Another ho-hum Playoff Performance from Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Once again, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers could not lead the Packers to a playoff win.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed a $110 million contract extension before the 2012 season. In Sunday’s wild-card round playoff loss to the 49ers, Rodgers made a couple of $110 million plays, but didn’t have a $110 million game.

The performance was a microcosm of Rodgers’ postseason play since winning Super Bowl XLV.

Now before you get all bent out of shape, I’m not blaming Rodgers for the loss or demanding that the Packers try and find a new quarterback. Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league and he gives the Packers a legit shot at the Super Bowl every season.

And I do feel guilty for writing a post that is critical of Rodgers when there are all kinds of other reasons why the Packers season has ended early three years in a row.

But ever since going on a tear and winning the Super Bowl in 2010, Rodgers hasn’t had another standout postseason performance — the kind of game that cements legacies and delivers memorable playoff wins that are talked about for the next 30 years.

Rodgers’ quarterback rating on Sunday was 97.8. That’s very good. However, he only threw for 177 yards and when the Packers had a chance to take control of the game early, Rodgers and the offense went three-and-out on its first three possessions. Then when the Packers had a chance to take a lead late, Rodgers and offense sputtered in the red zone and only managed a game-tying field goal.

Rodgers hasn’t thrown for more than 300 yards in the postseason since Super Bowl XLV and has only six touchdowns in four games.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has 1,025 passing yards and two fourth-quarter rallies in four playoff games (and 362 rushing yards). Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has 731 passing yards one fourth-quarter comeback win in only two playoff games. Rodgers has 972 passing yards and zero fourth-quarter comebacks in his last four postseason games.

Since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy three seasons ago, the Packers are 17-for-49 (35 percent) on third-down conversions in the postseason. During the Super Bowl run, Rodgers helped the Packers convert 24 of 49 (49 percent) third downs.

A $110 million quarterback needs to make plays on third down and deliver touchdowns when in the red zone late in close games. Since the Super Bowl win, Rodgers hasn’t been getting it done.

Individual stats don’t tell the whole story, either. Rodgers frequently talks about winning games in the first or second quarter and eliminating the need for a fourth-quarter comeback. He’s 100 percent correct in his assessment, but when Rodgers and the offense have had opportunities to take control of playoff games early, they fail to do so.

With the score tied at 10 in the second quarter of the 2011 playoff loss to the Giants, the Packers blocked a field and got an interception on consecutive Giants drives. Rodgers and the offense failed to score on each of the ensuing possessions, punting on the first and losing a John Kuhn fumble on the second.

We’ve already covered the Packers inability to move the ball, let alone score, early on Sunday when the defense was hanging tough.

This post isn’t my attempt to be Skip Bayless and troll Packers fans into a mind-numbing shouting match about Rodgers being “clutch” or better than (insert whatever elite quarterback Bayless uses when he spouts off on this topic).

Rodgers is probably the only quarterback in the league capable of making those crazy escape-the-rush-and-find-Randall Cobb passes on Sunday, and the game-winning throw last week against the Bears. Those are $110 million plays and don’t happen if Rodgers isn’t on the team.

I also don’t hold Rodgers responsible for postseason defensive meltdowns, drops and fumbles by teammates or all the injuries that strike the Packers every single season.

But the Packers are built around Rodgers, and fair or not, it’s on him to come up with big games — not just a few big plays — in January. Recently, he hasn’t been getting it done.

Until Rodgers plays a $110 million game in the postseason instead of just making a few $110 million plays, the Packers will likely keep coming up short when it matters most.

120 Comments On “Another ho-hum Playoff Performance from Packers QB Aaron Rodgers”

  1. This is an asinine article. Unfortunately you goaded me into this comment.

    • I’m not sure that I could call it asinine, but I might give you that it should have another title.

      Perhaps “AR has another game where he can’t overcome gaping shortcomings by the rest of the team”?

    • Someone remind Adam that two of the last three playoff losses have been in icy cold Lambeau? That football just doesn’t behave like it does in a temp controlled dome game. Not even close.

      If anything, I’m surprised Rodgers has played as well as he has!

      Sorry Adam, one of your poorer articles.

    • From the mouth of Aaron Rodgers:
      “Very disappointing, personally. It’s frustrating not to play your best game…”

      • Not playing your “best” could be the difference of just one or two passes, especially in Rodgers’ perspective.

        Even if he didn’t play his best, Rodgers throwing at just 95%, is still arguably better than any other quarterback’s play-ability, especially in (literally) freezing cold temperatures.

        In any case, Adam titled this a “ho-hum” performance by Rodgers, which he most certainly WAS NOT.

  2. Today, while he didn’t cost us the game, his propensity to look for the home run when easier completions for first downs were available frustrated me. Sacks are killers. When he got sacked two plays in a row, those were on him. In both instances, he had open players underneath but never looked to them. Still a fun year. Hope next year is a healthier one. GoPack!

    • A_Lerxst_in_Packerland

      Agreed on all points.
      Let’s hope they draft really well, we still need players!

    • Considering that they lost their best defensive player and best offensive player for half the year, they had a great year. I will always remember the Dallas game. That was incredible. Flynn is the greatest back up QB the Packers ever had.
      Then, with the division on the line the won in Chicago in stunning fashion. Three division titles in a row, five playoff appearances in a row: This is a great time to be a Packer fan. If they stay healthy for a year (and up grade the safety position) I expect another Super Bowl title.

