Tag Archives: Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers is an unstoppable force of nature

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Rodgers is a video game character, that’s the only logical explanation. Source: Sporting News

Rumours of his demise have been greatly exaggerated, yet again. Just when people think he’s on the decline or he’s past his best, Aaron Rodgers proves exactly why he is the best quarterback in the NFL.

Back at 4-6, people were thinking that the Green Bay Packers would not be making the postseason for the first time in eight years and that the offence took a big brunt of the blame. Number 12 wasn’t hitting the strikes he had in the past as he struggled to rack up big numbers to support a flagging defence.

Since then, he has hit 19 touchdowns without an interception, leading his team to yet another NFC North crown and a playoff victory over the New York Giants. After a slow start, it was Rodgers who was the x-factor that turned the game with a quite stunning display late in the first half.

The first magical moment from A-Rod came on the first touchdown pass to Devonte Adams that got the Cheeseheads in front. After some excellent work from his offensive line, especially Brian Bulaga who absolutely decimated a Giants pass rusher, he bobbed and weaved as his wide receivers improvised in the end zone.

With Adams finding a glimmer of space in the left corner of the end zone, the quarterback threw an absolute dart straight into his hands and away from the defender. Without his favourite target Jordy Nelson on the field, his extra options stepped up and he has that special ability to make them better with plays like this that only he can do.

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McCarthy is very glad to have Rodgers back at his best. Source: USA Today

However, there was one big moment yet to come. We’ve seen some truly great Hail Mary plays from him in the past, the winner against the Detroit Lions being the prime example, but to do one in a big playoff game is something to really applaud.

With seconds to go until the break, Rodgers used that cannon of an arm he has to launch the ball high in the air from about midfield. There was a little suspicion of a push off from Randall Cobb, although I’ve never seen pass interference called on a Hail Mary pass, but it was just enough for him to bring it in and send the Packers into the break with a big lead.

To many, that could have been the knockout blow but with the Giants down by just eight points, they had every chance to get back into it. That was a chance they took, bringing the deficit down to just a point but the killer blow came just a few minutes later.

Just a few plays later, Rodgers found Cobb in space again and the wideout sped into the endzone after avoiding a few New York defenders. The master gunslinger simply took the wind out of the Giant’s sails in one fell swoop that the away team never recovered from.

It was a truly expert performance for one of the best to ever pull on an NFL uniform. Aaron Rodgers is probably the most indispensable player in the entire league, with his play being so vital to the Packers that with him in the team in the form he’s currently in, they have every chance of winning it all.

The question now moves to Arlington, Texas where his side will take on the young up-and-coming Dax Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Can Rodgers perform miracles again? I would not bet against it.

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The NFL needs to address poor officiating

Officiating has not been this poor since the lockout three years ago.  Source: CBS Sports

Officiating has not been this poor since the lockout three years ago. Source: CBS Sports

Back in 2012, we could take in when replacement officials got it wrong. They were inexperienced, they were thrust into a role because of a lockout that they were not expecting and while there were some questionable decisions, at least it did not last too long.

That seems like forever away when you see the standard of officiating this season.

It has been pretty bad all year long but just to add to the very poor mistakes, last night the Green Bay Packers were awarded another chance at a late game Hail Mary pass after the officials called for a facemask penalty on the Detroit Lions defence after time expired.

Aaron Rodgers got another play and wouldn’t you know it, they scored. It was a huge win for them but a monumental blow for the Lions as the defender barely brushed the quarterback and it has killed any unlikely late run for the playoffs stone dead.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg on bad officiating calls this season. The Baltimore Ravens lost the game on a similar incident against the Jacksonville Jaguars when this time, the offence had a false start with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game.

That usually incurs a 10-second run-off, something that didn’t happen, which led to a facemask penalty on the final play which advanced the Jaguars into field goal range to win the game.

KJ Wright patting the ball out of the endzone was a penalty missed.  Source: deadspin.com

KJ Wright patting the ball out of the endzone was a penalty missed. Source: deadspin.com

On another TV game on Monday night, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Lions thanks to KJ Wright knocking  Calvin Johnson’s  fumble  out of the endzone, which is illegal and should have been a Lions first down.

However, the back judge claimed that he felt it was inadvertent, despite the cameras clearly telling a different story. Wright himself admitted that he did it on purpose after the game and the NFL also revealed that it should have been a penalty.

Another Thursday night game last week had controversy that luckily did not determine the final result of the game. The New England Patriots made a big play to Danny Amendola in the second quarter, he had beaten the corner and only had one man to beat for the touchdown.

Had a referee not inadvertently blown his whistle, killing the play dead. The officials then had to fumble around and award the pass to where the receiver caught it and the drive ended in a field goal.

The excuse was that the line judge had “lost track of the football”, which was absurd as it was in Tom Brady’s hands and visible to everyone as he was throwing it as he whistled. It also, technically, meant that it should have been spotted to where the initial play was, as Amendola hadn’t caught it before the whistle, but the officials needed to do something as they had pretty much prevented a touchdown.

Some might give the quarterback the benefit of the doubt but it certainly was questionable.  Source: sfgate.com

Some might give the quarterback the benefit of the doubt but it certainly was questionable. Source: sfgate.com

But the cornerstone of the whole argument this season came in Sunday night’s fixture between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. In a tight game, there were so many missed calls or ghost calls that it became simply a joke of a game for both sides.

They called a first-and-five for the Cards as a 2nd-and-three for some reason but the real stinger was the roughing the passer call near the end of the game. The officials deemed that they hit the head of the quarterback, which the defender did not, it was just a strong play but with that penalty, the drive continued and Arizona went on to win.

To say that the standard has dropped this season is probably not harsh enough. These bad calls are costing points and in too many occasions, entire games and when one of these coaches loses their jobs because of their poor record, they can look back at things like this.

With the amount of replays available, and the absurd amount that can’t even be reviewed, it’s simply astonishing that the NFL doesn’t do something to fix this. They need to further educate their officials straight away, severely punish the groups that have been found wanting and reward those that have performed up to the high standard.

The issue now is that something needs to be done now. The playoffs start next month and if something similar happens then or, god forbid, the Super Bowl then there will be significant reproductions. Quite simply put, it has been nowhere near good enough.

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