The 2020 regular season is coming to a close and Aaron Rodgers has an opportunity to claim the NFL MVP award.
From many losing seasons, the 37-year-old has bounced back and reminded everyone why he is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history.
But let’s not say his comeback just came out of nowhere as the aging quarterback prepares to lead the Green Bay Packers on a Super Bowl run. Instead, by taking a page out of Bill Belichick’s playbook, the Packers saved Rodgers’ career.
Aaron Rodgers saw his 2017-2019 numbers decline
Aaron Rodgers accepts his true sense of the star teammates who slated him
Aaron Rodgers may only have one Super Bowl ring, but as one of the best quarterbacks ever to step onto an NFL arena, he will definitely go down in history.
Incredibly precise and never at a loss for a tough throw in traffic, when he was given the opportunity to take over as the starting quarterback of the Packers, the former Brett Favre backup put up excellent numbers.
After throwing 45 touchdown passes in 2011, Rodgers earned his first MVP award. In passing yards (4,643), quarterback rating (122.5) and yards per attempt, he also set career highs (9.2).
He was again named MVP three years later. The rocket-armed QB threw just five interceptions in his 31st season, compared to 38 touchdowns. Unfortunately, by a wide margin, the Packers lost out on winning the trophy.
However, Rodgers has struggled in recent years to build on that performance. Part of the blame lies with the front office of Green Bay, which did not do the best job of investing money in able players.
It’s difficult to forget the bare numbers, however.
The future Hall of Famer scored just 67 in 39 matches from 2017-19, after tossing 109 touchdowns in 48 games from 2014-16.
Since he hit 65.7 percent of his attempts in 2016, Rodgers’ completion rate has fallen every year. He reached 64.7 percent in 2017 before falling to 62.3 percent in 2018. He reached a 62.0 percent career low in 2019 – the second worst rate of his career since he took over the starting lineup in 2008.
Tom Brady came back to life after Jimmy Garoppolo was drafted by the Patriots
Tom Brady owes his career to a mentor from the Patriots who died sadly before ever seeing him throw a touchdown.
In the same condition as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady found himself in 2014.
His numbers deteriorated rapidly after winning his second MVP award in 2010 and leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 2011.
When he threw only 25 touchdowns and completed just 60.5 percent of his attempts, Brady hit rock bottom in 2013. He ended the season with a quarterback score of 87.3 – almost 24 points lower than his 2010 league-leading 111.0 rating.
Bill Belichick took a gamble in 2014 to draft Jimmy Garoppolo (42nd overall) with his quarterback reaching the age of 40.
That decision encouraged Brady to take better care of his body, refocus and ensure that he would never be knocked off his throne by his future successor.
Before moving on to Tampa this offseason, Brady won three more Super Bowl rings and yet another MVP award. Before his rookie deal expired, Garoppolo was traded.
For the Packers, when you placed pressure on an aging franchise quarterback, the Brady-Garoppolo case shows what can happen.
By taking a page out of Bill Belichick’s playbook, the Packers saved Rodgers’ career.
When Jimmy Garopplo was selected in the second round by the #Patriots, 36-year-old Tom Brady was not pleased.
But on the field, he replied. #Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers now has first-round Jordan Love breathing down his neck. Rodgers is 36.- Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) April 24, 2020 With a phone call, Bill Belichick will claim the ultimate vengeance against Tom Brady and Robert Kraft
Given the age of Aaron Rodgers and the recent statistical drop-off, Green Bay had obvious reasons for investing in the 2020 NFL Draft in the quarterback role.
And then, the Packers took a page out of the playbook of Bill Belichick to save their franchise quarterback’s career.
Drafting Jordan Love may have created a stir in the first round at the time, but it obviously paid off.
Although the rookie quarterback has yet to attempt a single pass, without connecting him to his future replacement on the roster, it’s difficult to overlook Rodgers’ revival.
Teams do not send first-round selections to