What’s been up with Aaron Rodgers this season? Aside from the second half against the Bears, he hasn’t looked to be himself consistently this season. Is the knee still bothering him? Is it the chemistry with his receivers? What can Bears fans expect to see from Rodgers on Sunday?
I think it’s a combination of things. The knee injury certainly didn’t help, but I think that’s just an excuse.
Too often we’ve seen the Packers try to make a big play downfield, when in many cases Rodgers should’ve taken a check down or made a simpler pass. A lot of the blame goes on McCarthy and his play-calling, but Rodgers has also missed a number of throws he’d normally make in his sleep.
Green Bay Packers
I think a lot of it comes down to trust. The Packers released Jordy Nelson in the offseason, and have been without Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison for most of the year. Outside of go-to receiver Davante Adams, Rodgers has been working with a new group of pass catchers including Jimmy Graham and rookie receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown.
Part of the focus this offseason should be on getting the offense back on track, relying more on trust and timing with the receivers. Too often the Packers rely on Rodgers’ ability to move around, escape pressure and wait for a receiver to get open.
I don’t think Rodgers has completely trusted his offensive line, the younger receivers or even the scheme at times.
Interim head coach Joe Philbin got back to basics last week. The offense relied on the short-passing game more often and Rodgers was getting the ball out quicker. And it worked. They converted 53.8 percent of third downs, an area they’ve struggled all season.
I expect the Packers to lean on the short-passing game again this Sunday, which is necessary against the Bears’ dominant pass rush.