Patrick McDermott/Getty Photography
Per week ago, a fundamental fourth-quarter performance from Aaron Rodgers regarded to possess saved the Green Bay Packers’ season. A technique more lackluster performance in opposition to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday evening must possess the 4-7 Packers wondering exactly what their future at quarterback looks to be as if.
Against the Dallas Cowboys closing Sunday, Rodgers—aided heavily by rising rookie wideout Christian Watson—helped erase a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and delivered an time previous law victory.
Within the 27-17 loss to Tennessee, Rodgers erased Green Bay’s hopes of making the postseason.
Right here’s a loss that largely falls on Rodgers’ shoulders. The Packers did a official job in opposition to Derrick Henry and the Titans rushing assault (88 rushing yards allowed), and whereas Ryan Tannehill (333 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) torched the Green Bay secondary, the Packers had their probabilities.
Rodgers failed to capitalize on them.
Green Bay by no arrangement trailed by more than 11 components, and it had four probabilities all by the fourth quarter. They carried out that duration with a pair of punts and two failed fourth-down conversions.
Rodgers carried out 24-of-39 for 227 yards with two touchdowns. Green Bay managed true 15 first downs and scored fewer than 20 components for the sixth time this season. Yes, the defense played poorly (408 yards surrendered), and the ground sport contributed minute (2.9 yards per elevate).
Alternatively, Rodgers must were ready to maintain the Packers in opposition to a Titans defense that got here in ranked 31st in opposition to the slouch. He did no longer set up that, and Rodgers—as soon as one of many NFL’s gargantuan destroy out artists—used to be particularly putrid beneath stress.
High Video Sports actions Analytics & Insights @PVSportsStats
Aaron Rodgers has struggled beneath stress tonight.
1/7, 3 yards, -30.3 Comp % Over Anticipated. This follows the trend of his struggles in opposition to stress this season
Thursday’s loss in front of a nationwide viewers would per chance maybe also simply possess opened a couple of eyes to Rodgers’ struggles in 2022. The stats indicate that the reigning MVP hasn’t been gargantuan—he got here in with a passer ranking of true 93.0 and has now long gone 16 video games with fewer than 300 passing yards, the longest trail of his occupation (including the postseason), per CBS Sports actions.
Finally, it used to be straightforward to search out excuses. Green Bay traded away Rodgers’ top target, Davante Adams, within the offseason. Sooner than Watson’s Week 10 breakout (107 yards, 3 TDs), it regarded like the Packers would by no arrangement replace him.
The Packers misplaced offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett within the offseason, who left to defend the Denver Broncos head coaching gig. They’ve additionally been hampered by offensive accidents, as key gamers like Watson, Randall Cobb, David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins possess all missed time this season.
None of these components point to what we noticed from Rodgers on Thursday. He missed some open receivers, lacked the factual timing with others and tossed up a couple of complete head-scratchers.
Peter Bukowski @Peter_Bukowski
Two straight brutal misses from Aaron Rodgers on third downs to vast open receivers. Had time to place of abode his feet and throw too.
Ryan Wooden @ByRyanWood
Aaron Rodgers had Sammy Watkins vast open on third-and-12. His throw used to be about 3 yards off target.
There goes that pulse.
Rodgers’ misses were particularly frustrating because he infrequently showed indicators of being the elite quarterback we’re accustomed to seeing—like this beauty to Watson unhurried within the first quarter:
Ethan Budowsky @ethanbudowsky
Right here’s true an absurd throw from Aaron Rodgers pic.twitter.com/KYJT0TXjmJ
It be optimistic, nonetheless, that Rodgers true is no longer always if fact be told an MVP-caliber quarterback upright now. Presumably the 38-year-accepted has one plan or the opposite hit the proverbial cliff. Presumably he if fact be told doesn’t possess the upright receiving talent. Presumably his thumb damage is bothering him more than he’s letting on.
An argument can be made that with Adams out of town and a beefy three-year, $150.8 million extension in his pocket, Rodgers has simply checked out.
No topic the reason, the Packers are left with moderately a couple of uncertainty at quarterback.
Rodgers’ contract is section of the distress. He’ll possess $99.8 million in useless money closing on his deal after this season, so chopping him is no longer always if fact be told an choice. Trading him would per chance maybe squawk extremely noteworthy, too, given his inconsistent play. The true fact that Russell Wilson is floundering in Denver after that blockbuster deal would per chance maybe additional dread teams some distance from bidding on Rodgers.
Green Bay is no longer always if fact be told in all probability to bag various first-round picks for this version of Rodgers, and additionally they are absolutely no longer going to convince a crew to persist with it the assured steadiness of his contract.
Relish it or no longer, Green Bay is in all probability saddled with Rodgers for one other season no longer no longer as a lot as—his assured money dips to $24.5 million after 2023. But what set up the Packers set up after Rodgers is done?
Green Bay extinct a 2020 first-round bewitch on Utah Tell product Jordan Admire, but his probabilities within the assist of Rodgers were few and some distance between.
The 24-year-accepted has exclusively made one originate, thrown 71 passes and has a occupation 71.6 quarterback ranking. That’s no longer grand of a résumé, and the Packers favor to set up this offseason whether to exercise Admire’s fifth-year choice.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Photography
That’s no longer going to be a really easy resolution. On one hand, Admire has spent two-and-a-half of years within the assist of an all-time gargantuan. On the different, the Packers possess no thought if he can invent as a long-term starter.
“I judge we scrutinize it each day, so we’ve obtained a somewhat upright indication,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talked about, per ESPN’s Steal Demovsky. “There could be nothing like going within the sport and getting those are living reps, but he continues to point development on a day-to-day basis.”
Green Bay wishes to figure out what it has in Admire rapidly A) attributable to the looming choice resolution and B) because the 2023 draft is rapidly drawing come.
If the season ended upright now, the Packers would maintain the 12th overall bewitch. That would per chance maybe be too low for a prospect like C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young, but quarterbacks like Will Levis and Anthony Richardson can be available within the market.
If the Packers don’t seem to be equipped on Admire, they must critically defend into consideration the usage of their top bewitch on one other quarterback. The highest would per chance maybe be coming forward of many expected for Rodgers, who brazenly admitted that he wasn’t upright ample on Thursday.
“I’ve obtained to throw the ball greater than I did tonight,” he instructed journalists after the sport. “… I true did no longer possess the same sort of consistent grip.”
Green Bay has largely been homely by the consecutive tenures of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, but a Packers crew with out an elite quarterback will not be any longer some some distance away, mythical entity clouded by NFC North dominance. It has already arrived, and with or with out Rodgers, a sizeable rebuild can be looming.
It would per chance maybe also simply behoove the Packers to present Admire some beginning skills down the stretch this season because if he’s no longer the quarterback to lead Green Bay by a doubtlessly lengthy rebuild, it must gather a novel franchise signal-caller.
For the first time since he took over as the starter in 2008, Rodgers is no longer always if fact be told that quarterback.
*Contract files by the usage of Spotrac.