      • I would argue in favor of Mark Brunell and Matt Hasselbeck, in terms of recent backups. But, yep, Flynn is one of the best ones they’ve needed to use.

        If the Packers draft a QB aside from a 6th or 7th round flyer this spring, I’ll be surprised.

      • Zeke Bratkowski was the Packers best backup QB.

    • I think MM is calling these plays.

  3. James Jones prevented Rogers from having his big game. He had two long balls that were very catchable that would have led to scores. Agree that our start sucked but the play calling was too predictable to start that big game. McCarthy not Rogers.

    • If Jones catches those 2 passes that leads to 2 touchdowns pretty easily and Rodgers is the hero. The first one hit him in the helmet and the second hit his shoulder pad. Those both are caught by average receivers. Just take yourself out of the game if you can’t catch in cold weather.

    • It looked as though both of the Jones’ ‘dropped passes’ were underthrown. On the second one, Jones had 2 steps on the defender, a longer ball scores a TD.

  4. It was the breakup. I hope Aaron and Kevin get back together.

  5. BS

  6. This article is absurd.

    You undermine yourself by mentioning Rodgers’ great throws (which were phenomenal) and fail to mention that the first drive, for example, was 100% runs.

    In 2010 Rodgers had a veteran LT, solid Center, and 4 huge threats downfield playing great football. In 2013 he has a journeyman RT and a Rookie LT. (I’d also argue that Colledge is better than Lang but I’m getting greedy).

    I’d encourage you to write an article on why terrible offensive play-calling did the Packers in or the importance of a clean pocket but putting this one on the shoulders of Rodgers? I cannot abide.

    • You obviously glossed over the part where I said I don’t blame Rodgers for this loss.

      • I saw where Adam stated he wasn’t blaming Rodgers. For his second game back in freezing conditions, Rodgers had a decent game against a excellent defense. Once again Rodgers had the Packers ahead or tied in the 4th quarter, only to let the defense allow a team to drive down the field, eat up the clock, and score without leaving anytime. Just about every Kapernick run was where Clay Matthews would be. Bush totally blew the one assignment he had on 3rd down containing the edge allowing Kapernick to get outside, again around Matthews side.
        The Packers Safeties are a Joke. Morgan Burnett had a chance to at least bat down the pass if not pick it off on the TD to Davis. Several plays he failed to make a tackle and allow the runner to get behind him. I never heard Jennings name called once.

        • This game had an awful lot of “Key plays” for the Pack…coulda made a pick, shoulda kept contain, coulda batted down a ball, shoulda had deep coverage, coulda blocked the FG…

          When there are that many key plays that a team doesn’t make, it’s not a huge surprise that they came up short. Still, a wonder that they were there at the end, and a tribute to good effort.

          Get some players back, make a couple shrewd picks and maybe a signing, and the NFC should be on notice for 2014.

          • I sure hope we’re not saying the very same things this time next year. I feel like it’s Groundhog Day. Oh well, Go Pack Go!

          • DON’T PUNT ANGRY!!! 😉

          • I feel like I’m the only one who got that, lol. Funny movie.

          • It sure did Dobbler. The play by Hyde, just another inch and he has I’d bet. If Matthews plays I promise you that Kapernick wouldn’t have gained all those yards running to the left. People forget how great Matthews is as a run defender. That run by Cobb on 1st and goal has worked so many times in past but didn’t this it didn’t. At the end of the day, with all the injuries JUST IN THIS GAME, I was proud of the Packers efforts. I hate losing and will be bummed that the season is over, but at least it wasn’t like last year.

      • The article headline says another ho-hum playoff performance by Rogers. BULL SPIT! It was a great performance by Rogers considering the 49ers have one of the best defenses in football and they were ALL OVER him when he went back to pass. NO ONE coud have done AS WELL. The Packers defense allowed the 49ers to take the game over with 5 minutes left and WALK down the field. Kaepernick could EAT HIS LUNCH the final drive in pass protection. WAKE UP!

      • Too little, too late.

        When things get tough you look to blame someone.

        It was an exciting season, i cant wait til next year!

    • Absurd? From the mouth of Aaron Rodgers:
      “Very disappointing, personally. It’s frustrating not to play your best game…”

  7. What’s missing is an offensive line that allows our $110 million dollar quarterback to consistently and safely work from the pocket where he can evicerate defenses. That’s the reason for the results you’re noting. Why did he miss seven games that sucked the momentum out of our season? An undrafted right tackle gave up a sack against a Bear who did nothing all season. Barclay works hard, but he is not a premier tackle. In this wildcard game, as in past playoff games, Rodgers just didn’t have the time he needed. Thompson needs to put a top quality O-line in front of our QB and RB and then watch the magic happen in the playoffs.

  8. I completely disagree. Look at the quality of defenses that ARod played vs Kap.

    SF played 7 in the box the entire game. 2 deep safeties with man under. GB has to be able to run the ball better in that situation.

    I’m still proud of my team.

    • While I was proud of my football team like Bearmeat, I also agree Marks point. If a teams top option is and has been Marshall Newhouse for this entire season, you have huge problems. That dude would be overwhelmed by a 220 pound Safety.

