...Not of the Emergency Broadcasting System, but of Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers - EXPOSED! Alright, just what we've been waiting for...
...A defense worthy of challenging Aaron Rodgers' early season supremacy. There was a lot of hype going into the Cowboys/Packers game and not a lot of questions. It seemed most people thought this would be some kind of shootout. The Cowboys were 0-5 coming into Lambeau Field on Sunday. Both teams were 2-0 and have displayed stunning offensive fireworks in their 1st two games of the season. With the Cowboys, it was to be expected. With the Packers however, there was a serious question mark. How would Aaron Rodgers perform as Brett Favre's replacement?
2 games into the season Rodgers' stats look like this - 4 pass TD's, 1 rush TD, 0 INT's, 70% completion percentage, 506 total passing yards with an 8.4 y/a. Rodgers' stat line is looking better than Carson Palmer, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Bulger. Those are some big name QB's. While many followers are ready to hop on board the Rodgers Express and forget about Brett Favre, I'm still skeptical. I believe Rodgers success can be traced to 2 huge factors, 1) supporting cast, 2 ) schedule. Hence, these same factors have kept the aforementioned QB's of posting similar numbers.
Rodgers' supporting cast looks like this - RB - Ryan Grant, WR's - Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Top 5 offensive line (arguably), Top 5 defense (based on last season's rankings). Basically, this is a team ready to win now. Brett Favre took this team to the NFC conference game last year. Really, anything less than a Super Bowl this year will have the team wondering if trading Brett Favre was the right move.
The Packer's schedule favored them the 1st 2 games. Game 1 was against the Vikings. The Vikings play in a dome. The weather element is removed. Can Rodgers play as well in the snow as Favre did? Rodgers was solid in that 1st game. He only had 1 passing TD (the other was rushing). He did flash the ability to not let the game slip away. However, this can be attributed to Ryan Grant owning the Vikings and also a secondary that returns almost intact from last years 30th ranked squad. There was going to be some passing leeway here. The 2nd game was against the Lions. Rodgers' 328 yd, 3 TD perfomance was enough to convince a lot of people that Rodgers' is the real deal. Again, I'm not buying it. Come on! this is the Lions we're talking about. They gave a long TD pass to rookie Matt Ryan the week before. And if that doesn't convince you of how poorly this defense can play, then maybe the 49ers 31 points from yesterday will.
If we really want to believe in Rodgers, then he should have won yesterday's game against the Cowboys. This is a taste of what can happen come playoff time. The cowboys dominated yesterday's matchup and they didn't need to rely on Tony Romo's arm to do so. The Cowboys played the kind of defense that they were supposed to show against the Eagles. The Packers run game was limited to 84 yards. In this situation, the QB needs to take over. This is where Favre excelled. When the run game is stifled you have to make plays with you arms and legs. I hear how mobile Rodgers is, yet the Cowboys sacked him 5 times. Not only was this a bad loss for Rodgers, but it was at home. Rodgers didn't do anything stupid (0 INT's, no fumbles) but he didn't do anything to win the game either.
Rodgers is to be the face of the Green Bay Packers franchise moving forward. This team has been absolutely spoiled by the playmaking ability of Favre since 1992. This is real football, not fantasy football. Playoffs go deep into January. If Rodgers can't win these tough games, then the Packers are going home early.
This has been a test...of Aaron Rodgers.