‘Down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks’

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Aaron Rodgers is oozing all kinds of confidence after Monday’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

a man holding a football ball

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The Green Bay Packers superstar tossed four touchdown passes in the win, and just for good measure, he added a funny/silly/dry-humored flex to the “Showtime Cam” after he threw Robert Tonyan one of his three scores. Everything’s coming up Rodgers right now.

Then, there’s this flex that’s not literal: he spoke to Pat McAfee on Tuesday and was asked about his improvement from last year.

His response: “It does help being in a second year [offense] for sure, I feel a lot more comfortable. But … I sometimes laugh when people talk about down years for me, ’cause a lot of times down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks”


By the way, he’s right! He amassed 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The completion percentage — 62.0 — wasn’t his best, but there are a lot of QBs out there who would kill for those numbers.


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Aaron Rodgers: Down years for me are career years for most quarterbacks, says Green Bay Packers star

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Aaron Rodgers is back to his scintillating best for the Green Bay Packers and, on Tuesday, he took aim at those who questioned him during the 2019 campaign.

Rodgers’ superb start to the 2020 season has helped the Packers surge to a 4-0 record as they look to go one better than last campaign when they lost in the NFC Championship game.

Green Bay finished last year 13-3, though many believed the Packers were fortunate to reach that record, with Rodgers’ transition to head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense appearing far from seamless.

There can be no doubts the Packers’ 4-0 start to this year is deserved, with Green Bay’s points differential of plus 41 through four games the highest in the NFC.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was asked if being in his second year of LaFleur’s offense is an advantage compared to last year.

“It does help being in a second-year [offense] for sure, I feel a lot more comfortable,” he replied.

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

It is tough to dispute Rodgers’ claim. Though his completion percentage in 2019 dipped to 62 – his worst performance in that category since 2015 – he still had 4,002 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. His interception percentage of 0.7 was the best in the NFL.

Through four games this


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


What coaches are saying about five of college football’s new quarterbacks in the spotlight

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The significance of new starting quarterbacks shouldn’t be lost on the modern-day college football fan. Just check the past two groups of Heisman Trophy finalists.

Although the 2019 Heisman winner, LSU’s Joe Burrow, was in his second year with the Tigers, the other two quarterback finalists, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, had shined after transferring to their new teams. In 2018, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray won the Heisman in his first year as the Sooners’ starter, while the other finalists, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, also stood out in their first full seasons as QB1.

Not surprisingly, new quarterbacks are in the spotlight this season. Some are already on the Heisman radar, alongside familiar names such as Fields and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence as well as other incumbents, including Florida’s Kyle Trask. I spoke to coaches about five notable QBs playing their first major minutes for their teams, and had the coaches assess their play so far, their potential this season and what lies ahead for them.

Record: 3-0

Stats: 63-of-94 passing for 736 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, 83.9 QBR; 28 rushes for 157 yards, one rushing touchdown

Up next: Saturday at No. 1 Clemson

King already is exceeding the expectations placed on him to jump-start a dormant Miami offense. Along with new playcaller Rhett Lashlee, King is adding a dynamic element for the Hurricanes with his efficient passing, explosive running ability and field vision, both as a passer and a runner. It’s still early, and Miami will learn a lot more after this week’s trip to Clemson, but King looks a lot like the player who was a Maxwell Award semifinalist in 2018, when he accounted for 50 touchdowns despite