Aaron Rodgers has put the Green Bay Packers and their fans through a lot in the last year.
From his cryptic comments about his future after the loss in last year’s NFC Championship to the months long standoff on whether or not he we would even play this year to the brouhaha over his COVID-19 vaccination status, Rodgers made much more off field noise than either he or Packers fans are used to.
The on-field noise was much the same however as he put together another stellar campaign that will likely result in his fourth league MVP award. The Packers won 13 games for third consecutive season and the top seed in the NFC for the second consecutive season.
While controversy brewed around Rodgers this year, fans have stuck by him as difficult as it can be at times. The quarterback could have done some damage to his legacy but fans have been willing to either ignore or overlook some of his antics beaucse the on field product has been spectacular.
It is now time for Rodgers to reciprocate that faith and reward Packers fans with their second Super Bowl title in 11 years after coming close so many times.
Rodgers is keenly aware how precious these opportunities are. It is not common for teams to get home field advantage in back-to-back seasons and after blowing last year’s opportunity, the Packers need to cash in on this year’s as it might be the last chance this group has together.
Gven the team’s salary cap situation, the 2022 Packers are going to look drastically different so this really does feel like “now or never.” Rodgers knows this and now he has to deliver, especially given how he has struggled in recent postseasons.
Rodgers upon his return this year said he wanted the Packers to provide a better team around him. General manager Brian Gutekunst and the front office have delivered.
Now it’s up to Rodgers to do the same and reward the faith of the fans who have stuck by him.
Rodgers has a chance for a revenge tour in these playoffs with arch enemy San Francisco up first and then possibly Tampa Bay up next. Rodgers has nine touchdowns and eight interceptions in NFC championship games. After all he put the team through this season, he’s going to have to do better than that this go round. There are no more excuses, especially as the team gets healthier at the perfect time.
As much as the spotlight and pressure is on Rodgers, he knows. He knows he has to come up after everything he did on and off the field this season. The 2021 team is arguably the best team Rodgers has had around him in years or perhaps maybe even ever. He knows he has to deliver now.
Allen Lazard is Green Bay’s WR2. That should no longer be up for debate and his performance over the past few weeks was a result of some tough love from Davante Adams and receivers coach Jason Vrable.
Meanwhile it is not clear who San Francisco’s quarterback will be Saturday night. Should Jimmy Garoppolo not be able to play, rookie Trey Lance will make the start. While he hasn’t been good, he isn’t exactly Joe Webb.
On a street reminiscent of something you’d see on the opening credits of Full House, this house is in need of some tender love and care. Don’t go overboard at those auctions, folks.