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Packers Overcame Vikes Despite a Jekyll and Hyde Pass Attack

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.

Aaron Rodgers - Packers Vikings

Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass under pressure from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Kato September 17, 2019

    Completely agree. I have been saying this the past few years. He needs to change his play style, and the playcaller needs to help him in this respect. This offense can’t do what they did 5 years ago. Rodgers simply isn’t effective at being that type of guy anymore. At least not in a consistent enough basis for the offense to be successful. Part of me thinks the days of him being a top 5 qb are over, and I fear he is in a decline. QBs playing into their 40s is a fairly new phenomenon, and it was never a guarantee that he would make it that long. Peyton didn’t make it that long. Some guys just don’t. Nothing wrong with that. I said it a couple years ago here, I questioned how long Rodgers would be able to keep up the level of the type of play that made him great relying on his athleticism. Here we are.

    1. PF4L September 17, 2019

      He has no more excuses, he has a better O line than Dallas or New England, and he has the top receivers in the league. That boy best get his shit together. Kato,,,,head up to Green Bay and spend some time with Rodgers, straighten his ass out.

      1. Kato September 18, 2019

        Dude, comon. Is Rodgers offensive line a top 5 unit? No. I watch a lot of football, and based on what I have seen watching other teams the Packers offensive line is probably above average. Russell Wilson’s offensive line has been worse on average his entire career, and his receivers have been worse as well. The only thing Russell Wilson has on Rodgers is he has had a better running game than Rodgers, and even that hasn’t been great the past couple years in Seattle.

        This isn’t saying that Rodgers is “finished”, because it is obvious he can still play. But he is no longer an MVP type of guy. It seems like he is more of a game manager type of guy. He won’t make mistakes that kill the team, but he also isn’t going to be a guy that will go out and light up defenses on a very regular basis either.

        1. PF4L September 18, 2019

          This from the guy who wanted Rodgers benched and Hundley starting.
          Aaron Rodgers….Game Manager…lol
          Anything else? i’m always looking to learn more.

  2. Stiggy September 17, 2019

    I think hes working out the bad habits you can sort of see it and now he has even more tape showing what he can do if he trusts his teammates and offense to deliver.

    Poor guy probably has Stockholm syndrome from the old scheme and its gonna take quite a few reps to learn a new way of playing after a decade of playing under old gravy heads system.

    After all…it took his style of play to overcome the vast buffoonery of his last coach..and the onset of Alzheimer’s to the head of his front office.

    1. thomaslind949yahoocom September 17, 2019

      Don’t blame this on Gravy Head.
      Rodgers has to wake the hell up, and get with the program, Stiggy.

      1. PF4L September 18, 2019

        How about we all chip in and buy him an alarm clock?

  3. PF4L September 17, 2019

    Thanks Rob, i was going to track those stats when i rewatch the game. not sure how the bottom can just fall out like that.

    BTW Rob, lets not lay every sack at the doorstep of Rodgers, surely the O line was responsible for at least one or two of them the last 2 seasons.

  4. PF4L September 17, 2019

    I guess i could look at this through the clear lens of reality, and proclaim that Rodgers really has only one proven reliable receiver. But if i was to say that, you football fans that are far smarter than i am would accuse me of being a fool and not knowing what i’m talking about. Or i could say Rodgers should be setting the league on fire with all his weapons now, this isn’t 2011, 14,16 when he didn’t have anyone talented to throw the ball to.
    WTF people….It’s a new season, new offense, This team needs a darth of talent to make up for lost drafts. They have receivers who badly need to develop. Put down the shovels and quit trying to dig Rodgers grave. Let this new team have a chance to grow and develop. They have 2 games under their belt. Some of you people……What’s next, an article tomorrow grading this season? Holy shit.

    1. Stiggy September 17, 2019

      I feel like the faults pointed out in his game (at least the ones I mentioned) have been ingrained due to years of repetition and being forced to play hero ball. I also agree it’s pretty hard to hit your first read when they arent open…and it is questionable they have the ability to consistently be open.

      I saw someone on a a differents blog do a full analysis of Rodgers throw always last year. It was something like most were a result of no open targets.. the next biggest cause of throw aways was pressure under 4 seconds..and. The others were due to Rodgers missing open people/holding ball too long.

      None were an insignificant amount. In other words the packers offense would improve if the wideouts get open more…the line blocks a little better…and Rodgers is more willing to take the easy play.

      It’s a team game.

      Also…anyone saying Rodgers is a bad teammate is nuts. For a season + he has been trying to take the heat off Graham by saying “we need to get Jimmy more involved”.

    2. Cheese September 17, 2019

      I find it ridiculous that the second most experienced receiver the Packers have is… Geronimo Allison. Really? People talk about him like he’s some breakout superstar. Sorry, I don’t see it. To me he’s just another guy. Outside of Davante, the WR core has done next to nothing. We can talk about possible potential of the new guys based off of a few catches but that is all speculation. Or, more like new guy (singular form) because J’mon Moore is gone and St.Brown is on injured reserve. Hopefully MVS pans out because the cupboards are getting bare.
      Jimmy Graham, lol. I’m not even touching that topic.

  5. Ferris September 17, 2019

    Those 2 teams have some of the best pass rushers in the league, and so does Denver…get the ball out before Chubb or Miller breaks you in half.

