2017 Grade: .642

2017 3rd Down: .608

Week 1 vs. Seattle: Rodgers is nearly impossible to deal with. Despite scoring just 17 points, he puts the Packers in advantageous positions time and time again. He was accurate, he threw from all the awkward platforms that have turned him into the star that he is today, and he made some massively important first downs with his legs. Look at the torque and drive he has on this ball as he falls away from his target – impressive.

Week 2 at Atlanta: It’s not too often that Rodgers gets nearly an entire quarter erased due to garbage time. The Packers spent the majority of the second half chipping away with “gimme-passes.” The absence of both starting tackles impeded Rodgers ability to flee the pocket from either side. In fact, the final nail in the coffin came when both edges broke down and Rodgers lost a fumble on a questionable call by the officials. Even his worst day is better than most quarterbacks.

Week 3 vs. Cincinnati: Aaron Rodgers is an icon of the sport. No one has ever managed the pocket the way he does, and that skillset was on display Sunday against the Bengals. Changing the launch point multiple times on a given play, he’s nearly impossible to sack. He creates more “sandlot” yardage than any player that has ever played the game. Enjoy him while we still have him.

Week 4 vs. Chicago: There isn’t a tougher quarterback to defend in the NFL, and nobody knows that better than the Chicago Bears. Rodgers tormented the Bears again with pristine accuracy, unrivaled pocket movement, and the big play. The GIF below is a prime example of his ability to quickly recognize where the pressure is coming from, find a launch point, get to it, and throw an absolute dime. He does something every week that is truly a marvel.

Week 5 at Dallas: The NFL is Aaron Rodgers’ league – we’re just living in it. The best quarterback in the game (and of all time in this writer’s humble opinion) notches another scalp in Dallas. Rodgers took down the Cowboys by extending plays like no one before him, and throwing pinpoint dimes regardless of his platform. Rodgers has just six negatively graded plays (in 110 drop backs) over his last three games. He is truly a marvel to watch and I am simply out of superlatives for him.

Stat Sheet

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2016: Welcome to the Improv

Aaron Rodgers is the most physically gifted quarterback currently walking the earth. His brand of sandlot football magnifies a rare skill set that is unique to Green Bay passer. Refusing to settle for marginal gains, Rodgers is the deadliest downfield threat because of his right-fielder hose of an arm and his elusive creativity behind the line of scrimmage.

Rodgers is quick to flee the pocket and the best I have ever seen at manipulating launch points and passing lanes. He can maneuver is small areas as well as beat defensive ends to the edge.

This skillset alone is dangerous, but pairing it with the most accurate thrower of the football while on the move makes for a player that is simply unstoppable. Every platform is an ideal launch point for Rodgers who flicks the ball with an effortless velocity unmatched by anyone. Along with his elite downfield hose, he’s got the best intermediate fastball in the game.

Although it is his ability to escape to set up a throw that makes him so deadly, he will beat teams with his legs as well scrambling for big gains after avoiding an imminent sack. He can backpedal and slingshot a dart, throw the fade-away or drop dimes all over the lot from the top of his drop. He will challenge every blade of grass no matter which direction his momentum is taking him.

Rodgers doesn’t need an open receiver to make a play. The Packers had issues creating separation early in the year but the future Hall-Of-Fame quarterback is capable of throwing around the defense opening up the pass-catcher. Adding to his collection of league’s best, his spin, velocity and back-shoulder throws are also atop the NFL.

The offense isn’t built on a lot of anticipation and relies on Rodgers creating off-script to deliver on slower developing routes. Rodgers is reluctant to use his backs in the passing game but, when he does, in addition to working hitches, bubble-screens and slants, the Packers become increasingly difficult to deal with.

If there is a weakness in Rodgers’ game, it’s his propensity to try to live up to his Superman-like ability. He could stand to take a few more easy throws rather than trying to stretch things vertically almost all the time. He will take an unnecessary sack or miss a wide-open short target, but that’s something any coach would be willing to live with as a trade-off for his game-breaking skill.

He does get a little sloppy speeding up his mechanics and throwing high or behind receivers at times. He also needs to show better ball-security in high-traffic areas.

If he became a little more situationally aware (take the dump-off on third-and-two rather than shooting for a covered end-zone target), and was a tad more consistent in the short game, I’m not sure you could make a better quarterback.

The debate between he and Brady as the best quarterback currently going is a difficult and warranted discussion. It’s difficult to argue against Brady’s winning pedigree until you see Rodgers regularly execute jaw-dropping plays. We are watching two, generational-type of quarterbacks that will be nearly impossible to replace.