4-time MVP Aaron Rodgers’ Hall of Fame career in Green Bay
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is making his intentions known: He wants to play for the New York Jets as the Packers want to move on with quarterback Jordan Love. SEE RELATED STORY.
Aaron Rodgers’s Hall of Fame career began with waiting. He waited to be picked in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft until the Packers selected him with the 24th overall pick. He was expected by some to be the top overall pick that year. But when he made his first Green Bay appearance the day after being selected, there was no hint of disappointment. “It seems like we have fallen into paradise; it’s a great situation for me. I’m gonna make sure those 23 teams that didn’t pick me make sure they know they made a mistake.”
It would take 3 years of serving an apprenticeship under future hall of famer Brett Favre for Rodgers to start making good on that promise.
But then, it didn’t take long.
In 2008, he became just the second QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 or more yards in the first year of starting a game – he started all 16.
The next year, he led the league in touchdown-to-interception ratio, 30 to 7. And in his first playoff appearance, he threw for a franchise record 423 yards in the OT loss to the Cardinals.
And in just his 3rd year as a starter, he led the Packers to the Promised Land -- 3 playoff ratings over 110, and the Super Bowl XLV MVP.
Statistically, 2011 was even better. 45 touchdowns versus just 6 picks, and he sets the single-season passer rating mark of 122.5 en route to his first MVP award.
Rodgers led the NFL in passer rating in 2012, then came back from his first broken collarbone in the 2013 season finale to beat the Bears and clinch a third straight division title.
2014 was the year of R-E-L-A-X, and a second MVP award, the careful and precise Rodgers becoming the first in NFL history to throw just 5 or fewer picks with over 500 pass attempts.
But playoff disappointments continue despite statistically good seasons and remarkable individual throws. 2015 was the year of the Hail Marys. Remember Detroit and Arizona? 2016 was the year to run the table with 8 straight wins, the final win thanks to that gem of a throw to Jared Cook to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal to beat the top-seeded Cowboys in a divisional playoff game.
But another broken collarbone came in 2017, followed by a broken relationship with Mike McCarthy – leading to the coach’s premature exit in 2018.
Team president Mark Murphy picked Matt LaFleur to be head coach in 2019, in large part to help Rodgers. And while the two reached the NFC title game in year one together, it’s years two and three that were off the charts.
Rodgers with a franchise record 48 touchdown passes in 2020, becoming the first in NFL history to lead the league in touchdowns, passer rating, completion and interception percentage. More than good enough for a 3rd MVP award.
And in 2021, Rodgers becomes the franchise leader with 449 career touchdowns, set the record with Davante Adams for most prolific duo in team history with 68 touchdowns, and won a 2nd straight MVP award and 4th overall.
After an offseason of uncertainty, Rodgers signs a massive contract extension to return in 2022 and presumably beyond. But 2022 turns into one of the worst statistical seasons of his long career, playing at times with thumb and rib injuries. Without his connection with Adams, Rodgers had his lowest passer rating, his fewest touchdowns per game, and his 12 picks were his most since his 1st year as starter, when he had 13. The Packers finishing with a losing record for just the 3rd time in the 14 years he started all or the majority of games.
After winning 4 straight games to set up a “win-and-they’re-in” game with the Lions in the season finale at Lambeau Field, the Packers lost 20-16, with Rodgers throwing just 1 touchdown and tossing an interception on what turns out to be his final pass as a Packer. “Don’t want to lose your last game and miss out on the playoffs; but this is a great profession and a really tough business, and it doesn’t always end with rainbows for everybody.”
All that’s missing from the resumé to prove those 23 teams made a mistake in 2005 is that 2nd Vince Lombardi trophy. Asked after that season finale what he would miss if he did not continue his career, Rodgers replied, “I’ll miss the guys, I’ll miss the fans.... Thank you.”
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