Aaron Rodgers is Not Clutch, Ya’ll

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Aaron Rodgers: sucking

Aaron Rodgers: sucking

Aaron Rodgers failed to lead the Green Bay Packers to a fourth quarter rally against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Packers were down four, Rodgers had the ball in his hands and… led the team to a failed fourth down conversion.

Now, does this mean Rodgers isn’t the best quarterback in the game?

No. He had an uncharacteristically shitty day on Sunday. Additionally, Rodgers has put the Packers in the position where they’re so far out in front early in the game so often, they have no need for a fourth quarter rally.

That being said, the stats tell a lot here and they tell us that Rodgers probably isn’t going to lead the team back in the fourth if they are down. It’s also astounding to look at the gap between Rodgers and the other top quarterbacks in fourth quarter comebacks.

Rodgers is 5-17 in games decided by four points or less after Sunday.

Who has more than five fourth quarter comeback wins among active guys? Well, the usual suspects: Peyton Manning (a record 38), Tom Brady (27), Eli Manning (24), Ben Roethlisberger (22) and Drew Brees (20).

And also not the usual suspects: Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Michael Vick, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Alex Smith, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.

Read those last four names again.

Oh, and these guys, who haven’t been around nearly as long all have equaled Rodgers five fourth quarter comebacks: Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck.

Yesterday, I heard a talking head argue that Rodgers is clutch because he led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory and yes, to some extent I agree, but it was ultimately the defense that pulled that game out in the end.

The stats clearly support the argument that if you’re down in the fourth and you could choose any quarterback, you probably don’t want the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands. So the Packers better build some early leads and then take care of the football for the rest of the season.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

52 Comments on "Aaron Rodgers is Not Clutch, Ya’ll"

      • Sample size. Game context. Lots of things happen in NFL games, only an idiot would cherry pick one stat (a W-L stat, no less_ and use it to actually make an argument about a player’s “clutch-ness.” Learn how math, football, and analysis work.

    • Vijay

      Aaron and MM have got to do better in this category for me (and I’m sure some of you) to crown him better than Favre or Starr. He has all the skills and makes very few mistakes but man oh man, why is it that HE CAN’T do better than this in crunch time? We get spoiled by how effortless he makes it look but on the other hand, he seems to lose his edge when the game is on the line–is it him or the coach, or both? There was some evidence of the latter with their heated argument this past weekend. Hopefully, they continue to work on winning late game situations and have the confidence to call the right play in the right situations going forward. However, it is an alarming trend to continue to monitor.

  1. peter

    If anything MM isn’t clutch. He’s the one that called the fun on 4-1 which changes the momentum. Also you can’t fault a guy for his line not getting the hands down on a quick out. HIs WR was open and would have made the first down.

  2. E. Wolf

    This is such horseshit. He led lots of would be game-winning drives in 08 that were pissed away by that swiss cheese defense that could not stop anyone even if they stood there with a submachine gun blasting away.
    I was at that regular season game against the Giants in 2011. Rodgers led the Pack down the field for a chipshot field goal as time expired.
    This is a statistical anomaly resulting in part because Rodgers puts teams away in the 3rd quarter or early 4th. Some of those quarterbacks listed get comebacks because they fuck up so much.

    • ay hombre

      Jesus E. Wolf you’re full of so much hot air.

      Tiger Woods won almost every tournament in his career by getting out to a big lead and finishing. Yet when faced with the task of coming from off the pace late, undoubtedly he failed.

      One could argue that both Woods and Aaron Rodgers would only need to make a late comeback if they were off their games in the early stages of the contest, and thus when they don’t succeed in coming back it’s because they weren’t on their game to begin with.

      Either way…it’s a fact that Rodgers, while being one of the greatest QBs of all time, struggles when faced with a comeback situation late in the game. I think it is likely due to the fact that he has played subpar leading up to said comeback opportunity.

      Look that up E. Lamb…you obviously have free time. See if Rodgers’ failed comeback opportunities came at times he was playing well below his average performance. So in essence let’s ignore the failed opportunities, let’s look at Rodgers’ play in the first three quarters before.

      It’s a statistical anomaly? Prove it.

      • E. Wolf

        Again, look at 08. A lot of lost games where 12 played well. Ditto with that 2011 game at the Meadowlands. Let us not forget that 2010 regular season game in Atlanta, either.
        This is all just a lot of caterwauling about nothing. Stronger minds (like mine) block out the nonsense spewed by Skip Bayless n’ friends.