      • In part, the huge problem was a blown knee in preseason (Bulaga). If Bulaga doesn’t get hurt then, the Packers carry three tackles (Bulaga, Bakh, Barclay) and Sherrod on PUP. Newhouse is looking for a job, and will be in 2014 unless things go badly in the off-season/preseason again.

        I’m not sure that Bakhtiari didn’t play well enough for Bulaga to go back to the right side in 2014. Get your 5 best on the field, and Barclay gets pushed around too much.

  9. It was pretty tough conditions out there. Numb fingers, hard ball, poor footing, muscles that don’t react quite the same as normal. My guess is the same thing that made Rodgers look like something less than Superman was responsible for the Packer defense holding SF to 23.

    In the 4th quarter, the Packers scored once to take the lead and once again to tie. And the Packer defense promptly surrendered the same to give it right back.

    If Hyde makes that pick late, I bet this article is hailing Rodgers for a gutty performance in difficult conditions.

  10. To compare Rodgers to kaeperdick is ridiculous. Put Rodgers in the niners offense, behind that O line, and against the Packers D, and then put kaeperdick behind our O line against SFs D, and let’s see what the results are…SF wins , with Rodgers 48 to 9, against GB with Kaepernick.

  11. Interesting commentary. I’d next like to hear the opinion of someone who watched the game.

  12. Can’t say I disagree. I love Rodgers as much as any Packers fan but if we rip everyone else on the team for every little thing we’ve gotta be fair and at least acknowledge Rodgers’ faults that reared up in this game. Of the 9 drives, 5 were basically 3-and-out and lasted under 2 minutes. Some of that has to fall on Rodgers. He got too greedy at times, taking sacks while waited for a big downfield throw instead of hitting a wide open checkdown option that had plenty of space to get at least 6-7 yards.

    Sure, he is not the one that blows contain on Kaepernick or misses coverage on Crabtree, but he is being paid a heckuva lot more than those other guys and it is due to his enormous cap-clogging contract that the other needs on the team are so hard to address. He did not have a terrible game, but he did not have a $110-million game either.

    • But three of those 3-and-out drives were all called runs, weren’t they?

      • The first three plays of the game were runs. Whether they were called by McCarthy or Rodgers checked them, we’ll never know.

        On the next two possessions, Rodgers threw four times. Two were incomplete and he was sacked on the two others (looked very tentative in the pocket on one of the sacks).

  13. The niners have 8 pro bowlers, the Pack has 0 this year. This doesn’t mean the Pack doesn’t have talent, but the niners have talent where the Packers don’t have as much and that’s in the trenches where games are won. The trenches make QBs and other skilled players look better. The niners have superior players at every position on the offense and defense lines, except Sitton. They have superior LBs also. There D front 7 is as good or better than any team out there. Maybe this is why Arod didn’t have a super man game.

    • What does that say about our GM?

      • He’s not a savy shopper?

      • It says that he hasn’t been first in line to pick for years and years, as SF has been! And that IS his fault for consistently winning.

        • Only one team is first in line, so that’s no excuse. Wolf got guys all over the place: Tauscher in the 7th, Driver in the 7th. TT likes to play that game, too, only he’s not as good. One thing that TT did learn from Wolf: how to fart in the wind.

        • Winning just enough to make it to the playoffs has aparently become the acceptable ‘new standard’ in Green Bay.
          With the current regime – TT/MM – winning the title of a sub-par Division is now the new norm. I’ve always though of us as: TITLETOWN not ‘Playofftown’

  14. Rodgers also missed half the season and only had 1 make up game under his belt before today. That, and it was mighty cold out today. So if Rodgers didn’t look in mid – season form, let’s cut him some slack. The games he stood out in in the 2010 playoffs were Atlanta and the SB. Both controlled weather environments. He was ok against Philly on the road in colder weather and below average against the bears inthe bitter cold both in the NFC championship game and the last game of the season.

  15. We have arguably have the best QB in football. SF has the best run defense in football. We run the ball 31 times and pass 26. Makes sense to me, if you would prefer to lose this game most of the time. Admittedly, Thompson’s back up tackles might have gotten Rogers killed if he passed more, but that is the only way we consistently win this game. Thompson’s defense is atrocious. Only 4 players would start for other teams. He has failed Rogers and Packer fans. Rogers is 30 and does not have enough years left as a QB to be throwing opportunities away. If Thompson does not change his failed “Draft and Play” philosophy next year, and sign lower cost veteran free agents to plug the holes created by his defensive drafting deficiencies, he should be fired. Don’t waste Rogers years. You will be sorry.

  16. I don’t think we can blame Rodgers on this one. He took sacks he didn’t need to yes, but one or two of his down field throws should have been caught. On 4th down he made a ridiculous escape and completion. My only concern on that series was why they didn’t have Lacy in the backfield.

    Simply put, our defense could have stopped the 49ers on their last drive a couple times. We just lack elite playmakers to seal the deal on defense IMO.

