It has become clear in the Mike McCarthy era that the Green Bay Packers have been known to struggle when in close games. The question now lies in why this team tends to struggle when put in situations when the Packers trail by four points or less. Could it be the play of their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers?
Since Rodgers took over in Green Bay as signal caller, he has a record of 6-18, including playoff games. The answer is not that simple. Although Rodgers’ record is terrible, can all the blame be placed on the 2011 NFL MVP? When it comes to the situation in Green Bay, it tends to look that way; in games where Rodgers is efficient and has a passer rating over 100, his team has a record of 38-8; that is an .826 winning percentage, which is incredible. On the other hand, in games where his passer rating is below a 100 rating, the team has a 15-20 record, which is abysmal compared to other top teams in the league.
The New England Patriots are 62-34 when quarterback Tom Brady has a rating below 100, and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has a record of 65-62 when he has a sub-par day passing. These statistics show that if Rodgers is not in MVP form in every game, the Packers are likely to lose. So, does this place all the blame on Rodgers because his team can’t step up when he has an off day? I say no, the defense has been lacking as well. The defense plays with a bend but don’t break mentality that places a lot of pressure on the offense that they must be efficient in every game and put points on the scoreboard. The run game, until this season, was a huge hole in the offense and could shoulder a good amount of the blame for a team that couldn’t find a way to get those tough yards when needed to end a game.
When analyzing all aspects of the team, it became evident that it should be Rodgers who is placed with the most of the blame. Although, you can’t criticize the quarterback because of all the success he has brought to Green Bay and the record breaking numbers he puts up each season, but when you’re the face of a franchise, certain expectations are set for you and he must get better at winning the close game. The fan base depends on Rodgers week in and week out to carry the team to victory. Rodgers will never be fully at fault for what transpires when Green Bay is involved in a game decided by four or less, but you have to believe some of the blame falls on the arm of the star of the Packers’ offense.