        • Rip

          Exactly. It’s obvious people don’t watch the games. Rodgers has come through so many times just for the defense or special teams to take it all away. I actually can’t believe this has been an issue. Rodgers has a bad day, gets a 4th down pass batted down, and out of thin air, Rodgers can’t bring his team back. Ridiculous.

  3. Jurgens

    Guys – I love Rodgers, but this is the one part of his game where he struggles. Maybe it’s MM’s conservative “try not to lose instead of try to win” late game philosophy, but it’s undeniable.

  4. Derek

    I think ARod has held his own in most 4th quarters, it’s our defense that has allowed the late TD to lose the game, and therefore reflects very poorly on ARod’s record. That’s not reflected in that statistic.

  5. SA packerfan

    It has been all three (Rodgers, MM, and the defense) that have caused this stat. I can be worked around if during the first three quarters they take every advantage to put the other team away. By that I mean 21 points or more going into the 4th. They easily should have done that against the Bengals but didn’t and lost. So they are not a comeback team, then damn it win the game early like they did against the Skins.

    • Vijay

      You are vastly underrating the Bengals. They have a championship-caliber defense and we do not. However, we are so talented offensively, that games are still often close with more elite competition.

  6. Tim

    I like how one day, you’re pretty much sucking Aaron Rodgers dick. He has ONE bad game, and all of a sudden, you talk as though he’s a piece of shit…

    • Vijay

      It’s a blog, if it did not create an emotional response, Monty would not be doing his job. This is not a cookie cutter media approach–it’s no holds barred. Don’t like it, then don’t read it. He and his staff speak to many of us who wish we could scream, yell, kick and hold our team more accountable.

      I love what the Broncos have done for Peyton and the Seahawks for Russell…I am early predicting those two to meet in the Super Bowl, of course, I’m hoping we upset them (Hawks) and actually get to face Peyton in the big one–but this early that’s a little bit wishful thinking.

  7. Charlie Martin

    It’s been this way since 2008. It’s mostly because he isn’t given very many opportunities. But honestly, he hasn’t really come through with very many of the opportunities he’s been given.

  8. I posted a question to “Ask Vic” yesterday asking him about the story Bob McGinn did about Rogers and company being 3-19 in games that were decided by fewer than 8 points. It must have really pissed him off because he made it he focal point of his post and ripped me for unfairly criticizing Rodgers. I’m not criticizing Rodgers. I’m criticizing this team as a whole.

    The Packers have the talent and the personal to be the best team in the NFL. But they have come up short when it comes down to “crunch time”. As McGinn says, they either win convincingly or they don’t win at all. I think that’s a problem and if they cannot reverse this trend I foresee another “one and out” in the playoffs.

  9. PF4l

    Lol…You fucking people are amazing…Rodgers has one stat in his game, that isn’t stellar…and you want to rip on him for it?…lol….Enjoy all the games this man wins, and all the talent he brings doing it…Cutler had a nice game winning 4th quarter drive Sunday…Maybe ya’ll want to run out and buy “Cutty” jersey’s.

  10. PF4l

    Monty says: “you probably don’t want the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands.”………Well Monty…As a Packer fan, I wouldn’t want the ball in anyone else’s hand than Rodgers at ANY time during a game (win or lose)…..Because with Rodgers, we’ll win a lot more than we lose. Rodgers took the Packers to a 15-1 record..WITH the worst defense in the NFL, almost the worst running game, and a leaking O line……What the fuck is wrong with you people?

  11. Savage57

    I guess what it says is simply this.

    If the Packers jump out to a big lead, chalk it up as a win.

    If they fall behind, they’re fucked.

    Sure would be nice to be able to use the word ‘and’ when talking about the Packers instead of always having to use ‘or’.

  12. Intimidating Cheese

    PF4I don’t even bring up our 15-1 season. We went 15-1 WITH the easiest schedule known to man! We had the easiest schedule in the entire league… And I blame Rodgers a little bit for our loss to the bengals has he ever heard of reading the defense and calling an audible? That’s our QBs biggest problem he has all the natural passing skills but he doesn’t read defenses to well, which causes him to get all flustered and ends up trying to figure out what happened in the 4 quarter.

    • PF4l

      Makes sense cheese…You proved my point….If we had the easiest schedule in 2011….Why did our defense end up last in the league?………..Don’t think too hard.

