A peek at the new guy in Green Bay
Posted Mar. 20 at 03:29 AM
A couple of observations, as I start to compare Aaron Rodgers to Brett Favre, trying to gauge what kind of impact this will have on Green Bay’s offense:
Favre was the league’s best (at least statistically) quarterback around the goal line last year. Inside the 5, he completed a league-high 69 percent of his passes and produced a league-high 65 percent of those plays into touchdowns. And the Packers passed on a league-high 60 percent of their plays in the red zone. Hard to see that ratios holding with a first-year starter at quarterback.
Durability. Favre started 275 straight games. Rodgers has gotten hurt two years in a row despite not starting a game (he broke his foot in a mop-up appearance in 2006, and he pulled a hamstring in practice last year).
Mobility. Rodgers runs a lot better than Favre, and that will be part of the offense. Not that he’s another Michael Vick, but Rodgers can run around. He ran for 8 TDs in two years at Cal. And in limited playing time as a pro, he’s run for 47 yards on 11 attempts (he’s attempted 59 passes as a pro, so we’ll call that approximately two games worth of action). While attempting 134 preseason passes the last three years, he’s run for 104 yards on 17 attempts. He can run. He might average 15-plus yards per game. Whether that contributes to him getting hurt again, we’ll see.
David Carr Disease. Favre rarely gave up sacks. That’s one of the things that made him successful – avoiding negative plays – and it also played a big role in him starting a record 253 regular-season games in a row. But it looks like Rodgers will be more prone to hang onto the ball, which can lead to fumbles and injuries. Favre last year was sacked, on average, only once per every 37 times he dropped back to pass. In each of his three pro seasons, in both regular season and exhibitions, Rodgers has been sacked at least once per 10 pass plays.
2005 – 3 sacks in 16 attempts
2006 – 3 sacks in 15 attempts
2007 – 3 sacks in 28 attempts
2005 – 6 sacks in 37 attempts
2006 – 9 sacks in 38 attempts
2007 – 6 sacks in 59 attempts
That’s a grand total of 30 sacks in 193 attempts, or one per every 7.4 times he drops back to pass. If he doesn’t learn to get rid of the ball, he’ll be on pace to get sack 50-plus times, and there would be no chance of him staying healthy.
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