Robert Lewis Stevenson published the gothic novella titled The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1886. Dr. Henry Jekyll battled between the good and evil within himself, with his alter ego being the mysterious and violent Hyde.
Jekyll, in the form of Aaron Rodgers, came out and in the first 16 minutes against the Vikings completed 10 of 11 throws for 141 yards, two passing touchdowns – and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. It resulted in a 21-0 score.
For the remaining 44 minutes, however, Rodgers transformed into Hyde: 12 completions in 23 throws, for 68 yards – and a passer rating that had to be less than half of that 158.3 tally.
From this game, I’m left to conclude that the Packers have the makings of a solid and effective pass attack, but the team’s execution all too often goes awry.
Jekyll was “crisp” and up-tempo. In almost all cases Jekyll threw to the first option, and did so in under three seconds. The only exceptions were the opening 39-yarder to Davante Adams (set up by great play action) and a 15-yarder to Adams, again set up by play action and a bootleg to the left. I don’t believe Jekyll was touched on any of those first 11 pass plays.
Hyde, on the other hand, was slow to throw, often looked for a second or third option, tried in vain to scramble several times, and resorted to a number of throw-aways. On his very first pass attempt of the second half, for example, Hyde had ample protection but held the ball for a good five seconds before throwing it away. Next, a screen was snuffed for a 6-yard loss. At 3rd and 16, Hyde rolled out, danced around, and threw it over the Green Bay bench.
With but a few exceptions, Hyde proceeded in this manner for the rest of the game: indecisively, scrambling, ad-libbing, not trusting the play calls. Hyde was also sacked twice and ended up on the ground several other times. Predictably, he also suffered at least a slight injury to his throwing hand or wrist.
The Season-long Probability
With seven sacks in two games, Aaron is on schedule to be sacked 56 times – that’s seven more than last year, when his 49 sacks ranked fifth worst in the league.
We know that Aaron, at nearly 36 years old, is less capable of avoiding onrushers than when he was younger. After being free of serious injuries for his first eight years, he missed seven games in year nine and nine games in year thirteen. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to conclude that if Rodgers doesn’t change his reckless ways, he’ll likely miss some games due to injury in this his fifteenth season.
Since Rodgers has exhibited dangerous ball-holding and scrambling tendencies for 2+ years now, I’m not going to be optimistic – I’m going to be realistic. Rodgers has developed bad habits, and he can’t seem to – or doesn’t want to – get these monkeys off his back. He’s therefore liable to get hurt again this season.
Is Rodgers about to join his aging peers Ben Roethlisberger (out for the season) and Drew Brees (surgery needed on a hand ligament)?
It’s time to get proactive. In my opinion Brian Gutekunst needs to be shopping right now for a veteran backup quarterback. More on who that should be next time.