Aaron Rodgers: His accuracy in question
Aaron Rodgers’ play has been subpar lately – but he is human, too. Louis H. Rivard photograph
Over the past month, Aaron Rodgers just hasn’t seemed himself.
Some blame the play calling. Some blame a possible injury that nobody’s talking about. Some blame the inability of his receivers to get open. Some have even gone so far as to blame Rodgers’ girlfriend, Olivia Munn.
While we’ll never really know the exact causes of Rodgers’ less-than-stellar play of late, it’s something that concerns us all.
We’ve been spoiled over the past decade. Rodgers has week-in and week-out been one of, if not the best in all the league. We’ve seen him overcome so many hairy situations through his uncanny ability to elude pass rushers, and his ability to extend plays and make things happen with both his legs and his arm.
He’s a smart guy who understands the game of football unlike many others in the league who play the same position.
But if there’s one thing that seems off with Rodgers these days, it’s his accuracy.
Though I wouldn’t go so far as to say he can’t hit the barn with a pitchfork, we have all noticed how many “bad” throws he has seemingly made during the past month or so when the Packers have lost four of the past five games.
Accuracy has always been his trademark. Rodgers’ ability to hit the receiver in the hands at full speed has been his hallmark – whether it’s a dump off to a running back or a wide receiver streaking down the sideline.
Such has not been the case this season and the QB accuracy statistics over at profootballfocus.com bear that out.
Here is how profootballfocus defines its accuracy rating and how they rank QBs in the league using it:
"PFF’s “Accuracy Percentage” accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback was hit while they threw the ball – factors that hurt the quarterback’s completion percentage but don’t help show how accurate they are."
Nov 15, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) tries to flip the ball to running back James Starks (44) in the fourth quarter during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
At this point in the season, Rodgers ranks 21st in accuracy percentage, 72.6 percent. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler ranks just above him at #20, 73 percent, and St. Louis QB Nick Foles just below him at 70 percent.
Leading the way among QBs across the league is Tom Brady (79.4 percent).
So, why such an average ranking by Rodgers, who has been known throughout his career as one of the most accurate of all time?
Well, drops by receivers don’t help.
This year, Rodgers’ receivers have dropped 24 passes – something many say has shaken Rodgers’ confidence in his wide outs.
But consider that Tom Brady’s receivers have had 29 drops and that argument doesn’t seem to hold much water.
The actual formula put together by PFF is as follows:
The formula: (Completions + Drops) / (Attempts – Throw Aways – Spikes – Batted Passes – Hit As Thrown)
Rodgers leads the league with 449 drop-backs, something that probably doesn’t help his overall percentage and a statistic that many say is indicative of the questionable play-calling the Packers have had coming from Tom Clements.
He has thrown away 20 passes this season, has had six batted passes and has only been hit five times as he is throwing.
But none of that really explains why Aaron Rodgers just doesn’t seem himself these days as a quarterback.
Maybe he has just set the bar so high in the past that when he actually plays like an average human, we see it as a steep drop-off.
Will this be something that Rodgers will snap out of in the final quarter of the season? We’ve seen him come back from bad games before to light up an opponent, but we’ve never experienced a month of down play from this quarterback in the past.
We certainly don’t have the answers on this end and we’re not really confident the coaches do either.
Maybe it’s the happy feet that Rodgers has seemed to have in the pocket as he bounces around looking for an escape route. Maybe it’s throwing across his body, throwing while on the run or off his back foot?
Technique surely has something to do with it.
One thing is for certain – if this team is going to have any chance at making the playoffs, Rodgers has to play better. He’s got to get back to the level he has shown in the past.
Many things have to come together for that to happen.
Our hope is they get it figured out.
In the meantime, here are the most recent QB accuracy stats that have been calculated by profootballfocus …
|#||Name||Team||Drop backs||Att.||Comp||Drops||TA||BP||SP||HAT||Drop %||Acc. %|
|17||Alex D. Smith||KC||390||324||207||16||14||7||0||1||4.9||73.8|