    If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a Merry Christmas

  17. Your neglecting to mention that Rodgers has also been going up against top flight defenses (San Fran and NY) when he has these above average games. Rodgers got no help against the Giants when he receivers seemed to drop every important pass in the game. San Fran last year was complete defensive debacle. No QB would have pulled that game out. This year, we went run heavy early and were missing half the team by the end of the game, not mention, its was extremely cold! Not exactly a day to break out the passing game.
    The Packer fans that can remember more than just a few seasons, went thru over a decade of terrible playoff performances by another 100 million dollar QB that KILLED our season every year. Rodgers might not be putting up superman performances against top flight defenses in extreme weather conditions, but he is certainly not losing the games by throwing errant interceptions. You should really think these things thru before you write columns like this.


    • What’s the difference? Lose with an interception, it’s a big L and you’re out of the playoffs. Lose by holding the ball too long, getting sacked or just not getting the ball in the endzone & and you’re out of the playoffs just the same. The only place it makes a difference is in the individual stat sheets.

      Besides, if a QB is the best in the business, than he should be able to beat a good defense once in a while.

  18. It’s difficult to blame Rodgers when he drives the team to a TD and Pack takes a 7-6 lead and D gives back a TD on next SF possession. Then, he drives to a 17-13 lead and D gives back another TD. Then he drives to a tying FG and D can’t get the ball back and we lose on a FG with no time left. I realize the D was hurt during this game, and they played hard, but either they makes the plays or they don’t. They didn’t. I am confident that if Rodgers gets the ball back before the SF FG we win the game. Also, those who blame MM play calls, remember or wake up and realize, that Rodgers is calling or changing plays at the line. When he sees 2 deep safeties he is running the ball, especially now with Lacy. MM sends in the personnel and the formations, after that the offense belongs to Rodgers. Game was a microcosm of the entire season, too many injuries, D unable to get off the field due to 3rd and 4th string playing against 1st string offenses. In spite of everything a great ride to the end. Thanks, Since ’61

  19. first time Adam is just dead wrong. Jones makes that first catch? and the D, while they played their hearts out today they just plain are not good enough. rodgers by himself is good for ten or eleven wins a year. that gets us into the playoffs. one all world QB cannot take you very far in the playoffs unless you can win at the line of scrimmage. that means having a D-line that can collapse a pockets, and just any old safety would help along with three more starting linebackers. and while we were playing with second team tackles who did way better than expected, imagine what AR could do with Clifton and Tauscher when they were young.

  20. This article headline feels like “click-bait” and the article itself tries to take advantage of Packers fans’ emotions after a loss, while presenting odd statistics and voicing discreet statements of disdain.

    Adam said he isn’t blaming Rodgers for the loss, yet the statement that Rodgers “needs to make plays on third down and deliver touchdowns when in the red zone late in close games” is a reproachable statement; one that places the loss squarely on Rodgers’ shoulders. This whole article seems to blame Rodgers for our lack of success in the playoffs, both explicitly through arbitrary statistics (“Colin Kaepernick has 1,025 passing yards and two fourth-quarter rallies in four playoff games… Rodgers has 972 passing yards and zero fourth-quarter comebacks in his last four”) and in its tone (“…Rodgers and offense sputtered in the red zone and only managed a game-tying field goal”). But Adam’s “not blaming Rodgers for the loss or demanding that the Packers try and find a new quarterback”, right? Hmm…

    Adam also seems to lament the fact that Rodgers is being paid $110M with statements such as “Until Rodgers plays a $110 million game in the postseason…”. The problem with that is that there is no Rosetta Stone that translates statistics (in big games, playoffs, regular season games, etc) into a monetary equivalent. The money we paid Rodgers was to retain him as the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers until 2020, NOT to throw X amount of touchdowns, NOT to win X amount of games, and certainly NOT to play X playoff games to a fan’s liking.
    Now, Adam said, “Those are $110 million plays and don’t happen if Rodgers isn’t on the team”. So minus the fact that Adam used the term “$110 million plays” he seems to justify retaining Rodgers. So, what exactly is Adam’s position on Rodgers getting paid $110M? It’s unclear to me (and isn’t really important – because ultimately Rodgers wants to win which is what all of us, as fans, want too).

    What is clear to me is that Adam is upset by the loss. And I am too. But Adam is looking in the wrong area to place the blame. Aaron Rodgers played his 2nd game back from a collar-bone injury – while only attempting one pass in the 1st quarter, against a REALLY GOOD 49ers defense, in sub-zero temperature, on a slow field – and his team lost by 3 points.

    This article reeks of trolling, and maybe trolling this hard brings out readers who normally wouldn’t view a game-loss-reaction article. I have been reading jerseyal for quite some time now (6+ years, I think), and this is the first time I am commenting on a piece. Like I said in the beginning, that seems to be playing to the emotional side of the fans being offended by this article. So, if you wanted “click-bait”, well done. But, please don’t use this tactic anymore in your future articles, you may lose a few dedicated readers.

    • “Adam said he isn’t blaming Rodgers for the loss, yet the statement that Rodgers “needs to make plays on third down and deliver touchdowns when in the red zone late in close games” is a reproachable statement; one that places the loss squarely on Rodgers’ shoulders. This whole article seems to blame Rodgers for our lack of success in the playoffs,….”

      Converting on 3rd down and scoring TDs in the red zone is “reproachable?” Ok…..

      And I don’t blame Rodgers for the loss. I don’t know how much more clear I can make that fact. It seems like you, and others, are trying hard to stick to a pre-determined mindset that anyone who even slightly offers up some less-than-glowing thoughts on Rodgers is trolling.

