A rejuvenated Aaron Rodgers is great for the Packers, but not the rest of the league.
Right now, Aaron Rodgers is performing at the highest level of his entire career.
Why all of sudden, though, did the rejuvenation come about?
Let’s take a look at why.
Reason #1: Rodgers is no longer the focal point on offense
In years past, the Green Bay Packers‘ offense primarily relied on the brilliance of Rodgers as a passer. Now, under a new head coach, he no longer has to be superhuman to win games for them. He can now play more relaxed and in turn, have more control of the offense.
We’ve seen it throughout the first four weeks of the season. This year’s offense under Matt LaFleur has blossomed into a complicated yet simplified system. What I mean by that is defenses no longer can predict what they are going to do.
In week one, it was Rodgers going off for 364 yards and four touchdowns. Week two saw running back Aaron Jones take the reins and put up a franchise record in total yards with 236 on 22 touches.
Week three saw Allen Lazard have a career-best game receiving, catching a total of six passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. Finally, in week four against Atlanta, it was third-year tight end Robert Tonyan who set a franchise record for a tight end in Green Bay, catching three touchdowns on six receptions for 98 yards.
The offensive versatility in year two has been the main reason behind Green Bay’s overall success thus far.
Reason #2: Rodgers is thriving in a new offense
LaFleur’s system is predicated on versatility within the passing game. In the first four games, Rodgers has thrown 13 touchdowns to zero interceptions with a 128.4 passer rating.
To put this into perspective, through the first four games of 2011 (Rodgers’ first MVP season), he threw 12 touchdowns to two interceptions with a 124.5 passer rating. He is on a mission to prove he still has what it takes to be an elite quarterback talent in this league — even at 36 years of age.
Boy, is he proving that he can early on.
Reason #3: Rodgers is playing loose and having fun
The final reason why Rodgers has gotten such a rejuvenation since last season is because he no longer has to worry about being superman in games and putting up monster stats every single time. That’s actually very scary when you think about how early on in the season it is as well as the fact that this offense hasn’t even hit its full stride yet.
Sure, he can turn it on once the team goes down early (we saw that against Detroit in week two), so it’s not like he can’t put up monster numbers to win games; it’s just that he no longer has to rely solely on his arm talent, other players can and have stepped up to take some of the pressure off of him as a quarterback and it’s shown through the first four weeks.
That’s just another reason why Rodgers has shown such a different, much more rejuvenated version of himself this season, because under LaFleur, he knows he can just be himself, play loose, and have fun.
We haven’t seen that in a very long time, which is both a good thing for the Packers but also a very bad thing for the rest of the league.
Why? Because once Aaron Rodgers flips that switch, he and the Packers offense as a whole are very hard to stop.