Over the next two weeks, we will take a look at each position group on the Packers and provide grades and insight on how they performed in the 2014 season. Today, we'll be looking at the quarterback position. Follow along with all of our positional breakdowns here.
For the second straight season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had Green Bay Packers fans holding their breaths in the most critical time of the team's season. Unlike in 2013, Rodgers missed no time (beyond a few drives in week 17) but still managed to lead the Packers to an NFC Championship appearance while battling a calf injury. The Packers also solidified their backup position early, meaning they didn't have to scramble for quarterback options like Seneca Wallace and a premature Scott Tolzien, and instead they saw stability and progress in 2014.
Stats: 16 games played, 341/520 (65.5%), 4,381 yards, 38 touchdowns, five interceptions, 112.2 passer rating
Overview: Rodgers was the best quarterback in football this season and is a favorite along with Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt for the MVP award. For the sixth straight season, Rodgers finished the year with a passer rating over 100, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to accomplish the feat. He also surpassed Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for the most passing yards among quarterbacks in their first 100 starts.
Besides his obviously impressive statistics, Rodgers helped the Packers go flawless at home, posting an undefeated 9-0 (including playoffs) record, while also not throwing a single interception inside Lambeau Field. The Packers outscored their opponents at home by a 344-184 margin, which further explains their dominance in Green Bay.
It was a historical season for No.12, and he'll likely take home some hardware at the NFL Honors the day before the Super Bowl.
Stats: Seven games played, 8/16 (50 percent), zero touchdowns, one interception, 34.9 passer rating
Overview: Flynn sparingly saw action for the Packers this season, with Rodgers playing all 16 games. Although he never really saw the field, he still provided the team with a veteran backup who knew the ins and outs of the offense in case Rodgers actually missed significant time. He provided a cheap, reliable backup option at the position, one which was not present during the turmoil of 2013.
Overview: Tolzien was mostly inactive for the Packers until the final stretch of the season when Rodgers' calf became a concern and the team wanted to have all of their bullets ready. For Tolzien, his production with Green Bay came in the preseason, and he showed tremendous improvement in the action he saw. He completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. What stood out the most about his improvement was his ability to read defenses better, progress in the pocket and find open receivers down field. With another season under his belt, it wouldn't be a big surprise if he's brought back as the permanent backup to Rodgers, replacing Flynn.
This one's easy, right? The best quarterback this season makes it impossible to hand out anything less, right? Well, don't assume that the grade is an A exclusively because of Rodgers, as there were definitely other factors. Tolzien had a strong impact on why I decided to hand out that grade. Even in just the preseason, he improved the overall group of players and made a strong case to backup Rodgers in Week 1. We'll see if the Packers decide to bring him back on a new deal (on which he would probably expect more money and an increased role). This group was pretty good this season.