      • Adam,

        If you “don’t know how much more clear you can make that fact” that you don’t blame Rodgers, I suggest you do some “self-scouting” of your writing.

        You stopped just short of blaming Rodgers. Which makes it very UNCLEAR that you’re not blaming him. From my read of the article, you baited people into thinking you were blaming Rodgers if you truly did not intend to make that point.

        • “I’m not blaming Rodgers for the loss…”

          Would it have been more clear if I typed that line 749 times throughout the post instead of just in the third paragraph?

          • No, it would not have helped. It would still be contradicted by many other things you did write.

            What would have made it more clear is if you had wrote less things that put the loss on his shoulders in contradiction to that one sentence disclaimer.

      • Adam, look. Is this blame?

        -“…he only threw for 177 yards and when the Packers had a chance to take control of the game early, Rodgers and the offense went three-and-out on its first three possessions.”

        -“…Rodgers hasn’t been getting it done.”

        -“…when Rodgers and the offense have had opportunities to take control of playoff games early, they fail to do so.”

        -“…it’s on him to come up with big games — not just a few big plays — in January.”

        -“…he hasn’t been getting it done.”

        -“Until Rodgers plays a $110 million game in the postseason instead of just making a few $110 million plays, the Packers will likely keep coming up short…”

        Does it cease to be blame when these statements are also included in your article?

        -“Now before you get all bent out of shape, I’m not blaming Rodgers…”

        -“…I do feel guilty for writing a post that is critical of Rodgers…”

        -“…quarterback rating on Sunday was 97.8. That’s very good.”

        -“…This post isn’t my attempt to be Skip Bayless and troll Packers fans…”

        -“Rodgers is probably the only quarterback in the league capable of making those…”

        -“Those are $110 million plays and don’t happen if Rodgers isn’t on the team.”

        -“I also don’t hold Rodgers responsible for postseason defensive meltdowns, drops and fumbles by teammates or all the injuries…”

        The reality of the situation is that Rodgers did not play poorly. He did not play like the NFL-God (or “$110M quarterback” – whatever that means) that you seem to want him to play at either. But the groups of statements above do not negate one another; and your article, despite your many proclamations in the comments and in the fourteenth paragraph of the article, can be seen as a trolling effort due to your aggressive attempt at disguising your judgment.

        • Where did I say Rodgers played poorly? Are we not allowed to bring up instances where Rodgers and the offense didn’t do what was needed to be done? Or every time we might bring up such an instance, are we supposed to qualify it with 107 different things that make it clear that Rodgers is still a great QB and not solely to be blamed for the Packers postseason shortcomings?

          And when I make a judgment, I don’t need to disguise it. In fact, here is a judgment right now, completely undisguised: Your reading comprehension skills are poor.

          • Ok ok ok. I apologize for that last sentence. It’s cold and all of you are making me cranky.

          • Ad hominem attacks? Must’ve been something I said. I guess this is my last comment.

            Adam, think about this: If this many people are commenting about how this article blames Aaron Rodgers, even though that’s not what you meant/said, isn’t it possible the message you were trying to convey was presented in a bad way? You may take solace in that perhaps SOME people understood your message, and attack those that didn’t by claiming they “didn’t read the article”. But unless your goal was to put out “click-bate”, the message you delivered was ambiguous and has many Packers fans disagreeing with you.

          • We are all speaking, but nobody is listening, myself included.

            If I wanted to blame Rodgers, believe me, I would have left no doubt in the post that I was blaming Rodgers. This isn’t the first time that the majority of readers/commenters misunderstood one of my posts and it won’t be the last.

          • Consider this: From the mouth of Aaron Rodgers:
            “Very disappointing, personally. It’s frustrating not to play your best game…”

  21. Adam since when did you become a troller? The packers would not have even been in this game (or the playoffs) without Rogers, which I know you know. Lets face it our talent level particularly on the defensive side of the ball pales in comparison to teams like Seattle, SF and Carolina. It seems like we just can’t make a stop when it’s really needed. Start with the D-line and right down the gut, Lb’s, Safety’s, there is a lot of work to do this offseason to find a least a few talented players either in the draft or in free agency (not likely with TT) . We need another Charles Woodson or Reggie White.

    Still I’m proud that the pack somehow made it to the playoffs, with so many injuries. The team has a lot of character, but needs to upgrade the talent level.

    • “Adam since when did you become a troller?”

      Around the same time you started commenting on posts you don’t understand.

    • But part of the reason the talent level on defense is lacking is because there is no money to fix it due to Rodgers being paid $110 million. When you sink that much money into one position you have to accept that there will be holes elsewhere and that the $110 player will be expected to cover for some or all of those holes. Look, Rodgers is an elite player and was facing tough conditions with the weather and injury but let’s not pretend like he played an elite game yesterday. Even he would probably tell you that he left some plays on the field and probably took some sacks that he could have avoided.

      Everyone would like a supporting cast like the 9ers and Seahawks but part of the reason they are able to have that supporting cast is because they are paying their QB’s peanuts right now compared to Rodgers.

      • Are you seriously saying that TT would go out and spend in FA if not for Rodgers’ big contract?

