NFL Helmet To Helmet Collisions: Does Aaron Rodgers Have a Bullseye on His Back?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2010

They say third time's the charm when it comes to getting things right in life. 

Whether that relates to shooting a bucket in basketball or writing a great report, somewhere along the line the number three was deemed the most lucky of numbers, as it somehow possesses an unruly power to allow a person one final attempt at a task.

For Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the number three has been far from his best friend in the past two years.

Although it could be said that the following number, four, is in fact Aaron Rodgers' worst enemy in Brett Favre, the previous number three has caused Rodgers a distinct amount of grief in his starting campaign, on more than one occasion.

When Aaron Rodgers first stepped in under center in Green Bay, the times looked notably dark for Lambeau Field. 

White snow often falls in Green Bay during the winter months, with the city's biggest legend lost to New York, Aaron Rodgers now portrayed the exact image of Christian Bale replacing Bruce Wayne, in the classic Batman series.

If worrying ever paid off for fans, then it certainly came through for the Green Bay Packers. 

Looking back now at Titletown's grief that struck their small city some three years ago, Aaron Rodgers is handily a Top 5 quarterback in the league, following his impressive rise to fame in the quickest way possible.

But as replenishing and heartwarming as this story is for Packer fans nationwide, something has haunted Aaron Rodgers during his starting career in green and gold...and for once it isn't Brett Favre's shadow that at times still looms over Packer Nation.

No, this time around Aaron Rodgers has encountered a few problems on the field, but funnily enough it isn't to do with his skill level or his own teammates.  It's the referees and their inconsistent helmet to helmet calls that have the star quarterback worried.


Green Bay vs. Arizona

To bring back some unwanted memories for Packer fans, let's flash back to Green Bay's 2009 NFC Wildcard Game against the Arizona Cardinals, that saw the Packers as close favorites to emerge as victors.

In relation to the game itself, it measured in at 100% memorable on the Richter scale.  However, in relation to issues and tribulations, Green Bay vs. Arizona featured more mistakes than a learner driver on their final test, and left NFL officials blue in the face for months following.

On second and ten in a nail-biting overtime finish, the Green Bay Packers had the ball in what looked like a very promising drive. 

Unfortunately. the outcome wasn't one that Packer fans would like to relive, yet at the same time a controversial non helmet to helmet call cost the Packers what would have been decent field position, and quite possibly a spot in the NFC Divisional Game.

This hit was the first of repeat incidences for Aaron Rodgers, and although No. 12 remained calm following the game, little did he know this issue would soon return in 2010.


Green Bay vs. Washington

Following this blunder of a call, NFL officials also managed to tide Aaron Rodgers over against the Washington Redskins on the weekend, when Rodgers endured his second big time hit.

In Washington, Rodgers was hit by Redskins defensive end Jeremy Jarmon in overtime, and was seen to throw an interception into the waiting arms of LaRon Landry, and also suffer a woozy concussion later on.

I guess in this particular scenario, at least the NFL saw fit to issue a hefty fine to Jarmon later in the week, even though the Green Bay Packers themselves would have preferred the ball, some penalty yards, and their chance to win a ball game that would perhaps see them at 4-3 on the season right now.

This game is of course now in the past and dead and buried, but that isn't to say that Aaron Rodgers didn't have every right to complain in a press conference, even though he was unfit to do so.

It's fair to say that LaRon Landry's hit against Aaron Rodgers was by far the worst of the three.  It left a star player injured, and when the referees miss a crucial call in overtime, it truly highlights the issues that plague the NFL.


Green Bay vs. Miami

Finally, the third example of Aaron Rodgers' misfortune occurred the very next weekend against the Miami Dolphins. 

In dire strait mode yet again, Aaron Rodgers was attempting to do what he does best in a quick style offense, but hit a dead end when he was hit with force by Dolphins defensive end Randy Starks...again, helmet to helmet.

This play was realistically overshadowed by the events following.  Aaron Rodgers this time disputed the call with referees heavily, even though Rodgers managed to bring the score level with a 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

When asked about the hit later on, Aaron Rodgers stated that "I took a shot in the chin and chipped two teeth and no call."

Is this really where the league stands right now?  One week a concussion, and the next two chipped teeth?  It seems that way, and you can guarantee that the NFL is now copping some flack for this frequent indecision.


Is Aaron Rodgers The Most Hard Done By Quarterback?

Some may dispute it, but when it comes to helmet to helmet collisions, Aaron Rodgers is the leading target.

The most concerning figure to come from Rodgers' three memorable hits is the fact that the Packers have lost all three games as a result, all of which have been in overtime.

Chances are we will see many more quarterbacks suffer the same mistreatment, and perhaps it will take a big-time shot to Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, for the league to change the rules. 

Right now the biggest issue that outstands with the helmet to helmet collisions, is that the referees must make the call on the field in due time, otherwise no action is taken.

Currently the rulebook states that helmet to helmet collisions are un-reviewable, one of the many loopholes to come from Roger Goodell's "new and improved" league.

Aaron Rodgers was fortunate to bounce back from a concussion, and the Packers did lose these three games on their own terms.

Still, one gets the feeling that if the right call was made, Aaron Rodgers would have been given a second chance, and with his kind of talent, you know he may have been able to produce a miracle.

A rule change is in need, and Aaron Rodgers needs to lead the way.  Tom Brady introduced the Tuck Rule, and although some fans mightn't like it, it's patched up a rough area in the rulebook.  The same needs to be done with helmet to helmet collisions.


Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports.  Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.