Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Rodgers as perfect as it gets
By Mike Mazzeo
There aren’t enough superlatives out there to describe just how brilliant Aaron Rodgers has been this season.
The Packers signal-caller leads all quarterbacks in completion percentage (71.8), yards per attempt (9.6), passing touchdowns (33) and interception percentage (1.1).
His 33 TDs are the third-most by a quarterback through his team’s first 11 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He’s also thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of his team’s first 11 games, the third-longest streak in NFL history. And his 85.6 Total QBR is tops among all passers in 2011.
Rodgers is currently on pace to throw for 5,055 yards and 48 TDs and finish with a 127.7 NFL passer rating, which would be the best passer rating of all-time.
His team finds itself five wins shy of finishing the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record. And there’s a 99.9 percent chance he’s going to win the MVP award as the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Wow! What else is there to say?
“I have pretty high goals and standards,” Rodgers said during a Wednesday conference call. “The way that I work and care about being great. These were some of the things I was hoping for. Winning the Super Bowl obviously and follow it up with a consistent season.
“I don’t think you can think too far ahead in the moment of the season, but I definitely was hoping for this kind of a season. To be successful and when you have a solid organization that has great leadership from the top down, there is the opportunity to have this success both with the team and individually.”
So what has changed so much in the last two years -- aside from the Super Bowl win?
“I am just more consistent,” Rodgers said. “I am not missing the throws that I should be making. I am making better reads and getting into some better situations at the line of scrimmage when I have those opportunities, just being an overall consistent player in every facet.”
And the MVP?
That is something you think about after the season and right now we are just focused on the Giants,” Rodgers said.
Ah, yes. The reeling Giants. The team standing in the Packers’ way of a 12-0 start.
“It is motivating to go out every week and compete better that you did the previous,” Rodgers said. “We have been able to play the way we wanted to play consistently the first 11 games. We will see what happens when we get down this road a little bit.”
Rodgers has his priorities in the right place, and they don’t include 19-0 just yet.
“Our goal is to win the division first, get a home game and give ourselves a chance and go from there,” he said. “We put ourselves in a good position to be able to talk about those things by taking care of business the first 11 games. We are going to keep on plugging away and hopefully we will be able to talk about this at the end of the season.”
What about last season? Week 16. Packers-Giants in Green Bay. Must-win game for both teams. Rodgers throws for 404 yards and four TDs. Packers roll 45-17. Win it all. Giants collapse. Don’t make the playoffs.
“We just executed really well,” Rodgers said. “We started off with the 80-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson and we were just able to make the plays that we needed to make. We had tight windows and we came up with the catches and throws we needed to make. Our defense forced six turnovers so when you force a bunch of turnovers and give the offense a short field, we were able to capitalize on turnovers.”
Bad time for the Giants to play the Saints last week, huh?
“I thought Drew [Brees] played extremely well and he is playing as hot as any quarterback in the league right now,” Rodgers said.