This is the first in a series of articles providing an in-depth analysis of each position group on the Green Bay Packers. We will start with the quarterbacks.
The grades will be for each unit as a whole, but we will provide analysis of each player, their strengths and weaknesses and a quick analysis of where they stand heading into the offseason.
The Packers offense finished 17th in the NFL in passing yards on the season and 14th in the league in points scored with 370 which is 80 fewer points than they scored a year ago.
Here are the grades for the Packers quarterbacks in 2022. The marks are based on a combination of expectations and performance.
Aaron Rodgers started all 17 games for the Packers in 2022 but he didn’t play up to his MVP seasons of 2020 and 2021. The drop off wasn’t all Rodgers’ fault but he clearly didn’t reach his recent level of play.
Rodgers numbers fell in nearly every category. His touchdown passes dropped from 37 a year ago to 26, his interceptions went up from four to 12 and his yards per attempt was down from 7.7 to 6.8. His final quarterback rating of 91.1 was the lowest of his NFL career as a starter.
Obviously, Rodgers missed Davante Adams and was working with an inexperienced and banged up receiving corps. He didn’t seem to feel comfortable with his receivers for most of the season and it showed.
The offensive line was also dealing with injuries especially early in the year when both David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins were returning from season-ending knee injuries. The team’s two best linemen missed games early in the season and needed some time to get back into form. That hurt the overall offensive line play and Rodgers’ ability to look downfield.
Rodgers also suffered a broken thumb on the final play of the team’s Week 5 loss to the Giants in London. He played through the injury and while he didn’t miss a start, his accuracy was clearly off. Rodgers’ completion percentage dropped from 68.9 in 2021 to 64.6 this season. He missed some open receivers especially on shorter passes to the flat which almost never happened prior to this season.
Rodgers had only one three-touchdown game (vs Dallas) and never threw for 300 yards in a game this year. His decision making was also sometimes off as he didn’t throw to open receivers and tried to force the ball to covered targets.
Would a healthy Rodgers be able to come closer to Pro Bowl form? The Packers certainly hope so. GM Brian Gutekunst has already said the team wants the future Hall of Famer back so the decision regarding next year falls completely on Rodgers.
The quarterback said he needed some time to decide on his future but would not hold the Packers hostage. That likely means a decision before the start of the new league year in March. He has two years left on his contract and will earn approximately $59 million guaranteed if he plays for the Packers in 2023.
Backup Jordan Love saw action in four games with two coming in blowout losses and one in mop up duty in a blowout win.
The former Utah State star’s best performance came in the fourth quarter against the Eagles where he led the team to 10 points in a comeback attempt.
Love looked more confident and decisive this season albeit in limited action. He completed 14-of-21 passes for 195 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. His quarterback rating was 112.2 but again, there was a very limited sample size.
The Packers need to decide on Love’s fifth-year option this offseason and are likely to pick it up if they believe the former first round pick is a legitimate starter in this league once Rodgers is no longer a Packer.
There are rumors Love may not want to back up Rodgers for a fourth season and could demand a trade but we need to wait for the process to play out over the offseason.
Third stringer Danny Etling spent the entire season on the practice squad and was not activated for any games. The Packers signed him to a futures contract and he will likely be back in training camp in 2023.
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