  13. Cheese

    To have a 4th quarter comeback you must first trail in the 4th quarter. A lot of those losses in that stat are from 2008 when Rodgers was a rookie and the defense was horrible. Anyone who thinks comebacks are based on one person alone is a fucking idiot anyway. The play call needs to be logical and every player on the team must execute. You like blowing stats out of proportion? Rodgers QB rating was 114 in the 4th quarter for 2011 (first in the league), and 113 in 2012 (2nd in the league). What does this mean? I don’t know. There’s so many variables in those games that anything I say is going to be subject to argument. Obviously he played well to get those stats. Am I trying to say he’s perfect? No. He had a bad game and the Packers lost. Big whoop. “OMG Aaron Rodgers isn’t clutch! I knew it all along!” Keep exaggerating stupid shit and playing armchair quarterback, it means absolutely nothing.

  14. Intimidating Cheese

    Cheese the problem is not just one game. And you’re right comebacks are not dependent upon one player… But the QB without a doubt has the biggest role in comeback situations. This isn’t the first time Rodgers has let me down in a 4 quarter situation.

    • PF4l

      Gee cheese…You think Rodgers O line being pushed back in his face has anything to do with it….Rodgers “let you down?”…..You sir, are a moron.

  15. rebelgb

    Packer Bob is Out:

    I posted a question to “Ask Vic” yesterday asking him about the story Bob McGinn did about Rogers and company being 3-19 in games that were decided by fewer than 8 points. It must have really pissed him off because he made it he focal point of his post and ripped me for unfairly criticizing Rodgers. I’m not criticizing Rodgers. I’m criticizing this team as a whole.
    The Packers have the talent and the personal to be the best team in the NFL. But they have come up short when it comes down to “crunch time”. As McGinn says, they either win convincingly or they don’t win at all. I think that’s a problem and if they cannot reverse this trend I foresee another “one and out” in the playoffs.

    Best fucking post on these boards. Right on bud!

  16. PF4l

    For all you whiners about Rodgers not being clutch…The Packers offense has scored the 2nd highest points in the league, and is ranked 3rd…While the defense has given up the 4th highest points in the league and is ranked 27th….So on behalf of Rodgers and all sensible Packer fans….Go EAT A DICK.

  17. Intimidating Cheese

    PF4l well at least I’m not a blind optimist about my team. You can sit there and say we’re the best when after our Super Bowl we have regressed every season. To say you’re sensible is ridiculous when you believe he’s the best QB in the league. I, a realistic packers fan, knows our QB is only the 4th best. Who tends to lose every close game we get in.

  18. PF4l

    Me?…A blind optimist?…lmao….You don’t know me at all do you?…Now put that dick back in your mouth.

  19. Richard

    Bengals have a championship-caliber defense but a schottenheimer-caliber head coach….which doesn’t say much for the direction McCarthy seems to have this team heading.

  20. DJ

    You have to apply linkage to MM when crunching those numbers. It is total BS to lay it right on ARod’s shoulders. I would venture that in at least half of those games we had a double digit lead. You cannot just turn momentum on or off. How many times have we seen MM take the ball out of a hot ARod’s hands & opt to kill clock as opposed to delivering the dagger? Too many times!!

    Having said that though, ARod has indeed struggled in spots late in games. I think he presses too much, gets tunnel vision for intermediate routes, becomes immobile, and relies on his arm too much…..when its his FEET that are one of his biggest assets. The second you feel pressure… Tuck it & go…take the 5yds & slide! It dont matter how the chains get moved.

    He stunk it up vs Cincy. Not gonna lay in on MM in that one because they kept being aggressive…ARod just had a shitty day. It happens.

  21. PackLethal

    That 2011 season was the easiest schedule ever! I know some may not like to hear it but be real! It was easy…. Only three teams worth a shit. NO game opener shuts down Ingram in the waning seconds, ATL quits running Turner in the 2nd half which saves our ass & the NYG last minute Crosby field goal makes that one. Carolina, TB & AFC West, c’mon man! I love the passion but keep it real! Rodgers is one of the best in the league though 4th quarter/game-winning drives isn’t one of his finer points!

    • PF4l

      Again..If 2011 was such an easy schedule, how come our defense ranked last?… 5th in 2010 to 32nd in 2011. Dropped 27 spots in 1 year (That doesn’t happen). And if the defense was that bad, shouldn’t Capers have been shown the door?……This is the NFL…Nothings “easy”. If it was easy to go 15-1, more teams would be doing it.

  22. DD

    Haha! The Rodgers dong suckers love to bring up stats all the time, but when this pathetic, steaming horseshit pile-of-a-stat comes up they can’t stop crying about how it’s misleading, not valid, not fair, WAAAHHH! It’s beautiful.

