Last weekend the Packers had their playoff hopes ended by their longtime rivals the Chicago Bears to end yet another nightmare season. This is now back to back seasons in which the Packers have failed to make the playoffs and there is a legitimate cause for concern for all you green and gold fans out there. It is one season into Aaron Rodgers being the highest paid player in football and now the team sits at a 9-11-1 record with Rodgers at the helm over the past two years. Things are beginning to trend downwards for the Packers and it may seem like an overreaction to write off the Packers but there are several reasons that point to the end of an era in Green Bay.
It would be ridiculous to say Aaron Rodgers is no longer a top tier quarterback, his numbers still sit at the very top of the league in some categories. Heading into week 16 Rodgers is 6th in passing yards and has the best Touchdown to Interception ratio in the league at 23:2. With that being said there is a drop off in production over the course of 2 years by Aaron Rodgers standards. Excluding the 2013 season in which Rodgers missed many games due to injury from 2011-2016 Rodgers threw for over 30 touchdowns in each of those seasons and with 2 weeks left and nothing to play for its hard to imagine Rodgers gets to 30 this season. On top of that Rodgers has been sacked 44 times this season, that ranks in the top 5 in the league heading into the final 2 weeks and if he eclipses 51 sacks it is looking possible that we may see a new career high. This is not at all what you want to see from a guy who just turned 35 and you just handed the largest contract in NFL history. It is no secret that Rodgers has had a long list of injuries throughout his career and if the Packers can’t find a way to keep their gunslinger healthy they will likely see many more seasons without January football.
Not only is there cause for concern with Aaron Rodgers this season but over the past few seasons the Green Bay Packers have made several head scratching decisions in their front office. The decision to keep Mike McCarthy heading into this season backfired as he and Aaron Rodgers continued to butt heads all season which likely lead to his controversial mid-season firing. On top of this Green Bay has never had a reputation to spend big in free agency but their decision to sign a 31-year-old Jimmy Graham to a 3 year 30-million-dollar contract also looks like a head scratching decision. He was brought in to help solve some red zone problems and has only 2 touchdowns to his name at this point and barely ranks in the top 10 for catches and yards. The Packers also failed to retain Micah Hyde who signed with the Buffalo Bills heading into the 2017 season who signed for 5 years 31 million (not even in the top 10 highest paid in the league) and went to a pro bowl one season later. A year in which the Packers gave up the 26th most points in the NFL and are still in the bottom half of the league one year later with two weeks to play.
It will be interesting to see if Aaron Rodgers and the Packers can figure it out this off-season. Heading into 2019 Free agency the Packers rank 17th in Cap space with just over 37 million to spend and a whole lot of needs. As I stated earlier Aaron Rodgers has taken a beating this year and will likely need to reinforce their offensive line. They could also use some help at skill positions seeing that they have some aging veterans in Cobb and Graham and have had to rely on a bevy of unproven guys like Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. And on top of all that mess they need to address their head coaching position. Mr. R-E-L-A-X sure has the deck stacked against him heading into 2019.
Do you agree that Aaron Rodgers title window has closed in Green Bay or do you think there is still time to turn it around and how? Comment below and get the debate started.