Aaron Rodgers has been nothing short of the NFL’s undaunted version of Houdini ever since filling the massive shoes of Brett Favre when he signed with the New York Jets in the 2008 season. However, this offseason along with the ever so brutal ending to their regular season, has not been the least bit fruitful.
After Aaron Rodgers injured his collarbone in a road tilt against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers literally spiralled out of control with Brett Hundley under center.
Other than a hallmark performance against the woeful Browns in a Week 14 overtime thriller, the sophomore QB from UCLA was a dud in his nine starts this season under center. He completed a very pedestrian 192 of 316 passes (60.8%) for 1,836 yards with 9 TD’s and 12 INT’s. A lot of those came towards the end of the game. They would stumble to an uninspiring 7-9 finish.
Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett received the brunt of the blame for the poor development and handling of the Brett Hundley situation and was fired at the end of the season.
He has been replaced by former Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. He served as their offensive coordinator from 2007-2011 before taking the Miami gig. He compiled a 24-28 record as a head coach before resigning a quarter of the way through the 2015 season.
However, this wasn’t particularly what sent him over the edge. Also to get the boot was his beloved quarterback coach, ex-Buffalo Bills backup QB Alex Van Pelt. This move drove the ire of their franchise quarterback who said that they did not even contact him about the decision. Rodgers made his frustration public last week.
Wanna know something even more gutwrenchingly painful than that? The 13-year veteran from the University of California openly stated that he may need to leave Cheesehead paradise in order to build up his ring total. Not to mention, he is open to that possibilty as well. Yikes!
The Green Bay Packers since winning Super Bowl XLV, have only 5 playoff wins and have missed the playoffs for the 1st time in eight seasons. With all do respect to Rodgers’ greatness, this team is sorely lacking in other areas. Mainly on the other side of the ball.
During the 2017 season, the Packers finished 26th in scoring defense (24.0 ppg. allowed), 22nd in yards allowed (348.9), 17th against the run (112.1), 23rd against the pass (236.8), 28th in 3rd-down defense (42.8%) and second to last in red-zone defense (65.2%). The Packers have since replaced Dom Capers with former Cleveland Browns head coach and Rex Ryan disciple Mike Pettine to attempt to stiffen the soft Packers D.
Good news, however is that not all hope is lost just yet. Aaron Rodgers and management have started talks of a possible contract extension as early as Sunday. Granted if the Packers can solve their issues on defense, they could easily become championship contenders again. If not, this may be a situation that rears it’s ugly head in a despicable fashion. Stay tuned.