You’ve heard this rhetoric before.
On Oct. 18 I said that Aaron Rodgers is the league’s best quarterback and MVP. And on Sunday, he proved it again.
Rodgers outdueled fellow golden gun Tom Brady to all but lock up the highest individual honor in the NFL.
And the reason is simple. Bill Belichick took away his favorite target in Jordy Nelson. He also took away his No. 2 option in Randall Cobb. Coming into Sunday those two combined to catch 54 percent of the team’s passes. Belichick’s defensive philosophy worked as Nelson and Cobb combined to catch just 37 percent of Rodgers’ passes Sunday.
However, the hoodie didn’t plan on Rodgers making everyone else look amazing — which is what the true mark of an MVP really is. It’s someone that doesn’t just put up out-of-this-world numbers but someone that makes everyone else better.
Case in point: Davante Adams. The second round rookie wide receiver has shown flashes this year, but he had a combined four catches in the three games leading up to the meeting with the Patriots. And many were wondering if he could shine when called upon.
Rodgers saw the blanket coverage by Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner on Nelson and Cobb and knew that he had to trust someone else to get it done. Adams became that vessel for success, even though he has been a streaky rookie this year.
“You have to find ways to win,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “That’s how teams grow.”
The other guy that Rodgers made better was tight end Richard Rodgers. Like Adams, his production has been spotty but Rodgers blew up his confidence with a perfect 32-yard touchdown pass to put the Packers lead at 13-0 in the first quarter.
The only blemish Rodgers had was the lack of inefficiency in the red zone. The 13 plays inside the 20-yard-line fetched -1 yard.
“You’re fortunate to win when you’re 0-for-4 in the red zone,” Rodgers said.
But even with that small wart, Rodgers engineered scores on six of the Packers’ first eight drives. And his accuracy even wilted the steely focus of Belichick. Quarterbacks are judged by how well they do on third down and Rodgers only had three incompletions when staring third down in the face. That included converting a first down 4 out of 10 times when facing at least third-and-five and one of those was a third-and-12.
Rodgers is the most valuable player in the league because he’s a chameleon. He can change his skin whenever he sees fit. If he sees that the secondary is pressing his receivers, he will unleash his deep ball skin. If he sees that the defense is laying back in a soft zone he will put on his short-ball skin and dink-and-dunk them to death. And if he sees extra attention being paid to certain receivers, he will put on his unselfish and trusting skin and simply throw it to someone else.
And just when a defense thinks it has Rodgers conquered by getting him out of the pocket is when he’s the most deadly. His quick-wrists and ability to throw accurately across his body make him nearly indefensible.
And now he’s making himself and the Packers even more absurd. In addition to only relying on Nelson and Cobb he is unlocking receiving gems that he knows he’s going to need come January and possibly February.
The only minor flaw is that Rodgers tries to be too perfect. He hates interceptions so much that he does anything to avoid them. If trying to be too perfect is a flaw, the rest of the league can only hope to catch up.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn