Aaron Rodgers has had about as much success as you can at the quarterback position with the Green Bay Packers. However, he hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since his third season as a starter in 2010. He has a chance to get back there now, though, as Rodgers and the Packers are hosting Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game.
Rodgers recently made some comments ahead of the game, and what he said should get Packers fans ready for their team to make the Super Bowl. Buccaneers fans, though, should be very, very nervous.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are in the NFC Championship Game
Aaron Rodgers has had some great years with the Green Bay Packers, but, despite being 37 years old, Rodgers potentially had the best season of his career this year with Green Bay.
Rodgers led the NFL in completion percentage, as he completed 70.7% of his passes, his highest mark since becoming a starter. He also threw for 4,299 yards and led the NFL with 48 touchdown passes, the most he has thrown in a season in his career. Rodgers also only threw five interceptions this season, as he led the league in interception percentage for the third consecutive year.
The Packers’ offense, in general, is a big reason why they are in the NFC Championship Game, as Green Bay led the league in scoring this year, averaging 31.8 points per game. Aaron Jones was great on the ground, running for 1,104 yards and nine touchdowns. Davante Adams was also arguably the best wide receiver in the league this year. He caught 115 passes for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns in 14 games.
The offense continued to click in their divisional round playoff game against the LA Rams, too. Green Bay ultimately won 32-18 over LA to advance to the NFC title game. Rodgers threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns, while Jones ran for 99 yards and a TD on 14 attempts.
Now, the Packers must take on the GOAT and his new team, as they play Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship.
He discussed the Green Bay Packers’ previous playoff runs
Rodgers recently appeared on The Pat McAfee Show, and he discussed some of the Packers’ playoff runs. He specifically discussed the years they made the NFC Championship Game. Rodgers has made five NFC title games with the Packers (including this year). They went to and won the Super Bowl in 2010 but lost in the conference championship in 2014, 2016, and 2019.
“Each one, very different types of teams,” Rodgers said on the Jan. 19 episode. “I felt like in 2010, everything was so new, we didn’t realize how good we were; how good we could be. We were just riding the wave. … We put it all together at the right time.”
Rodgers then said that the 2014 team was maybe the most “complete team” they had.
“We just felt like, as complete it was, there was going to be some changes after the season on just some guys that we had and guys moving on — we just really wanted to get it done,” Rodgers said. “…  was a lightning in a bottle. We were 4-6; we won eight straight. It was this amazing belief that we had. A team that talent-wise wasn’t as good as probably any of the other five, but, man, we had that special chemistry and belief in each other that was really special. One of my favorite years probably was ’16.”
Aaron Rodgers has some strong comments about this Packers team
In that same interview, Rodgers began discussing this year’s team compared to last year’s, as Green Bay lost to the 49ers in the NFC Championship last season. What he said should get Packers fans very excited, too.
“Last year’s team, it was kind of like a rest, total reset, just brand new,” he said. “We really enjoyed each other and had a good season. We weren’t clicking anywhere near where we’re obviously clicking at this point in the season, compared to this year. Our offense is much better, much better. It’s not just the way I’ve played; everybody’s more comfortable, Matt [LaFleur’s] more comfortable. We’re playing complementary football, which we just weren’t last year.”
He continued: “When our defense was so great early on, we were terrible. When we finally started figuring things out later in the season, our defense wasn’t playing as well as they did earlier in the season. This year, I feel like we’re both gelling at the right time. The confidence is high. We finally got a game in Lambeau in one of these. We’re expecting snow on Sunday, and things are lining up for us to do what we set out doing back in April when we started having Zoom meetings.”
Last year’s Packers team was pretty good. This one, though, appears to be on another level. Packers fans should be getting pretty excited for Sunday. Buccaneers fans, though, should be starting to feel nervous.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference