Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Packers’ QB is feeling it, and that should terrify the rest of the playoffs. It’s hilarious to think that only two years ago people were wondering how much Aaron Rodgers had left in the tank. He was coming off several disappointing seasons in which he played well, but never really looked like he was enjoying football. Then he bounced back in 2019, and he’s looked like a new player ever since.
Okay, “new player” might be a little far fetched. Rodgers has always been among the NFL’s elite, but in recent years a lack of confidence and joy almost pervaded his game to where even with success, he looked unfulfilled. The Packers’ quarterback has been rejuvenated under Matt LaFleur, and it genuinely looks like he’s having the time of his life. That all coalesced against the Rams, and with that mauling Green Bay offensive line, it’s like Los Angeles never had a chance.
Green Bay’s 32-18 win over the Rams puts the Pack back in the NFC Championship for the second year in a row. It was only possible because Rodgers has reclaimed his throne (or at least joined Patrick Mahomes there) as the NFL’s most dominant player.
Aaron Rodgers’ perfect RPO fooled the Rams so badly
He sold a pump fake so convincingly that everyone fell for it. Poor Leonard Floy was embarrassed more than anyone.
The pump fake!AARON RODGERS IS IN. #GoPackGo #NFLPlayoffs : #LARvsGB on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/nMJSN7Rn8Z pic.twitter.com/next8WxMu9— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2021
This is a classic college football play perfected by maybe the greatest quarterback talent we’ve ever seen. That’s beautiful offensive football.
Aaron Rodgers showed nobody is better throwing on the run
How many times have we seen Rodgers drop a dime on the run throughout his career? Add another one to the list.
Too good.@AaronRodgers12 #NFLPlayoffs : #LARvsGB on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/nMJSN7Rn8Z pic.twitter.com/hifhq8ek58— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2021
That play set up a score for Green Bay right before the half. Most coaches would have run out the clock in that situation. When you have Rodgers, why not keep trying to stockpile points?
Rodgers is still great at evading the pass rush
When he was pressured, he was able to shrug it off.
Under pressure. No problem. @AaronRodgers12#GoPackGo #NFLPlayoffs : #LARvsGB on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/nMJSN7Rn8Z pic.twitter.com/y5cn1HPRzi— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2021
Rodgers just turned 37 years old, but you wouldn’t know it from how he was moving against the Rams. That has to be so dispiriting for one of the best pass rushes in football.
Rodgers always knows how to deliver the dagger
When it was time to finish off the Rams late in the fourth quarter, Rodgers was there with one of the prettiest throws you’ll ever see.
BIG YARDS FOR ALLEN LAZARD!@Packers take a 14-points lead. #GoPackGo #NFLPlayoffs : #LARvsGB on FOX : NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/nMJSN7Rn8Z pic.twitter.com/YndFY5cyHU— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2021
Rodgers finished 23-of-36 for 296 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and another rushing touchdown. It was an absolute clinic against the league’s most stifling offense.
Teams better have a plan for the rest of the playoffs, because Rodgers and the Packers seem ready to destroy the preconceived notion that nobody but the Chiefs had a chance this season.