It’s the bye week and just over the midway point of the season. It’s the perfect time to take a look back at the season so far and then look what still may be in the coming weeks. So to keep you entertained through the bye week we have some midseason report cards on each of the position groups as well as a few other surprises for you.
There is only one place to start when evaluating each position on the Packers, or any team in today’s NFL, the quarterback. Over the past month Aaron Rodgers has been playing at a level above most of the other quarterbacks in this league. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes to one interception (and that interception wasn’t really his fault). He’s also been doing that without his top two targets: Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings. Heck, he’s essentially doing it without what many expected to be his number three target in Jermichael Finley. Oh and his offensive line has….ahem….let’s just say it has struggled. Yet despite these challenges Rodgers has overcome to be the player of the month in October .
The best part may be that the better football probably lies ahead for Rodgers this year. Take this past week’s game for an example. Yes, Rodgers threw for four touchdown passes. Yes, those touchdown passes looked just as beautiful and sharp as anything he threw last year. The thing is though he still completed under 50% of his throws. He can play better and he should play better as more of his receivers get healthy and the line continues to improve.
The backup situation has not improved since the preseason. Graham Harrell is who he was at the start of training camp…a big question mark and unsettling possibility. Harrell has gotten only a handful of snaps so far this year, and in that time he has managed to almost give a critical game away. All this while not throwing a single pass in the regular season. So he has not proven that he can be an adequate backup to Rodgers yet, and the season goes from Super Bowl contender to "yikes" if Harrell needs to take a meaningful amount of snaps this year.
Overall Midseason Grade For The Position Group:
B B+ [Update: by popular demand I'm bumping this a bit because Rodgers has played awesome. But I still stand by the premise that the backup situation is too worrisome to go up to A level for the group. -DS]
Rodgers has played good, maybe great, but not the Rodgers’ level elite yet….but there have been more than enough signs point that is yet to come. Harrell still does not look ready for primetime.