Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bleach: Rodgers not Packers’ problem

Packer fans, back off the ledge.

Yes, I know Green Bay just lost to Tampa Bay, dropping its record to 4-4, and yes, I am aware the Buccaneers were winless and were starting a rookie quarterback.

Sure, the offensive line has more holes in it than Obama’s new health care plan, and the new 3-4 defense that looked so good in preseason has played at the level of, well, last year’s 4-3 defense.


Finally, I am perfectly aware the man 80 percent of Wisconsin loves to hate and 20 percent of Wisconsin irrationally still devotes itself to is starring in the state that calls soda “pop.” I get it, all of this sucks. Especially the pop thing.

Still, the Packers are going to be all right in the long run because the organization has the most important piece of the puzzle already locked down.

For the foreseeable future, Green Bay has a franchise quarterback.

If this seems obvious to you then ignore the rest of the column, because I will just be affirming what you already know.

Unfortunately, however, there appears to be a growing notion among fans and journalists alike that Aaron Rodgers can’t handle starting under center for Green Bay.

As far as I can tell, the complaints are twofold: He holds onto the ball too long, and he just plain isn’t a winner.

On the surface, both of those are true.

Rodgers has been sacked 37 times, and I’m pretty sure I read somewhere he was responsible for 49 of those. Seriously though, it’s pretty clear he needs to throw the ball away once he is outside of the pocket, and inside the pocket, his mental clock should be ringing at four seconds.

Shockingly, the second-year starter has something he needs to improve on.

And while every true Packer fan screams at his TV when Rodgers takes a shot to his ribs for the 10th time in the game, aren’t sacks better than interceptions? I mean, even if a sack kills a drive, doesn’t punting it away help the team’s field position more than forcing a pass to the other team?

Besides, the Packers are scoring 26.8 points per game, good for eighth in the league. It’s not like Rodgers’ failings have bogged the team down significantly.

The next criticism I hear most is Rodgers just doesn’t win games.

I suppose this makes sense from the angle that Rodgers is 10-14.

Of course, Peyton Manning went 9-15 through his first 24 games as a starter, and people probably think of him as a winner today.

Either way, the reputation Rodgers has gained is that he is a “stats guy,” not a winning quarterback.

“Stats are stats;” Eric Baranczyk, one of the Journal Sentinel’s football experts said after the game Sunday. “Winning games is what matters.”

What the hell does that even mean?

Baranczyk is right about one thing — Rodgers does have dominant stats.

Through eight games, Rodgers has thrown for 2,255 yards at a 63.1 percent clip and accounted for 18 total touchdowns while tossing five interceptions. His 103.3 passer rating is the fifth best in the league.

Now if memory serves me correctly, Rodgers started off the season winning a pretty big game against the Chicago Bears with a game winning, late-fourth quarter touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.

Apparently that doesn’t make him a winner though.

Against the Buccaneers this Sunday, Rodgers was handed the perfect opportunity to prove he was clutch with 4:14 left in the game and the Packers down three points.

On the first play of the drive, TB’s Chris Hovan forced Rodgers to step up in the pocket after beating left guard Daryn Colledge on a stunt. As a result, Rodgers was brought down for a seven-yard loss by Ryan Sims.

On second down, Rodgers got some of the yards back, hitting wide out James Jones for an 11-yard gain.

Then, on third down, Rodgers scrambled for eight yards and the first down … which was called back because of a holding penalty on Colledge.

Faced with a third-and-16, Rodgers took another sack forcing Green Bay to punt.

Now tell me Rodgers haters, where exactly did the “stat guy” screw up?

In the NFL the quarterback gets to much credit for wins and takes to much blame for losses. Rodgers has put the Green Bay offense in the top 10 despite being protected by a group of tackling dummies, but a .500 record — and a defense that gives up 21.5 points per game — has him labeled as someone who can’t come through when it matters.

Too bad those pesky facts contradict that notion.

So back off the ledge Packer fans, because Rodgers is here to stay.

And I am damn happy that’s the case.

Michael is a junior majoring in journalism. Think Rodgers can’t come through in the clutch? He will prove you wrong if you e-mail him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *