Packers: What Aaron Rodgers could learn from Tom Brady

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers - Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers - Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

There are not many quarterback lessons left that Aaron Rodgers needs to learn going into his 18th season in 2021, but they’re a few Rodgers could take away from Tom Brady.

Now, before you roll your eyes at us assuming Rodgers isn’t a great team leader, there are a few things that could be learned after seeing Brady up close and personal twice in 2020.

The sting of playoff defeats is a feeling that hardly ever goes away in football, and erasing that feeling isn’t as easy as just winning playoff games. For the Green Bay Packers, with the window still open, they’re one of the few teams where every season is Super Bowl-or-bust.

Regardless of your feelings for Brady, he’s won seven Super Bowls for a reason — so much so, he is the GOAT for a lot of people and experts.

Aaron Rodgers and body language

The quarterback position, whether fair or not, will always be judged the harshest. One of the few things Rodgers has visibly shown in playoff defeats is the look of defeat before the game reaches triple zeroes.

There’s been a lack of competitive spirit for Rodgers over the seasons when games have gotten out of hand. Sure, this happens to every quarterback — Brady included — but there is a lack of positive body language from Rodgers, at times.

We’ve seen Brady yell at his teammates, get into arguments, and take those frustrations out on opposing defenses. With Rodgers, we know the emotion is there, the will to win, but there have also been times where we see a dejected Rodgers on the sideline.

If you’re looking for an example, then look at Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons. For all the 28-3 jokes, there is an angle where Brady was instrumental in leading the New England Patriots back for an epic overtime win.

Whereas, for all the stats of a Rodgers-led playoff team giving up 25+ points in playoff losses, there’s still that epic comeback missing. Rodgers has accomplished a plethora of achievements on the road to Canton but still lacks that playoff moment.

Rodgers is 12-9 in his playoff career with five of those losses coming at the expense of a defense giving up 25+ points.

An MVP performance in 2020 should be acknowledged for going down as a truly dominant performance by Rodgers, but you make your money in the postseason.

It starts and ends with Rodgers on the field as a player and as a rallying cry on the sidelines.

Aaron Rodgers and lacking the kill factor in the postseason

One other advantage Brady has shown with his playoff teams is the kill factor when the game is on the line. The Heart Attack Quarter (fourth quarter) has been mostly kind to Brady when looking to put teams away.

Whether it is with a game-winning drive or a drive to seal the game, it seems Brady is often in this situation — much to the pain of the team he’s playing against.

Look no further than the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago at Lambeau Field. Brady — on three-straight drives! — threw an interception to let the Packers back into the game.

Only one of those interceptions resulted in points and following a late Packers field goal, Brady put the game on his shoulders with a drive to send them to the Super Bowl.

Rodgers never touched the ball again and once again it was heartbreak city for Green Bay. We can play the what-if game all year long, but history tells us that if Brady was on the other end being gifted three interceptions, more times than not, he’s going to make you pay.

Like the 2014 NFC Championship Game in Seattle where Russell Wilson threw interception after interception, only one of those resulted, again, in a touchdown.

Both share the same fate of resulting in a loss — as do a number of playoff losses where Rodgers was given at least a chance.

And I get it, there are a number of factors to take into consideration, but when opportunity knocks, the door must be answered. With 21 total games for Rodgers, and when you’re only three games over .500 in the postseason, the argument could be made that the door wasn’t opened.

Picking yourself up in 2021

The league is a copy-cat league and maybe taking a closer look at how Brady conducts himself could do Rodgers wonders. Rodgers said he found something from the 2010 game-film that sparked a new way of playing the position — and it clearly showed.

Perhaps Brady tape is next for Rodgers, and if it’s anything like the real thing, then maybe it’ll have a much happier ending to next season.

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