That Aaron Rodgers did not get a final opportunity to pull off another final drive victory on Sunday was demoralizing for Green Bay Packers fans. For the Chico, California native, it had to be just as frustrating not to be able to display two-minute heroics in front of a home-state audience that has witnessed Rodgers’ success at all levels.
Even in college, Rodgers propelled a Cal Golden Bears team to a 4-2 record against intrastate rivals USC, UCLA, and Stanford during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Rodgers’ performance before he was replaced due to injury in a three-overtime win over Southern California in 2003 was during the height of the Trojan dynasty and it was USC’s only loss of the season. Although the Golden Bears lost the following year in the rematch, Rodgers still completed 85% of his 34 passes in the top-ten showdown.
As a professional, Number 12 has also been reliable against California-based squads, though quarterback wins may be a debatable statistic. The Packers under Rodgers carry a 2-0 regular season record against both the Oakland Raiders and the former San Diego Chargers, while owning a 4-2 mark against the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers are also 3-1 on the road in these games with Rodgers at the helm. The Packers had a chance to move to 9-2 against teams in Rodgers’ home state with a win against the Los Angeles Rams. Unfortunately, the team’s first matchup against the Rams since their relocation from St. Louis did not go as planned, and the Packers lost their first game versus a California opponent since September 2013 against the 49ers.
Although the Packers have dropped two close playoff contests to the 49ers, the regular season marks have been remarkable for Rodgers. It was just two weeks ago that the franchise quarterback threw for 425 yards and two touchdowns as part of walk-off win over the 49ers, complete with an improbable Rodgers-led final scoring drive. Even with a less Earth-shattering 286 yards and single scoring strike against LA on Sunday, Rodgers’ stats against California teams are enough to win plenty of games. In the 11 regular season matchups, Rodgers has averaged 290 yards, two touchdowns, and a 105.5 quarterback rating as calculated by Pro Football Reference. Only once has Rodgers posted a rating below 93.0, while his 90-plus rating in each of his playoff losses is certainly not a shabby mark either.
In many ways, the loss at the hands of the undefeated Rams was a tough pill to swallow. The Packers battled in a seesaw game for 58 minutes only to be eliminated by an unfathomable special teams blunder. They fell to 3-3-1 as they near the mid-season point with another difficult road contest awaiting in New England. A win over a dominant NFC foe could have been a momentum swing for Green Bay.
But while the Packers took a blow to their postseason chances, Rodgers also suffered an uncommon blemish to his career track record in his home state and missed an opportunity to showcase his last-second skills once again on Fox’s America’s Game of the Week.