June 12, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) warms up during the team's mandatory minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
Admit it, you saw this headline and got mad. It's okay, I understand. One of the series we're doing during this big lull between minicamp and training camp is players most likely to regress in 2012, and this was not an executive decision. PackApologist brought up Aaron Rodgers as one of the members of the Green Bay Packers whose production is most likely to stagnate or go backwards in 2012, I agreed, and Tex didn't fight us.
This is not to say that we think a 28-year-old that is going into his fifth year as a starter, coming off of four straight very good years is actually going to get worse as a quarterback. We just think that his production isn't sustainable.
Aaron Rodgers' stats in 2011: 4,643 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 68.3 percent completions, 122.5 QBR - These are just truly ungodly numbers. I could potentially see Rodgers duplicating the yardage and touchdowns numbers from last season, and I think that 68 percent completions is very achievable as well. But six interceptions and a 122.5 QB rating? Ridiculous.
A guy just isn't supposed to get enough good bounces that he only throws six interceptions in 502 passing attempts. Defenses are too good, QBs throw too much and footballs are too oddly shaped for elite QBs to not throw 10 interceptions in a nearly perfect season. Drew Brees threw 14 last year, while Matthew Stafford threw 16 and Tom Brady threw 12. Even though his team fell apart in December (again), Tony Romo was impressive with only 10 interceptions.
Guys just aren't supposed to post an 84 attempts/interception ratio. That's not sustainable.
Why I might be full of it - Aaron Rodgers was almost that good in 2009, with a 77 attempts/interception ratio. He started all 16 games in that season and threw seven interceptions. If he's managed 75+ attempts to each interception on two occasions, he obviously has a chance to do it again next season.
Projected stats for Rodgers in 2012: 560 attempts, 375 completions, 4,980 yards, 43 touchdowns, 10 interceptions - I'm assuming a slight up-tick in attempts per game for Rodgers, and assuming that he's going to start all 16 games. I'm also assuming that he will see his yards per attempt and completion percentages dip slightly, but remain at elite levels. This is still a borderline MVP-level campaign, but it's not quite as spectacular as last year's.
Obviously, I have faith in Rodgers to put up huge numbers again and I think he can match his numbers from 2011, but they were too outrageous for him to not be one of our candidates for regression this season.