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.
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.