The Green Bay Packers either win big or lose close in recent years, and it’s been that way this season. While the fingers are usually pointed at the defense or the running game, Aaron Rodgers is just at fault, especially with their most recent loss, that has them starting with a 1-2 record for the second consecutive season.
Some numbers for you to chew on? The Packers are only 5-24 in games when Rodgers had the ball in the fourth quarter and trailed by eight points or less. Only Cam Newton (2-16) has a worse record among active NFL starters. Rodgers is 9-26 in games where the score was tied during the fourth quarter or overtime. However, in seven of those 26 losses Rodgers led his team to a touchdown that put them ahead, only to have his defense let the lead slip away, like in their opening week loss against the San Francisco 49ers.
Rodgers has plenty of records; an MVP and a Super Bowl title. He’s arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, operating for the last couple of years with a dysfunctional running game and not too much of protection. But as impressive as his touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio might be, it might also show at a lack of risk taking when the game is on the line, which might lead to impressive fourth quarter individual numbers, but not to enough wins in close situations.
An interesting fact isRodgers’ 5-24 record in comeback efforts includes an 0-18 mark against teams that finished the season .500 or better. When the Packers won 19 consecutive games in 2010 and 2011, they did not trail once in the fourth quarter. Rodgers and his team were too good early in the game to have a need for some late game heroics which Rodgers has failed to deliver, surprisingly, during his career.
Another interesting number is Rodgers being 9-26 when he has to score the winning points in the fourth quarter or overtime, but 49-5 when the game is somewhat of a blowout. The Packers are probably the best front runners in the NFL, but the season they had in 2010 and for most of 2011 is gone, and they can no longer blow teams out of the water like before.
Rodgers has been sacked on 10.4 percent of his drop-backs in the fourth quarter and overtime in his 26 failed game-winning drives. He holds onto the ball for too long, maybe looking for that perfect pass to win the game, which seem so easy earlier in the game. Also a faulty offensive line and leaky defense becomes a problems, because as Mike McCarthy said, You can throw a bunch of numbers into a can and sort them different ways and come up with strengths and weaknesses, and you can believe what you want to believe. I think you really have to stay in tune with individuals, especially in a team sport where you have 11 people on the field at once.
Green Bay has allowed 20 game-winning drives since 2008, more than all but two teams in the league. But there’s a case to be made for Rodgers not being the best quarterback in the league when his success at bringing his team back from fourth quarter deficits is so poor, compared with active and retired great ones or some who aren’t all that special most of the time.