  23. PackLethal

    Let me include in my above statement of that 2011 easy schedule statement that the Viqueens were by far the EASIEST team to beat that year!! Hey DD, point differential 78-34. Damn, I can’t seem to remember, did we sweep you guys that year?

  24. PackLethal

    What variables constitute the ranking? Total yds, passing, rushing, etc. point differentials is a very good measuring stick (560-359…. 201 differential) which put the D at 19th in the league & 1st in offense. 45 tds & 6 int. I’ve been following football for many years & am hard pressed to remember an easier strength of schedule my any team. Ever!!! Here’s a link that will give you the schedule, click on each team GB played & you can see the opponents rankings in all the myriad variables of rankings.


    This is the most comprehensive database I have ever discovered & all football/GB fans should be made aware of & peruse it.

  25. PackLethal

    And as a note, I’m not just a GB fan, I AM a football fan & watch games & matchups around the league (yes, the Pack ALWAYS takes top priority) year-after-year!

  26. PackLethal

    PF4l, 2010 D was 2nd in pts (yds doesn’t matter cause many of those occur between the 20’s) & the O was ranked 10th. Teams move up & down all the time. Last week Tom Brady was the 27 ranked passer in the league (conversely he posted 4827 yds last season putting him in the top 4 around the league). Yea, you can drop like that!

  27. pf4l

    lethal…Show me another team’s defense that dropped 27 spots in 1 season….Show me, don’t tell me….And don’t try to draw a parallel with what happened to Brady in one game. Rodgers passer rating was in the 60’s last Sunday, his passer rating is still 105. C’MON MAN!!

  28. PackLethal

    2011-11 Saints drop 4 to 24, 84-85 Saints 4-24, 88-89 Patriots 5-23, 06-07 Ravens 1-22, 01-02 Ravens 2-22. 88-89 Bears 2-25. Took about 5 minutes to find these drops in D rankings.. 95-96 Cowboys (offense) 3-25. Teams rise & drop all the time Those are by yards exactly the way you like them. 2010-11 Packers 2-19 pts, 5-32 yds (teams put up all these yds against us & still, we go 15-1 strongly implying yds rankings are a poor indicator of overall rankings) Pts & game wins, particularly the post-season (where it really matters), is the rankings that matters. Conversely, Cowboys under Romo’s stewardship has posted 4 4000+ yds/season, made playoffs twice & went 1-2 in the post-season! All those yds meant naught!

  29. PackLethal

    And that was just grabbing the first 4 teams that come to mind. We would probably be hard pressed to find a team that didn’t have a significant rise or drop in rankings from one year to the next in each respective teams history!
    Do have a nice day for I do not wish to argue with a fellow Packer fan but love to debate football all day! Have a nice evening!

  30. pf4l

    Good thing you don’t like to argue, because I was right. I said no team drops 27 spots. ….The Saints dropped 20 spots, and it showed didn’t it? Yards do matter, because more often than not it equates to more points scored on the defense….Want more proof?..ok then..In 2010 the packers 5th rated defense gave up 240points-15pts/game….In 2011 the Packers 27th ranked defense gave up 359 points- 22.4 points a game….That’s substantial. In 2010 the defense gave up 309 yards/game….In 2011 the defense gave up 411yards/game……………..So lethal, you keep telling yourself yards don’t matter….lol

  31. PackLethal

    Oh I see you do like to argue! Well, to qualify your “no team drops 27 spots” statement, the packers dropped 27 spots in yds (09′ Broncos dropped 7-32, is that close enough?) 17 spots in points. Let us shelve you obvious conflictimg statements about the 2nd rated 2010 Packers defense (I merely point this out cause you now refer to points so the 5th in yards drops to 32 no longer applies as that directly speaks to yards allowed, not points allowed (I sincerely thank you for that, thank you PF4L!!!) is not what you refer but 2nd in points that drops to 19 in points next season) & bring the year before where the 2009 2nd rated (in yards as you prefer) Packer D gave up fewer yards than 2010 & yet allowed 297 (18.6/g that’s a differential of 3.6 points more/g on fewer allowed yards) so I am very confused now. I will defer to your football expertise but please keep the conflicting statements out of it. If we use points, let us use point rankings (I prefer this cause I’m of mind this is more representative of what is really happening) if we use yards, please clarify this discrepancy in yd-point being directly correlated for I seek to be removed of my confusion?

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