Aaron Rodgers

USA Today

Aaron Freaking Rodgers

Everyone knew he was going to do what he did, and he still did it.

September 10, 2018 - 10:01 am

That was more like it. I’m talking about yesterday, the first real day of the NFL season, and it delivered. Ryan Fitzpatrick shocking the world and outdueling Drew Brees. Patrick Mahomes living up to the hype. The Steelers vs. The Browns. Dez Bryant vs. The Cowboys… on Twitter. 

Any other weekend, any one of those stories leads the show, but today it’s about one dude: Aaron. Charles. Rodgers.

Honestly, I don’t need to say anything else. That’s just the take. Aaron Charles Rodgers. I don’t need to say anything beyond that because you already know. You already know who he is, what he’s about, and what he can do.

And if you didn’t know before, you better know now. Here’s a quick recap of his night against the Bears. It was a tough start. 

Three for his first seven passes for 13 yards and trailing 10-0. And then this happened.


There wasn’t a single Packer fan, hell there wasn’t a single football fan, who wasn’t sick to their stomach seeing that. Aaron Rodgers goes down with a knee injury? The ultimate kick to everyone’s junk; the ultimate package blast on opening weekend of the NFL SEASON.

He was carted off the field… and when that happens, you just know dude isn’t coming back. Not that night and probably no time soon. And let’s just say that the Packers didn’t exactly thrive without him. Khalil Mack, more on him later, capped off a monstrous first half with a pick-six and the Packers were down 17-0 at home. Not only was their night over, but maybe their season as well, because as everyone knows, no one in that league is more important to their team than Aaron Rodgers is to the Packers. 

So, things looked bad. Really really bad. Nobody was expecting Rodgers back, not even his teammates. Backup quarterback DeShone Kizer addressed the team at halftime and asked for their trust. That was the plan for the rest of the night and for who knows how long into the season. 

Rodgers teammates went out to warm up. And then everything changed.

Aaron Freaking Rodgers. Coming out of the locker room. It was like something out of a movie, except this was real. And while he was really in pain, he was really going to play. And it was really on.

It didn’t matter that Rodgers couldn’t put weight on his left leg. Or that he could barely move and had to play out of the pistol to limit his steps. It didn’t matter that the Packers had never once in their history won a game where they were trailing by 17 or more entering the fourth quarter. That game was over. 

You knew it. The Packers knew it. The Bears knew it. And Rodgers really knew it. Asked later when he knew the Packers were going to win, Rodgers said right then.

“Walking out (for) the second half. When I realized I probably should jog. I was thinking about walking from the tunnel out all the way to the sideline, but I figured I might as well jog a little bit to let Doc McKenzie know I could do that because I hadn’t done that yet in the bowels of the stadium here. When I got the ovation, at that point, I said, ‘We might as well win this thing.’”

And it started with Geronimo Allison.

A Willis Reed moment? Nah that was an Aaron Rodgers moment. Because there is only one person on the planet who can make that throw. There are only a couple guys who make that throw on two legs, and he just did it on one. 

That touchdown made it 20-10 Bears. Rodgers followed that with the scramble and toss to Davante Adams that got them to within three.

Chicago had a chance to ice the game with a touchdown. To end the Packers. But they only got a field goal, because there is no killing what can’t be killed.  

So Rodgers came back onto the field down six with 2:39 left. First pass: incomplete. Second pass: incomplete. 

Third pass: legendary. Roll it.

He bought time on his bad leg, looked off the safety, and then made history. Thanks for coming. And good night. You knew it was going to happen. The most improbable outcome when he was in the locker room became the most predictable outcome when he stepped on the field.

I’m not even going to say that’s why he’s the highest paid player in the league. I’m going to say what I said when he got that contract: he’s the highest paid player in the league and he’s still underpaid. And I’ll also repeat what I said then, every season he does something you’ve never seen before. And this year, he did it in week one. 

I’m not going to remind you that he’s the most talented quarterback the league has ever seen. I’ll let Kurt Warner, who was on this show last week, tell you that. Or, I’ll read this tweet from Ian O’Connor: Tom Brady once told an NFL coach, if Aaron Rodgers had Patriots' offensive scheme & institutional knowledge on opposing defenses, "He'd throw for 7,000 yards every year. He's so much more talented than me."

The amazing thing isn’t that he did what he did. The amazing thing is that everyone knew he was going to do what he did, and he still did it. 

The Packers knew it and the Bears knew it. From the moment he got the ball back down 6, that game only had one ending. It was as predictable as LeBron finding new and different ways to crush the souls of the Raptors. You know it’ll happen, it’s just a matter of how it’ll happen.

Oh, and speaking of LeBron. He tweeted: “Woke up this morning saying to myself Aaron Rodgers You’re INCREDIBLY GOOD at Football my guy! One of the goats! Thank you”

Or to put it another way, let me sum up Sunday of Week 1 with the words of Conor McGregor:

‘Surprise, surprise, motherbleepers, the king is back.’