8 stats that put Aaron Rodgers in mediocre company this season
Watch a Packers game this season -- you’ll have another chance, maybe a last chance, at 4:40 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX when they visit the Redskins for a wild-card game -- and you’ll hear announcers perform a truly awkward dance between the greatness they have come to expect from Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers and the somewhat uglier reality of what is playing out before them. As has been well-documented, this has more to do with an eviscerated receiving unit and line than Rodgers, but considering this is a future Hall of Famer with the highest QB rating in NFL history it’s worth noting that his usually gorgeous stat lines have been anything but this season. Check out the hardly-household-name QBs who finished ahead of Rodgers in every major stat category this season.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsMatt Kartozian
Yards: Ryan Fitzpatrick 3,905, Rodgers 3,821
Rodgers ranked 17th in the league, and Fitzpatrick -- who had been passed around by five teams before he settled in with the Jets in 2015 -- was 15th. This was Rodgers’ lowest total in a full season since he took the starting job from Brett Favre in 2008.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
QB rating: Josh McCown 93.3, Rodgers 92.7
Rodgers has owned this category for years, not falling below 100 since his first season as a starter and twice leading the league in on the way to climbing to the top of the career list. This year, though, he ranked 15th, right behind McCown, who was having trouble keeping Johnny Manziel on the bench in Cleveland. Alex Smith (10th) and Tyrod Taylor (seventh) also got the better of Rodgers.
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Completion rate: Matt Hasselbeck 60.9 percent, Rodgers 60.7 percent
This is where it got truly ugly for Rodgers, as he slipped to 26th in the league, just behind the Colts fill-in Hasselbeck -- a guy who is 40 years old and was backing up Brett Favre while Rodgers was in high school. Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert, Brock Osweiler -- really, almost everyone -- were more accurate than Rodgers, who had topped 65 percent for five straight seasons.
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY SportsThomas J. Russo
Yards per attempt: Peyton Manning 6.8, Rodgers 6.7
This is the stat that best illustrates how impotent Green Bay’s offense has become, and it’s worth noting that the 28th-ranked Manning had a better number despite being unhealthy and having his career declared all but over. How bad was it for Rodgers, who hasn’t been below 8.2 yards per attempt since 2008? He barely held off long-since-benched 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for the No. 30 spot.
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Sacks: Everyone but Blake Bortles fewer than 46, Rodgers 46
Yep, blame the oft-injured offensive line -- one that was expected to be the best of coach Mike McCarthy’s career -- for being consistently awful, but Rodgers ranked second-last in the league partially because he’ll do almost anything to avoid an interception, up to and often including taking a sack. Consider that Carson Palmer and his 80-year-old knees took barely more than half as many sacks as Rodgers.
Interceptions: Tyrod Taylor 6, Rodgers 8
Rodgers remained among the best in the league at eliminating interceptions , but it doesn’t take an elite QB to avoid mistakes, as evidenced by Taylor’s six in 14 games. What had long made Rodgers great was his ability to rack up big numbers while keeping this one down, and it’s worth noting that he had one pick in five of the Packers’ final six games after not throwing one in six of their first seven.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SporTimothy T. Ludwig
Touchdown passes: Derek Carr 32, Rodgers 31
Again, not bad. Rodgers tied Ryan Fitzpatrick for 11th in the league, just behind Carr, Matt Stafford and Drew Brees, all with 32. That said, Rodgers topped two TD passes only three times all season and not once in Green Bay’s final eight games.
Fumbles: Everyone but four other QBs fewer than 8, Rodgers 8
Rodgers wasn’t known for putting the ball on the ground until this season, but he shared the league lead with Matt Ryan, Blake Bortles, Ryan Tannehill and Marcus Mariota in 2015. Things got truly out of hand when the Cardinals returned two of them for touchdowns in a 38-8 Week 16 rout of Green Bay.