Packers XLV

Of Course Rodgers is Playing. As He Should.

Posted December 21st, 2018 @ 05:12pm

Only two of the 16 games on the Week 16 NFL schedule don't feature at least one team still in the playoff hunt. Unfortunately, Packers-Jets is one of them,  and that is why we'll get that lower level Fox duo of Kenny Albert and Ronde Barber.

The storyline of the week revolved around whether or not Aaron Rodgers should play in these last two games. I don't really understand the debate. If he's healthy, he should play. If he's not, he shouldn't. I understand that no football player is completely healthy in week 16, and Rodgers appeared to strain his groin on the Hail Mary throw at the end of the half. He is listed on the injury report with knee and groin injuries, but has been a full participant in practice all week.

Could he suffer a significant injury in the final two games which could impact his offseason and possibly next season? Of course. So could any player. This is about laying down a baseline in the locker room for every player. The dude who will make two million bucks per game starting next season is there to try to improve each week and win each week and that's the expectation of everybody on the roster.

The young players on offense who will get the snaps on Sunday, from the trio of rookie receivers to the backs and linemen, can all be evaluated more fully when they are playing with Rodgers. The coaches, many of whom will be looking for jobs in a few weeks, will be better off by trying to win these last two games.

Rodgers has said all the things you'd want to hear from him. That he is a leader of this team and he expects to be out there leading his team. There's also the undeniable fact that he does not want to be part of the first Packers team in 100 years to finish a season winless on the road. This game matters to him.

So what should we expect from the Packers against a Jets team that's lost seven of its last eight games and might be coached by Mike McCarthy next season. Whoever replaces Todd Bowles will be tasked with developing rookie QB Sam Darnold, who's back from injury and has shown flashes of brilliance, interrupted by typical rookie mistakes. The Jets need to follow the Bears' lead and surround him with better skill players in the offseason. He'll go into this one with Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse has his top receivers and Elijah McGuire as the lead back. They need serious upgrades all over the offense.

Defensively, they have the aggressive blitzing mentality that Bowles' teams had in Arizona, without all of the success. Though they have been good on third down this season and in the red zone.

The Pack will lean on Jamal Williams to carry the running game (with Aaron Jones now on IR) and Rodgers will look early and often to Davante Adams, who is within reach of some long standing Packers receiving records. I would like to see which young receiver gets a chance to leave his mark, and hopefully that will include tight end Robert Tonyan. That position may get a complete makeover and the Pack should see what they have in him. They just poached WR Allen Lazard off the Jags practice squad and put him on the 53 man roster. He may turn out to be a tight end for the Pack. We'll see if sees any action in these final two games.

Defensively, undrafted rookie Tyler Lancaster continues to impress and will get two more opportunities to show whether he belongs in the D-line rotation in 2019. Of course, much depends on whether Mike Pettine is still running the defense next year. Other guys with a chance to show they deserve to stick on the side of the ball: Dean Lowry, Antonio Morrison, Kyler Fackrell, Bashaud Breeland and Eddie Pleasant.

It's not optimal that the only thing on the line for the Pack these last two weeks is their ultimate draft position. But there is plenty to observe in these last two games and it begins with how Rodgers finishes.

Packers 20   Jets 16

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Comments (20):

The fact that Rodgers could get shut down even if reasonably healthy is a big indicator of who runs the show in Packer-land. Panthers shut down Newton because his throwing shoulder is hurting so bad it's affecting his play. Eagles shut down Wentz because he literally has a broken back. If Rodgers allows himself to be shut down two years in a row once they're eliminated from the playoffs, that should be a huge indicator that he is not much of a leader at all.

on December 21st, 2018 at 01:05pm

Petition to have Rodgers name legally changed to "NFC DE Punching Bag". #shoulderscrewsdontmeltsteelbeams

on December 21st, 2018 at 01:07pm

Continuing to play rodgers at this point is only going to hurt his trade value. He is playing poorly and blaming everyone around him for his mistakes. Very poor leadership heading into the dark twilight of his career.

on December 21st, 2018 at 01:16pm

Things have officially it rock-bottom in Toilet-town. Gonna be some major gutting of this roster this offseason. Matthews, Cobb, Bustlaga, Perry, Tramon, Crosby--all gone. I won't even know who I'm laughing at next year.......

on December 21st, 2018 at 01:33pm

It's unbelievable how the skol queens jump on this blog,so immature and overrun with jealousy and envy,absolutely nothing to brag about,who will Zimmer throw under the bus next,its crumbling over there,Cousins and a super bowl run,can't wait for the collapse,must see TV!!!

