- Some in the NFL world believe Aaron Rodgers’ incredible comeback performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 was a sign he’s only getting better.
- In that game, Rodgers was physically limited and played more like a pocket passer, relying on timing and rhythm to deliver the ball.
- There’s a scenario where Rodgers could age like Tom Brady, a quarterback Rodgers looks up to, by becoming quicker and more precise with the ball.
- That’s scary.
Aaron Rodgers’ incredible, one-legged comeback performance vs. the Chicago Bears in Week 1 may have been a scary sign for the NFL.
According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, people in NFL circles are still buzzing about Rodgers’ performance – in which he led the Green Bay Packers back from a 20-0 deficit to win 24-23 – and think it showed Rodgers is still getting better.
“Sunday night’s win was scary because Rodgers will only get better. Not just as this season progresses, but in his career,” Freeman wrote, adding: “They were saying Rodgers – who is already the most talented quarterback ever, in my opinion – still hasn’t reached his ceiling.”
At the root of this feeling may be how Rodgers played after a left leg injury limited him following a sack. Slightly less mobile than usual, Rodgers was reduced to playing in the pocket more and running a more syncopated offence. The result was some gorgeous throws like this one:
But part of what makes Rodgers’ special is his ability to extend plays with his legs and make throws on the move that few others in the NFL could make. Lest we forget plays like the one below, from the 2016 postseason:
Rodgers may not need to sacrifice his mobility to become a better quarterback – he might need to follow further in the footsteps of another great: Tom Brady.
Like Brady, Rodgers has said he would like to play football into his 40s. Part of what has made Brady so good so late in his career has been his accuracy and his ability to get the ball out quickly. And, of course, his ability to stay healthy.
Rodgers, who already has a career 65% completion rate and hasn’t thrown double-digit interceptions in seven seasons (although he was on pace in 2017 before getting hurt), could become the deadliest pocket passer in the NFL with the right system and receivers. Throws like the one against the Bears showed how precise Rodgers could be when he has time to go through the motions.
As ESPN’s Ian O’Connor reported this week, Brady once told someone that Rodgers could throw for 7,000 yards per season if he played in a system like the Patriots’.
Given Rodgers’ already-elite talent, he could experience a Brady-esque age curve where he keeps getting better as he gets older.
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