Aaron Rodgers deflects criticism, says down years from him are ‘career years for most quarterbacks’

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Aaron Rodgers spent a considerable portion of the 2019 season responding to questions about his relationship with new Packers coach Matt LaFleur. He also had to endure whispers about a possible decline in his play despite posting a 26-4 touchdown/interception ratio last year while leading the Packers to within a game of the Super Bowl. The outside noise grew louder this offseason after Green Bay traded up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the draft. 

Despite the noise, Rodgers is playing at an exceptionally high level. Through four games, Rodgers has completed 70.5% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions while leading Green Bay to a 4-0 start. On Tuesday, Rodgers, less than 24 hours after he threw four touchdowns in the Packers’ home victory over the Falcons, was surprisingly transparent when discussing the pedestal he is often put upon by the media. 

“Every team is different. Every year is different,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAffee Show” when asked about the challenges he faced under LaFleur’s system last season. “Circumstances in any year allow you to have more success or make it more difficult for success; it just depends on the situation. It does help being in the second year, for sure. I feel a lot more comfortable. 

“I sometimes laugh when people talk about down years for me, because a lot of times, down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks.”

Rodgers is right. Last year, considered a “down year” by some media members, Rodgers’ passer rating was 12th in the league, according to Pro Football Reference. Rodgers also finished in a tie for eighth in touchdown passes while finishing 11th in passing yards. 

This season, despite multiple injuries to his receiver (along with the fact that Green Bay again passed on drafting a receiver in the first round), Rodgers is off to the best statistical start of his career. Not bad for a 37-year-old who some thought was on the decline heading into the season. 

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