Does Aaron Rodgers lack the killer instinct?


Does Aaron Rodgers lack the killer instinct that propels Tom Brady and other greats to the next level?

Rodgers is ultimately not the sole reason for the Green Bay Packers’ epic collapse on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. I do think he played a big role in the Packers defeat.

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Green Bay’s first drive come to an abrupt end in scoring range, when Richard Sherman made a great play to pick off a pass intended for Davante Adams.

Rodgers appeared to have no interest in going Sherman’s way again, even though the corner later sustained an injury and was limited to partial use of one arm.

The Packers’ next two drives both stalled at the Seahawks 1 yard-line. Say what you will about the play calling and the decision to kick the field goals. When you are playing the best defense in the NFL all points are crucial.

Rodgers’ inability to get the Packers in the end zone was a huge problem on Sunday and the red zone performance as a whole has sputtered over the last couple of seasons.

As the captain and the most valuable player on your team, you must dial-up something to get your team 6 in those situations. The Packers also fell victim to three second half three-and-outs. Two of those took less than 2 minutes off the clock.

The Packers only scored a touchdown in 57.14 percent of red zone visits in 2014.

Aaron Rodgers scrambles with the football during the fourth quarter of the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. San Francisco won 23-20. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Aaron Rodgers has also created hurdles in his career with his inability to beat certain teams. It now looks like that this has shifted from the San Francisco 49ers to the Seattle Seahawks.

In week one of the NFL season at Seattle, Rodgers was 23-of-33 with only 189 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

His quarterback rating for the game was 81.5, his second lowest of the regular season. On Sunday his performance was below that.

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  • Given the calf injury, Rodgers looked much more mobile and comfortable in the pocket compared to the previous week’s divisional round against the Dallas Cowboys.

    This time around versus The 12th Man and the Seattle Seahawks, Rodgers was 19-of-34 for 178 yards, 1 touchdown to 2 interceptions.

    His rating would plunge to 55.8, only better than the game against Buffalo.

    During the 2013 NFL Wild Card round loss at the hands of the 49ers, Rodgers had very similar stats – 17-for-26 for 177 yards, and 1 touchdown.

    Another Packers’ loss.

    Aaron Rodgers’ current career playoff record as a starter is 6-5.

    Four of those wins came in the dramatic Super Bowl run in 2010. Since then, the Packers have only enjoyed two wins in the playoffs. Rodgers also only has 1 game winning drive in the playoffs.

    If you compare that to a name that pops up in comparison – Tom Brady. Brady won his first 10 playoff games and picked up three Super Bowl titles along the way.

    Perhaps that is more credited to Bill Belichick being a mastermind. But then again maybe it is Brady.

    Rodgers wasn’t responsible for a defense that had pitched a shutout having an epic collapse to end the game, nor for a botched onside kick recovery.

    However, if Rodgers would have performed at an elite MVP level in “crunch time” none of that may have mattered.

    Is it Rodgers or is it McCarthy?

    While no heads should be on the chopping block, there is an issue that needs addressed. This team must win when it counts and they have to learn to put teams away.

    Green Bay shed their “soft” image this season but they still lack that killer instinct that champions thrive on.

    For Aaron Rodgers to be considered one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, he and McCarthy better figure it out …

    … before the window shuts.