When we think of Aaron Rodgers, we think about all the things he can do. He can climb the pocket to find and open receiver, he can scramble and throw accurately on the run, and, if need be, he can gain the extra yardage himself with his legs. Aaron Rodgers can do it all. But I think the thing that most impresses me about Aaron is not what he can do, but what he can not do.
If Brett Favre was a gunslinger…Aaron Rodgers is a surgeon. What I loved about Brett was that every play was exciting and gave us a chance to break one. What I love about Aaron is the same…with one exception. That exception is the one thing that, as far as I am concerned, Aaron can go ahead and NOT do. That one thing that Aaron can continue to NOT do…is throw interceptions.
What Aaron does do is evident in his passer rating and completion percentage, but what he does not do is throw more than eight interceptions a season in recent memory…like the last four years. And he has not thrown an interception at Lambeau for over two years. The Packers have largely had top tier turnover ratio and keep in mind the amount of turnovers given away is just as important as the amount of takeaways in that ratio. Costly turnovers negate takeaways and give valuable possessions to the opponent. Aaron Rodgers is not arguably the best in this regard…he is the best hands down.
On November 20th, the Raiders took on the Chiefs and proved you can’t take any opponent for granted. I can guarantee the Packers aren’t taking the Falcons for granted and there are several reasons they shouldn’t overlook the Falcons.
After taking down the Pats, Mike McCarthy’s Packers are flying high and host the Falcons in their first Monday night appearance of the season. Four of Atlanta’s five wins have come against divisional opponents, which are not considered much of a resume builder this season. Tied with the Saints atop of the NFC South, a lot is on the line for the Falcons this week.
The Falcons ranked dead last in the league in both pass defense and total defense, having given up lots of points to a number of modest offenses (Giants, Vikings and Ravens). To no surprise, Atlanta has only forced 14 sacks on opposing quarterbacks, with arguably the lowest profile pass rushing duo in the NFC. Atlanta’s pass rush should be no problem for the Packer offensive line, which has largely kept Rodgers off the ground since the bye week.
The win against the Patriots was big for many reasons…but there are a couple aspects of that game that encouraged me. Things I had been waiting to see out of the Packers and had not yet seen. These two elements give me great confidence that this team has an even better shot coming down the stretch in this 2014 season. Continue reading