When discussing the top quarterbacks in the NFL, the same names always seem to appear: Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. All of these quarterbacks have great arms and throwing ability.
But Rodgers has a skill that these other quarterbacks do not possess in as much abudance, and that is the ability to scramble.
Rodgers is always looking to pass first, but when a play breaks down or there is nobody open down field, he has the ability to take off and run with the ball. That ability may have been the difference in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, as Rodgers was able to use his legs to pick up chunks of yards in key situations.
“You have to keep Aaron Rodgers in front of you; he can run, too,” said Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. “A lot of guys sleep on his running ability. They always talk about his arm strength and all that, but he can run, too.”
Rodgers rushed for 34 yards on six attempts in the Packers’ 24-21 win against the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium, and there was no bigger run than the one he had on a third-and-6 with 11:29 to play in the game.
At that point, it was a four-point game in favor of the Packers and they needed to score again to help preserve their lead. After the ball was snapped, all the receivers downfield were covered, but it was man coverage and that left the entire middle of the field open for Rodgers to run.
He seized the opportunity and rushed for 18 yards – his longest rush of the day – and a first down that helped keep the drive a live. The drive eventually led to a touchdown, and that score ended up being the difference-maker in the game.
When looking back on that play, all the Vikings defenders could do was relay their angst.
“It’s frustrating,” said Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson. “Any time you give up things on third down because you know you could have been off the field, so definitely something me as a corner has to improve on, and something the secondary needs to do better on.”
Not only is Rodgers’ ability to scramble a headache for defenders, but it also helps out all his teammates. If the opposition knows that he has the ability to scramble, then they will focus on him more, and that could free up things for his teammates.
“It’s very frustrating,” Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. “You got to, you can’t come under too soon, you can’t go outside too high. I mean, he’s definitely a guy that makes the guys around him much better, and I’m not taking anything away from the guys around him. He’s just that type of guy, and you just have to be smart in your rush lanes and hopefully you can get him to the ground.”
Rodgers’ ability to scramble is one of the things that separate him from the other great quarterbacks in the NFL. And as far as Robison is concerned, it is one of the reasons why he thinks Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL right now.
“I think if you look at everything he can do there is no doubt in my mind (that he’s the best in the league right now),” Robison said.
Rodgers’ legs cause Vikings headaches
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