Aaron Rodgers

USA Today

Aaron Freaking Rodgers

Wisconsin, how are you living right about now?

October 16, 2018 - 10:01 am

I’ve only got one question: Wisconsin, how are you living right about now? The Brewers beat the Dodgers and the Packers comeback to beat the 49ers 33-30 last night. Everything’s coming up cheese. 

And now that I’ve asked my one question, I’ve got three words: that Rodgers throw. 

I’ll repeat it, that Rodgers throw.

Aaron Rodgers completed 25 passes last night, but if you saw the game, you know the one I’m talking about. 

Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams for a 16-yard touchdown with 1:55 left tie it. At that point, that wasn’t tying the game that was winning it. Because if you’re going against Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter, if you’re tied, you’re losing. And if you’re losing, you’re losing. And if you’re winning, you’re losing. As long as he has a chance, he’ll take it and he took it last night.

It doesn’t matter how poorly his defense is playing and let’s be honest, that was not a vintage Packers defensive performance. Marquise Goodwin was running free in the secondary all night, CJ Beathard was balling like JOE MONTANA, and the Niners running backs were just eating up yards on the ground. That was rough, really really rough from a Packers perspective.

For huge chunks of the night, it really looked like a 1-4 Niners team who came in as heavy underdogs, with a backup quarterback, were going to leave Lambeau with a win. And that wouldn’t have just been a bad loss for the Packers, it could’ve been a season-ruining loss. Because the schedule is about to get a lot worse. If they couldn’t beat the Niners, what would they have done against the Rams and Patriots, in back-to-back weeks, on the road?

But then came the fourth quarter and then came Aaron Rodgers. If you wonder why people call him the GOAT, it’s not because he just had his second straight game with more than 400 yards passing and zero picks. It’s because of drives like his final two of the night. 

Down seven, needing something to keep the game and potentially the season alive, Rodgers goes 58 yards in four plays capped off by that textbook pass to Adams. You could not put that ball in a better spot. If Rodgers walked to Adams and handed him the ball, it would not have been in a better spot for Adams, that’s how good that throw was.

But then the Packers followed up that moment of brilliance with a moment of epic stupidity when Tony Brown was flagged for a late hit on the kickoff return. That practically put the Niners at midfield and handed them a golden opportunity. But the defense came up huge on third down.

I’m not sure what was more impressive – Kevin King’s interception or defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s stones. Because he went with an all-out blitz. Zero coverage. High risk, high reward, and King gave him the highest reward. 

That gave the ball back to the Packers on their own 10 with 67 seconds and no timeouts left. Rodgers said after the game that he was thinking about overtime at that point, but I doubt it. 

However, with 43 seconds left, they were still only on their 24 and Rodgers had just been hit and pulled down from behind. He got up slowly, looking banged up. And then on the next play, he scrambled up the middle for 21 yards. 

Bad leg? Who cares? He’s got a first down to pick up and a drive to hit with the paddles. And he did just that. Then spiked it to stop the clock. And then it just got to be unfair.

Completions for 8, 19, and 19 not only got them into field goal range, they got in with time enough to take a shot at the end zone. And then bring out Mason Crosby. Everyone knows about the nightmare that Crosby lived through against the Lions when he missed five kicks. Here was his shot at redemption:

Nailed it. Mason Crosby with the game-winner, but don’t get it twisted. Rodgers won that game. Crosby got the kick. Rodgers won the game. 

And you knew he would. He always does. It doesn’t matter if he has a jacked up leg or a bloodied elbow. The size of his leg brace doesn’t matter. He could be wearing a full body cast and he’d still get it done. Because that’s what he does. It feels like he does this every week. He’s just that good. 

I don’t often say this, but I will say this now: enjoy this while you can. And I’m not just talking to Packer fans here, I’m talking to everyone. Anyone who likes sports should be watching Rodgers and appreciating him, because we won’t see his like again. It’s so rare to see someone so at the peak of their game that everyone knows what he’s going to do, and he still does it. 

The Niners knew what was going to happen. Just like the Bears knew before them. And the Cowboys. And the list goes on. When he gets that shot, he doesn’t miss. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it  again, the most surprising thing about this is that none of it’s surprising.