Packers and Rodgers choke again in playoffs

Aaron Rodgers loss to SF in 2022 playoffs

Despite being one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the game, the legacy of Aaron Rodgers keeps taking more hit with each playoff loss. How many times can he and the Packers come up short in critical playoff games?

The conditions yesterday were atrocious, and both offensive lines had a lot of trouble in pass protection. Still, Rodgers and the Packer offense couldn’t muster much production after their opening touchdown drive. And of course, the Packer special teams unit lived up to its horrible reputation and basically handed the game to the 49ers, but there’s not excuse for Rodgers and this high-octane offense to lay an egg in this game. The Packers entered the game as solid favorites over the Niners and were the clear favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Jimmy Garopollo was also battling injuries to his throwing hand and shoulder. The Packer defense held up strong, but the offense behind Rodgers didn’t hold up its end of the bargain.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Rodgers and a solid Packers squad blow a playoff game. This is becoming a habit. But one has to wonder how much the drama surrounding Aaron Rodgers contributed to this mess. We had plenty of drama in the offseason, but Rodgers kept it going through the season as he became outspoken on topics related to Covid. Compare that to Tom Brady, who always seems singularly focused on football and consistently finds ways to win in the postseason. It’s a stark contrast. Rodgers spent his season shooting his mouth off on the Pat MacAfee show as he tried to convince everyone that he was being “silenced” and “cancelled” even when he had the biggest megaphone in sports to spew his nonsense.

Now we’ll have to endure another offseason with endless speculation about what Rodgers will do next. He made it clear again that he didn’t want to be part of a “rebuild” in Green Bay, and on that point you can’t blame him. Given his contract and the cap issues facing the Packers, it might be in the best interest of both parties to move on. Rodgers can get a fresh start, perhaps with a contender like the Broncos, while the Packers can get back draft capital and reboot the roster. Naturally, this isn’t a perfect scenario for the Packers. There’s little indication that Jordan Love is ready, or will ever be ready. But they need to find out.

On the other hand, Rodgers is still playing at a high level. The Packers could go all in on one last run in 2022 and then take the hit in 2023. Everything is on the table at this point, and it looks like an offseason that could see considerable movement among starting quarterbacks.

For Rodgers, the question is whether he can get over himself and turn his focus 100% back to football. He’s become a lightening rod and seems to like hearing himself pontificate about the issues of the day. He has everything and yet he wants to portray himself as a victim. At this point he’s starting to cement a legacy as one of the most talented quarterbacks in history who underachieved in the postseason. Peyton Manning had that label for years as well, but he did manage to ride a sold Denver team to his second Super Bowl ring. Will Rodgers be able to do the same? Let’s see how much he wants it . . .

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