Dennis Wierzbicki- US PRESSWIRE
“I think he’s playing good, but like I said, this is a team sport, and it’s going to take all 11 of us on the field when he’s on the field with us. I don’t put it all on him. It’s his receiving corps, we’re dropping balls; it’s his linemen not blocking for him. He’s got a lot to think about. I would be scared, too, if I was getting hit like that.”
That is the quote from Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley during a radio interview yesterday afternoon regarding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense that has sent some shock waves through Green Bay. However, if you take a look at what was said by Finley, there isn’t anything wrong with it.
First let’s take a look at the Packers season as a whole on offense. They are clearing not performing at the level they were last year and with how well Green Bay played last season it is hard to expect that kind of performance again. Looking at the stats, Rodgers isn’t having that bad of a season. He has completed 68.6 percent of his passes, which would be a career high since he became a starting quarterback, and he has thrown 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. The only stat that is down for Rodgers is his yards per completion stat. Last season he averaged 9.2 yards per completion compared to this season where he has thrown a career-low 6.9 yards per completion.
So from a statistics standpoint, it looks that the inability to complete down field passes along with Rodgers being sacked 21 times in just five games is the biggest problem for the Packers. This is exactly what Finley was talking about in his comments. He made it clear that the receivers need to do a better job of catching the ball, including himself, and that the offensive line isn’t protecting Rodgers well. He put the blame on all 11 guys on offense and made this a team issue.
What is being thrown around as an insult to Rodgers is that Finley was saying Rodgers is scared. That might have been a poor choice of words that are being taken out of context. He was simply implying that every time Rodgers steps back to throw he has to worry about whether or not he will be able to get the ball out of his hands before getting hit. The line has done a horrible job protecting Rodgers and is giving no confidence for Rodgers to stand in the pocket.
So yes, maybe Finley isn’t the guy in the locker room who should be making statements like this, but what he said was nothing but the truth about the Packers offense right now. He was not trying to diss Rodgers or any of his teammates directly. He was simply implying that they need to do an all-around better job on the offensive side of the ball.
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