Some things just go together: beer and bratwurst, beer and cheese, beer and ... well, never mind. But one of the most perfect non-beer-related pairings appears to be Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the month of December.
On Thursday, the NFL announced that Rodgers won the NFC Offensive Player of the Month award for December 2020. During the five games since December 1st (technically including week 17 in January as well), Rodgers’ statistical accomplishments are truly tremendous:
Pass Completions: 111
Pass Attempts: 145
Completion Rate: 76.6%
Passing Yards: 1199
Yards per Attempt: 8.27
Passing Touchdowns: 15
Adjusted Yards per Attempt: 10.03
Passer Rating: 131.9
Rushing Attempts: 19
Rushing Yards: 59
Rushing Touchdowns: 2
This final month of the season provided the closing argument for Rodgers to earn his third NFL MVP award as he out-performed Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes over that span. Mahomes had more yards in four games than Rodgers did in five (1,243), but had fewer yards per attempt (7.53) and touchdowns (8), threw more interceptions (4), and posted a massively inferior passer rating (89.5).
This award now goes down as Rodgers’ ninth NFC OPOM award and his first since 2016. As for December in particular, three of Rodgers’ awards have come in a season’s final month, as he won the award in December of 2016 (the “Run the Table” season) and 2010, the year that the Packers went on to win Super Bowl XLV.
No Packers player besides Rodgers has won a Player of the Month award since Mason Crosby, who earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Month in October 2013. That month saw him go 11 for 11 on PATs and a whopping 13 for 15 on field goals, nearly matching his total of 16 for the entire 2020 season. To find a Packers Defensive Player of the Month winner, you must go back to 2010, when Clay Matthews won the award in September by recording six sacks and a forced fumble in three games.
Congratulations to Rodgers, who will be looking for one individual honor above all others over the next month: Super Bowl MVP.