- Aaron Rodgers is one of the most unstoppable quarterbacks in the NFL.
- In a recent piece for The Players’ Tribune, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes explained what makes Rodgers is so tough for opposing defences.
- Rhodes recalled one specific pass from his rookie season that was so good, even his coaches couldn’t give him any advice on how to defend it.
Aaron Rodgers is the highest-paid player in the NFL and with good reason.
The Packers quarterback has authored countless miraculous comebacks, most recently on Sunday night when he returned after being carted off the field to erase a 20-0 deficit and take down the Chicago Bears.
Few people know Rodgers’ skill as well as his opponents, and on Tuesday, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes explained why the Packers quarterback is so unstoppable.
Writing for The Players’ Tribune, Rhodes ranked the top seven players in the NFC North, giving himself the nod for fourth place and putting Rodgers at the top of the list. Rhodes explained that he discovered just how tough it was to shut down Rodgers early in his career when the future Hall of Famer essentially threw a curveball for a touchdown.
“There was this play against the Packers – it was early in my rookie season, the first time I played against Aaron Rodgers. Jordy Nelson was in the back of the end zone. I wasn’t on him, though. Josh Robinson was. I was underneath. When Rodgers threw it to Jordy, it went right over my head. But right when Rodgers let it go, I knew Jordy wasn’t gonna catch it. The trajectory of the ball was off to the right.
“Then, as the pass went over my head, I turned around just in time to watch – and, man, I promise you, the ball bent back to the left, barely missed Josh’s helmet, and dropped right into Jordy’s hands.”
Rhodes writes that the play was so impressive, he was momentarily nervous for his career. “If THIS is what the NFL is like, I’m never getting any picks!”
But Rhodes would quickly learn that Rodgers was pretty much in a league of his own when it came to quarterbacks he’d be facing.
“There was nothing Josh could do. Nothing nobody could do. When we got back to the sideline, it was like those Thanksgiving Day games against Stafford. Our coaches weren’t even mad. They saw the replay on the jumbotron, and our DB coach just shrugged his shoulders and was like, ‘I don’t know what to tell you.'”
While Rodgers’ arm is ultimately his opponent’s undoing, for Rhodes, it’s not even the hardest thing for him to get over when the Vikings and Packers face off.
“He’s so accurate, always on the money. And the worst part? He knows it,” Rhodes says. “His demeanour – his swagger – he’s so confident in his game that it actually bothers you.”
This is reminiscent of a similar story told by former Pittsburgh Steelers player Ryan Clark.
Depending on Rodgers’ health, Rhodes should get another chance at facing down the man he’s deemed the best player in the NFC North this Sunday when the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field.
You can read Rhodes’ piece in its entirety here.
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