Even AI thinks the Packers wasted Aaron Rodgers' prime

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

"The Green Bay Packers wasted Aaron Rodgers' prime" is often directed the team's way after "only" winning one Super Bowl during his 18-year stay in Green Bay.

It's an interesting conversation. Yes, the Packers hoped to reach more than one Super Bowl with Rodgers. He won four NFL MVP awards and helped the team get close to the big game on several occasions, but after winning the Lombardi Trophy in his third season as the starting quarterback, the Packers never returned.

Critics point to the success of Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes as evidence of why the Packers failed Rodgers. A counterargument is that Drew Brees only played in one Super Bowl. Dan Marino never won a championship. The reason? It's hard. There are 32 teams competing for the same prize, and several factors, including the finest of margins on gameday, determine which team ultimately lifts the Lombardi Trophy.

The Packers will undoubtedly regret moments that could've helped them over the years, whether it's passing on a star player in the draft or a missed opportunity in free agency, but that's life in the NFL. No team is perfect.

But did the Packers' approach fail Rodgers and prevent them from winning multiple championships? We asked AI to weigh in.

Chat GPT believes Packers missed an opportunity to win more with Aaron Rodgers

We've heard countless debates from NFL fans on the subject, but what about AI? We asked Chat GPT whether the Packers wasted Rodgers' prime. Here is its answer:

"The question of whether the Green Bay Packers wasted Aaron Rodgers' prime is complex. Despite Rodgers leading the team to consistent playoff appearances and winning Super Bowl XLV, the Packers failed to reach another Super Bowl, often falling short in the NFC Championship games. Factors contributing to this include predictable offensive schemes under coach Mike McCarthy, a defense that struggled in key moments, and injuries to key players. The front office's preference for drafting and developing players over signing high-profile free agents sometimes left the team without immediate impact players. Although Rodgers performed at an elite level throughout his career, these factors suggest the organization could have done more to maximize his potential and win additional championships."

Chat GPT

To its credit, it gave a fair and thoughtful answer. Let's break it down.

Yes, it's fair to have criticism for Mike McCarthy's scheme, particularly in the latter years of his tenure. But that would also do a disservice to what he accomplished. McCarthy's Packers actually won a Super Bowl, something Rodgers was unable to replicate in four attempts with Matt LaFleur.

The defensive argument is spot on.

In Tom Brady's 48 playoff games, his team allowed an average of 20.8 points per game. In Rodgers' 22, the Packers gave up an average of 24.8. In Rodgers' 10 postseason defeats, Green Bay allowed an average of 33.5 points per game.

However, some of the blame belongs to Rodgers. For example, he rarely played well in the NFC Championship Game, a stage Green Bay failed to get past on four of five attempts. In those games, Rodgers threw for a combined 1,387 yards, nine touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He threw at least one interception in all five games and multiple in three games.

At times, the Packers' defense cost Rodgers. They gave up 51 points to the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, 45 to the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, and allowed the Niners to rush for 285 yards and four touchdowns in 2019.

However, Rodgers had his share of playoff failures, too. In 2022, the Packers held the 49ers to 13 points in frozen conditions at Lambeau Field. Rodgers managed 225 passing yards but no touchdowns, with Green Bay scoring only 10 points. In the NFC title game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the offense couldn't get out of its own way despite the Packers forcing three straight interceptions against Tom Brady.

AI is right in suggesting the Packers "could have done more to maximize his potential." Being more aggressive in free agency may have helped.

However, Rodgers also deserves a significant share of the blame for some of Green Bay's early playoff exits. Did the Packers "waste" his prime? Partly. But Rodgers also wasted plenty of golden opportunities.

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