He is coming off of one of the greatest seasons ever by a QB and will have a chip on his shoulder in 2012 after a tough loss to the New York Giants in the playoffs.
In 2011, Rodgers took his game to another level. He finished the year with 4,643 passing yards, a ridiculous 46-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio and an all-time record passer rating of 122.5.
Drew Brees may have posted higher totals than Rodgers, but the stats show that Rodgers was the more efficient player. He threw an interception on just 1.2 percent of his passes, compared to 2.1 percent for Brees.
Rodgers also led the league in yards per attempt (9.2) and had a 127.6 passer rating on passes of 20 yards or more. Brees finished the year with an average of 8.3 yards per attempt and 109.2 QBR on deep throws.
These numbers were enough to convince 48 of the 50 voters to select him as the league's Most Valuable Player, but it was more than statistics that gave Rodgers the award.
Rodgers orchestrated a Green Bay offense that did more than just beat defenses—it ripped out other teams' hearts like the weird shaman in the second Indiana Jones.
The Packers finished 15-1 last season, and Rodgers put up over 40 points four times. He also led four blowouts that earned him some rest for all or most of the fourth quarter.
The offense kept a fast pace and defenses often looked helpless against the Pack. Rodgers's back-shoulder throws are impossible to stop. Cornerbacks consistently had perfect coverage on the Packer receivers, but Rodgers's pinpoint precision always gave his wideout a chance to make a play on the ball.
He also had complete control of his unit and frequently made adjustments at the line of scrimmage. One of his favorite audibles was to throw a slant on a called run, which put the ball in the hands of the Packers' playmakers and covered for their lack of consistency in the running game.
Rodgers play in the passing game was close to perfect, but he also made plays with his legs. He ran the ball more than any quarterback besides Michael Vick and Cam Newton, and finished the season with a 4.3 yards-per-carry average and three touchdowns. His elusiveness also allowed him to extend plays and make throws from outside the pocket.
The Green Bay quarterback was undoubtedly the league's best player last season, and he is a good bet to be the MVP again next year.
Since the award was first given in 1957, eight players have won the honor multiple times. All of them, except for Jim Brown, were quarterbacks.
Only two players in the history of the Associated Press MVP were not a quarterback or a running back. With more and more teams across the NFL opting to split carries between multiple backs, a QB will almost certainly win the award in 2012, as has happened in the last five seasons.
The Packers offense will bring back nearly everyone from last year's squad. They replaced center Scott Wells with Jeff Saturday, and will need to decide what to do with Ryan Grant and Chad Clifton.
The receiving corps will bring back all the same players, with the possible exception of Donald Driver. Jordy Nelson emerged as an elite deep threat last season, and Greg Jennings is still one of the best wideouts in the league.
Jermichael Finley was re-signed and will continue to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
The only other major departure was offensive coordinator Joe Phiblin, who is now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Mike McCarthy, however, is the play-caller, which will make the transition to a new OC much easier.
Rodgers has top-level talent in his receiving corps and will come into to 2012 with something to prove.
All of his accolades from last year do not measure up to his greatest accomplishment—a Super Bowl victory at the end of the 2010 season.
The Giants hit the Packers in the mouth during the divisional round of the playoffs this past January, and Green Bay could not punch back. The team was eliminated and their hopes of repeating as champions were destroyed.
Since being passed over by 23 teams in the 2005 draft, Rodgers has played with a chip on his shoulder. His demeanor and drive reflect a constant effort to prove every one of his doubters wrong.
Every season, he seems to find something to help push himself to the next level. Last year, he was motivated by criticisms of the Packers' decision not to hold player-led practices during the lockouts. Brees spent his own time and money to organize sessions for New Orleans Saints players, and it was fitting that the two teams met in the season opener.
The Packers won 42-34 and afterwards, Rodgers' wry joke showed his contempt for these shots at him and his teammates.
"That was a good start for us," he said. "But I've just got to ask myself, 'What would have happened if we had had offseason workouts?' "
Rodgers won't have to search far for motivation going into this season. After a 15-1 record, losing in the first playoff game was a bitter end to the year. He'll look to wash the bad taste out of his mouth by continuing to improve his game going into next year.
Rodgers is ready for another tear through the NFL. After winning the Super Bowl in 2010 and the MVP in 2011, he will look to repeat both accomplishments in the 2012 season.
Any team can win on any given Sunday, making championships extremely difficult to win in football. But Rodgers's consistency, skill, and drive allow him to perform every week at the highest level, and he will be the league's best player again next year.
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