Green Bay Packers: First Half Report Card for Aaron Rodgers
Even an inanimate hunk of cheese could tell you that Aaron Rodgers is the Green Bay Packers' best player.
He is their unquestionable leader on and off the field, and quite possibly the hottest player in the entire league at the moment.
The Packers are roughly half way through their season at this point, and they remain without a loss. The last part of that statement couldn't be true without Rodgers at quarterback.
He has been praised by opponents, teammates, fans and almost every analyst.
Even Brett Favre can't deny how his successor has captured the nation's admiration, but is he really as good as he looks or is everyone infatuated with an illusion of flawlessness?
It's time to hand out the star quarterback's first-half report card and pick apart his recent success in comparison with the rest of the league.
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Aaron Rodgers has racked up 2,372 passing yards this season, while averaging 9.93 yards per throw and well over 300 yards per game.
He's behind only Drew Brees—and surprisingly, Cam Newton—in this statistic, but they've both played in one more game.
Rodgers has had a career-high six 300-yard games this season, and he still has nine more games to go. He also set a personal record with his 93-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson against the Rams.
NFL Rank: 3
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Rodgers has thrown 20 touchdown passes this season to seven different receivers.
His exceptional pocket presence has allowed him time to find his targets and he has confidence in all of them. Rodgers only had 12 TDs at this point last season, and he's on pace to set a career high in 2012.
NFL Rank: 1
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Rodgers's 71.5 completion percentage is understandably the best in the NFL. It's amazing to watch him thread the needle time after time with his pinpoint accuracy.
I don't think I've even seen him throw a bad pass this year, except for intentionally throwing the ball out of bounds or spiking it. Not to mention that his receivers sometimes drop perfectly thrown passes.
Rodgers has accomplished such a high rate of success by spreading the ball around, as well. He set a record by hitting 12 different receivers against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football.
NFL Rank: 1
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With only three interceptions so far in 2011, Rodgers has been highly efficient and rarely turns the ball over.
It's fair to say that a few of those picks weren't his fault because of receiver drops and tipped passes, but who's complaining?
There aren't many players who have thrown fewer picks this season; however, those who have are also still under ten touchdown passes.
Rodgers never gives the ball away in crucial situations, and that is vital in the NFL.
NFL Rank: 28
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Rodgers has 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the year, and that's all that's expected from him. He can make plays with his legs, but it's better for his longevity if he doesn't.
As far as yards go, Rodgers is actually having an off year based on his totals from previous seasons.
However, that's no big deal when nearly all of his passing statistics have skyrocketed in 2011.
NFL Rank: 10
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Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 16 times this season, and while it could be much worse, the Packers hope to see him on the ground less in the second half.
There have been multiple injuries on the offensive line, but he is doing a better job of getting rid of the ball and moving around in the pocket than he did two years ago, when he was taken down 50 times.
NFL Rank: 12
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Rodgers has a league-best 125.7 passer rating.
While some people don't like the way the system judges quarterbacks, he still is 20 points better than Tom Brady.
There isn't a throw he can't make and it doesn't matter if he's on the run, his accuracy is still spot on. He's the surefire leader in the 2011 MVP race, and there isn't much more he can do to make his case better.
Final Grade: A+