Rodgers older but not old
At 36, the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is at an age where things can go south in a hurry for a quarterback.
The arm strength wanes, the feet lose their quickness and injuries mount. Soon, the team starts looking for an heir apparent.
But in the Packers’ season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, the two-time NFL MVP was vintage Rodgers, completing 32-of-44 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns in the Packers’ 43-34 road victory over their NFC North rivals. So much for the end of the Rodgers era at Lambeau – at least going by his Week 1 performance.
But that’s how it’s been for Rodgers, who may be at an advanced NFL age but is far from “washed up” or “no longer elite,” as his critics charge. He certainly was one of the game’s best last season, when he threw for more than 4,000 yards for the eighth time in his career (with 26 touchdowns against only four interceptions) while completing 62 percent of his passes. He even led the Pack to within one game of the Super Bowl before turning in a mistake-ridden performance in a loss to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
By most measures, that still qualifies as a great season but the Packers saw fit to draft Rodgers’ potential successor, Utah State’s Jordan Love, in the first round this past spring. If nothing else, Love’s presence may serve as motivation for Rodgers to keep aging like a fine wine.
Rodgers can be seen in action when the Packers play host to the Atlanta Falcons in a game airing Monday, Oct. 5, on ESPN.
Full name: Aaron Charles Rodgers
Birth date: Dec. 2, 1983
Birthplace: Chico, Calif.
Height/weight: 6 feet 2 inches/225 pounds
Teams: Green Bay Packers (2005-present)
College: University of California, Berkeley
Drafted: Selected in the first round (24th overall) by the Packers in 2005
Honors and achievements: NFL MVP (2011, 2014); Super Bowl champion and MVP (2010); First-Team All-Pro (2011, 2014); NFL passer rating leader (2011, 2012); eight-time Pro Bowl selection; NFL passing touchdowns lader (2016); AP Athlete of the Year (2011); Bert Bell Award for player of the year (2011)