why is this the case? Could it be the Packers not doing enough to address the wide receiver position through the years? Green Bay has had their share of good ones in the time Rodgers has been the QB. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and Davante Adams are a few of the names that come to mind, but when it comes to consistent receiver play, it’s fair to say that hasn’t been addressed more often than it has.
Could it be the lack of a good defense to compliment what Rodgers and the offense brought to the table? The Packers found themselves in the position of having to win shootouts, and when they struggled to score, it came back to bite them at the wrong time. I think San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (now with the Miami Dolphins) is still scoring on Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game from the 2019 season.
Speaking of the NFC Championship, that was one of the four times Rodgers and the Packers got to that game before the 2020 season. This is the part where, of all people, the QB should shoulder some of the blame.
In Green Bay’s appearances in the conference championship game in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2019, they had to travel to other locales. Rodgers said, in so many words, he would love to have the NFC Championship played in Lambeau Field. In 2020, they had their chance against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the second half of that game, Brady threw three interceptions, a dream scenario for Rodgers and the Pack to walk through.
Instead, Rodgers and the high-powered Green Bay offense sputtered, and didn’t do much with the opportunities. The result was an MVP season for the QB, and home-field advantage, going up in smoke. Personally, I couldn’t help but feel the Packers wouldn’t have a better chance to get another Super Bowl with Rodgers than that one.
Low and behold, Rodgers won a second straight MVP, and Green Bay had the home-field advantage for the 2021 playoffs as well. This time, it was the 49ers who once again presented the obstacle in the NFC Divisional Round. All the Packers could do with that chance was score 10 points on a team who created their only touchdown via a punt block. To put it mildly, the defense, a spot that was weak before, did more than enough to win, while Rodgers stunk the place up.
Football, despite the quarterback getting too much credit and/or blame, is the ultimate team sport. It’s never one thing or the other, because there are so many moving parts that have to work in unison. With that said, Rodgers has escaped his share of the blame for most of Green Bay’s failures, but that’s probably not the case anymore.
Yes, Aaron Rodgers deserved so much more in his Packers career, but some of it is on him as to why that’s the case.