Packers Need A Better Backup Plan
Source: AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
Aaron Rodgers’ comeback in the second half was insane. Despite hobbling on one foot, the All- Pro Quarterback torched the Bears defence with 3 touchdowns in crunch time. As much as I’m happy seeing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers stealing a victory and putting salt in the wound of Bears fans everywhere, that injury he suffered in the second quarter scared me and Packer fans around the globe. It felt like getting punched in the stomach and getting one big super kick in the face. It could have been a disaster for the Packers. Especially since we've seen the “BAAAD man” miss more than a handful of games in his career.
Aaron Rodgers is no doubt one of the best players in the NFL. That being said there’s a caution sign with Rodgers. Last season he missed 9 games and 18 games overall (throughout his career) due to injury. In those games the Packers record are a terrible 5-12-1. Last season for the second time in his career he suffered a broken collarbone, this time on his throwing arm. His injury hurt the Packers as they missed the playoffs for the first since Rodgers became the teams starting Quarterback in 2008. Their 7-9 finish was their worst finish in almost ten years. Brett Hundley was the teams backup Quarterback last year throwing 9 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a QB rating of 70.6. It was the first time Hundley saw any action in his young career, he UCLA product wasn’t ready and it showed. The Packers hadn’t had a good backup since Matt Flynn. In 2013 Rodgers hurt his left collarbone and missed 4 games. Scott Tolzien was the back up that year and lost both games as the starter, he would also throw a dismal 5 interceptions to only 1 touchdown. Matt Flynn would took the reigns later that season going 2-2-1 as a starter. During those 5 games Matt Flynn posted a solid 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while also completing 61% of his passes. Aaron Rodgers would come back in Week 17 and the Packers would beat the Bears clinching the NFC North title. This season the battle for the back up Quarterback position in Packer land hasn’t shown many positive signs.
In the offseason DeShone Kizer would be acquired by the Packers, Kizer with the Browns as a rookie last year had thrown 11 TD’s with 22 interceptions and only completed less than 55 percent of his passes. He was also 0-15 as a starter. The Packers traded Hundley during the preseason to the Seahawks making Kizer the unanimous backup. With Rodgers missing the rest of the second quarter Kizer had a chance to do make some big plays but instead got destroyed courtesy of the Bears defence and Khalil Mack. It was bad. Kizer had one good drive but it ended in a strip sack fumble as Mack ripped the ball out of Kizer’s hands. Kizer also threw a pick six to guess who? Khalil Mack. This is what the Packers look like without Aaron Rodgers, A below average team with no direction on offence.
So the big question is why haven’t the Packers gotten a decent backup Quarterback? It’s baffling that the Packers organization doesn’t think they need one. What if they could of gotten someone who can carry the load last year while Rodgers was injured. It could of save their season last year. Rodgers could of torn his ACL and the Packers season would of disappear with Kizer at the helm. Why couldn’t the Packers get Ryan Fitzpatrick? One of the best backup QBs in the league could have been a good insurance policy. For example, Fitzpatrick started for the suspended Jameis Winston this past Sunday and the 35 year old veteran dismantled the Saints defence with a 4 touchdown performance, while throwing over 400 plus yards. If not Fitzpatrick, Tyrod Taylor could have been a serviceable backup. Yes he struggled in his first start as a Brown but the last three seasons as the starter for the Bills he posted a nice 90 QB rating with throwing 52 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He helped guide the bills to their first playoff appearance in almost 20 years. Yes he can be “too safe” when it comes to throwing the ball but he can still play the position as a backup. Taylor being the backup would help the Pack if he’s needed. Nick Foles would be a great pickup but the Eagles would be asking too much for Foles. Though how can you blame them when Foles helped the Eagles win the Super bowl and took home the Super Bowl MVP against Brady and the Patriots. With that being said, the Eagles showed last season that having a good backup could help a team hoist the Lombardi Trophy. It has happened 10 times in Super bowl history.
Aaron Rodgers is an amazing Quarterback and being with the team for another 4 more years it be ludicrous thinking of trading him. The Packers need to think of a backup plan however because Rodgers isn’t invincible and if he gets hurt again it’s a waste of another season.