It’s no mystery to anyone that the Packers will only go as far as Rodgers takes them. Despite a much-improved defense and two running backs who are making his life easier, Rodgers and company have jumped out to a 7-2 record, mostly without star receiver Davante Adams.
2019 NFL MVP Watch: Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Currently, Rodgers has thrown for 2,485 yards, 17 touchdowns, and two interceptions and is near the top in several offensive categories. Rodgers ranks fifth in passing yards (2,485), fourth in completions (208), 12th in completion percentage, fourth in touchdown passes (17), and 11th in Total QBR (57.2).
So, with several quarterbacks ahead of him, why should Rodgers be considered an MVP candidate through nine weeks? It could be based on the Packers record as he’s lead the team to a 7-2 start after many experts predicted a low-win total season and the Packers to take a back seat to both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
Looking Beyond Stats
But mostly, where Rodgers shines is the eye-test, because his stats are a bit misconstrued if you’re just looking at his numbers. And while Rodgers is finally benefiting from a mostly-complete team on both sides of the ball it is incredibly apparent when watching a Green Bay game that Rodgers is what makes the Packers go.
The emergence of both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams has allowed Rodgers to hand the ball off rather than having to throw the ball 50+ times per game. The Packers game against the Dallas Cowboys where Rodgers didn’t throw a single touchdown but Jones ran for a career-high four touchdowns is a good example of the support Rodgers has this season.
But when Rodgers has thrown touchdowns this season, it’s been mostly to unproven receivers, like Allen Lazard and to Williams, who shockingly leads the team with five touchdown catches.
Despite not having the services of Adams, Rodgers has looked more locked in and healthier than fans have seen in recent seasons. Rodgers’ game against the Oakland Raiders, in which he accounted for six total touchdowns and a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, definitely turned some heads in the MVP conversation.
But the quality of play has been there since Week 1 when he gutted it out against Chicago’s haunting defense (at the time) to throw two of his greatest passes.
The Crop is Filled With MVP Candidates
MVP candidates can earn merit on their stats alone, no doubt, but watching a player struggle through adversity and rising above it definitely earns MVP points. Rodgers has navigated a tough schedule with some highs and lows this season, but his return to form with a new head coach in Matt LaFleur and a new offensive scheme cannot be overlooked.
There’s a lot of games left to be played and Rodgers could add to his stats and climb the ranks, but if he continues to have wow moments with dazzling throws, and a return to the playoffs after missing the last two seasons, then Rodgers could very well be the 2019 NFL MVP.
Time will tell.