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Aaron Rodgers

Is Rodgers still an elite quarterback?

Aaron Rodgers popped up on my YouTube feed yesterday. (The programmers there, apparently, have figured out what I like to watch.) And seeing his highlight cut-ups, it becomes clear that his play has definitely slipped some.

Specifically, watch the league-produced 15-minute video, showing Rodgers’ best plays and games with the Packers. Notice how many of them involve Rodgers escaping from pressure. There are a bunch of plays where free runners have him dead to rights, with Rodgers instead escaping and delivering killer shots downfield. It’s pretty awesome.

But also watch his highlights from 2022. You will see none of those plays. You’ll see a couple where he climbs the pocket or rolls out, but there are none where he uses athleticism to escape from what seemed to be a sack. He’s just not the same athlete.

It reminds me of Russell Wilson. A year ago at this time, when viewing Wilson’s best plays with Seattle, it became apparent to me how much more athletic Wilson was early in his career – that the Broncos were getting a less mobile version of the player.

I am not suggesting that we’re looking at a Wilson-type flop. Rodgers can still throw it just fine. He’s really accurate and smart, and he’s still got plenty of arm. This is not a Brees-Rivers-Manning situation, where we have a smart old veteran who’s trying to gimp by with a noodle arm. But Jets aren’t getting early-career Rodgers, with the ability to turn seemingly lost situations into a big plays.

But with what the Jets have had a quarterback in recent years (decades, really), they’ll gladly plug in a lesser Rodgers.

Below see a list of the 34 quarterbacks who’ve started at least 20 games in the last three years. Of this group, Rodgers has the highest passer rating. The Jets have their finger prints on the bottom two quarterbacks on the list.

PASSER RATING (last 3 years)
Aaron Rodgers, G.B.4968.0%12,10911121108.0
Deshaun Watson, Hou.-Cle.2267.4%5,9254012104.5
Patrick Mahomes, K.C.4966.6%14,82911631103.8
Geno Smith, Sea.2069.6%5,0173512101.1
Joe Burrow, Cin.4268.2%11,7748231100.4
Kirk Cousins, Min.4966.6%13,033973499.7
Jimmy Garoppolo, S.F.3167.7%7,343432199.2
Dak Prescott, Dall.3367.8%9,165692999.1
Josh Allen, Buff.4965.2%13,2341083998.4
Tom Brady, T.B.5066.7%14,6431083398.1
Russell Wilson, Sea.-Den.4564.9%10,849813097.6
Matthew Stafford, Det.-LAR4266.3%11,057773597.2
Ryan Tannehill, Ten.4566.1%10,089672796.9
Justin Herbert, LAC4966.9%14,089943596.2
Tua Tagovailoa, Mia.3465.7%8,015522395.0
Kyler Murray, Ariz.4167.7%10,126642994.5
Derek Carr, L.V.4865.7%12,429743794.0
Jared Goff, LAR-Det.4666.4%11,635682893.8
Teddy Bridgewater, 3 tms3167.6%7,468372292.8
Lamar Jackson, Balt.3963.7%7,881592992.5
Jalen Hurts, Phil.3462.3%7,906441992.2
Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.3165.0%7,543552090.4
Matt Ryan, Atl.-Ind.4566.2%11,606603689.7
Mac Jones, N.E.3166.5%6,798362489.0
Andy Dalton, 3 tms2965.2%6,556402687.9
Taylor Heinicke, Was.2464.0%5,415332187.5
Baker Mayfield, 3 tms4061.3%8,736532987.0
Daniel Jones, NYG4164.7%8,576362286.1
Carson Wentz, 3 tms3660.6%7,938543183.6
Trevor Lawrence, Jac.3462.9%7,754372583.4
Davis Mills, Hou.2663.6%5,782332583.3
Justin Fields, Chi.2559.7%4,112242179.7
Cam Newton, Car.-N.E.2063.0%3,341121578.2
Sam Darnold, NYJ-Car.2959.6%5,878252775.4
Zach Wilson, NYJ2255.2%4,022151870.9

—Ian Allan

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