|2011 preview: With back-to-back season passer ratings topping 100, Rodgers is the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history with a career mark of 98.4. His career interception percentage of 1.99 percent also is the best in NFL history. If not for a concussion, he’d be the only quarterback with three 4,000-yard seasons in three seasons as a starter. |
Rodgers boasts the most complete skill-set of any quarterback in the NFL. He can make every throw, as evidenced by his brilliant completion to Greg Jennings between three defenders in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. He can escape pressure and make things happen, as evidenced by the clinic he put on against Atlanta in the divisional round of the playoffs. He comes through in the clutch, as evidenced by his brilliant six-game run to the championship and a third-down passer rating of 94.0. And he’s smart, as evidenced by his interception rate and a passer rating against the blitz of 104.5.
“He played at a pretty high level last year,” quarterbacks coach Tom Clements told Packer Report at the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic. “I just think if he continues doing what he has done in the previous years, he’ll just get better because of his experience. Just keep on working on his fundamentals, making good decisions and he’s always going to be accurate when he throws it.”
Really, Rodgers’ only weakness is his apparent susceptibility to concussions. He’s missed just one start during his career, the New England game in December following a concussion suffered the previous Sunday at Detroit. He also sustained one against Washington in October, though he was back under center the next week against Miami.
2010 preview: All Rodgers did last season is lead the Packers to the playoffs with an 11-5 record, doing so behind 4,434 passing yards (fourth in the NFL), 30 touchdown passes (fourth) and just seven interceptions (first in NFL in terms of interception percentage).
Quarterbacks earn their keep by coming up big in big games, moving the chains and, in many cases, simply not losing games. Rodgers did all of the above. His first-drive interception and last-drive fumble in the playoff loss at Arizona notwithstanding, it’s hard to quibble with Rodgers putting up 45 points in that game. His third-down passer rating of 133.5 in the regular season led the NFL and came on the strength of 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. Not just a dink-and-dunker, Rodgers tied for the NFL lead (with Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo) with 17 completions of 40-plus yards. Plus, he added five rushing touchdowns and 316 rushing yards — including a league-high 14 runs of at least 10 yards. He’s the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30 scores, rush for at least five and throw no more than seven picks.
Assuming the pass protection improves and Rodgers gets better at handling that fine line between trying to extend a play to make a big play and holding onto the ball too long, there’s no reason not to believe Rodgers won’t reach another eight or 10 Pro Bowls in his career.