Aaron Rodgers has reminded everyone that he still has some good football left in him. After the Green Bay Packers drafted Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft, Rodgers heard the rumors of his time being up in Green Bay and how he might not have what it takes to be an elite quarterback anymore.
He hushed all the noise with a dominant 2020 season. Entering Week 17, Rodgers is in a position to clinch a first-round bye, meaning the road to the Super Bowl would come through Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers could also clinch something else, his third NFL MVP award.
Aaron Rodgers has had a phenomenal season
Aaron Rodgers has been simply sensational this season. Entering the final week, he has thrown for 4,059 yards, 44 touchdowns, and five interceptions per ESPN. He ranks sixth in passing yards, first in touchdowns, and first in QBR (83.9). Rodgers is playing lights out, destroying opposing defenses every chance he gets.
The season Rodgers has put together could be one of his best. His 119.4 passer rating this season is the second-highest in his career. Rodgers has a 70.1% completion percentage, second-best of his career. If he throws two touchdowns in the Packers’ season finale against the Chicago Bears, he will break his career-high for touchdown passes in a season (44). Even at age 37, Rodgers is still posting carer numbers.
What makes Rodgers’ season even more remarkable is how he has elevated the level of his teammates. It is no secret that Rodgers doesn’t have many weapons to throw to on offense. Outside of Davante Adams, Green Bay’s receiving core lacks star power. Rodgers has utilized the strength of his receivers, putting them in the best positions to be successful. Six Packer pass catchers have over 30 receptions this season.
The month of December has been ridiculous for Rodgers. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns to one interception and has completed better than 69% of his passes in every game. He has taken over the MVP race and could wrap things up against Chicago.
Aaron Rodgers can clinch the MVP award against the Bears
The MVP race has been between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes for most of the season. Mahomes has led the way since mid-November, but Rodgers emerged as the favorite to win coming into Week 17, according to William Hill Sportsbook. Going into a game where he can lock up the one-seed, Rodgers will be focused and ready to go.
Rodgers plays at his best against Chicago. He is 19-5 in the regular-season against the Bears. Chicago has had no answer for him, as Rodgers has thrown 51 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions against them. It would be hard to imagine Rodgers having a bad day against his division rival. Rodgers could even have an average day and still win the MVP.
That is because the Kansas City Chiefs have decided to sit Patrick Mahomes for their final regular-season game. Mahomes resting ruins his MVP chances, especially since he hasn’t played his best football in December. With Mahomes out, Aaron Rodgers has full control of his MVP destiny. He could play well and still be the frontrunner. If he plays like garbage, he could allow Mahomes to sneak back into the picture.
What a third MVP would mean to Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers already has two MVP awards, winning his first one in 2011 and his second in 2014. Adding a third to his trophy case would put him in some legendary company. He would join Brett Farve, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning as the only players to win MVP three times. That distinction will put Rodgers in the upper echelon of quarterbacks if he isn’t there already.
Rodgers knows that winning MVP is a big deal, and he has said it is important to him. “’You play the game to dominate, to compete, and to win rings. But anyone who says those things [MVP] aren’t on their mind or not important to them is not the type of competitor that I am. That stuff is important to me, and I do relish the opportunity to be in the mix. It means I’m playing well, and our team is in good position, as well,” Rodgers said per the Associated Press.
Before Rodgers can worry about winning MVP, he must worry about defeating the Bears. Chicago is also fighting for their playoff lives, as they need a win to clinch a spot in the postseason. The Packers can knock their fierce rivals out of the playoffs and clinch the NFC’s top seed with a win. There is a lot on the line for both sides in this matchup.
Aaron Rodgers has been sensational this season, and he could lock his third MVP. The award is virtually his, as long as he doesn’t have an awful game. The two-time MVP has everything in his control. The only person who can take it away from Rodgers is himself.
All stats courtesy of ESPN