        Or maybe you mean he wouldn’t have allowed a stud defender to leave. Just who that might have been escapes me at the moment. Des Bishop and Nick Collins were both very effective in this defense but age/injury means they would have been no help in 2013.

        Either way, the premise seems flawed given the way the Packers GM operates. He’s a draft and develop guy. That doesn’t require big cap space. It does require drafting good player and good coaches to develop them.

  22. Rogers does look for the home run play too much BUT SERIOUSLY!!! The Packers wouldn’t be close to a playoff team without Rogers! He is the best QB in the game! If you watched the pass rush put on Aaron no other qb could have played as well. Any criticism of Aaron is foolish and without merit.

  23. Can’t blame ARod here. Who else in the nfl could perform as well under the same circumstances? ..not most QB’s in this league. James Jones needs to catch the F’n ball!!

    • Where in the post do I blame ARod?

      • Step 1. Read headline.
        Step 2. Click link for article.
        Step 3. Scroll to comments section.
        Step 4. Give your opinion.
        Step 5. Maybe go back and read the article if there’s time.

        • I know most did read it, but I think the timing has everyone wound up. The fact is that Rodgers at least had an outlet on two of the sacks that he took and held onto the ball. I’m barely 5’10” so I know I couldn’t see over the traffic jam in that pocket, but that’s what Rodgers is paid to do: see what is going on around him. Get rid of the ball, which has been an issue in his career since day 1. Still, he’s a great quarterback and the Packers had their chances to overcome those negative plays. They didn’t do enough to accomplish that.

          This loss doesn’t fall squarely on Rodgers and that’s not what Adam is saying. But he IS a guy who touches the ball on every offensive play so there is a higher level of accountability. Adam’s point is one that most outside of Green Bay would make as well. We all tend to look at playoff and championship wins to determine a quarterback’s true worth. Ironically, Adam does just that here yet several are choosing to label it as negative.

          Some of you should try to read these pieces simply for what they say but the key word is READ. Some of these comments make it painfully obvious that isn’t happening. Still, thanks for visiting the site all and looking forward to the 2014 season.

          • Rodgers probably had an outlet that he failed to use on that last pass to Cobb that set up our last score. He was in a big time sack situation yet somehow managed the big play. Perhaps it is instances such as this that lends to him hanging onto the ball too long.

          • To be fair, there is some waffling in the article. It’s critical, and that’s fine. Rodgers didn’t make all the plays last night, in last year’s playoff tilt with SF, or in the Giants playoff debacle in Jan 2012. But it seems that Adam doesn’t really want to be critical of Rodgers, or to be perceived as such, so he writes that he’s not blaming Rodgers for the losses. I think some people aren’t buying his disavowal.

            That’s to be expected because the dominant tone of the article is critical and because a large portion of Packfandom believes Rodgers can do no wrong.

      • Your summary, for one, seems to be clear that Rodgers is all that matters to Packer wins or losses.

        You wrote……
        “But the Packers are built around Rodgers, and fair or not, it’s on him to come up with big games — not just a few big plays — in January. Recently, he hasn’t been getting it done.

        Until Rodgers plays a $110 million game in the postseason instead of just making a few $110 million plays, the Packers will likely keep coming up short when it matters most.”

        Seems to be pretty clearly blaming (or crediting) him for all things—good or bad.

        • that’s what happens when one player get’s $110 million of a team’s cap space. holes should be expected at other positions when that happens and the guy making the big $$$ will be expected to cover some of those holes. I don’t think that’s unfair. He is being paid a corresponding amount to cover for others. I have no problem with him receiving some blame, especially since he receives the lion’s share of the credit in wins. Look, he is an elite talent and arguable best qb in the league overall. But even elite players sometimes have average and below-average games and bad players occasionally have decent or great games. Regardless of whether it was the collarbone or the weather or the niners defense, Rodgers left some plays on the field yesterday.

  24. We keep losing to SF because Jim Harbaugh outcoached us everytime we meet.

    • The salary cap is the equalizer. Teams with excellent QBs working underpaid will have a clear talent advantage at other positions[SF, Carolina, Seattle, Indy]. When those QBs need paid, They will not be able to sign all their other good players.

      We didn’t lose because Harbaugh out coaches MM.

      • @jtmax: I think that was 100% absolutely true the previous 3 games. Not this time. Game plan on both sides of the ball were solid. Losing Shields and Neal so early on was the difference in this game. Packers had to improvise, and still did very well.

        • This was a well coached game on both sides of the ball, for both teams. I thought Capers especially coached a great game, considering the poor talent on currently on the Packers Defense.

          The margin of error was low on both sides of the ball, the Packers I feel are inferior but had a chance with keeping within the margin, but they weren’t able to.

          That said, the played very hard and I enjoyed the game; we just need better players. I think the coaching was good.

  25. I’m not sure where I stand on the “players-not plays” discussion as I believe it is more complicated than that. I do feel that our play calling when we were first and goal was not solid (running Randall Cobb ???). How can we run the ball well and abandon the run, or at least the play fake when we get first and goal??? Why wasn’t either Starks or Lacy in the game at that point?

    • As a frequent play-calling critic, I have few issues with this game. I liked the Cobb call a lot. Unfortunately, Newhouse gets beat up, Cobb has to adjust, SF has time to sniff it out. At least it was something different than the five or so plays we always see inside the 10.