on December 21st, 2018 at 02:15pm

the Vikings are busted and the packers are cool and stuff. The mudduck fans are big dummies going to their cabins in Wisconsin and have I mentioned that they're dumm?

on December 21st, 2018 at 02:45pm

I've seen the Minnesota Twins win it twice, and I've seen the Packers win it twice. Why is it legendary for the Packers? Does anyone know. Do packer fans stand in awe of the Minnesota Twins?LMAO

on December 21st, 2018 at 07:40pm

His leadership is always being questioned. The fact he has to talk about it tells me the rumors are true. The guy isn’t a leader. Enjoy the decline.

on December 21st, 2018 at 12:41pm

Synner - The horse is dead, you can beat it. Just stop BEATING it, if you-know-what-I-mean. Waaaron is a wonderful player but you really need to pull back on the devotion to him.

on December 21st, 2018 at 12:57pm

These final games are not much more than preseason games. They're auditions for players' and coaches' future. They only count for the club's place order in next spring's draft. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get an extensive in-season look at DeShone Kizer to see if he can be any kind of reliable back-up, if necessary, or might develop into someone who can be parlayed into a trade commodity. There's nothing physically or "mechanically" wrong with Aaron Rodgers. His issues this season were in his head. The Packers made many significant changes to the offense to which he was accustomed. We heard plenty about "not being on the same page." While ARod may have been frustrated that his new, young receivers didn't get on his page he will have to consider that he may have to get a little bit on theirs, too, going forward. It's "show me" time now as Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst get ready to swing the big broom in coming weeks.

on December 22nd, 2018 at 01:18pm

It’s real simple to me. Unless you are injured (not hurt) or worse than your back up, first string players should start. Rodgers is hurt, not injured. Rodgers is clearly better than Kizer. Therefore Rodgers should start both games. And yes, as Packer and Brewers fan, I am in awe of a small market team-Twins winning two World Series. I am also very appreciative that the Packers have won 2 Super Bowls in my lifetime (I’m 50). Only 14 teams have won Super Bowls during the Favre-Rodgers years. This means 18 teams have not won a Super Bowl in those 26 years. I’m appreciative of the fact that the Packers are one of the 14 teams during this span that not only have one championship, but two.

on December 22nd, 2018 at 01:19am

I brought up the Twins because the Brewers should bow to the Twins, just like Viking fans are supposed to bow to the Packers. Correct me please if I have that wrong. I'm trying to get some of you idiots to connect the dots here, but I'm surrounded by stupidity. I gave it a shot though, so I feel good.

on December 22nd, 2018 at 04:17pm

I get your point Greg,the twins World Series championships were great,it's great to see the small markets win,like Green Bay,Wisconsin has a World Series champion also,1957 Milwaukee Braves,too bad the other Vikings fans on this site aren't as civil as you.

on December 22nd, 2018 at 05:50pm

I understand,I totally get it,58 years of losing can really beat down a fan base,I feel the agony and pain and frustration what with the whiskey bottle and The missed field goals and fumbles and the giants 41 zip beating and the eagles beating,i feel sorry for you,I didn't know the twins played football.

on December 22nd, 2018 at 06:41am

Well if it’s not the Packers choking or getting blown out in the playoffs in this decade, it’ll be either be the Vikes or Bears. Lions don’t count. #lifeintheNFCNorth

on December 22nd, 2018 at 12:48am

Please make sure to wish your family a Merry Christmas, won’t you Rodgers?

on December 22nd, 2018 at 12:52am

Hey Cheating Ref, Those two pass interference calls and the guy being on the field for 12 guys was pure genius during overtime. Great eyesight buddy! Just Great! Keep up the good work. The packers are done and you don't need to put in such a great effort for them, but I must respect your continuing to perform your officiating duties at an astonishingly high level. YOU DESERVE A RAISE!

on December 23rd, 2018 at 04:20pm

go Pack

on December 23rd, 2018 at 06:55am

Packerlifer, I'm not sure what you mean its in his head, confidence maybe?? all I know as I said last blog, he missed 4 passes by 5 yards that guys were open 4-5 yards, he just does not do that normally, time to start eating cheese again. I think he should play, he can always get hurt. I know. I'm with THC, for that kind of money , play and earn respect from the the rest of team and receivers too. Anderson and McGuire are guys to need to watch, just please score 24 points and we should win, Vikes get lucky again, 1/2 of lions team is on IR, they win easy. and in playoffs. All I want from that team is there strength and conditioning coach, they lose 2 -3 guys a year. we lose 12-14, cant win with backups ,simple as that. Pack wins 24-23

on December 23rd, 2018 at 09:09am

Got it. Thanks for the follow up!

on December 23rd, 2018 at 09:39am

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