  6. Howard September 17, 2019

    I think it is fair to say in most years defenses start out the season faster than offenses. Throw in the Vikings played their starters in the preseason, the Packers have a new offense, and the Packers didn’t play their starters much in the preseason, I’m suprised the Packers started out the game as well as they did.
    Remember the Bears were #1 in lowest passer rating last year among many other defensive statistics. The Vikings were ranked #4 in the same category. Both the Bears and the Vikings were tied at #3 in the league in QB sacks. Those are two very good defenses going up against a new offense, with new starters sprinkled in.
    This team has a lot of things they need to correct on offense at every position group including the line, receiver, RB,TE, and QB. Defense also needs to correct some issues, one being the big plays they allowed.
    I think the best thing that occurred in the game is the Packers didn’t blow out the Vikings. The Packers need to keep improving and a blow out may have been counter productive at this point.
    The Packers have not played good on offense, no question. However, the Packers are still 2-0 with much room for improvement. This team has many bad habits to break that have developed over several years. Losing and not doing things right all the time are a couple of those bad habits. Even though the Packers have a lot to fix on getting things right all the time, at least the losing part is on an upward trend at this time. The getting things right all the time is still a major work in progress and will bite the winning part in the ass soon if not corrected.

  7. Jcope September 17, 2019

    A major difference in this offense (in comparison to the MM offense of yore) that jumped out at me was 2 plays that I can recall, one in each game, in which the Packers were backed up against their own goal. In the old McCarthy offense we would have seen 3 pathetic run attempts followed by a punt, which I totally expected in these games just from habit. In both cases this season Rodgers PASSED for completions on first down. It was soooo damned refreshing.

    1. Cheesing it in from Kazakhstan September 17, 2019

      This. Yes, I noticed too and it was a breath of fresh air

  8. Cheesing in from Kazakhstan September 17, 2019

    Agree with all the comments about a new offense, no one behind WR#1 (Allison, whom I do appreciate, really effed up with that fumble – would have been a lot different with even three points there) , and LaFleur also needing to get used to both calling plays and being a head coach. But Rodgers has developed several really bad habits that he exhibits even when he doesn’t have to.
    To me, it felt like Rodgers played the way he should in the beginning- quick throws to establish a rhythm – but then started to press and hold the ball looking for big plays.
    He HAS to change or he will never make it a whole season much less into his 40s
    Also, and I can’t believe I’m saying this because guy is a dick but we should consider Dez when he is healthy. (Really – I did it in Madden and it Totally worked! I’m kidding, of course)

  9. PF4L September 18, 2019

    Here….i was under no illusion, that Rodgers wouldn’t exhibit any bad habits, or bad plays, during this transition to a new offense, and truth be told, (you had better sit down for this one)…Rodgers will never do everything perfect. Yes, you heard it here first. He will never be perfect. If he reverts to doing something he’s done in the past…might it be because that’s how he’s been doing it for 13 years (with some success)? Glad i could help.
    Rodgers once told everyone to relax, more recently he told you this offense was going to be a work in progress. Rodgers rarely, if ever, says anything not true. When he says it’s a work in progress…maybe he says that because….it’s a work in progress. To spell it out for the “challenged”. He is saying it will take some time.
    Let me try it this way…..We didn’t expect Gute to repair all the years of damage done under Thompson in one off season….did we? There is no magic wand
    But why we still don’t have a clear cut #2 receiver by now is troubling.

    1. Stiggy September 18, 2019

      Who cares about a #2 reciever when you have one if the highest paid tight ends in the league. Maybe you didnt know this but Graham made the pro bowl a few times and was considered the most dominant te in the NFL in 2013-2014. With such a good tight end you basically have two top tier wideouts.

      1. Jason Parker September 18, 2019

        I can’t tell if this is sarcasm

        1. Stiggy September 18, 2019

          You will find your answer in the years I cited for grahams dominance

          1. PF4L September 18, 2019

            When i say receivers Stig…i’m not handcuffing myself. If a tight end had 80 catches for 1,000 yards behind Adams, he’s your #2. I don’t care if it’s the fooking Easter Bunny, you can’t go it on one guy alone. See Brett Favre/Sterling Sharpe. It wasn’t until Sharp retired that Favre open up the offense by spreading the ball around. In a way, Sharp getting hurt, might have been the best thing for Favre at the time. He was his crutch.

  10. Deepsky September 18, 2019

    According to the stats you provide, Rodgers had a 58 QB rating.

    I have thought that Rodgers skills have been declining for the last few years, but the bad offense at the end of the game wasn’t much his fault. I’m going to say that the real issue was that the Packers second tier players, the ones behind Davante Adams, need to learn the offense better so that their skill set surpasses the defensive players on the other side, and that LaFluer called some questionable plays. Zimmer changed up his defense, not allowing the passes they did earlier, and LaFluer didn’t respond. There’s actually an article in the Minnesota press about how the pass to Adams worked the first time, the Vikings players said they adjusted on defense, and LaFluer tried to run it, unsuccessfully, several more times.

  11. Larry September 18, 2019

    It’s always funny when fans try and turn football into rocket science. What’s wrong with Rogers? That old saying “a TE is a QB’s best friend” is the precise simple logical explanation. He does not have one and that lands on Gute who for some inexplicable reason thought Graham was the answer. Yep, BG has made some great moves but he also made 1 colossal bonehead one. Then he compounded it by not admitting the mistake in the 1st place. I fear Gute has the same disease that afflicted Teddy, piss poor player evaluation ability. Hell. I’m just a dumb ass fan and even I knew Jimmy was done a few years ago.

    1. PF4L September 18, 2019

      What’s even funnier is when people try to tell you what’s wrong with Rodgers, what he’s thinking, how his mind works, and they never met him in their life.
      Same with all the fake news concerning Rodgers/LaFleurs relationship. Some talk as if they know what that relationship is and how it’s working, or not working, as if they see them everyday and somehow have some inside knowledge and seemingly even know what each man is thinking. When in reality, they never met or spoke a word to either of them.