      I support both McCarthy and Capers in this game. We just got beat by Kaepernick’s legs again. Having Clay as a spy would have been a huge help.

    • Well all you can ask for from the coaches is a “chance to make a play”. Several offensive players had an opportunity to do it, but had drops; and several defensive players (Hyde/Burnett dropping ints) or Bush’s lack of contain on a VERY GOOD zone fire blitz call.

      The Coaches got them in position and they weren’t able to make them, whether it be injuries or whatever, they couldn’t get it done. This wasn’t on the coaches in my humble opinion.

  26. I like the article. The Rodgers clock is ticking… The obvious reasons are the pathetic defense and poor protection, but if Rodgers puts up 30-40pts as other greats that he’s now mentioned with, the Packers win this game. Let’s look deeper. With the SBXLV success, Thompson seems to have bought into his draft and develop praises and forgot that veterans played a big role on that defense. Current veterans Hawk and Burnett are weak links in the middle of a poor defense. I hope Mark Murphy sits down with Thompson and let’s him know that with Rodgers, four playoff “one and done”s is not getting it done. I’d also like to see Adam write a similar article about a defensive “star” who’s getting paid Rodgers-money on defense, who didn’t even suit up! C’mon Matthews! Playing would have helped your teamates AND your marketing image.

  27. Its tough to blame Rodgers when in his three previous playoff losses the D has given up I believe an average of 42 points. And yes, I took the fumble return for a TD before calculating that number since that’s obviously not on the D. Still, you can make the case that in the 2011 Giants game and this game, the OFFENSE (not just Rodgers) didn’t do enough to win. The Packers scored enough last year to win they just couldnt stop Kaep from running all over the field. So really, 2 out of 4 times, the offense didn’t do it’s job. And the other times, D didn’t hold up their end. Hence why it’s so difficult to win a SB. You need both phases of the game to win.

    So what I’m really saying is I sort of agree with Adam about this game, but only to an extent. It was an offensive failure but it was the result of pretty much everything. The offensive lines, the WRs, the play calling, and yes the QB.

  28. This team did about as well as could be expected, Rodgers included. They played against a relatively healthy and very talented 49ers squad and held their own. One might even argue that we over-achieved. Our O-line starts to fold with the snap of the ball. Against a good 4 man rush, like the 49ers, there isn’t much time for plays to develop. And, it is not like there are many weaknesses in that San Fran defense.

    We did very well against that team. Our 110 million dollar man behind the 49ers O-line is a surgeon. I give our O-line credit for being a hardworking collection of low round and undrafted FA, but at this level of play, it is the difference.

    People are irked by the “ho hum” inference in the headline and the $110 million reference. Maybe we should focus on the fact that the Packers got the most out a injury depleted, rag-tag group of gutsy, blue collar players. It is the story of this team, this season and this game. All the rest is noise.

  29. while you may not be blaming Rodgers for the loss, the headline says it all. in your view, if Rodgers hadn’t had another “ho-hum” performance, they would have won….so in effect you are blaming Rodgers.

    if you can’t come up with something better for why the Packers failed to win this game, you should stop writing anything, period. you FAILED miserably on this one!

  30. Adam, I’m not alone in the way I perceive your article. The implication and the tone of your article suggest that ARod is the blame. However, it may not be your intention to place blame, but it certainly implies in my opinion that you blame him.

    • My impression was that Adam is sayting that ARod needs to be more than just good in these games for the Packers to be at their best.

      That doesn’t blame ARod for the loss, but what it says is how much the Packers–and all teams for that matter–rely on their stars at playoff time.

  31. Thought he deserved a B+ for this effort. That play on 4th and 2 pretty special.. Just 2 or 3 plays short of winning. Very fine line in the NFL. Hopefully we can sign a vetran FA or two on D. You really notice the youth on D compared to when Collins and Woodson were on the back end running the show. Collins picks off that Vernon Davis TD pass all day.. Burnett a step to slow to react.. The team went down swinging unfortunately you could tell the injuries eventually caught up with them.

  32. The head line of the article says Aaron Rogers plays another ho-hum playoff performance. TOTALLY WRONG! It was amazing Rogers did what he did with 49ers hanging all over him. Kapernick could eat his LUNCH with the pass protection he got the FINAL 5 MINUTE DRIVE. Once again the defense did not show up in the CRITICAL part of the game. Ho-hum? GREAT is more like it when talking about Rogers. Don’t forget that Jones dropped some game changing passes also.

  33. The inability of TT to sign any free agents is part of the problem, Arod won”t be around forever. The pass protection has stunk for years, The D hasn’t shown up since the SB win. TT doesn’t upgrade the team like the Patriots, Niners, etc. these teams fill in gaps with free agents and will continue to do so. The draft is important, but a mix of free agent signing is a must. In the ninety s that happened, NFC Championship game appearances and SB appearances were there more. TT seams content on just making the post season. Until he realizes this, the team will continue to have quick exits from the post season

    • Yeah, too bad da Bears resigned Cutler to seven more years–he was due to be a free agent–could have had him.

    • The assesment of Rodgers is fair, but I think a more important assesment should be of the coaching. The same defensive mistakes have happened repeatedly against the 49ers. Not setting the edge, to contain the quarterback, over and over again. Or no adjustment to the same player beating you on third down time and time agian. Kaepernick, Bolden, now Crabtree. No discipline comes from poor coaching, top down.

