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NFL Draft

Aaron Rodgers Is Happy Again—That’s A Problem For NFC North

  • The Draft Network
  • September 28, 2021
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None of us know what’s going to happen with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the end of the 2021 season. There’s as much of a chance that he’ll demand a trade out of Green Bay as there is he signs a new contract that allows him to retire a Packer. None of that matters right now, though, and it’s clear Rodgers is enjoying the ride this year.

No moment captures Rodgers’ refound joy for the game better than his reaction to Mason Crosby’s last-second game-winning field goal against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night. If you missed it, check it out:

The Packers moved to 2-1 following Week 3’s 30-28 win.

Rodgers’ emotions are an unexpected development following the summer he and the Packers endured. It felt like a divorce was inevitable. Instead, Rodgers is celebrating a Week 3 win like it was a playoff victory.

“How can you not be romantic about football?” Rodgers said after the game.

This Rodgers-Packers romance was more of a drama (or maybe a horror for Packers fans) just two months ago. Rodgers openly criticized Green Bay for their failure to involve him in personnel decisions in what was among several shots fired at the organization throughout the summer months. Now, Rodgers’ focus is on the field. And his play is beginning to match his newfound enthusiasm.

“It gives some legitimacy to some of the things we’ve been talking about, that that (Week 1 loss) was kind of an aberration, and we are a talented football team,” Rodgers said of Sunday night’s win.

Rodgers finished the game 23-of-33 for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t throw for 400 yards. He didn’t toss five touchdowns. But it was one of his more impressive performances in a while. Rodgers, with 37 seconds left in the game, drove the Packers 42 yards in five plays to set up Crosby’s 51-yard game-winner. It all felt routine. The outcome wasn’t a surprise. The win, in a way, and in that exact situation, felt very predictable.

It’s that “of course Rodgers did it” reaction that makes No. 12 so special and why it would be a shame if he and the Packers can’t mend their differences. Rodgers—and Packers fans—shouldn’t be forced into the same ending the last great quarterback in Green Bay, Brett Favre, endured when he proverbially limped into retirement after time spent with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

Can you imagine Rodgers in a Denver Broncos jersey? A New Orleans Saints jersey? It’s a reality that needs to be prevented at any cost, to the dismay of the rest of the NFC North.

Despite a Week 1 loss to the Saints that had all of football media questioning whether Rodgers had mentally checked out and if the Packers were headed for a complete meltdown in 2021, Green Bay, just two weeks later, has restored their standing as the class of the division. 

Packers fans can R-E-L-A-X once again… for now.

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