  34. Tommy c, you are right. When the Packers won the SB in 97 they had a number of free agents that made huge contributions. Players that I can think off the top of my head, Reggie White, Desmond Howard, Andre Rison, Shawn Jones. I’m sure I’m missing a few but you get the point. TT has to change his philosophy a bit.

  35. Summary of Article: For $110M Rodgers could have played better.

    He made some absolutely fantastic plays, but yes, he could have played even better.

  36. I believe AROD is the best 30 year old QB in the game today. outside of his 2nd half runs, I thought Kepernick looked bad throwing the ball. And I thought our defense played about as well as they could all things considered EXCEPT when it counted most at the end. I think MM had terrible game strategy. Running the ball was going against the strength of their defense. Throw intermediate underneath (because of cold). Red zone play calling is so bad I could gag. MM is an ass clown of a head coach. But let’s not kid ourselves, AROD was from mid-season form in his 2nd week back. Eddie Lacy had lots of asthma problems. MM mismanaged him. Starks should have seen the ball a lot more. Ditto Cobb. It was Lacy or Nelson, nothing else. Too bad Jones picked Sunday to let deep throws hit his shoulder and face before his hands reacted. GB did not deserve the play-offs, no MFC North team did. This was our 3rd 1 and done post-season since catching lightning in a bottle in 2010. let’s face it folks, we are what our record says we are, not a bad team but not a good team, despite having the best QB on the planet. Who’s fault is that? Who hired the HC? Who picks the players? Ted Thompson sucks and until Packer Nation figures that out, we are stuck in the mud. I think many of us did figure it out this year with AR out. No back-up QB, no back-C, no S, same ‘ol shitty ILB play, HIPPO DL, undersized CBs, no pass rush other than CMIII. This is Ted’s team and it has more holes than Swiss cheese. Until the “In Ted We Trust” choir shuts up and the Mark Murphy wakes up, we aren’t going anywhere with this team. Not what we want to hear but I’m afraid it’s the truth. Nothing else matters but get rid of Ted. He is incapable of straightening out the mess he has made with the defense. I’m not a DC supporter but I can’t blame him for the hot mess we call our defense. Get me a young GM and a young DC and a young HC and let’s start over. In three years, with Rogers and Matthews, and Nelson and Lacy we could be back in the SB. Stay the course and we will fall deeper and deeper into the muck that’s called Ted Thompson.

  37. The key plays in this game were Bakthiari’s penalty on the pass to Jordy before the 1st half ended. If that play stands we have 1st and goal at the 5or 6 with 27 seconds. Probably get 3 cracks at a TD there. Penalty may have cost us 4 points before the half. Next play was drop by Jones on 1st possession of second half. His later drop was a tough but make able play. Needless to say Micah’s dropped pick, lack of pass rush on final drive, and Bush giving up the edge on Kapernick ‘s run. As Al said, Kapernick’s legs were the difference. If we have CM3 and Shields we probably win the game. None of the above has to with MM or his play calling which was sound. If there was any issue on the offense it was lack of execution by the O-line. How many times, even on a positive play was it all Lacy? How many times was Rodgers hurried and hit, even on completions? For all those who criticize the play calls I am sure those comments are based on all the hours of film you all studied all week of the SF defense prior to the game. Thanks, Since ’61

  38. Niners fan here stumbled on this board.

    Look, this game was really even. Somebody had to win. I could say good and bad about both teams and both quarterbacks. SF looked to have the better of it, but it comes down to this. Score was 20-20 when SF got the ball on their 20 yard line with 5:06 left in the game. Everything that happened before this didn’t matter. Either SF runs a great drive to end it, or GB stops that drive and either wins it outright or sends it to overtime. I had it my mind that SF would not be able to manage the drive and clock, and GB would get the ball and win. But GB did not get it done. I can think of 4 close plays where GB could have stopped that drive, and GB just didn’t get it done. That’s the only reason SF won.

  39. Short and sweet John. But the $64,000 question is why. Was it injuries? Was it coaching? Was it GMing? Or was it SF is just a great team (Lombardi-like)? Those are the only four choices I think. I s’pose you could say some of all four but to my mind, it was our GM can’t defensive players to save his life. What say you?!

  40. I READ the article. I read contracts every day: my reading comprehension is quite good. The thrust of the article is clear: Rodgers played an above average game but is being paid to play at a higher level; He did not play up to his contract; Rodgers needs to play better in the post-season. That is, he needs to more of a difference-maker in playoff games.

    I agree with those sentiments, although I give some slack to Rodgers since the cold conditions hurt passing teams, and there is and has been a lack of talent up front due to injuries and personnel decisions, and some other players had the opportunity to make some plays that likely would have changed the outcome of the game.

    Writing that you don’t blame Rodgers for the loss doesn’t mean that readers should not draw the obvious inference that you have placed some (somewhere between significant and substantial in my mind) responsibility on Rodgers for the loss in this game and in previous years.

    BTW, 2 things. Tramon Williams played up to his contract, IMO. Just be careful about his age in upcoming contract negotiations. I think that $90 to $110 million dollar QBs are going to become much more common very soon – See Cutler for example.

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